Anyway, apparently Year 3 is officially over with the conclusion of Legal Chinese exam, but as far as I'm concerned, Year 3 ended the minute I submitted my Comparative Criminal Law take-home exam. The Legal Chinese paper was definitely easier than the OMG WTF one I did (the 06/07 paper, I think) and I, gasp, managed to finish all the questions. I did freak out and almost started to hyperventilate when I saw the first question asking me to explain...a bloody statute. My exam philosophy seems to be "write first, think later", so I wrote something crappy along the lines of, "Zhe ge fa gui de yi si shi" (the meaning of this statutory provision is...), then realised I had absolutely no freaking idea what it meant.
Naturally I did the smart thing by skipping that question and moving on to the rest of the paper and leaving that question for when I was done with everything else. I was so afraid, when I was doing the English-to-Chinese translation portions, that I wouldn't have time to pull a half-assed answer out of, like, thin air (yes, like magic, precisely), in which case I would've completely lost 10 marks. Thankfully, my brain somehow kicked into overdrive and I sped through the tedious English-to-Chinese translation questions and had a whole ten minutes left for the first question, OMG!
I relaxed, albeit only slightly, and read the stupid statutory provision again...and realised that we did it in class before.
Unfortunately, I was under the impression that the first two questions (the explain question, then the longer discuss question) were from all the ancient, Tang dynasty laws etc stuff, which definitely did not include modern-day Chinese law. As a result, I didn't bother reading my notes for the modern-day Chinese law parts of the class and I actually forgot to bring the notebook in which I took notes, so all I had going on for me then was my vague recollection of what was said about it in class (frankly, didn't remember much) and my ability to understand Chinese. And that ability, to say the least, is scant at best, non-existent at worst.
Oh my gad the bullshit I wrote was TOTALLY embarrassing. It was something about how the seller can stipulate in a contract for the sale of goods that the title to the goods shall remain with the seller until the buyer has paid off the amount he owes to the seller or whatever. Sounds clear enough in English, right? I even have the 'contract for sale of goods' thing going on! But try saying that in Chinese in less than 10 minutes, during which you were frantically flipping the freaking dictionary for easy words that you suddenly forgot how to write in your state of panic.
On the bright side, it's only 10 marks. I should get at least 2 marks for my answer right? It was badly expressed, but at least the gist was there. I also added some nonsense about how the provision allowed sellers to have some form of insurance when they enter into SoG agreements...which don't really make sense to me now, but damn, it made such perfect sense during those last 5 minutes of the exam when I was trying to create magic and write a halfway-decent, passable answer to what was essential a VERY SIMPLE QUESTION.
Oh well. Nonetheless, I'm still in quite a good mood. Because I'm apparently five, I wore my Cookie For the Win necklace for good luck, pictured below, and that gave me very good vibes throughout the paper. I bought it as a homage to my insane David Cook obsession a couple of weeks back when I was walking around Vivo with nothing to do.
It has a guitar, a stereo, a set of headphones, and a star! The first three speak for themselves. The star? David has at least two star necklaces so even the star has some significance! OMG so happy!1!1!one! Unfortunately it's from Six or Miss Six or whatever, it cost about eleven bucks, and it's cheap as hell. Really bad quality. But it's still currently my good luck charm, so yay!
Did I mention that I'm apparently five? Yeah.
Anyway, I think the cup of coffee I drank before I left the house helped tremendously in firing up what would've otherwise been a bloody sluggish brain, considering I freakishly woke up at 8 this morning, ostensibly because I was super worried about David. Yeah, I know. I experienced this amazing adrenaline rush when the invigilator was all, "You may begin." I couldn't think of any other reason why I would feel an adrenaline rush when doing a freaking exam, so I attributed it to the caffeine. Caffeine is now officially my best friend - it got me through attempting to study for this exam, and it got me through the exam itself. I have also successfully kicked the addiction, so it actually works the way it's supposed to work on me. No more "wah lau nothing happening leh" after one cup of coffee, no more drinking five cups of coffee to stay awake and get a caffeine high! Just one cup is enough to do the trick!
(Of course, I put about two and a half spoonful of freeze-dried coffee into one cup of coffee, but I used to take about 5 cups of that before, so it's still an improvement.)
