Monday, January 01, 2018

2018

These days I feel like blogging has become a very childish thing and it's weird that I still do it at the ripe old age of 28. But at the same time I wonder if there are better ways to remember certain things. Will Facebook memories suffice, or is Instagram's Best Nine everyone's favourite?

2017 was strange. The first half of the year was incredibly productive and I feel like I achieved much more than I ever thought I would.

In addition to completing that 5000 words on Corporate Environmental Responsibility (s172(1)(d) CA 2006), I found great joy in Employment Law and Public International Law and decided to at some point, pursue these at a higher academic level.

I finally got that LLB I always wanted, but as I expected, ended up with not much of a direction after graduation. There are many things I want to do with my law degree, but there's also a lot of pressure pushing me in ways I don't want to go. I dread the fact that I am a law graduate in such a mercenary society. But maybe it is in the most capitalist of places that we need to serve.

I don't have to hope that 2018 will be more productive because the second half of 2017 was so meh that anything will be better than that. It wasn't terrible - at least not outside of kpop - but I don't think I've ever had such a meaningless six months.



I might remember 2017 as the year that I weaned myself off kpop and TVB because things were mostly quiet on both.

Kpop was bordering on terrible the whole year and BTS was its only saving grace until Super Junior came back with one of their best albums ever but as luck would have it, Siwon's dog decided to kill somebody, silly fans decided to boycott Sungmin for getting married several years ago and nobody paid attention to Black Suit in the end. But I thought, at least they're not disbanded like SISTAR is now.

Until December 18 came and Jonghyun decided to take his life. Nothing is more permanent than death, and perhaps for as long as the world refuses to change its opinions on mental health, things like that will keep happening. I may not have paid very much attention to SHINee and Jonghyun since View, but I really hope Jonghyun knows that he shone so brightly and he did so well during his time with us.

No one died in TVB but that broadcasting company had just one good drama in 2017.


If you didn't watch Legal Mavericks, please do. Its got great acting and an amazing storyline. Just don't take the law parts seriously... one thing about doing law is that it ruins TV dramas for you forever.



In 2017...
I learnt how to work out in the gym
I spent an excessive amount of time in the library, even after exams

I watched Jay Chou in London
I visited Paris Disneyland and got pickpocketed
I left the place I called home for three years
I got myself on a dating app
Attended the first of SHG's weddings
I graduated
I went to Paris and ate a lot of Japanese food
I visited a really interesting exhibition on the expression of the self
I finally visited Wimbledon for real
I went to Edinburgh and ascended Arthur's Seat
I made the first move to hold a boy's hand
I took Cathay Pacific from LHR to HKG and absolutely loved it
I attempted Part A and cried throughout
I found a dessert place to absolutely adore
I went to Tai Po Market and for some reason really liked the smell of live seafood
I ran 5km for charity
I started doing Muay Thai 

In 2018 I hope to continue building my relationship with exercise, particularly in terms of strength training, running and Muay Thai.

In 2018, I hope to take big steps to making my LLB something that can help other people.

In 2018, I hope to be more disciplined about reading, especially about International Law.

In 2018, I hope to be kinder to the people around me.


Happy New Year, everyone! Here's to us.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Birthday

It's not your birthday yet but you've been crying so much only something like this can cheer you up

Dear self,

You're 28.

While growing up you had many ideas as to what being 27 was like, and obviously none of it worked out the way you thought.
But you are now 28 and you had no expectations about being 28 so it's okay you can go forth and do what you want.

Shortly after you turned 27 a schoolmate told you your FYRP idea was either gonna get a first class or a third and you really wanted to tell her BITCH PLS LATER I GET 2.2.
Despite only really doing real work for it two weeks before it was due, you ended up with a first and amazing comments so, your schoolmate was right. Your good luck was used up on the FYRP and Jay Chou concert though because less than a week later you ended up getting pickpocketed right outside Disney Paris,which ruined Disney for you forever.

You had serious anxiety attacks shortly after turning 27, to the point where you thought you were gonna start cutting yourself, but you came home, reconciled with people you fell out with at 26, and everything was ok again.

