Originally posted last April 29, 2005 here.
Exam time brings out a whole new set of law school characters. They lie dormant all semester, until the stress of having their future ride on the results of a few tests brings these creatures out into the open. One such creature is The Possum. The Possum is the person, often a girl, who will jokingly talk about how badly they are going to fail. The Possum will compliment your knowledge of the material while deriding her own. One of the favorite jokes of The Possum is to say, "Sit next to me, so I can copy off you!"
For someone so sure that she is about to fail, she is in surprisingly good spirits, isn't she? Is she drugged? Did she have a self-actualization on the last day of class and realize that she isn't meant to be in law school, and is just finishing out the semester for good measure? Is she just happliy content with being below average? Of course not. As you can gather from the name, The Possum is just playing dead.
In reality, she is fully confident in her ability to succeed on her exams. Her "playing dumb" is just a smokescreen to hide the many hours she spends perfecting her outlines and memorizing the UCC. Of course, the following semester, when she learns that she got a 3.7, she acts genuinely surprised, as if it were some fluke.
At the end of the day, I like to have The Possum around. She is sort of like a stripper: She makes you feel better about yourself, even though you know she is lying.