ORGANISED CHAOS – KEEPING EVERYTHING TOGETHER

April 2, 2013

Here at Survive Law, we’re yet to meet a genuinely organised student. The problem with student life is that study seems to consistently get in the way of a good time. Although you could easily avoid that stressful last-minute scramble to complete your constitutional law essay, you’re about as likely to plan ahead and stick to that plan as you are to be hit by a hovercraft.

Planning ahead and allowing time to study/research/write/etc does yield better marks. If we all spent a little bit more time studying and a little bit less time at the pub we’d probably all have glowing academic transcripts. Despite learning this through an occasional bout of self-discipline (brought on by a moment of guilt) most of us have failed to become consistently organised in the long term.

The majority of law students tend to prefer the mantra “why do today something that you could put off until tomorrow?” The problem is that once you’ve exhausted all the fun activities, that assignment is still there and now the deadline is closer. Even if you manage to cobble together an acceptable piece of work to turn in, you can feel your sanity eroding one frantic last-minute assignment at a time.

Regardless of whether you’re an organisational sinner or saint (and we’re certainly not holier than thou) here are a few pointers to get you obsessively organised…

 

1. GET A CALENDAR OR DIARY

Thank you, Captain Obvious. I know it’s a basic step, but it’s seriously helpful for getting on top of things. Take a moment to have a quick read of all your subject outlines and write all the key assessment dates in your calendar or diary. At the very least this will help you to remember deadlines.

On the other hand, this sort of “getting organised” activity is also a fantastic way of procrastinating when you should be working. Remember, colour-coding calendar entries for each of your different subjects is a great way to avoid actual study.

 

2. WHAT’S INVOLVED?

Read and re-read assessment advice for each subject and make a note of what tasks you will have to do for each assignment. It is much easier to get that assessment done when it is broken into smaller, more manageable tasks. Once you know the tasks you have to do, set a deadline for completing each of these.

 

3. AN EXERCISE IN SELF-DECEPTION

You know you will probably fail to meet some/ all of these mini-deadlines you’ve created. The thing to do now is to bring all of these deadlines forward by at least a few days and popping those dates in your diary.

By taking your procrastination tendencies into account, you have now created a buffer zone so that you don’t run out of time for pesky things like checking footnotes, grammar, spelling and filling out a cover sheet. The added bonus of this is that the guilt of an approaching and hitherto neglected deadline will probably spur you on to complete the assignment before the real life due date. Lucky!

 

4. PRIORITISATION

Not doing assignments is usually far more enjoyable than doing assignments, and it seems that procrastination is just about the most fun you can have.

Years ago my dad gave me a copy of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey. As the title suggests, it was the sort of book parents bought for their kids, rather than a book that a teenager would buy for themselves and then read of their own free will. One thing did stick with me though. There was a section about prioritisation that included a table like this:

 

Important Not Important
Urgent 1 2
Not Urgent 3 4

 

I’ve found this table to be a useful way of prioritising the things that I do, particularly around assessment time. For example, watching re-runs of Friends on TV would probably fall into the Not Important and Not Urgent box. My media law essay that is due in a few days would come under the Important and Urgent category. The numbers in each section of the table denote the order of priority. When you have lots of things on your plate, this table is a handy way of working out what comes first. And it has the added bonus of making you feel guilty for doing something that falls under 4 when you have things on your list in category 1.

In lieu of a better, purer form of motivation, most of us will happily accept guilt as a means of achieving what has to be done.

 

5. BIGGER PICTURE

So you know when your assignment is due and what you have to do by when. Unfortunately, most planning for completion of assessments is done in a sort of social vacuum. Most of us forget to look at the bigger picture. We typically fail to take other activities such as work, social activities, eating, sleeping and even assessments for other uni subjects into account.

Any timetable for completing assessments should be made with a healthy dose or realism. Keeping a to-do list usually will not help you to adequately assess what other demands there will be on your time around an assessment due date. Diaries in a day to a page format can also be deceptive when it comes to planning your time. The one planning tool that has helped me to realistically manage competing demands is this table:

 

Week Legal Skills Ethics Estate Law Law Revue Social
1 Lead class discussion Camping Trip
2 Online Reflection Learn lines
3 Presentation
4 Weekend away
5 Negotiation Assessment Essay 1 due Dress rehearsal

 

This is just a sample but I have found it works really well. The first column indicates the weeks of the semester. All subsequent columns represent different commitments. There is one column for each uni subject and you can also have columns for work, social and extra-curricular commitments.

