Night Off

by Jinryu

Yesterday, after getting home from school at about 5pm, I decided I wasn’t going to do any school work. It felt great.

I did other work though– applied to something like a dozen community legal centres and a dozen jobs. By this morning I got a request for an interview at a “coaching college”, which seems to be the equivalent of the cram schools or hagwons of Asia.

Every now and then it’s nice to just throw out everything that I have to do and take a break. I find it refreshing to just work on something else.

Actually, my study habits have been pretty good because whenever I get sick of studying something, I move on to another subject. It’s some sort of strategic deployment of “procrastinator’s motivation”: you know, that energy you get to do everything else aside from what you ought to be doing? The only difference was that yesterday I just decided not to do anything schoolwork related. Occasionally I feel burnt out because I’m being pretty hard on myself I think.

The Contract Law teacher [His Lordship], pointed out early on in the semester that it’s not enough to read the case summaries, or wait for a case to be discussed in class. Only if we actively tried (and failed) to read cases ourselves were we ever going to get the practice we needed to really understanding the subtleties of judges’ reasoning, and get some sense of the common law as it evolves through this process. I’ve been really, really good about reading almost all the cases on my own– but frankly, it’s exhausting. There is physically too much case law to read, and I’m of the opinion that it’s simply not possible to go through every required reading with a fine tooth comb.

Thus, rather than beating myself against a wall with it, I’m just learning to ease up a little — for my own sanity — so that what work I do do is quality, well rested and well reasoned work that tries to cut a few reasonable corners, rather than all encompasing but falling behind in terms of the overal material. I didn’t realize that law would be so much about time management, but it really is. Every day, I have to evaluate how to juggle several things: my physical energy (depending on how much sleep I’ve had, if I’m going to be kickboxing, and if the weather is windy/rainy); my motivation (how much I feel like doing particular tasks, in what order); interaction with [CM]’s schedule (it’s nice to be able to cook and things, because she’s currently in exam mode); social obligations (so that law school isn’t just a total drag); deadlines (which will tend to trump other factors, but I prefer that there’s no opposition and deadlines are handled sooner than later); as well as self-investment opportunities (that is to say, doing research into job opportunities , internships and volunteer work).

But every now and then, I just like to catch up and watch 20 episodes of Naruto. (Kakashi as the Hokage? Whuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut)

Can’t say my life is boring!