As for the rest of the paper:
1. I am very proud of myself that I didn't completely choke and sputter when I had to write in Chinese what aspects of the Chinese legal tradition I thought provided learning points for today. I had a grand total of two points for thirty marks, but even with those two points I took up a lot of time so I hope they weren't too inadequate. I did resort to copying from my notes which were copied word-for-word from the prof's PowerPoint slides, but after I did what I had to, I used my own words to explain why I thought the Confucian philosophy of using morality to um, rule a country or whatever is a good guiding tool for today's society (because it tackles the root of the problem and doesn't merely offer a temporary solution - god I wish I could've written that in English). The other point related to some legal philosophy in a period for which I have no English translation on hand so I won't bother, but I do think that the latter point was significantly poorer-argued than the former point. I copied something my dad said which I wrote down, nearly word-for-word because I didn't - and still don't - trust my own shit-assed command of Chinese to come up with pretty-sounding phrases in, like, 3 seconds, so yay.
2. Chinese-to-English translation passage was much easier than the OMG WHAT THE HELL IS THIS passage I did from the 06/07 paper. Having said that, I couldn't, for the life of me, remember how to properly say "su song" in proper legal English, so I just anyhow whacked "bring an action in court". Oh well. I'm also so used to having Firefox point out my typos that I had to squint very hard when I was writing the word "possibilities". That word, in my opinion that couldn't get any more humble, has way too many i's.
3. English-to-Chinese wasn't that much of a nightmare, and thank goodness for my English-to-Chinese legal dictionary. I didn't buy a Chinese-to-English one 'cause I trusted my own English abilities enough to know that I didn't need one (on hindsight, I think I might've given myself waaaaay too much credit), but English-to-Chinese was a MUST. HAVE. And indeed it was. Who knew what "Equity" is in Chinese? (Heng ping fa - literally "balance law".) I couldn't even translate "jury" into Chinese without flipping the dictionary. And verdict? The dictionary gave so many different phrases and I had no time to look up each of them in my Chinese dictionary, so I went with the one that sounded most correct, based entirely on my instincts. Right, what instincts? That totally wasn't English, and I have no instincts when it comes to Chinese. Bleah. It also wasn't fun speeding through those six freaking sentences in like, 15 minutes. I bet if I had more time to think it through, I would've come up with waaaaay better-sounding Chinese sentences. Oh well, what's done is done, etc.
In all honesty, I didn't study very much for this exam at all. After I was done copying out the PowerPoint slides and done doing a practice paper, I was all, "Um, yeah, I don't know what else to do anymore." I read through my notes once, and spent the rest of my time letting myself be distracted by David Cook. Even this morning, when I hadn't finished reading through my notes for the Tang dynasty laws part, I was STILL on TWoP reading the David thread and on LJ reading the David community and on YouTube watching David and on my iTunes listening to Axium's Thought You Knew live.
And you know what? I don't regret any of it. I don't think there was any more I could've done, or any less I could've done. I genuinely didn't know that the modern-day Chinese laws part was not off-limits at all for the first two questions, so I wouldn't have touched it either way, and it wasn't like I completely didn't understand the provision.
Actually, there WAS less I could've done: I really didn't need to print out the PowerPoint slides for the translation lecture and the PRC legal system lecture (um, yeah, so I really don't care about PRC, sorry) at all, but I printed them out anyway 'cause I thought they were important. What a waste of ink! The whole translation thing was either you could or you couldn't and I honestly had no idea how to prepare for it. And I'm actually quite surprised that my Chinese didn't fail me completely during those 15 minutes when I was bullet-training through the English-to-Chinese portions, 'cause when I was doing the practice paper at home, I was like, OH MY GAD I CAN'T DO THIS SHIT I CAN'T STRING TOGETHER A CHINESE SENTENCE PROPERLY WAH LAU I'M GOING TO DIE FOR THE EXAM LAH.
Maybe it was the panic or maybe my Chinese simply isn't as bad as I thought it was. I'm more inclined towards the former possibility, but either way, something clicked, and I managed to croak out halfway-decent Chinese sentences that didn't totally sound like direct translations from English. They weren't perfect, and a couple of them embarrassed me, but they were a lot better than what I was expecting going into the exam.
So yay! No matter what subpar grade I end up getting (definitely not getting an A for this. Sorry, Latently-Ambitious Yelen), I'm really pleased that I managed to defy my own super-low expectations of my command of Chinese. Although I didn't quite knock it out of the park, it was good-to-solid. It would've been nice to get a Billie Jean/Always Be My Baby/Hello moment, but I'm all right with pulling an All Right Now/Happy Together/All I Really Need is You.
(I love David Cook analogies and references. Hahahaha.)