I keep this table to one page and I am completely dependent on it during semester. It really helps me to predict when the quiet and busy times will be and allows me to plan ahead for these.

When it comes to getting organised, the best tip is to find what works for you and go with it. Your system won’t be perfect, let alone procrastination proof, but even if it is only half-effective your sanity will thank you for it.

CATCHING UP IN TIME FOR EXAMS

April 1, 2013

Sometimes the promises made in first week about doing all the readings, starting assignments early and getting to every class just aren’t possible. As we find ourselves in the later stages of semester, with exams not far away, we begin to fret a little… okay, a lot. 

But fear not! If you’ve fallen behind on the course there’s plenty you can do to catch up in time for exams. To get started, you’ll need organisation, discipline and many delicious study snacks…

 

KNOW HOW YOU LEARN

There’s no point attempting to learn in a hurry if you don’t know how you learn. I’m a visual learner, so diagrams, pictures and colour coordination are the most effective ways for me to learn. To maximize your limited study time and increase your speed of learning, take five minutes to work out what type of learner you are and you’ll soon be able to study at speed.

 

CREATE A CALENDAR

Download and print some free monthly calendars from the Internet that cover the period from now until the end of exams. Make sure you leave some calendar space at the end of exams so you can write ‘Yay exams are done’ or ‘going overseas’ for motivation. Then add (with colour coordination as you please):

  1. Exam dates, times, seat & room numbers (this saves last minute panic)
  2. Commitments such as work and extra curricular activities
  3. Add the dates by which you need to have completed notes, revision, etc. Don’t forget to factor in some time for you can test out your finished notes on a few practice exams.
  4. Add in a few fun things! Make sure your calendar doesn’t totally depress you or you will never study.

Don’t forget to factor in things like:

  • How many lectures do I need to listen to?
  • How many weeks of reading do I need to catch up on?
  • Are there any assignments outstanding? If so, consider what these are worth and how long you need to spend on them.
  • How much paid work do I need to fit in and can this be minimised/ should I take any leave?

 

LEARN TO SAY ‘NO’ OR RESCHEDULE

If your calendar is too full you may need to reorganise, drop a commitment or compromise the grade you’re expecting. Your calendar should look do-able or else it will be too hard to begin studying. You need to trick your brain into thinking this exam period is going to be easy.

Once you have a manageable calendar, learn to say no to commitments that don’t fit in. Can the coffee date you’re trying to fit in be allocated to a time when you will need a study break? If not, can you do it after exams?

 

ORGANISE TO STUDY IN DIFFERENT PLACES AND WITH DIFFERENT PEOPLE

Studying at home can be good, but sometimes it’s boring, lonely and prone to making us a little nutty. Mixing up the way you study can increase effectives and motivation all the while keeping you relatively sane.

 

STUDY WITH FRIENDS IN A STUDY GROUP

Debating how the law works, fighting about which case is the authority and working through problems can be a quick and slightly more fun way to study. A study groupis a terrific way to learn the material, especially for closed book exams.

 

STUDY WITH FRIENDS BUT SEPARATELY

The bonus of this study method is that you usually get a lot done and you can keep each other motivated with study snacks, breaks and (most importantly) keep each other off YouTube and Facebook! Consider keeping yourselves on track with aStudy Contract.

 

STUDY IN THE LIBRARY

The library has fewer distractions than home and having people around you studying often makes you feel guilty if you’re sitting on Facebook.

 

STUDY OUTSIDE

If it’s a nice day do yourself a favour and find some way to get outside – even if only for 15mins to drink your coffee. The sun will make you feel instantly chirpier, even though the sunlight may burn your library eyes a little at first. If you really can’t tear yourself away from study, grab your headphones and listen to your lecturer or draw diagrams of what you just learnt.

 

STUDY WHILE EXERCISING

A simple change to your posture can do amazing things for your figure and your mind! Studying on an exercise ball, reading while lifting weights, doing crunches and push-ups while looking at diagrams, or quizzing yourself while doing wall squats can help you to escape a dull study routine. Even just listening to a lecture while you walk around the block a few times will work wonders.

 

IF ALL ELSE FAILS…

Get someone you trust to change your Facebook password. It sounds extreme but it’s amazing how much extra time you’ll discover!

WHICH LEARNING TYPE AM I?

April 1, 2013

When we struggle to engage with a topic, we tend to fall back on excuses like, “I just wasn’t interested in it” or “I’m never going to need to know what a trust is anyway.” A more likely reason for not understanding something is simply that you’re not learning it the right way.

