Well, unless you’ve been trapped in a Yotel for the last three weeks, (or if like me you’ve been studying like a mad thing for your LLB exams then you are forgiven), you’ll be aware that there’s been a fight. Now this was not just any schoolyard brawl, nor even any other professional fight, it was billed as THE fight of the 21st century and even the media began running out of superlatives. The indomitable Emmanuel “Manny” Dapidran Pacquiao (first and only “eight-division world champion”) went glove-to-glove with Floyd Joy Sinclair known to us as the seemingly undefeatable Floyd Mayweather Jr. in what was the richest fight in boxing history.
“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes-and ships-and sealing-wax-
Of cabbages-and kings-
And why the sea is boiling hot-
And whether pigs have wings.”
The Walrus and the Carpenter – Lewis Carroll
Well for many of us in fact it is far from the time to be discussing cabbages and kings; with exams looming I’m imagining that most of our befuddled minds are wondering just what the heck we are going to talk about and are we able to do it in the required 45 minutes. So rather than add to anyone’s confusion by blogging on the 17 ways you can increase your memory overnight from that of a small invertebrate to Einstein on steroids, or the 743 absolute must-know contract cases, I thought I would pleasantly distract you with a few news stories that in fact do have anthropological, historical and legal significance but err on the lighter side of information provision!!!
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.
“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.”
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”
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 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.