This, though, does make me wonder: Where the hell was the "I'm good at this and I'll prove it even if it kills me" vibe I had when the semester started? I think at some point I wanted to ace this module, but reality kind of set in, and I was incredibly lazy, and as it stands, my Chinese just isn't that great. Proof? I had a B for the Chinese assignment. I knew of the B weeks ago, and I was so embarrassed and ashamed that I didn't blog about it and I always blogged about my results (because, you know, I really don't care who knows my grades, how good they are, how bad they are, whatever).
I'm still a bit embarrassed, but it is what it is. And it doesn't mean that I'm resigned to the fact that my Chinese isn't even half as good as I thought it was; it just means that I'm acknowledging this fact, and so I can quit pulling the freaking wool over my own eyes and over-inflating my abilities, and perhaps even do something about it. I don't know, that kind of remains to be seen, but yeah.
Despite my constant bitching about it and how mind-numbingly boring I found Legal Chinese (not Legal Chinese Tradition) to be, I'm glad I took this module. I really wanted to do something in Chinese because Chinese is still very, very, very important to me, and I'm glad I did it. I'm not gonna get the result I wanted, but a grade is just a grade. And what I got out of this course can never be measured by a mere letter, thank you very much.
So yeah, Year 3 is officially over. I'd wax lyrical, but the truth is, I really don't care. I wished today I was a Year 4 so that I could just freaking graduate already, but oh my god, I actually have to suffer through one more year of law school. I'm really going to flush my future down the drain and I'm going to pick more fluffy, useless modules that require minimum studying and lots of research papers/take-home exams. Legal Chinese sit-down-in-school exam was probably the only one that I didn't screw up in my 3 years of law school (or at least, I didn't feel like I screwed it up) and I think there's a lesson to be learned there. I hate exams and I really don't like substantive law very much, so yay, more human rights/fluffy historical nonsense!
Okay, maybe I'll throw in one or two substantive law modules for good measure, but we'll see how that goes.
I haven't had a semester of law school in which I read SO little cases, if I read any cases at all...oh yeah, I read some English case for Comparative Criminal Law, and even then I used Wikipedia to look for the case and Westlaw-ed it when I had to write my take-home exam. And yup, that was the only case I read, and it feels so liberating not to read cases and drive myself crazy trying to muster up the capacity to care about the law. Comp Crim was okay because I like criminal law on goods day and can tolerate it on bad days (still convinced that I'm probably going to do my pupillage in the Law Firm that Does Lots of Criminal Law Work), but force me to do Contract/Personal Property/Company etc law again and I think I'd much rather die, thanks. I don't know why either; it's not like I care that much about people, because...I don't. Not really, anyway. My interest in defending criminals hasn't blossomed into a passion, and I genuinely think that it never will, and as it stands, I still want to write, so...yeah, I don't know. Things are still weird and confusing and I still don't know who to go to talk about it, assuming I want to talk about it at all.
I "love language and narrative and form" (Julian Barnes), not the law. I always have, I always will. I don't like to regret things, and as much as I wish I could say without any hesitation that "I wouldn't do a thing differently" (David Cook)...yeah, I think you know the rest.
So I don't want to talk about this anymore 'cause it depresses me and it leads nowhere anyway. It's not like an answer is going to automatically fall from the sky and into my lap. It will eventually boil down to whether or not I have the balls to go after what I want, and once I grow a pair, I'd need to formulate a plan.
But I can put that off, can't I? I don't have to work out the details in this very moment in which I'm typing this entry, so I'm not talking about it anymore.
I genuinely think that I'm an intelligent person capable of academic excellence, but when the heart is not in it, when I really am not passionate about it, not even what I inherently have is able to help at all. I loved Emergencies and Legal Theory and Comparative Legal Traditions, hence I got an A and an A+. I didn't like most of my other modules, hence I had B's and C's (more C's than B's). I loved Literature and English in JC/secondary school, hence I consistently aced those subjects. I hated Math and Science, hence I could never get anything more than a B for them. Maybe I'm cursed with this personality trait of mine where I go overboard and work overtime when it comes to something I love, but when it comes to something I don't like, hate, or have no interest in, I honestly can't make myself put in the extra effort that is needed to get something more than the default grade.
It is what it is, and I think I'm quite done trying to force myself to squeeze every single drop of blood out of my heart for something that isn't really worth it.
I'll just do what I like. The rest of it can take care of itself when the time is right.