Understanding the different learning styles and figuring out which one best suits you will allow you to tailor the material to your needs and likely reduce the time and effort you spend studying.

So, which type of learner are you?

There are four primary learning styles: visual, auditory, read-write and kinaesthetic. People learn using a variety of these methods, but one is usually predominant.

 

VISUAL

Visual learners learn by seeing: writing notes, looking at diagrams, illustrations, flowcharts and handouts and by painting mental pictures of issues. Visual learners tend to speak quickly and have a tendency to interrupt.

LEARNING STRATEGIES

  • Writing notes in lectures and from textbooks
  • Drawing flowcharts and diagrams connecting issues
  • Drawing characters in problem scenarios and writing out corresponding issues in dot points

 

AUDITORY

Auditory learners learn by listening: having things explained to them, discussions, talking things through and listening to what other people have to say. Auditory learners interpret the underlying meanings of speech through listening to tone of voice, pitch, speed and other nuances.

LEARNING STRATEGIES

  • Reading notes out loud or into a tape recorder
  • Discussing and debating topics with others
  • Listening to lectures over writing notes from textbooks

 

READ-WRITE

Read-write learners prefer information to be displayed in writing and learn by traditional classroom methods of (you guessed it) reading and writing. Read-write learners often work independently and quietly and take exhaustive notes in class.

LEARNING STRATEGIES

  • Writing out key ideas in list form
  • Writing out ideas in your own words
  • Organising diagrams, graphs and other visuals into statements (eg “the trend is…”) or putting actions and flowcharts into words

 

KINAESTHETIC

Kinaesthetic learners learn through moving, doing and touching. Kinaesthetic learners use all senses to engage in learning and learn by doing and solving real-life problems.

LEARNING STRATEGIES

  • Studying for short periods of time to prevent distraction
  • Learning by solving real-life problems as opposed to studying abstract theories
  • Trial and error

 

WHICH LEARNING TYPE ARE YOU?

If you want a more comprehensive analysis of your learning style, look at the skills you use while learning: what helps you absorb the most amount of information? What keeps you going with a topic for longer? Talking to a lecturer may help you identify the best learning strategies for you. There are also free tests available online.

Don’t worry if you don’t fall neatly into one particular learning style: most people use a combination of methods and the key is to find out what works best for you and when, rather than desperately trying to force yourself into one box.

HOW TO MAKE A STUDY TIMETABLE FOR EXAMS

April 1, 2013

Uh-oh. It’s that time of semester. You’ve spent a little too much time watching re-runs of How I Met Your Mother and now exams are only WEEKS AWAY. Gasp! Luckily, an exam study timetable might just save your skin. Here’s how to make one…

 

GETTING STARTED

Check your exam times and download a weekly timetable template from Google Images. If exams are a few weeks away, you may need to print several copies.

Start by filling in exam dates and other commitments such as work, classes, soccer, your best friend’s birthday party, etc. Keeping up extra-curricular activities and social commitments during exam time will help keep you motivated and sane. Also enter the times of your favourite TV shows, etc. If you don’t feel like you’re missing out on everything, it will be easier to stick to your timetable. Plus it’s important to have waking hours where you’re not studying.

Also block out time for essential tasks like sleeping, eating and showering. Maintaining regular sleeping and eating patterns will help you to focus better.

You don’t need to plan your life during STUVAC down to the nearest minute, but an unrealistic timetable will fail within the first few days.

 

PLANNING YOUR STUDY

Work out which subject(s) need the most work. This will depend on how close the exam is, your current level of understanding, and how much the exam is worth as a percentage of your overall subject mark.

Working back from the exam dates, allocate time to study for each subject every day. Like a high school class timetable, you should be covering multiple subjects each day. The closer it gets to an exam, the more time you should spend studying for that particular subject.

Why do it this way? Cramming for your exams in a few days is hell, and not very effective either. It is theoretically possible to study one subject for 18 hours non-stop a day, but how much are you going to take in?

By doing little bits each day, you’ll avoid information overload and make the most of both your short-term and long-term memories. Plus, studying one subject for days on end gets boring fast. Having different subjects to work through means that when you get sick of one, you can switch to another. It gives your brain a change of scenery while still getting work done.

Instead of simply allocating a few hours to “equity study” each day, specify what you want to achieve: “read constructive trusts chapter”, “do 2010 past paper”, etc. This will help you to ensure that you have time to thoroughly study for each subject.

