Hello blog. As you’d expect I have a lot to say after such a lengthy period of silence. Be prepared to read many fanciful, preposterous words.
A lot of students complain about a law degree being dull, dry and soul-destroying. Pages, journals, cases, textbooks, lecture notes, current affairs, dictionary – oh my lord it’s a vicious cycle, get me outta here. From time to time I pass a bunch of glum faced people in the corridor looking terrified. And I just want to stand on a chair in the middle of the landing and sing, as tunefully as possible,
There is more to life than plain reading, my dear legal companions!
It’s fun studying law. Nobody really believes me. My feelings will probably change once I hit exam period, but for the time being I’m going to embrace the joys of present life and share them with all you nosey people.
One of the things that amazes me is the fact that my lecturers are metaphors of their respective subjects. Yes, that’s right; they resemble in mind and form the area of law in which they specialise. Take my EU law professor for example. He is so European I could make a comic strip about him and his adventures. In fact the whole EU law faculty as a whole comprises of tutors from the Member States. No surprises there! But this professor, whom I shall refer to as ‘His Majesty’ (you’ll understand the tale behind this nickname further down), is a character worth mentioning above all the others. First of all he is Italian. I have the joy of listening to a sunny, charming Italian accent every Tuesday and Thursday in EU law lectures. He drives a Vespa, an Italian brand of scooter you would usually see in a romantic, artsy European film set in the Mediterranean. I’ve seen him walk into the lecture theatre carrying a scooter helmet in his hand and a coffee in the other.
So. Damn. Cool.
AND on top of that he’s standing as an EU Parliamentary candidate for an electorate in the UK, whose name I shall not disclose. That would be telling. As if this professor could be any cooler: he gave us some advice last week on exams “Just chill out!” and email correspondence:
“In your emails could you please avoid addressing me as ‘Sir’. The correct way is ‘Your Majesty’.”
The other professors are so far no match to His Majesty’s awesomeness. Criminal law lectures are, as you’d expect, very painful. Public law, though one of my preferred modules, is taught in such a way that being distracted from the lecture is actually more productive than trying to follow what the lecturer is saying.
As a result I have the chance to doodle in class! It’s an old time hobby and joy I haven’t revisited in a very, very long time. Occasionally my classmate decides to join in…
Another great joy of studying law – or any subject at university – is the diversity of the student body. I’m not just talking about nationalities – though it is incredible how many students are not from Britain. The range of personalities is so huge that every day is full of surprising encounters, quirks and conversations. Some of these moments are dying to be typed out down below.
Naturally, being an obnoxious person, I am going to write about them – with pseudonyms of course – and live with the risk that these individuals might discover this blog post one day take me to court.
Of all the students in 1st year undergraduate law there is one gentleman whom everyone knows by name, voice and reputation. He seats himself on the front row of every lecture, dressed in a navy blue suit and Tod leather loafers, 200% prepared for another day of law.
This guy knows what he is doing. This guy is Scarlatti.
We hear his voice at least once in morning lectures every day, articulating with great poise and bravado his opinion on a particular matter being discussed. Care is taken over which words in the sentence are to be stressed and softened so as to create a variety of nuances and inflections. His accent is distinctly English with Franco-Italiano undertones.
Exhibiting refined European taste Scarlatti opts for an non-retractable black umbrella, and transports this to and from classes by hooking the chestnut-brown polished handle over his forearm. He writes notes in class with fountain ink, in neat swirls of baroque elegance. And before Scarlatti moves on to a new clean sheet of notepad, to ensure the calligraphy on the present page is dry, he holds the booklet flat and waves it up and down, employing a wrist movement similar to that of a tennis player bouncing balls against the ground. Then, once satisfied, the page pulled swiftly from the head and placed underneath the rest.
I enjoy talking to him about opera and classical music. He’s one to watch.
Lawrence and I were having a conversation about student nightlife over some Häagen-Dazs ice cream when he came out with this comment about dance music and noise levels in clubs. Imagine the following words being spoken in a very posh English accent:
Yeah, I’m not sure if I like it. . . I don’t know if you get this, but I feel like my internal organs are losing some of their integrity! The music is just so loud!
I place it among the most memorable and hilarious lines I’ve ever heard in my life. Such poetry deserves to be archived in a diamond encrusted, silk bound book. (It’s definitely going in my own autobiography.)
This guy was in my flatmate’s Personal Tutor Group. He’s quite a character. I’ve seen him around but I don’t know his name. (It would be quite a coincidence if it was Jeffrey…) This is the story according to my flatmate:
The personal tutor organised a meeting with the students in her group. It was a friendly, informal discussion which involved everyone sitting down by a large table. Nice, open and chilled. Like a bottle of beer.
There was a guy sat with a back straight as a wardrobe, hands clasped firmly in front of him on the table. Apart from making occasional head rotations to follow and engage in the conversation between the students, he was motionless. Like Scarlatti he was an active contributor in his classes, and enjoyed dressing the part of a lawyer. He even set new standards by wearing silk ties and waist high trousers. Scarlatti, you’ve got some competition here.
Towards the end of the session the tutor asked if any of the students had any pressing matters on their mind. Jeffrey had something on his mind:
“I see there is no Evidence module in 3rd year like in the degree courses of other institutions, such as LSE [London School of Economics and Political Science]…”
To which the tutor replied,
“I don’t think you should be worrying about your final year just yet.”
And then Jeffrey said in perfectly calm and assured manner.
“If it is offered in other universities perhaps I should think of switching courses…”
So, Jeffrey knows what he’s doing here. He is not someone to be reckoned with.
Does anyone have any stories or memorable characters from their time at university they’d like to share? I want to hear all about them.
Some unpublished news:
The dream team lives on for another year.
Three orchestras and a law degree. Too ambitious..?
…wish me luck.
For the time being all I can say is thank god for the clocks, because they go back one hour tonight.