As for the upcoming internship, as much as I'd rather obsess over David Cook unencumbered, I'm choosing to use it as an opportunity to gauge, once and for all before July, whether or not I really cannot do this job. I think there must have been a good reason why I left my internships last year with newfound interest in law school and belief that I wanted to be a lawyer, or didn't mind being a lawyer, I don't know. Let's see if that reason holds up this time round.
ANYWAY, an entry is STILL not complete without the usual obligatory Cook content, so I'm gonna ramble on about my Cookie now. Yay!
I still don't like Hungry Like the Wolf. I dislike it so much that I refuse to acknowledge its existence and I haven't listened to it since this morning. I DON'T CARE. I hate you, Wolf. I still want my Baba O'Riley.
Speaking of, the original Who version shot up to #55 on iTunes when I was looking at the top 100 songs this morning instead of studying for the exam. All hail the power of David Cook! He's soooo amazing omg. And iTunes is damn lame - the 30 seconds preview of the Who song is ALL INSTRUMENTATIONS and NO ACTUAL SINGING. WTF? I need to hear how the singer's voice sounds like before I can decide if I like the song enough to buy it or not. Most of the time the singer's voice is just average, but the song is so awesome that I just have to have it; but sometimes, the song is awesome, but the singer's voice SUCKSSSSS so much that I refuse to buy the song purely because of that (example? David's favourite band, Our Lady Peace).
I was bored a few days ago and I checked out some bands that David said he listens to on iTunes, and I've concluded that our taste in music doesn't quite converge, if it converges at all. I sampled this pop/rock band called...Phantom? or something, whom he listed as one of the five CDs he listened to a lot in his Music = Life interview two years ago.
And...I mean, the songs aren't that bad, but they're nothing special. And the singer's voice kind of annoyed me - it was the typical shrill, whiny kind of voice that all the stupid 237852542 pop/rock bands' lead singers have.
And that led me to conclude the following: David has the kind of voice that can more or less sell me anything. He can sing Hoobastank's The Reason, which is one of my most hated, hated, HATED songs of all freaking time, and I'd buy it. He can sing some Nickelback bullshit and I'd also buy it. He can sing about letting me whip him if he misbehaves, and I'd definitely buy it, even though I don't listen to that kind of music unless I'm in a club or whatever. He can sing the stupidest, crappiest, most watered-down rock melody in the world and I'd still buy it - simply because his voice is absolutely, undoubtedly beautiful.
Of course, I'm hoping against hope that his post-Idol album isn't full of watered-down, Nickelback-ish rock songs, but even if it were, I'd buy it. Maybe I wouldn't love it the way I love Analog Heart (see, I'm spelling 'analog' the American way just for David!), but I'd still buy it, then bitch about his sound and how he's soooo controlled by the freaking Idol machine and how he sooooo shouldn't have won, dammit. (Can you tell I'm uncharacteristically optimistic to a fault about him winning?)
In fact, I'm more or less convinced that I'd follow David's career until the day it ends, which would probably be like, sixty years down the road when he's 80 and too old to Rawk anymore. He's so gifted and that voice of his is truly the most versatile instrument I've heard in a long, long time. ArchuBot has the advantage of having a voice that's readily and immediately accessible, but it gets utterly boring after a while, and he does nothing with it that inspires awe the second time around. Cookie, on the other hand, is so vocally versatile that he can sing Music of the Night one week, Little Sparrow another, and bust out something as gravelly and rock as I'm Alive the next. I watched Music of the Night and I'm Alive back to back and I was, again, taken aback by how versatile his voice is. Watching Little Sparrow then Music of the Night back to back also produces the same result. Little Sparrow - one of his most underrated performances in my opinion, and one of my favourites - is so soft, so delicate, even fragile, and his falsetto is absolutely beautiful; Music of the Night, on the other hand, is strong, assertive, and even the quality and sound of his voice differ so greatly on that song. It's deep and powerful the way Little Sparrow is soft and gentle.
I'm just continually amazed and astounded by his amazing, amazing vocal versatility and range, and I've been a Cooktard since late February. I've read comments about how he's a crooner and not a hard rocker, which explains why his more emo, croon-ish songs like Always Be My Baby and All I Really Need is You are better-received than his more hard-edged, rocker songs like I'm Alive and this week's (piece of crap) Hungry Like the Wolf.
Predictably, I STRONGLY beg to differ. First, if they've listened to his Axium songs at all, they'd know that David Cook can do hard rock when he wants to. Thought You Knew is a cross between grunge and hard rock, and the quality of David's voice is vastly different from how it sounds on songs like Little Sparrow, even his Analog Heart songs like The Truth.
