anotherlongshot (anotherlongshot) wrote,

For the past three nights, I've been woken up at 1am by the Dutch couple who lives directly above me. Thanks to the crappy floorboards and the thin-as-paper walls, I can hear them as they walk through the house to their room and talk to each other and get ready for bed, etc. Last night, they were watching a video and laughing really loudly. This goes on until about 2am. I don't fall asleep until they're silent.

This is obviously really annoying and really bad for my sleep pattern. I don't want to sleep at 2am; I want to be asleep by 2am. The worst part was that I had a 9am research training thing at the law library today and so I really wanted to sleep early last night. Imagine my sense of dread when I was in bed at midnight, marvelling over the beautiful silence of the house, just to have it shattered when I heard the door open and heard in painfully clear terms their presence in the house, in the form of their footsteps that sound like elephants stomping through the house, and the creaking floorboards, and more footsteps, and their muffled voices.

It's not their fault that the house is designed with shit materials. Still, they can afford to keep it down especially after midnight. I wanted to talk to them today but I haven't seen them around, but I was in the law faculty the whole day anyway. Hopefully I will see them tomorrow. I'm not hearing any sounds right now so I'm guessing they're not home yet. No matter how tired I am, I get woken up instantly when I hear the door open; and the noise that they produce keep me awake until it's all over.

As a result, I bought a set of ear muffs from Hibermate which I hope will work. I don't want to use earplugs because I don't want to risk a ear infection. I'm thinking of getting headphones or an iPod docking station so that I can play music while I try to fall asleep. I'm definitely going to talk to someone in the college about this crap. How can you not do anything about the shitty sound insulation? Make the carpet thicker or something; whatever it is, figure it out. It is shocking that my room falls into the second most expensive price band of the college. Considering the problems I've had - the noise, the bloody water in the toilet which still hasn't been fixed, the heating, the low ceiling - it should be a band 2 or 3. The size, I'm sorry, does not make up for these other issues, especially the noise problem.

Thanks to my inability to sleep properly, I was so sleepy the whole day. I was falling asleep towards the end of the library thing, when the librarian was talking about how to use Lexis. I was falling asleep while reading Simmonds's Central Issues in Jurisprudence, the chapter on rights. I was falling asleep in Kramer's Legal and Political Philosophy lecture. I was literally falling asleep. I cannot remember the last time I nearly fell asleep listening to someone speak.

Speaking of the lecture: it was on Wesley Hohfeld's theory of rights. I know, who the hell is that? I'd never heard of him until I came across a short and vague reference to his theory of rights when I was reading a chapter on the human rights situation of migrants at sea as informed by the international human rights framework. The author suggested in a footnote, and perhaps in one line, that since there is a duty on states to rescue, under a Hohfeldian conception of rights, it can be plausibly argued that migrants have a right to be rescued. I found this idea intriguing at first, and so I looked up Hohfeld to see what this was about. I didn't find it very interesting in the end.

Of course, I have not had much exposure to analytical jurisprudence, which probably explains why I'd never come across, or I don't remember coming across, his work in any of my jurisprudence/legal theory classes. I guess he wouldn't be taught to Year 1 law students who struggle to understand Hart and Fuller, let alone Hohfeld; and my Jurisprudence course at the LSE was this super rebellious, anti-establishment concoction of amazing non-jurisprudential philosophers. Besides, the teacher didn't seem interested in analytical jurisprudence, so clearly Hohfeld wouldn't have been on the menu.

But that's precisely the thing that I want to say. I am so thankful that I did my Masters at the LSE. I am so grateful that I wasn't accepted to the LLM programme in Cambridge. If I'd come here instead, I would not have been exposed to an alternative, more interesting (to me) way of looking at the deceptively simple question of 'what is law?' and neither would I have been exposed to the array of thinkers that the Anglo-American jurisprudence tradition tends to overlook or not even consider. Sure, those philosophers don't exclusively write about the law, but how boring is it to spend your whole life's work considering the relationship between law and morality? I think it's getting a bit trite. I mean, just remembering what Derrida wrote about the relationship between law and justice, and his account of justice, makes traditional jurisprudence seem kind of dull.

At the same time, I am aware of the need to expose myself to ideas that I don't, at the first instance, find attractive - and that's analytical jurisprudence in a nutshell. Hohfeld is incredibly dry and hard to follow. It requires a lot of logical thinking. I'm not very good at logical thinking in the philosophical sense, so this will be rather interesting. I just hope that I won't be falling asleep at the next lecture.

(The Dutch couple is back. It's 10 minutes to midnight. I hope they go to bed ASAP.)

Apart from that, my day was horribly unproductive. I wanted to photocopy the relevant chapters of the books I borrowed from the library at the college library but I was unable to log on. That was annoying. I spent the night reading two more pages and now I am writing this.

I am going to say something rather creepy. While trying and failing to go back to sleep last night after the Dutch couple woke me up, I came up with the brilliant idea of playing a video of a lecture that G gave sometime in 2012 in the US somewhere to help me drown out, or minimise, the noise, and help me sleep. That was, of course, an altogether too convenient excuse to listen to the sound of his voice. It is pretty unimaginable how pathetic I am but I must say that it was really quite effective. First, it turned the frown on my face into a smile; second, I had no clue what he was talking about and I just listened to his voice and heard the words like they were a lullaby; and third, his voice is so much more palatable than the stomping sounds from upstairs and the laughter of the Dutch couple, so it was a win-win for me.

I don't think that I would ever tell him this though. It is quite sad, isn't it? Anyway, I just looked up the Philosophy lectures and I'm quite inclined towards one of the Wittgenstein ones, on the Tractatus. The problem is, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't understand anything. I am curious to attend because Wittgenstein was who G cited when he expounded on an idea of justice, which was what bloody made me fall for him in the first place.

There are so many interesting lectures in the Philosophy department and it's a real shame that I can't go for all. I'm beginning to think that maybe I should've done an MPhil in something Philosophy-related before the PhD; I feel like I'm playing catch up all the time. It's pretty daunting.

I am so tired. I'm going to play music tonight to help me sleep. They're still stomping around. This is so aggravating.

Lastly: oh my god, Julian Barnes has a forthcoming new novel! But why is it only coming out in January?! I can't wait to read it. It's been ages since The Sense of an Ending!!! (Which, of course, I feel like re-reading again.)
Tags: cambridge, g, julian barnes, phd, philosophy

  • I HATE Injuries

    Today, I tried to walk to a nearby cafe for brunch as I have three 40% discount vouchers expiring sometime next week. Since the food is tasty, I had…

  • What I Did Today

    I want some banality in my entries, because why not, so here's a banal recounting of what went on today: 1. I woke up 1 hour and 45 minutes later…

  • I Want to Live on Memory Lane

    A couple of nights ago, while reading Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited, I came across the word 'siding' as in a railroad track. For some weird…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 1 comment