August 31st, 2015

happy girl

A Sign of Old Age + Romance Between Two Geeks

My Paper

I am old. My plan was to stay up all night to whittle down the word count to 6,000. About an hour ago, after finally going through the entire piece at least once (though a few sections received multiple re-readings) and with my word count at roughly 7,700, I decided that I'd had enough; that I was too tired; and therefore, I would finish it in the day and email it to the editor either before 6pm tennis, or after tennis.

I don't remember how I managed to stay up all night writing assignments and finishing essays. When I was in law school, I frequently stayed up till 5 or 6 in the morning, running on too much caffeine buzzing in my bloodstream, to complete assignments - and a huge part of this exercise involved cutting out massive chunks from the assignment. It's the story of my life: I always write too much. At the LSE, I was once again up all night trying to get rid of 3,000 words from my essay when the deadline was like in a day or two; at the same time I tried to do that, I had to finish another essay and do the same for that one. It was a miracle I did not collapse and got a distinction for one of them.

How did I do that? I just can't right now. I am so tired. I am mentally exhausted. Maybe I shouldn't have came home from campus at 8pm to watch the repeat telecast of Roger's victory over Novak in last week's Cincy final...but hell, I really looked forward to it and it gave my brain a good break, so that I could (kind of) refocus. Hopefully, getting some sleep would have the same effect; otherwise, I'm screwed. I don't really want to send something that doesn't adhere to the requirements because I am a perfectionist and I don't want to cut corners, so hopefully I wouldn't find myself in such desperate times that I would have to resort to desperate measures.

I am really sick of this paper though. That said, the larger point is that I prefer to write in depth about one topic than to write broadly about three, because I seem to be really bad at writing broadly. I cannot resist the temptation to go in depth. It's not even a temptation; it's an unstoppable impulse to treat the issues with the depth that they require because they are complicated issues, and it's not so much a perfectionist tendency, but more a matter of intellectual integrity. Yes, that sounds fucking pretentious, but it's actually true as well. It's precisely why I ended up writing 11,000 words and why I have massive chunks of footnotes. There are just points that I can't let go of, even though this paper isn't really meant to be an in-depth one (how in-depth can it be if I have to cover a million things in the space of 6,000 words?). I just have to say what I feel that I have to say. I cannot not bring up related points when I make a point because...I just can't. It all has (have? I'm so tired that my grammar has gone to the dogs) to be said, or else!

Seeing as my last day at CIL is on Tuesday, once I'm done with this, I'm going to spend some time doing research for my judicial review paper. I should exploit my NUS access to academic journals as much as I shoul, no? The few weeks between the end of CIL and the start of Cambridge will be really boring and I will probably get started on writing that paper, and having no access to journals will be a massive pain. The problem is, I still haven't started on the human rights mechanism thing that I told Prof B I wanted to do. Now I wish I hadn't said that because it's not the most exciting thing for me, but I will do it anyway.

He made my day in two ways. First, he texted me at 3pm with the following:

[heart-shaped eyes emoji]x3
I want us to write a paper together
For real
About the right to privacy
And the definition of privacy
Loved your paper btw

After I replied, he said:
I mean it 100%
Keep it up
Let's talk when you are done
Go get them tigress

Second, I found myself troubled by something that I wrote about gay sex when I was going through during dinner and re-reading it while waiting for my 6.30pm coffee from Assembly (which only worked for a while) and thinking about it while walking back to the study room. Specifically, it was my attempt to bring in Dworkin's analysis of what a 'moral position' really is. I wrote something about how the conservative majority's moral position against homosexuality, which can plausibly be said to be based in part on religious grounds, is internally inconsistent and therefore not a true moral position per Dworkin because other things that are forbidden by the Bible - contraceptives, adultery - are not illegal. In this context, 'public morality' amounts to little more than 'rank prejudice' (quoting a judge in the South African case on anti-gay sex laws).

I thought about it some more, and then I realised that B did not follow from A. Namely, 'rank prejudice' did not follow from an inconsistent belief; the inconsistency could be due to other things. I wanted to discuss it before deciding what to do with this point, so I had a quick Skype call with G (he wanted me to call him on Skype...I would say it's practice for the future but that would just be brazenly facetious and absolutely not based in reality). Basically he said that it doesn't necessarily not follow and that it depended on the definition of 'prejudice', and he confirmed my instinct that I should just delete the Dworkin thing from the main text.

More importantly, he totally understands me. He TOTALLY understands me. He said that the more interesting part about Lim Meng Suang v Attorney-General is the judicial review point; he said that the Court was denying its own power and it raised questions about the functions and powers of the court - something along those lines. That was just amazing because it's exactly what my conference paper will be on. Of course, I didn't pick this topic; my abstract was written to fit the theme of the conference, which was judicial review and the separation of powers in Asia. But I did want to write something about Lim Meng Suang because there were so many things wrong with the Court's discussion of the concepts contained in the 'extra-legal issues' (e.g. 'tyranny of minority'), as well as its denial of its own power that I felt like I had to say something. Being the lazy shit that I am, though, I needed an external motivating factor - and happily, this conference came to my attention a day before the deadline for the submission of abstracts, and the hurriedly put together abstract I submitted was accepted, so yay!

Anyway, my point was, this guy totally gets me. He gets what I write. He even read the whole thing even though I told him to skip the first part because it's boring, and he said he enjoyed reading it. When I saw his messages in the afternoon, I was just so stupidly happy that it was absolutely ridiculous and unbecoming. But there you go - it really made my day.

Apparently he was actually serious about this paper on privacy; he mentioned it during the Skype call but didn't go into details because of both our looming deadlines. I wonder what it's about. More importantly, I couldn't think of anything more geekily (is this a word? Do I care?) romantic right now than writing a paper with him.

I need to remind myself...stay calm and collected. Stop getting carried away.

But it's hard!


All right I need to sleep.
happy girl

(no subject)

After spending the whole freaking day on this, I am DONE. The final word count is 5999 words. All I have to do now is sort out my references.

It's kind of sad that the footnotes are more interesting than the main text. I even deleted an entire argument for the Amos Yee issue just to bring down the word count. Oh well. I am so tired right now that I don't even want to think about this, so I'm just gonna get something to eat before tennis at 6pm.