 

PUTTING THE PLAN INTO ACTION

Regular breaks will help you to stay focussed and motivated. Depending on how dense the material is, take a short break every 20-45 minutes. Unlike meal breaks, don’t schedule these breaks into your timetable, simply take them as needed: whenever you feel your focus declining. You’ll only need a short break from your work – long enough to make yourself a cup of coffee, go sit outside for a few minutes, play a round of spider solitaire, etc.

Don’t forget to tick items off your study timetable as you finish them – it’ll make you feel like a study saint.

STAYING MOTIVATED IN THE LEAD UP TO EXAMS

April 1, 2013

Mid-semester break and the week before exams are the times when you’re at your best. After all, it’s easy to find motivation when you really have to work. But what about the weeks in between? How do you stay on track during those grey weeks sandwiched between post-mid-semester break and exams?

 

TAKE STOCK

You’ve just finished your last assignments for the semester: all completed, submitted and presented. You can’t remember not being in the library and what you consider your last decent sleep was an open-mouthed drool on the train coming home. Because you don’t have anything else due before exams there’s every temptation to reward your hard work with a bit of time off. Surely the work you put into your assignments means you can skip just one class, right?

While I’m all for justifying missing lecturers, letting yourself off the hook “just this once” can be dangerous. One lecture becomes two, missing a reading means missing a tute (because you won’t understand the material anyway) and soon enough a week has gone by, you’re behind in everything, you have no desire to play catch up and instead you waste your time and energy on feeling guilty.

To avoid falling into the guilt trap, take stock of your situation. How are you feeling? What do you have to do this week? What are your priorities?

Make a list of the things that are weighing on you: feeling tired, feeling unmotivated, lectures to attend, readings to do, part-time work, sleep, your general health and exercise routine. From this list, identify the things that are non-negotiable, like your health and sleep patterns, and the things that can be postponed or reduced, like part-time work.

 

PLAN

You’ve identified the things that are most important to you; now make them happen. Feeling tired and languid? Pencil eight hours into your daily timetable. Feeling lethargic? Draw little boxes in your diary and tick off your fruits and vegetables for the day and hold yourself accountable for your health. Feeling unmotivated? Create a study timetable, sort out your to-do list and cull what’s least important.

 

HANG IN THERE

Think of these four weeks not as another chunk of semester, but as a challenge for you to overcome. It’s not supposed to be easy but planning will help. Identify what you need to do, and think of strategies to get it done. Staying on top of lectures and readings will be challenging, but planning will allow you to avoid falling into the trap of feeling guilty, disorganised and unmotivated.

Most importantly, take care of yourself and remember that holidays will be here soon enough!

HOW TO STOP PROCRASTINATING

April 1, 2013

Although law students have a knack for legal things, our real talent is procrastination. We put things off until tomorrow, and if we can avoid doing something altogether, even better.

A little bit of procrastination is normal but when you’re consistently trying to do your class readings in the tutorial you should’ve prepared for earlier, maybe it’s time to change your habits.

Here are a few tips for beating procrastination…

 

CONSIDER WHY YOU PROCRASTINATE

Some people say that the thing you do when you procrastinate is the thing you should do for your career. That sounds good, but I’m yet to find a job that requires me to spend my working day watching funny videos and giggling at memes.

If your procrastinatory ways are stopping you achieving the things you need to get done, it could be a good idea to consider the cause. If it’s a particular subject that you consistently put off, it may be a sign that your interests lie elsewhere. Consider the subjects that you’ve really enjoyed and try to enroll in more like it.

If you’re interested in the work but can’t seem to find the motivation to do it, it could be that other factors in your life are behind it. Consider the stresses and distractions you’re experiencing and see what you can do to address these.

 

STOP BEING A PERFECTIONIST

I know this is probably like asking a law student to only own one colour of highlighter, but over-planning and over-finessing are a real procrastination problem.

Organisation is a good thing, but the process of ‘getting organised’ is a great way to put off the work that gets done when you’re actually organised. You know what I mean: spending hours creating the perfect, colour-coded study timetable instead of actually studying, or constantly writing comprehensive to do lists that rarely get shorter.

Plus, perfectionist planning can make a project seem overly complicated and intimidating, which means you’ll put it off for longer. It’s like that episode of How I Met Your Mother when Ted tried to start his own architecture firm. He spent so much time designing the office letterhead and organising the corporate retreat that he never got around to calling potential clients.

Perfectionism also means that law students will often spend a long time perfecting one assignment, while other equally important assessments are neglected. It’s important to know when the law of diminishing marks has kicked in and accept that the work you have done is good enough, and move on to your other assignments.