Second, I honestly think that a huge reason for why his rock songs haven't gone down so well on the Idol stage is because...it's the freaking Idol stage. When David displayed his rock star swagger on Day Tripper, Simon and the portion of the Idol watching public who doesn't like rock music called him "smug" and "arrogant". Um, that's kind of exactly the persona that a rock star is supposed to display. I mean, hello, I watched Stereophonics and Kelly Jones was probably the most smug and arrogant fucker I've ever seen on stage, and THAT was all kinds of hot. Even when David did Eleanor Rigby which didn't get the "smug" bullshit from Simon, some people were all, "I want to slap the smugness off this douchebag's face." Since David is in this to win, I'm sure he's tried to adjust his on stage persona to fit within the boundaries of the show - and unfortunately, those boundaries are very unwilling to let in the rock star persona.
(Disclaimer: Of course there are many different "rock star persona" and of course not all magnetic rock stars give off arrogant vibes on stage. I'm just saying that it's not at all unusual or wrong for a rocker to be all smug and arrogant on stage and a normal human being when they're off the stage.)
Also, for some reason, David has been choosing really uninspiring rock songs to sing lately. Not that Duran Duran is so rock or anything, but Hungry Like the Wolf was vaguely rock and that song absolutely sucks. Innocent is not a bad alt-rock song, but that song just cannot be chopped up into a minute and a half. It needs to build up to the bridge part for it to sound complete. And I'm Alive is...I don't know, I enjoyed David's performance, but it wasn't an OMGGGGG DAVID COOK!!!!!! kind of moment. It was just, Ooh, that's nice, David's all hot, his jacket sucks!
Thankfully there were Eleanor Rigby and Day Tripper, and All Right Now. I LOVE All Right Now and it proves that he can rock out, hello?!
Okay I've completely lost my point, but basically? David Cook can sing anything, and that's a fact. And I hope he stays true to the kind of musician he wants to be post-Idol and puts out something worthy of his name, his talent, and his musicality.
ANYWAY, now that Cookie's in the TOP THREE OMG!!!1!!!, I can't freaking wait to watch his homecoming, which I've been looking forward to since March 12 (needless to say, I don't think he should make runner-up anymore; he should WIN THE WHOLE FUCKING THING). More importantly, he can pick any song he wants to sing next week out of the three songs he has to sing, and I have successfully pictured him singing Phonics' Maybe Tomorrow.
This means, basically, that if David doesn't sing it, I'm gonna be damn disappointed and sad.
And since he won't sing it, I'm gonna be damn disappointed and sad.
He'd sound soooo awesome on that song! I'd choose Dakota, but it's still off-limits to whoever's not Kelly Jones. I like Maybe Tomorrow a lot but it's not sacred the way Dakota and It Means Nothing are, and David singing a Phonics song = omg collision of fandoms = omg Yelen will DIEEEEE of happiness!
Also, if he chooses a reprisal:
PLEASE LET IT BE 'HELLO'. PLEASE LET IT BE 'HELLO'. PLEASE LET IT BE 'HELLO'. PLEASE LET IT BE 'HELLO'. PLEASE LET IT BE 'HELLO'. PLEASE LET IT BE 'HELLO'.
Hello was Top 16 which was ten million years ago, it was his first Moment of the season, and it wasn't so recent that it's still fresh in people's minds. He could soooo knock it out of the park a second time, AND we'll get an OMG STUDIO RECORDING!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I think.) I also shallowly and selfishly want him to sing that song with his sexy expressions with his new look hahahahaha. I thought David was sexy for the first time ever when he sang Hello, but now he's absolutely smothering hot, so he should totally sing Hello again and burst ovaries worldwide. Seriously.
But if David were to sing his own song on Idol though (he wouldn't, and I don't think it's even allowed because Idol is a "singing competition", snerk), I'd choose Straight Ahead. It's upbeat, it's not too rock, it's accessible, it's not so accessible that it becomes pure pop, and it's one of my favourite Analog Heart songs. And I really like it. And I'd die to hear David sing it live.
Actually, I'd die if David sang ANY of his Analog Heart songs live, and not just acoustic, too.
He's soooo amazing OMG, and this entry is way too long.
I LOVE DAVID. And I'm so glad that I can legitimately drool over David without forcing myself to stop and, like, study, ew.
Title of entry from David Cook's "The Truth"
OMG WOLF CROUCH!!!!!!!
UGH I LOVE BABA O'RILEY I WANT THE STUDIO VERSION. D: