How I get stuff done…

September 19, 2014

Cogs and TechI love technology and I’ll be honest, my life completely revolves around it. I’m constantly logged-on and  surrounded by tech at work and at home I sit hard wired to my computer or iPhone. I check updates at the dinner table and sometimes I say more to Siri in a day than to an actual person! I’m completely attached, connected, addicted, dependant…

I’m sure you’ve heard the news reports and read the headlines of society literally crumbling around us as we sit, oblivious, taking photos of our food. I know an older relative has interrupted you as you check your newsfeed to complain that the art of conversation is lost. And I know there’s a good argument to say that life is passing us all by, one selfie at a time. But as 4G kicks up a digital dust of distractions from which no amount of swiping seems to cleanse, I find myself marvelling at the benefits of our technological age. Especially the connection between myself and UoL and the intermediaries that foster learning and progression through my MSc. Read the rest of this entry »


The UOL subject guides

September 13, 2014

Time flies. It's up to you to be the navigator. - Robert OrbenIt is the weekend again; and this means allotting time for studies. For the entire week, I haven’t been able to sit myself down for a good, solid session of studying. Looking at the approaching weekends with the relish of spending hours with books might sound strange to some people; to me, however, swotting up on literary terms, or assimilating a critic’s work is an ideal way of enjoying my free time.

"The key is not to prioritize whats on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities." - Steven CoveyBalancing work and studies could never be an easy task. Besides feeling dead beat at the end of a working day, the realisation that I haven’t read a word always weighs me down more. Although I have tried to squeeze some reading time in during the day, such as when I am traveling to and from work, or when I am having my lunch break, it is still insufficient to study productively.

Therefore, my weekends are really precious. Just like how a working mother would look forward to the end of the week as a time for her children, I always anticipate with pleasure the joy of spending my Saturdays and Sundays with my books. But no matter how many weekends I have, I don’t seem to have enough time to complete reading everything on my list. It is precisely at such acute moments of frustration that I pleasantly discovered how I could make full use of the UOL’s subject guides.

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“Up, up and away!”

September 8, 2014

LLB student blogger Hammad

Meet our newest blogger – Hammad

Fear causes a man to do many a thing. Fear of failure, fear of people judging him (or her) wrongly, fear of hatred, fear of being classified incorrectly  – which serendipitously leads a man to do things that he couldn’t even fathom before. Sometimes, life throws such a curve ball (baseball) at you, or an in-swinging yorker (cricket), that you aspire for more and better, and maybe the best. You go for the full swing. It’s all or nothing. You want the best and nothing less. Such is my story and such is my calling…

My favourite author quite eloquently stated:

“If there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers.” -Charles Dickens

Since logic and religion; philosophy and theology; reason and inspiration; Aristotle and Abraham; all relate that there will always be bad in people, I seek to find what the law says about it. I believe that no one is inherently bad, not even Satan. It’s our actions which lead us to being good and being bad. So here lies the truth in my pursuit of LLB from the University of London International Programmes. Not to prove anyone wrong or right, but to make myself good for myself, actually the best. Let those who judge be the judges, all I know is that to be a judge you need to read the law. (Who says legal humour lacks taste?)

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I can see clear skies through the rain

September 4, 2014

Clouds CurtainHaving overcome the first lecture, my excitement and anticipation grows stronger with every lecture. That “old familiar feeling” of wanting to learn more comes back to me again – the feeling of a dry sponge; ever-ready to absorb the juices of knowledge from prominent thought leaders in education. I can’t help but feel so privileged!

As a businessperson, I’ve paid top dollars just to listen to industry leaders speak for barely an hour. As an employee of a fortune-500 company, I used to fight for a place at the company’s annual conference where top-notch industry speakers are invited to speak. Now, I not only have one, but several gurus; each lecturing for a few hours! The best part is: I can ask these gurus questions during the lecture! Seeing their body language when digesting our questions, brains ticking, piecing information, and finally delivering their answers not only depicts the expanse of their knowledge on the subject matter but also their wealth of experience – all within the space of a few seconds. Read the rest of this entry »


A thousand salutes to Lieutenant Leo Gradwell!

September 3, 2014

Lt Leo Gradwell

Lt Leo Gradwell

‘Are you happy in the Navy?’, this was the signal passed to a neighbouring vessel by Lt Leo Joseph Gradwell during a German air raid. An Oxbridge barrister, adept in six languages, he was not quite the man one would imagine fighting the best German warships with only a yacht sailing certificate. Captain of one of the British merchant ships of the ‘scattered’ PQ17 convoy, he had a Times Handy Atlas to stay alive after being ordered to disperse at the lurking threat of the the Nazi warship Tirpitz. PQ17: well, it’s obviously an intriguing code name though quite a historic one.  PQ17 was the code named convoy containing British and American ammunition, weapons and aid that were sent to the Russians  to prevent the unstoppable Germans from capturing Moscow; crossing the hell rough Arctic ocean. Dating back to the venerable Second War, PQ17 Arctic Convoy Disaster has been tagged one of the most infamous naval disasters in the history of warfare. This may seem to have no connection to that of an 18-year old prat’s life. Self-confessedly, even I would have been in the dark about PQ17,  like most other people, had I not stumbled upon the documentary broadcast on the BBC, presented by the legendary, albeit controversial, Jeremy Clarkson.

Time to draw the connection.

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“Joy in repetition…”

August 29, 2014

Prince and Adam Gearey

An unlikely comparison: Prince and Professor Adam Gearey

When Prince released his song “Joy in Repetition” in 1990 (as the eighth track on his twelfth album Graffiti Bridge) he could have scarcely imagined that some 25 years later it would come to directly influence the CLRI (Common Law Reasoning and Institutions) presentations by our very own Professor Adam Gearey. It is a song about a song; and deals with his experience of walking into (one presumes an imaginary but does it matter) uber-trendy night club on New York’s 36th to experience a band performing a song called “Soul Psychodelicide”. The song is a “year long and had been playing for months” and is no more lyrically complicated than two words, and there she was up on the mike:

... this woman he had never noticed before he lost himself in the
Articulated manner in which she said them.
These two words; a little bit behind the beat

So over and over, she said the words til he could take no more, (no more)

It’s alluringly simple three chord structure draws you into the song’s perfect logic and before you know where you are you are equally mesmerised; sharing the same quasi-hypnotic state that one presumes our wandering Purple Prince intended you to feel.

How on earth does that relate to our venerable studies of the Common Law and its even more venerable Institutions and how possibly am I/can one connect that with one of Professor Gearey’s presentations? But there it is Chapter 5 at exactly 4 minutes and 11 seconds; and I quote:

“practice; that’s the secret…doing it over and over and over again”

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Studying as a Form of Stress Management

August 26, 2014

Einstein on studyingDespite the somewhat romantic notion I had about enjoying a leisurely time after finishing my degree, it has worked out to be a bit different. This summer I have had very little break time between interviewing for new opportunities, IT repairs, a 180-degree shift in a work project, finishing my home redecorating project, and preparing to enter a new academic program. You would think I could see all of that coming, but, unfortunately, no. What managing it all helped me realize is that reading and studying has been a kind of stress management tool for me, in addition to being something I really, really enjoy. Studying as a form of stress management might sound unusual to you. It certainly sounds unusual to me, but while managing all the rough and tumble of professional life this week, I realized that having my reading and intense engagement with English studies is an excellent stress management tool and helps me maintain a helpful perspective on other projects.

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