I kind of want to die. Two nights of 6.30 p.m. classes and already I feel like collapsing onto my bed the minute I get home. How am I going to keep up with this until February 11? Especially when there's Infocoms to take into account. I'm sorry but I really don't see the legal angle and how any of it relates to law. And that angle better materialise soon or I'd think that I'd somehow stumbled into an engineering course in the Faculty of Law. We were talking about how mobile phones are different from walkie talkies and things along those lines today and I was all, "Uh...I don't care?" I was hoping I would find it fascinating, but I tried listening and all the talk about copper wires and fibre optic wire or whatever just completely lost me. Seriously - what do you get when you put an Arts student with technical, scientific mumbo jumbo? A fucking exploding brain.
Well, apparently we're supposed to read a 220-page case (USA v Mexico something or other) so hopefully the next class wouldn't be so...excruciatingly scientific. I don't care how my mobile phone works; all I care about is that it works. Thank you very much.
Also, I don't really appreciate lecturers that change the mode of assessment after I've been enrolled in the class. First Islamic Law was a research paper; now it's a take-home exam. First Infocoms was a research paper; now it might become a take-home exam. I might not have signed up for the module if I'd known that it was a take-home exam! And Comparative Crim went from a weekend take-home to a twenty-four hours take-home. OMG I'M GONNA DIE. I won't even get to write papers anymore. How can I possibly do a take-home exam? How can I write something worthy of my matriculation number in twenty-four hours? It might even be worse than a three-hour take-home. Because it straddles this weird no man's land between not-enough-time and way-too-much-time without being sufficient-time. I'm probably not making sense, and I can't explain it, and maybe it won't be that bad, but I really am not very happy about the changes in the modes of assessment. Some people - i.e. me - actually give a lot of weight to that component when deciding modules. Notice how I avoided all the examination-based ones? How different is a take home exam from a sit-in-school-and-do exam?
Argh. I refuse to screw up my timetable so I'm just gonna have to grin and bear it.
Chinese was interesting today. I think I will like it, but I'm quite nervous about the writing in Chinese part for the exam. Hence, I've resolved to take notes with a pen instead of with my laptop because I really need to start writing in Chinese! And I mean writing, the physical act of putting pen to paper and producing words with the ink of the said pen and onto the said paper. Yeah. What was rather interesting was this part where the lecturer talked about the two Special Administration Regions of China (Macau and Hong Kong, of course) and how she hoped that there will be a third one soon. Namely, Taiwan. And then she mentioned the Parliamentary election and Pan-Blue's victory and how that showed that the Taiwanese people aren't that hungry for independence because Pan-Blue is traditionally more in favour of reunification/keeping the status quo.
I was this close to attempting to say in Chinese that the election results aren't so much a pronouncement on the Chinese/Taiwanese conflict by the Taiwanese people as it is an indictment of the shittiness of the DPP administration. Simultaneously, just because voters want the KMT/Blue camp doesn't mean that they don't want independence; sometimes it simply means that they don't want to go to war with China. Because honestly - honestly. Taiwan is a de facto country. If you're born and bred there and are likely to die there, why the hell would you not want Taiwanese independence? The only reason you wouldn't want it is because China has fucking missiles aimed at Taiwan, because it is using the threat of brute force to keep this so-called "renegade" province in check. I dare say that most of the people who want Taiwan to be a part of China are those that moved to Taiwan from China, the first generation waishengren (literally people that come from outside of the province). I can't imagine how anyone born and bred in Taiwan would possibly want his country to be ruled by another country, one that his country has, quite frankly, not much in common with. Sure, we're all Chinese, we all share the same history and language; but that doesn't provide a good enough reason why Taiwan and China should unite. For one, Taiwan was never under Communist rule, and that fact itself has had significant impact on its legal system and its rule of law culture. For another, Taiwan was under Japanese colonial rule and Taiwanese culture differs from Chinese culture to the extent that it's been influenced by the Japanese. Say 'oh ba sang' in China and I bet most people won't understand what it means, but this Japanese word is widely used and understood in Taiwan. Not forgetting this: Before Chiang Kai-shek and the KMT fled to Taiwan after losing the civil war in China to the Commies, there were already people living in Taiwan - the native Taiwanese. People from whom Chen Shui-bian and his Green allies descended. How are they supposed to recognise the legitimacy - if any - of Chinese rule?
My dad said it best when he told me once, "Of course I want Taiwan to be independent. But as long as China doesn't allow it to happen, I don't want it to happen. Nobody wants to go to war." Nobody wants to go to war in this day and age, so don't blame me, really, for strongly disliking the PRC and its arrogant and stubborn Taiwan policy. At some point it has to wake up and smell the coffee: Taiwan is already a separate and discrete political entity. It is a country. It is a liberal democracy that will no longer be governed by authoritarian, despotic leaders hell bent on restricting the freedom of its people. Most importantly, it is a country. Nobody wants to recognise it, but everyone knows it's true. Taiwan's political no man's land really breaks my heart sometimes.
So yeah, that was what I wanted to say. I think it's a bit shallow and facile to conclude from the KMT's landslide victory that the Taiwanese people aren't that keen on independence, because there are so many different factors involved, like the economy, for instance, that became quite screwed up under the DPP government. Besides, keeping the status quo doesn't translate to not wanting independence.
Anyway, I happily asked Kenneth to have dinner with me today at six without knowing that he ended class at like noon, and he superly nicely stayed behind just to have dinner with me for like, fifteen minutes. Haha. In the end I couldn't even stay with him while he finished his fish thingy because I was late for class.
He's damn nice OMG I can't stand it!!! I should have bought him a drink. Well, I did offer to drive him home...at 9.30. HAHAHAH. What an utterly useless offer, I know.
I'm damn sleepy. And I have ten million articles to read tonight. ARGH. I'm gonna die tomorrow. I'll leave the house at eight and come home at ten. At night. Shit. And there's a quiz for Islamic Law which means I really have to do my readings. How tiresome!
Oh, and I talked to Jervis today! Wow.
I just spotted this in my content page for International Law and Asia's Seminar 1 reading package: "US Hegemoney." If it's not a typo, it's damn brilliant. But it's probably a typo.