Should you get yourself a study partner?

March 20, 2014

I’m sure some of you have study groups or study with friends or even have study partners. However I have never studied in a group and as a student who is not registered at an institute at the moment, I wasn’t meeting fellow LLB students. This year is different. As part of my fool proof plan to make my final academic year the best, I found myself a study partner. In fact, my study partner thankfully found me.

Approximately two months ahead of exams I thought of analyzing the pros and cons of studying with a partner in case you were thinking of revising in groups.

My study partner, Sarasi and I met during our first year of study when we were both registered at the same institute in Colombo. We were both working full-time so even though we shared the challenges we faced and talked about studying together, we never found the time to actually do so. Now two years later, Sarasi is living in London and we were determined to find the time to study together.

Sandarenu and Sarasi

Sandarenu and Sarasi

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A Journey to the Centre of the Mind

February 10, 2014

October 2013 was a breeze when life at the University of London had just begun. By December 2013, the sails picked wind and the cruise sailed comfortably till the new calendar remained out of gaze.

Man studying with hair standing on endOn the morning of 1st January 2014, the hair on the head began experiencing an anti-gravity pull.

Responsibilities at work were piling, eating into valuable study time. Festivities and celebrations were becoming botherations.

A cricket commentator would say … the asking rate is rising; wickets are falling and overs getting exhausted without adequate runs on the board.

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The snakes and ladders of study

December 2, 2013

A lamp and laptop with University of London International Programmes portal.My London LLB box was opened a month back. With all arrangements complete, books placed tidily on shelves, stationery of all kinds neatly arranged in drawers, laptop powered and connected to the net… it’s time for lights, camera, action!

I pick up my new jet-black Waterman and ink the first word on my new exercise notebook, almost in school-like cursive writing, when… pause! Water.

Back at the desk with glass in hand, the meandering mind starts wandering, eventually finding its way inside the hall for the graduation ceremony in the Barbican Centre, academically attired in the flowing silk gown as Her Royal Highness rises to speak. A sense of pride flashes by as the thunderous applause of the audience greats The Princess Royal. Dream within dreams, the journey moves on to Senate House, Russell Square and on, for hours together, till… snap!

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Here’s to new beginnings…

November 14, 2013

I have attempted to write this blog post on new beginnings, several times during the last month, only to leave it incomplete. I couldn’t bring myself to write it because for me, it didn’t feel like the academic year had actually begun. Yes, I had selected the subjects for the year, registered online, and even downloaded the subject guides but I didn’t have any hard evidence to pull me out of my prolonged holiday bliss.

Then I came home last evening to find the now familiar cardboard box marked University of London. For a moment I just stood there looking at it. My books had arrived. Procrastination was not an option anymore. The new academic year had indeed begun.

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University hopper @ 41, once more!

October 25, 2013

Last month, one sultry afternoon I was busy in my office finalising a particularly delicate audit report, when my wife’s SMS queued in ‘…your Fedex box is in…’

Jumping off my chair, I dashed out, hopped into my car and navigated through the busy streets of Calcutta as if my life was on fire and reached home in no time! My wife’s eyebrows narrowed as if she was staring at a ghost ‘…are you well? All okay at the office…?’ My 14-year-old daughter was smart to sense my reason for exhilaration and wasted no time bargaining for her share of the pie for giving me my ‘box’. Twenty-four years after stepping out of college, KK-Blogs1I could feel my teenage excitement once again as I leafed through the fresh pages of my newly arrived University of London International Programmes LLB study guides. True, I had seen it all a couple of weeks earlier through the highly sophisticated prism of our ‘VLE’, but the reality of the ‘oven-fresh’ pages far overwhelmed all virtues of virtuality. I was rejuvenated, almost therapeutically.

So what, on earth, my friends questioned, did a (luckily) fairly well established business professional dream of, to be motivated into a UoL degree of law all over again? Honestly, the decision was driven not so much by the brain as much it was by the heart. The story goes a year back, when one day staring at the majestic Himalayas on a rather romantic holiday, my notion of career, fame and accomplishment suddenly took an unreasoned U-turn.

