Here we are, the calendar says it is January 2018. For many, January is a slow month, just getting back to normal, whatever that means. For us UoL students, it is a busy time. Exams just 5 months away and knowing you, that little panic button in your head is already flashing red.
January is also the time for reflection. Often you may ask, why on Earth am I doing this? Why do I subject myself to this particular kind of torture? These questions are more frequent if you are, let’s just say, more mature in age. I have been asking myself the same questions, and this year is more relevant than others. In a few weeks, I will reach a milestone birthday, yes the big 5-0. Here I am nearly 50 and still a student. I will not lie, it is not what it used to be, I cannot browse through a 600-page book in three days, now it takes me a week. Everything takes a bit longer, and finding the motivation is harder than it used to be. Continue reading
U2’s classic song I still haven’t found what I’m looking for is still as relevant as it was when the song originally came out. The sentence captures our relentless pursuit to find the one thing that makes us happy or fulfilled. I am the first to admit that I am still searching. That’s why I have embarked on a long and difficult journey to fulfil my childhood dream, to become a lawyer.
My lawyer friends may say, “oh no, you are crazy”, maybe I am, but this is what I want to do and have wanted for decades. I did start out as a law student back in the 20th century in Hungary, but adventure got in the way and I landed in Canada. I did try to get into law school here, but again adventure got the better part of me and I went to live in Israel. I spent nearly two decades there, having a very challenging but interesting life. I got accepted to law school in Israel too, but life got in the way, I had to leave the program even before I could start.
Good day my fellow colleagues!
My apologies for not writing for some time. It’s been quite busy at work.
I trust that everyone was satisfied with their exam results. If you weren’t, I urge you to apply my motto:
“There are two things you can do with an exam, you can either pass or fail, and if you fail, then simply re-write it!”
My fellow study mates!
Exams are soon upon us and so I have decided to take a break and tell you about my study pattern which worked for me during my LLB and seems to be working for me now as I read for my LLM. Hopefully it can assist you as well, especially those new to the University of London International Programmes (UoLIP).
By way of introduction, I am Philip Koonj Beharry, graduate of the UoLIP LLB programme, Class of 2012. I am currently an Attorney at Law in my home country of Trinidad and Tobago and I am also currently preparing for my first set of LLM exams with the UoLIP. My personal story can be found in this article on London Connection.
The University of London International Programmes has done great justice to those who want to comfortably stay in their homeland and study. It has given us a great opportunity to be around people we love and get encouraged to handle the pressure with patience. As a UoL student of LLB (Hons.) final year in Bangladesh, I personally am thankful to the one who came up with the idea of making it global. Out of the many pros and cons of the system, here is a list of some which Bangladeshi students of the UoL can relate to:
Before the end of my next paragraph I am going to give you a fact (possibly even two) that you may or may not have previously known but I promise you one thing; it is a fact that you will never forget and even if I asked you about said fact some five years from now even ten, fifteen years from now it is something you will still recall. “Imagine my law (or English, epidemiology, sociology, theology – please substitute at will) studies could be so easy…” I hear you say. Well perhaps with a little encouragement they can; because for my next three or so posts on our beloved Student Blog I am going to look at how we remember, why we remember and most importantly how we can start to use these two understandings to improve our ability to remember.
It has been a nice, long autumn here in Pittsburgh with ever so much to share with you. Jelly Bean and I are so happy to be blogging about our experiences. Just a few days ago my credentials arrived in the mail from the University of London International Programmes. For me, it signaled time to think carefully about what happens after completing a degree, and what my next steps will be. I suppose it depends on your goals, which might include professional objectives or personal fulfillment. For me it is both. Getting the paperwork acknowledging your success is quite satisfying, but it also underlines the question about how to proceed after finishing the degree. Should I concentrate on postgraduate credentials or concentrate on professional or personal opportunities? For me, it is a combination of all those things. To paraphrase Rodgers and Hammerstein, the beginning is a very good place to start.
“Buckingham Palace”; there are probably no two words that remind us of the nature of the British constitution nor that brought it home to me of exactly where I was and who I was talking to than those, but nonetheless they were the words that greeted my telephone enquiry one early September morning. For 18th September 2014 was to be an highly significant day in more ways than one. To us (as LLB students taking CLRI) & in my case a British citizen (albeit living many miles from home) it marked the day that the British constitution was possibly going to be irrevocably changed, and we are talking “changed” as Scotland faced its independence referendum. But for me it meant something far more important; my parents had been married for 60 years… “pause for effect”… and hence the call to the palace; as after such an “innings” you are entitled to a letter of acknowledgement from Her Majesty; and so on the morning of 18th September 2014 it duly arrived:
“I am so pleased to know that you are celebrating your Diamond Wedding anniversary on 18th September 2014. I send my congratulations and best wishes to you on such a special occasion.”
In the throes of writer’s block in the middle of the sea.
They say that life is full of journeys, with their starts and ends. Before I tell you about my new journey, let me first introduce myself. My name is Michelle Chang Jade Yin and yes, I know its a mouthful. My close friends mostly call me Mick or Mickey and occasionally Michael, which compliments the tomboy in me.
I am the oldest of three children and an avid, nay, obsessive book reader (I once read the whole Harry Potter series without even stopping). I was in an all-girls school throughout my primary and secondary school life. Hence, lifting heavy stuff and talking sass is never a problem (I’m a veteran in both those things). I might look tough on the outside, but turn on Tuesdays With Morrie and I would cry you a river. I like to think I’m a calm person but my friends say that I turn into a Purple Minion (from Despicable Me 2) when I’m stressed. Turning 19 this year, life has definitely been full with ups and down, but I have never regretted the journeys I have been through. So here I am now, in front of my laptop, typing away about the next great journey in my life. I hope you enjoy.
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”