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!!!
For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.
When in 1382 Chaucer wrote Parlement of Foules, it was to honour the engagement of King Richard II to Anne of Bohemia; though both only 15 years old at the time, his immortal words were to forge the connection between today’s date (being February 14th) and what in many cultures has become the most important date in the calendar of love!!!
Like most such connections the association is somewhat historically tenuous but nonetheless no less interesting for that fact; let’s consider it in somewhat more detail & see how we might connect it with our International Programmes studies.
“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men; gang aft agley.” – Robert Burns
Well if you “Remember, Remember” my last piece (& I’ll be delighted if you do) I promised you that we would start to consider aspects of memory; in particular how we remember and why we remember and what, perhaps most importantly what we might do to improve that process as we slowly lumber towards our end of term/year examinations where I am afraid however you choose to look at it (and pretty well whatever subject/s you happen to have chosen) memory plays a fairly substantial role. Read the rest of this entry »
“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 »