You almost died preparing for exams because you knew this was all you ever wanted. It was difficult and you turned to certain experimental methods of studying but yes, 8am to midnight days in WML worked out in the end. You learnt that break up songs work fantastically, even if it is not a break up you're going through.

You fell seriously in love with employment law despite getting 36 for the formative 3 weeks before the paper. You got 72 in the end despite missing many points so Katie Bales should just really chill. (Jk, it's mainly because you changed your strategy and ditched Fees, which anyway makes sense cos Fees are now illegal and not the kind of issue you really enjoy. Not like Discrimination and MS anyway.)
You decided to go for a roundtable on immunities instead of actually studying immunities and ended up falling even more for international law. Partially because the lecturer is damn cute, but also because you realized that was the direction this world needed. You ended up with 68x4 which is a nightmare compared to the 72 you so desired, but hey. Thats still a subject a lot of people screw up.
You end up spending most of the weeks after exams visiting lecturer after lecturer to seek their advice on LLM. And you learnt that no good academic will tell you not to take your academic interests further.
And then you realized why you went to Bristol. Because back in NUS, you would never have been this friendly with teaching staff.

When you graduated you felt proud and happy for yourself for the first time ever in your life because you know you worked like crazy for this and it was so hard to get. Also because all the mental health talk over the last three years taught you that if you don't take care of yourself, no one will, and so when the time comes to celebrate your achievements, you do.
Maybe for a bit too long cos you ended up getting lazy and not even planning that Norway trip that you kept telling people about.

There are days you wake up and realize you need to keep going though, because just as there are so many boys on that dating app your cousin pulled you on (he never got beans from it anyway, so no one benefited except you. And maybe the boys who got to talk to you.), there are potentially many people who have their employment and fundamental rights at risk and maybe someone would really benefit from having you as their lawyer next time.

At 27 you talked to a lot of new people both in school and out of it. You met some amazing ones and started wondering what kind of parents bring up children like that. You met one of their parents and it's awkward as hell but you really wished you could thank them for contributing such an awesome person to the world.

At 27 you fell out again with the person you fell out with at 26. You knew that this was likely to be it, because the problems between you were now insurmountable. And you realized that getting along well is only half the story when it comes to interpersonal relationships.

At 27 you got closer to the friends you've known for a long time. They may have their doubts about you being on a dating app, but they always act like they have your back. They talked to you at 4am their time on a weeknight. They listened to you on the Monday of ipweek. They came to the airport to pick you up despite it being your 9th + time returning from +44.

At 27 you cried a ridiculous amount for this age. And going into 28, you wonder if you can actually continue like that. Please let certain things go at 28. Maybe some life experiences will hurt but right now you're just hurting yourself before anything else does.

At 27, you were very intelligent. Please use that intelligence well going into 28.
Happy (early) birthday. You've worked hard!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Three years and one LLB later...

Got rid of my previous post because I wrote it when I was drugged and drowsy and super emotional. I HOPE NOT TOO MANY PEOPLE READ IT because it's embarrassing as hell and even I don't want to read it again. (It usually says a lot if I don't want to read it again - and if I keep wanting to re-read it, like my FYRP hahaha - if anyone wants to read that, let me know!)

Starting this off with an important update! I've graduated!!


It's probably sad that this picture was taken at the reception and not at the graduation ceremony (I've known for three years that Bristol sucks at organizing graduation because graduation ceremonies take place in my school building and they're also limited by the lack of space in and around the building - this reception was held at the Bristol Grammar School which we have no feelings towards cos it's not even school property) because it meant that not everyone's in the photo. But I suppose the people I like the most and people I dislike the most are all in it so that's enough.

Lady Hale is also in it. This photo was taken on the day of our graduation, the day she was conferred and Honorary degree and the day she spent her entire acceptance speech rehashing her achievements. I am happy that as a woman she has achieved so much, but her arrogance has always confused me. Congratulations to her though, because just two days (I think) later she was announced to be the next President of the UK Supreme Court, the first female president in a system that was and remains very male-dominated. I may not like her as a person, but I think achievements ought to be celebrated.

