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Rambles' Ramblings

Ramblings, a salve for any hurts

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education

A dreary week

Well, not really a week, more like a four days. But then I couldn’t find a nice phrase to put in the title slot.

Today is Wednesday, it was raining this morning and it is quite cloudy now, in the afternoon. Yesterday, in the morning, we have a drizzle. It stopped in the afternoon but remains cloudy. On Monday, there was a dreary drizzle all day long. It had already started by the time I woke up; 6:55am, and had not yet stopped when I went to sleep at 12:00pm. On Sunday, there was no sun. Instead, heavy, grey clouds hung over the sky the whole day.

It started out promising enough, My partner and I won the first round of the internal moot on Monday morning. Ecstatic. I went back to class in the afternoon only to be told there will be a six-hour long Contract class on Tuesday. Well, I like the lecturer a lot. Problem? He is quite of an intense kind of guy. So, six-hour lectures are not actually fun.

The class went well (no one dares to make noise and disrupt Mr. Murali’s class). We finished a chapter on that day. Misrepresentation. And it left us with tons of reading to do, complete with cases and homework.

That bring me to today, Wednesday. Right now, I am in the library, typing on my computer to release stress. I am quite sure the college wouldn’t approve, but never mind, everyone is doing it anyways.

I have a love/hate relationship with tutorials since they started. Four subjects mean four tutors. Two males, two females. Mr. Kevin, Ms. Amenda, and Ms Gayathri are nice. Mr. Pathma, the tutor for CLRI is a prat. He is smug, obnoxious and lazy.

The way he speaks, he thought he was the greatest person, the most knowledgeable guy in the whole room. Although he might not be wrong, it is still very off-putting. I would dearly like it if someone actually complained to the college about him but I am too cowardly to do that. The way he speaks, he seems to think that everyone ought to listen to him. Doesn’t he realized his class is decreasing steadily?

You know, tutors and lecturers are expected to be knowledgeable. You aren’t anything special if you know your subject matter! Ms. Gayathri is working on her Master and she is such a nice teacher. She never spoke down to us as though we are all idiots.

Ms. Amenda and Mr. Kevin are both very experienced tutors who are also practicing lawyers. They never talk down to us and they always acknowledge us when we answer something well. Mr. Pathma, on the other hand, is a new lecturer fresh out of college and he is just a degree holder. So what is so special about you? You are nothing!

Keep your smugness and pride to yourself. We paid the fees and we are not dumb. Stop talking as though we are all idiots who are wasting your time! Go mark our homework and pass it back to us. It isn’t much anyway, as you had left it all in our decision to whether to do it or not. Most don’t, I did. I want to know my standing and I will only know if you would grade and pass it back to me as soon as possible. It has been at least two weeks since I passed it up!

Qualifying Law Degree or Non-qualifying Law Degree?

Having been briefed on these two law degrees, I am now expected to choose one path. In my country, Malaysia, we don’t have to have a QLD to practice. However, I feel that it would be much more challenging and fun to choose one of the two pathways offered in QLD.

To practice as a advocate or solicitor in Malaysia, a non-qualifying law degree would be enough. It consists of 12 subjects completed over the course of three years. This course will be much more easier and manageable compared to a qualifying law degree as we are not required to write any thesis or do any research as part of our coursework.

However, since I hoped to someday practice outside Malaysia, I am debating whether to take the qualifying law degree. While it is early for me to think about this, planning early is never an error. There are two pathways to a qualifying law degree. The first pathway consists of 11 subjects and a 10 000 words thesis. The thesis will be done in the final year with three other subjects. It will count as one also.

My preference is the second pathway. Similar to a non-qualifying law degree, it consists of 12 subjects to be done in three years. The difference lies in the third year, where I would need to do small-scale research and submit a research essay of 2 500 words in addition to the four subjects. While this pathway may be more difficult, I like this pathway better as it allows me more choice for my elective courses.

Doing a non-qualifying degree will be the easy way out as aside from studying from textbooks and supplementary materials, we do not have to undertake any legal skills. But I have this sneaking feeling that having a qualified law degree may make me more employable as I would have acquired the legal skills I would need in my career. I will have to reconsider my decision next May after the exams. If I find it difficult to cope with the examinations, then I might have to give up a qualifying law degree.

Sharing BBC articles and rant about education

I realised that I have been sharing quite a bit of BBC articles and news lately. Some might feel that I am ‘cheating’, that is, posting something that I did not write. However, I will defend myself by saying that most of the posts are actually accompanied by my own comments. I might have missed one or two, though, as I usually update them in snatched moments before class and during class break.

Why do I share? That is the question I asked myself when I realised that I have been sharing on my blog quite a bit of BBC news. The answer I got from myself, brutally honest, is that the news I shared, the articles I shared, I feel deeply about them. I wanted to comment on them. I do not want to post it on Facebook as there will be tons of likes with no real purpose. So I rather post it on my secret blog as my ‘secret life’, if you like it.

Take my most recent post of BBC articles, it is one about education in Asia. The rising costs of education is a worry to us Asians, parents and students alike. I am a 19-year-old student who had just signed an agreement for a loan of RM39 000, to be repaid in 15 years time, in order to fund my own studies. I am lucky, the course I chose, law, does not really cost too much. If I had chosen medicine or engineering, I would be tying myself down to a loan of a few hundred thousands.

As claimed by the articles, there are indeed parents who gave up medicine and sell their houses in order to pay for the children’s rising education cost. The upshot of it is that if you want to do a ‘normal’ (that is, not science courses) external degree in private institutions in Malaysia, the school fees alone will be around RM 50 000. In addition to rental and living expenses, a three-year course will be averaging about RM100 000,conservatively speaking. If it is a twinning programme, be prepared to see the costs doubled or even tripled.

For us of the middle class bracket, it is either an expensive education for which you will be taking a loan before even earning a single cent, or stop studying after secondary school and take your chance with the University of Life. My mother decided we will take the former path and so here I am.

In the article, there is reference to tiger father and tiger mother. It is probably true in some cases, but most definitely untrue in mine! I have the choice of which course I want to study in. I have heard of some cases where ‘kia su’ (afraid to lose) parents forces their children to study medicine or engineering as these courses are traditionally highly-regarded and have high social status. A tragedy, especially if the child hates science subjects as I do.

Education costs go up because in this highly capitalistic and commercialized world, a certificate of education is the most important proof of competency. To get a good job in a good company, a certificate from a good school is a must. Therefore, we Asians are prepared to spend a goodly sum to get that as education has long be heralded as the way to ascend the social ladder.

Asia’s parents suffering ‘education fever’

Asia’s parents suffering ‘education fever’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24537487

I prefer to think that the pressure exerted upon us as students are a preparation for the pressure and stress of working life. True, most Asian parents do have ‘education fever’, but what is the cause? A society with ever increasing dependency on certificates as a measure of competency.

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