Elephant on a treadmill

Continuing Miriam’s animal theme this week, I came across a story about Maggie, an elephant at the Alaska Zoo, who is reluctant to exercise on her brand new treadmill. The zoo gave Maggie the $100,000 treadmill as part of a program to improve her lifestyle following the death of the zoo’s only other elephant.

Getting 8,000 pound Maggie onto the treadmill is a slow process. So far, Maggie has put two feet on it and gingerly touched a third foot. The zoo hopes she will progress to taking brisk walks on the treadmill by Thanksgiving–which will help her keep off the extra 1,000 pounds she tends to put on.

The story is not entirely unrelated to law/legal education. The trainers, who say they know just by looking at Maggie whether or not she wants to train on a given day, go along with the pace she sets. Elephants, the trainers report, “are like people. Just like in school, there were days you didn’t want to be in the lecture hall.”

My advice to Maggie is the same advice I give my students: before you get on the treadmill make sure you have a plan for getting off.

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