Just like how I may not have achieved the best grades in school but I still want to celebrate the fact that I got my LLB. I want to celebrate this more than my BSocSci because it was so many times harder to get this.

In addition to thanking my family for supporting me on this insane pursuit of a second degree (I've been reminded one too many times on the dating app - see next entry - that it's unusual to do a second degree, because apparently men think this is something I would need them to tell me.) I would obviously need to thank all my friends, especially SHG, for bearing with me when I kept whining about how bad things were whether during exams or in the aftermath of the fire. Thanks for all the care packs - the food, the face masks, the letters. Thanks to people at work, who gave and are still giving me good advice.

Thanks to the people from the University of Bristol! Thanks to schoolmates who made everything a little more bearable. Thanks to administrative staff in the law school for ensuring that things happened - unit changes, coursework submission, etc. Thanks to amazing professors, lecturers and tutors who were always happy to go the extra mile. Thanks to those who taught Employment Law, for introducing the most meaningful area of law practice. Thanks to those who taught General Principles of International Law, for helping me find my direction. Thanks to those who taught Medical Law, for it was such an eye-opening subject that I remain incredibly excited about. Thanks to my FYRP supervisor, for being more excited about my s172(1)(d) FYRP than I ever was.

Finally, thanks to the accommodation office, for always reminding me what I stood for and what I went to law school for. Thank you for relentlessly giving me so many opportunities to practice written advocacy - from the blocked drain in my first year at Colston Street to the aftermath of the Colston Street fire in year two and the most recent discipline tribunal for Flat 603. To Pru Lawrence-Archer, who is easily the most incompetent person I have ever dealt with, thank you for always reminding me that people must fight injustice and abuse of authority.

It's been a difficult, but rewarding, three years. And I hope I will never forget how tough it was to get this far.


Friday, June 23, 2017

完整的人

我要成為很棒很棒很棒的人
不過我想做的 都得靠學業成績
這種生活讓我很難受很難過

最近就是靠幾句美言支撐希望。
好像李千娜那首『不曾回來過』。
還有這幾句。
也許讀法律是為了完整自己。
那麼就算明天不如預期,我也沒枉費這三年的苦勞。

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

More IL woes

Today I had a rough day.

It's weird af that I had a rough day since it's after exams and I'm not at home (read: no reason to make me upset). But today I went to consult someone respectable on my plans, like I've been doing for the past week.

That person obviously didn't mean to make me upset. Nothing he said could've been construed as being mean or hurtful. Not even remotely.

(Partially because dude is so polite I sometimes wonder if he memorized social rules the way people learnt legal ones.)

But perhaps because I thought my plans were solid and the only thing left in my way was convincing my parents I could do it. And when I've planned something and I am told I should rethink it, I get automatically defensive.

The difference is I was talking to someone respectable so there was no way I could be defensive, nor was it my instinctive reaction. I accepted everything he told me because I knew he was right. I just didn't want to face it and didn't think I would have to face it.

So I was angry with myself for, again, not getting better grades. My lack of grades will hold me back for the rest of my life and I hate the fact that I cannot and could not have controlled it any better despite what the whole world thinks. I was upset that my ambitions were again, further than I thought.

I spent the whole 2h journey to Windsor sobbing and I still haven't felt better. Because I know I am screwed and there's nothing much I can do about it.

But in between all of this, I felt oddly grateful.

Someone this established needn't have taken time to be my mentor, but he did. Someone this respectable needn't made my concern one of his, even for 15 minutes, but he did. And because he was the right person saying the right thing at the right time, I was suddenly put back into the state I should always have been in: one that always tries to be better instead of one that settles.

I vaguely recall this article I read when I first started working, about how successful people help others succeed because they know there's room at the top. I haven't come across anyone remotely fitting of this description since I came over because my law experience has been flooded with people lying, people pretending and people trying to size up others.

But on this day, on the second last week of my status as a student of this law school, I found someone who reinstated my faith in this field.

That's a super inspiring individual that I now feel super grateful to have befriended (private joke here, but you get the drift). He deserves every ounce of his brilliance because he's super capable of using his intellect to benefit this world.