ad astra per alia porci

it’s the last lap
January 9, 2011, 3:51 am
Filed under: diary, Law, Lifeskills

After 3.5 years of slogging, I have finally reached the last semester of law school. I am on course for what I want, the prize is firmly in sight, and I want to go out on a high. This semester is crucial and I need to cement things.

This might seem a bit late, but I guess some self-troubleshooting and advice always helps, regardless of when it is dished out.

Regarding study…

  • Quality not quantitative study – stop thinking that more time spent studying will necessarily result in better results.
  • Think more and read less
  • Speed is not quality.
  • Do not be an intellectual snob – stop being stuck in your own paradigm, embrace and fully understand new views, learn learn and learn more
  • Interact and synthesise the ideas of other writers to make your own unique view with its own justifications – being able to advance your own view is much better than parroting another person’s views
  • Interact with the teacher – understand and interact with his or her point of view
  • Speak up and shut up when you have to
  • Lecture notes must be transferred onto my personal notes within one day of its making – do not stockpile lecture notes and transcribe them all at one sitting

Regarding computer habits…

  • Do not play computer games. Period.
  • Stop shuttling between work and the internet
  • Check emails and IVLE only two times a day
  • Visit my regular news websites only two times a day

Apart from these concrete advice, there is always the less tangible, affective and attitudinal aspects. I do not think that I am doing much wrong in this area so far, but it is worth stating explicitly the values and attitudes I think are good and/or I should display:

  • Education is cultivation of both intellect and character.
  • Do not settle for easy at the expense of cultivation and integrity
  • Exercise the mind
  • Passion – care deeply, without being blind and insensitive.
  • Put in your best effort and create quality work – the quality of work is a reflection of the character of the person who did it
  • Intellectual integrity – make sure that your views are your own and make an honest effort to understand and interact with the views of others, and admit and confront the limits of your knowledge.
  • Humility – never think that you are always right. There is usually something to learn from others.
  • Compassion – help other people who deserve the help; do not help those who do not help themselves
  • Wonder – let the mind wander – think of possibilities
  • Scepticism – challenge convention and always ask questions

This is it. School starts tomorrow and before I know it my law school career will be over. Here’s to a great last semester.


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