“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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“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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An 18-year-old with 24 years experience…

August 19, 2014

Entry to the University of London LLB programme @ 41 was a watershed event for me last year, and the six following months… a roller coaster ride. From sleepy beginnings (The snakes and ladders of study) through wake-up moments (A Journey to the Centre of the Mind) it has been pulsating, right up to the finishing line.

The last time I ran this race was two decades back during my Chartered Accountancy Finals. Those were different days though. In early 20s, youthful potential energy was in abundance. Devoid of any serious responsibility, life was relatively uncomplicated. In short, those were days when the heart thumped more in anticipation of love and life rather than apprehension of failure and fear..!

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one for sorrow, two for joy (i)…

July 30, 2014

Pierro della Francesca - Nativity

Pierro della Francesca – Nativity

There’s a dinner party game that any Psychology majors will already be familiar with; it runs as follows & couldn’t be simpler if you tried…

You ask your unsuspecting friend/s to quite quickly (without too much navel gazing) to name their three favourite animals; now if you have never played this before I might suggest you read no further and do exactly as I have asked you… perhaps even write them down so there is no last minute temptation to ever so slightly alter the outcome (as if you would!!!). Read the rest of this entry »


“I can see clearly now…”

July 2, 2014

Johnny Nash - I can see clearly now album cover

I can see clearly now the rain is gone.

I can see all obstacles in my way.

Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind.

For as long as i can remember; and I guess to a degree that distinguished me (in all its good and bad) from some other students at school or university I have loved to study. Not just as a means to an end but as a process in its own right; but it is perhaps only recently that I have began to examine that opening statement in any great detail and through that hopefully in today’s blog (as I sit at my desk on a rainy Shanghai afternoon) throw some light as to why that might be; and hopefully through that understanding shed some light on the all important aspect of any exam related studies: recall.

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“common threads…”

June 11, 2014

“Both the world of fashion and the Court of Chancery are things of precedent and usage…” 

so Charles Dickens tells us in the opening paragraph of Chapter 2 in Bleak House. And by so doing he gives us the courage to make the leap of faith (as so many of his writings do) to connect in our imagination things that we might never have conceived of as somehow connected; nor indeed had the courage to so connect.

It is the very breed of courage that Maya Angelou speaks of when she said:

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

And I hope; it is the kind of courage that at age 53 has enabled and empowered me amidst a very active business life, running a small psychotherapy practice and a somewhat large recording studio (seemingly irreconcilable “threads” you might at first imagine) and an even more active family life (with my lovely wife Chanel and my two children Charlie aged 8 & Catherine aged 2) to embark upon an International Programmes LLB.

LLB student and new blogger Mark Pummell

LLB student and new blogger Mark Pummell

But there it is and here I am; and all in all I am very happy to have been accepted as a new blogger on this the University of London International Programmes – Official Student Blog. I have a mind to write about some matters that particularly relate to the study of law but also hope to touch on something to do with the subject of study; in particular something of the beauty of the process of studying rather than perhaps the rather more often visited “managing exam terror”/”how to learn 300 cases in six minutes”/”how to remember everything your tutor ever told you” etc. kind of posts and something of the joy/s (there I said it) of being a self-study student (which I am) but I am also very open to tackle any topics that our blog readers would like discussed if I feel I have something of real interest to say on said topic; so please feel free to suggest away!!!

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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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