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. 

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Things we'll never know

Today was International Law revision day. I've actually been looking forward to it after all that Trusts/Commercial. (And Employment you know is just better off as coursework unit.)

So anyway, I read on Twitter that one of my IL profs was running a roundtable with fellow academics, barristers, public servants, etc on two recent cases that appeared to me to be on issues of immunity and jurisdiction.

And then I went.

I'm not sure what made me go since it was 3.5 hours of one revision day. I suspect a big part of it was because I'm into my last couple of weeks in an academic setting and I really wanted to make full use of it. I have never been the sort to study for the sake of results, and to me it is much more important that I learn meaningful and interesting things. That is why I chose Sociology then, and I don't think that part of me has changed very much.

Anyway so then I went.

I was the only non-PhD student there so I felt really out of place (ok I also felt out of place because I only understood like 30% of what was going on), especially with all that networking going on... it felt like good old days at work. The prof tried to make me talk as well which was even worse because at least, back in the good old days of work, there was still some sort of holding line I could give.

At some point during the networking the prof and another prof (the legendary one who taught us Juris last year) came by to talk to me and one of their first questions to me was ARE YOU THINKING OF DOING FURTHER STUDIES?

I guess because the other students there were PhD or post-doctorate. And I guess if you attend this sort of session people expect that you're passionate about this kind of topic. (I mean it says a lot that I went for this one but skipped the Environmental Law seminar a couple of weeks back. I could've presented my FYRP at that one but I decided not to go.)

Obviously neither of them know that this whole law thing was supposed to be 'further studies' in its own right considering I already have a degree, but because I was so stunned by the question, I mumbled something along the lines of having no plans to because I heard it's quite difficult to get in.

So second prof said, with a laugh, "well 'hard' is relative, and there are people who would find it 'hard' to get into this law school but here you are."

See that is the thing that people don't get. And they never do. There is this silent expectation that everyone who is in law school came here rather naturally.

Oh.



Wang Lee Hom didn't write this song for me to abuse it like that, but the title says it all for me.

Some people have problems getting into law school, some people have problems surviving law school, some people have problems getting a job after law school and some people will never consider doing further studies in law because it is just too 'hard' for them.

These profs, being brilliant as they are (I like both of them very much so this is not sarcastic), will never know.





PS: Regarding my last entry, I'm taking it as case closed because nothing conclusive was told to me about criminal liability.