"One black, one Hispanic, one Native American, and you talk to them and your stereotypes go away!"
Also on the topic of school - Prof Gearty's Terrorism class was another mind-bender. He was right about how lawyers don't see the law as a political tool that sends a message to the general public, that has nothing to do with the law. To me, the law is the law - it has to be just and it has to be right and it has to be principled and it has to adhere to the rule of law. But it's sometimes an entirely different matter for politicians. He was talking about the IRA issue and Britain's responses to it. Apart from the serious rights abuses and civil liberties encroachments, he said that law is sometimes enacted and bills are passed because the government needs to be seen as it is doing something in response to terrorism attacks, that a politician like the Prime Minister cannot walk down 10 Downing Street after an attack like the July 2005 bombings and say, "We don't need any terrorism laws." He also said that bills are passed as a message to the "enemy" - that we do this because we can; look at how much power we have; we'd bleed you dry before we surrender.
Well, something like that. He used to be Tony Blair's advisor before Blair became the PM. His anecdotes were so interesting. Again, I thought I would be bored in this course because I'm not that interested in terrorism, but he makes it come alive. Even when it's just him talking, it's great, because he puts a different spin on what I thought was conventional wisdom (for lawyers, anyway) and provides these different angles to issues that I thought I was familiar with, and at the end of it I'm like, "Oh my god, my mind has just been blown."
I'm really pleased that I'm in this class. Now, all I need to do is to devote more time to preparing for the seminars...which I should be able to do, now that I don't have to read anymore cases for Dr K's class. I rather liked reading the cases actually; it reminded me of law school, which is always a good thing to be reminded of, it being some of the happiest times of my life and all.
I went out with some friends for dinner and drinks on Tuesday. I was gonna not go at first because I hadn't prepared for all my classes, but I was so sick of studying and doing my Torture essay that I decided to go out and relax a little. (Torture essay - international human rights law. The question was technical as hell - about strengths and weaknesses of international prohibition on torture, basically - and I started writing the essay at like 10 pm the day before it was due and it was all so DESCRIPTIVE and I was getting pissed off at how bad it was, so I went to shower...and then decided to write an essay lambasting the United States' use of torture in Abu Ghraib and their shameful Torture Memos. I relied extensively on a chapter in Waldron's Torture, Terror and Trade-Offs, which is NOT on the reading list, so if that doesn't get me bonus points, I'd be seriously confused.)
Dinner was at Benugo, a sandwich franchise; I still don't understand how people eat sandwiches as proper meals, but oh well. Drinks was at this speakeasy bar in Chinatown - it's basically a bar with no signboard above a Chinese restaurant, and it's decorated to evoke the Prohibition era of the 1920s. It was really, really cool, and I really liked my drink. There's a similar bar just down the road from where I live and my friends and I are planning to go there next weekend. I can't wait!
Tuesday night was a really good night. I had a terrible weekend and I think I really needed to be around human beings, so it was really nice talking to people. Vlada, in particular, has taken it upon himself to irritate me as much as he can; as such, he kept calling me "Ya" the whole night, which he picked up on after I forwarded him some LLM application thing from an American school in which the sender addressed me as "Ya" to illustrate what I told him sometime ago about how non-Asians get my name wrong all the time. He confused everyone at the table; my German friend Sina asked me in earnest confusion, "Why is he calling you Ya?" I replied, "Because he is annoying."
Which he is. He said that the Outkast song "Hey Ya" is about me, and he sent me the YouTube video of the song when he got home. In fact, he texted me a couple of hours ago to tell me that he was in the pub in school and they were playing the song. Oh my god!!! I don't really know when me and him became comfortable enough with each other to make dumb jokes like that, but I like this turn of events because he's one of the 3 people in London with whom I can be politically incorrect without getting weird looks or greeted by an awkward silence. I found it so amusing when he told me that he talked to another Singaporean friend of his, some guy studying Economics or something like that at the LSE, about Singapore's strict laws; and he was completely shocked and pissed off when the Singaporean guy told him, "Those are the laws; if you bring drugs into my country, you deserve to die; if you're Singaporean and you don't like this situation, just get out."
When I heard that I couldn't help but laugh my ass off because this kind of view is so typical of PAP/government apologists and exemplary of the kind of blind patriotism that robs a person of his brain. Vlada should stop talking to Singaporeans who aren't me about human rights because people like his Economics or whatever friend are just tarnishing the image of my country, of Singaporeans in general, and of ME. It was also super funny when Vlada said, "He seems like a nice guy; I don't think he'd ever do anything bad to anyone..." Implying, of course, that there's a necessary correlation between the moral character of a person who holds such a view and those views themselves. It's so funny talking to Europeans sometimes; they actually seem shocked by such things, which to me, are normal - which, clearly, is tragic in itself, but I'm so used to people saying such retarded things that it's getting tiring for me to get pissed off by such people - so I just ignore it.
Anyway, I don't really want to talk about that 'cause I'm not in the mood for that. I'd like, instead, to relate another anecdote from Tuesday night, something Sina said which made me laugh hysterically. I forgot who she was talking to or what about, but I suddenly heard her say, "You eat like a pork!"
I turned to her and said, "Eat like a pork...?"
What she actually meant was 'eat like a pig', but it came out as 'eat like a pork'. I am NEVER going to forget this. She is so cute.
On another note, my programme is pretty much ending in a couple of weeks. Sure, there's Summer Term, but teaching will end in the third week of Summer Term; after that, it's exam prep, followed by dissertation-writing. And then it's over.
I feel like I'd only just begun this course, and now I have to deal with the fact that it's ending. They really weren't kidding when they told us at the start of the programme - the first week of orientation - that the course flies by really quickly. I wish it were longer. I wish it didn't have to end. I love my classes; I love being a student again; I love my current life. I have no idea what the hell I'm gonna do after this and I don't feel like thinking about it. In a larger sense, I don't feel like dealing with real life at all; I'm quite happy escaping from it all.
Anyway. I'm really tired from my shopping spree yesterday - went out at 5 pm, left Oxford Street at 9 when all the shops were closing. It rained the whole day, the kind of light rain that is persistent enough to be utterly annoying. I didn't want to go out but I thought it made more sense to spend Saturday studying since half my Friday was gone anyway; I regretted it the minute I stepped out of my hall. I have stopped bothering with umbrellas so I wore my black coat with a hoodie attached, and I was so irritated by how the uncovered parts of my hair were getting wet.
Still, it was a good shopping trip. I bought a dress and a skirt with the exact same pattern from Topshop, another top from Topshop, two tops from Vero Moda, and a shirt from Mango. I needed to buy my Shiseido thing but I totally forgot that departmental stores close at like 6 or whatever, so I didn't in the end. I realised how much I love clothes...which really doesn't do anything for my intellect. Still, I make it a point not to wear the same thing to the same class and I definitely dress up for school sometimes. What can I say? I like to feel like I look good, regardless of whether I actually do or not.
I need to sleep. I need to stop waking up at 1pm and wasting half my day.