Progress

by Jinryu

Working at the educational institute has been very much like how I imagine running an election campaign might be.  And I suppose that’s to be expected, considering that my role here is to basically stir up the practical legal training market to a certain extent, and to gather up allies before we essentially take to the fields against national regulators.  Basically, there in terms of education reforms in market for pre-admissions education, there is war on the horizon—and we need to know which banners are on our side before actually declaring it.

 

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Given that I’m on a pretty tight deadline to get admitted (licensed) for legal practice (because this is connected with my application for an extension of my VISA and things), I need to keep working to get in a certain amount of days of work per week to meet the work-experience pre-requisite of my license.

Work at the educational institute takes up my Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.    Work at my employment law job is Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays or Sundays.  That makes for a 6 day work week which is about 50+ hours per week.

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Employment law is pretty straightforward—I often don’t know the answers to the tasks when they’re assigned to me, but the whole point of a lawyer’s work is to look into things you don’t know.  Otherwise, if the answer was obvious, a client wouldn’t pay you to do it.  And if your boss already knew the answer, they wouldn’t assign it to you.   So most of the time, my work as a lawyer is kind of like spelunking, and that’s kind of what makes it interesting.  At least, it gets interesting once you get over that initial crippling fear of being responsible for something going wrong.

I think right now that’s the issue with working at the educational institute—I’m still finding my feet here, even though I’m arranging meetings and liasing with other institutes to get ready for the coming regulatory reform.  Being a campaign coordinator is not something I’m used to, so I remind myself every day when I walk in that I just need to chill out and work at a pace that is comfortable.  I need to stop freaking myself out about what I can’t do or am not comfortable about doing, and just do my best to do it.

I wonder if a reason why true adulthood is so scary is because real maturity is about being able to stand your ground in various contexts—not losing your shit when complicated problems come up, or when you don’t even understand a problem.  Contexts are everything—we’re strong in some situations, weak in others.

Get enough training in an area, you get something, some sort of “substance” that makes you “substantial.”  If you have the right eye for it, you can recognise this thing in other people, and you learn to respect them for it and what they can teach you about theirs.

 

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[Sensei-R] has been bugging me again to start doing judo competitions.  I think I might see if I can register for one this weekend.  The reasons why I’ve hesitated are multiple, but in looking it over, maybe it just comes down to fear.

The current judo class is one that I’ve gotten used to.  I mean, the dojo that I train at, it’s full of familiar faces and a familiar hierarchy.  I know who is who in the zoo, so to speak.  Outside of it’s walls? Out there, where the competition lies?  It’s an unknown.

Although I was training seriously in taekwondo in 2007-2008, did some kickboxing in 2012, and have been doing judo now for almost two years, I haven’t done competitive fighting in years—over a decade, actually.  There was a brief sting of kickboxing where I entered one tournament a few years ago, which I wrote about at the time—I lost that one by throwing in the towel due to much blood coming from my nose, although as things go, my opponent had probably broken part of his shinbone and I might have broken his nose.  I just quit while I was ahead.

 

And that was the takeaway lesson of that competition—quit while you’re ahead.  After that competition, I wrote about it and noted, relevantly, that I’m not as interested anymore in smashing bone on bone and seeing whose breaks more.  I am not willing to trade blood like I was in college—I threw in the towel, not because I was significantly hurt, but because I made a conscious decision that I was unwilling to get any more rough than I already was.  And in part, I made that decision because, unlike my college days, I was thinking of other goals in life now–  for instance, starting a family with [CM]. 

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