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My checklist for making the most out of what is left of the holidays

August 5, 2013

LLB blogger Sandarenu enjoys her holidays.

The well-deserved break is almost over and the next academic year is just around the corner. The break has been pure bliss which is why you haven’t had a blog post from me for a while. With what is left of the precious holiday, this is how I plan to make the best out of it.

1. Spend time with family and friends

My family and friends have suffered while I had my head buried on the books so I’ve made sure I have spent quality time with family and friends. I’ve taken trips with family, spent time giggling and gossiping with my girlfriends and not missed a single event I was invited to. It’s refreshing to spend time with your loved ones and makes up for all the times you’ve had to take rain checks because you were too busy attending lectures or cramming for exams. Besides, we have another academic year ahead of us, we need them to be patient and understanding while we are busy earning our degrees.

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Plan B

May 1, 2013

Plan B

One lesson I learnt from the last academic year is to plan better. I had this fool proof study schedule for this time; at least I thought I did. It had the number of hours, the areas to be covered and exactly what I hoped to achieve each day. I had planned the specific chapters from study guides to revise, pages I’d read from text books, cases I needed to find and read online and past paper questions I would attempt.

I had considered that I take longer to read Trust Law material than Tort Law, when allocating time for the subjects. I had tried to be as specific and practical as possible. I had considered all my personal and professional commitments. I was all set for the exams. Except there was one thing I had forgotten to consider in my schedule; Life. I had not realized that sometimes when we have a plan for life, life can have a different one for us.

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Studies and real life

April 7, 2013

Hi, everyone.

I have decided to write a post on the applicability of the knowledge you get while studying at UOL LLB in real life.

I have to repeat that I am lawyer already and work as such but I do not have a QLD in the English law and I am studying for this degree in order to understand and apply English contract law solutions for my current project, where many contracts are generated on a daily basis and almost all of them are, by the selection of the parties, governed by the substantive laws of England.

As I wrote before, my studies got a bit overextended due to my own poor time-management skills. However, even being not so productive as required by the study plan, I gained some knowledge of the English law of contracts, enough to understand the basics and to help the business I am employed by.

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Anyone Who Doesn’t Quit Is A Winner

March 5, 2013

LLB blogger Sandaranu of Sri Lanka

LLB blogger Sandaranu of Sri Lanka

I thought the LLB was going to be easy. I was 25 when I made the decision to start my LLB with the University of London International Programmes in Sri Lanka. By this time I already had my Bachelor of Business and MBA. I was working full time as a teacher, an examiner for a local examination body and an entrepreneur. Surely it had to be easy for me, I thought, with my experience as a teacher and examiner.

I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. Before I knew it was in the deep end of the pool without a life jacket. Not only did I realize that studying law required an entire different mindset to studying management, I also realized it demanded self-discipline, commitment and most of all; time. As a management student and teacher I was used to short notes, video clips, calculations, challenging theory, bypassing text books, and last minute studying. None of those was going to work with a LLB. LLB required sitting down and reading, memorizing, thinking and then some more reading.

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Sand of knowledge

February 21, 2013

Hello. My second post is about the struggle of squeezing the dough of learning material into the more or less clear patterns to get some structured knowledge in the end. I am a law student so my point of view is affected by that fact, but hopefully other people find the ideas useful to them too.

Contract Law pictureMy first serious encounter with the difficultly of grasping new law concepts occurred when I finished reading the Contract Law textbook by Richard Stone, 5th edition. I wasn’t enrolled in a course at the time, but I wanted to learn English contract law so I read it almost every day for about 5 months while commuting to Moscow from my suburbs. I remember this funny feeling of emptiness in my head when I turned the last page – I could not recall much of what I read. I remember asking myself what do I know about the English law of contracts now, when some 500 pages are done and I clearly remember thinking something like “not much, really”. To say that this was frustrating is to say nothing. I felt like a little kid who was tricked by some elder bad guys into a scheme where all my lunch money was somehow taken away from me and there was no one to turn to now because people would laugh at me if I tell them what happened.

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