 

MANAGE DISTRACTIONS

When it comes to procrastination, everyone has a weakness. Work out what yours is and try to limit its impact. There are some great concentration apps available that track how you really use your time there, or that block your favourite procrastination websites.

 

STAY ON TRACK

Commit to a realistic daily to-do list and use your favourite procrastination tasks as a reward for doing those boring yet essential things. Be sure to grab a timer to make sure that your ‘reward time’ doesn’t take over.

Another option for staying on task is to get a study buddy (one who is more disciplined than you), or you could make some sort of grand announcement on Facebook/Twitter that you’ll have finished your notes by the end of the day. Sometimes having an audience means you’re more likely to get that pesky case summary done.

 

WORST THINGS FIRST

Certain tasks are put off for so long that they seem impossible and become entrenched on your to do list, but when necessity forces you to complete it, you realise how simple it actually was. Sound familiar?

Another way to beat procrastination is to start the day with the trickiest, least-appealing job. When that’s completed the rest of the day’s tasks will be way more appealing (and you’ll feel pretty good too).

As a friend once put it to me: “It’s okay to have a ‘too hard’ basket, but don’t let it get too full.” The worst things first approach is a great way to avoid things on your to do list becoming stale.

 

SET DEADLINES AND FOCUS

Deadlines are the procrastinator’s friend; if it weren’t for due dates, nothing would get done. Create some artificial deadlines and try to get that dreaded essay referencing done in the set time period.

When I have a tight deadline to meet, it’s easier to focus. I’m not a massive fan of cleaning the house, so I do a regular ‘hour of power’ and try to get everything done in that time. You end up focusing on being efficient, rather than on how much you detest the job in front of you.

 

JUST START ALREADY!

No matter what it is, starting is the hardest part, but once you’re into it, it’s not that bad. The longer you leave something (even if it’s just a tiny job) the bigger and more complex it will seem.

Don’t make the mistake of planning to start at 3:00pm, because you know exactly how that will pan out: “Oops! It’s 3:03pm now… I’ll start studying at 4pm.”

No more excuses, just start already!

HOW TO MAKE THE BEST LAW LECTURE NOTES OF ALL TIME

April 1, 2013

Sometimes you leave a lecture with the impression that very few of the important points raised in class have ended up in your notes. We’ve all been there. Follow this nifty guide and make awesome notes every class…

 

PREPARE FOR CLASS

Dull and predictable as this piece of advice is, if you prepare for a class, you’ll get more out of it. Before the lecture, do the required readings and quickly scan the notes you made in the last class. This will provide a context for the new material you’ll be learning and means you can focus your note-taking energies on subject areas you are not already familiar with. Why would you want to make lecture notes about material that’s in the textbook?

 

ORGANISING YOUR NOTES

Date all your notes, give each lecture a topic title, and use subtitles where necessary. Avoid writing your notes on scraps of paper: write all your notes in the one notebook, or save all typed notes to the one folder on your laptop. This will help you to find what you’re looking for in a hurry.

 

WHAT TO USE

In lectures some people prefer to type their notes, others write them out by hand. Find a system that works for you and keep it consistent.

For me, the process of physically writing out my notes helps me to be more selective about which pieces of information I record, and helps me to better focus on the information presented. Plus the temptation of Facebook when I’m working on a laptop is just too great. I’ve also found that using a Dictaphone or other recording device isn’t the best idea, as it makes you lazy in lectures and means you’re more likely to tune out.

If you do write your notes out by hand, consider using coloured pens (not blue or black) as it can help you to retain more information first go. Using a different colour pen for key points makes them stand out in your mind.

 

WHAT TO WRITE DOWN

Be selective. You don’t need to write down everything the lecturer says, and your notes shouldn’t be a transcript of the class. Don’t write a sentence if a few words will suffice.

Limit your lecture note taking to material that you don’t already know (because you’ve done your readings before class, this means your notes will probably be quite short). Listen closely and consider whether the information is relevant to the course and the assessments.

In an information-packed lecture, it can be hard to know what information is important. Look out for:

  • Emphasis – you’ll pick this up from the time your lecturer devotes to a particular point, the way your lecturer says something, or the body language they use when saying it.
  • Repetition – it they say something several times, it’s probably because they want you to learn it.
  • Definitions
  • Things written on the whiteboard/ blackboard
  • Debates – Does your lecturer go into the reasoning behind the majority and minority judgments? The case is probably an important authority.

 

CREATE YOUR OWN ABBREVIATIONS

Using abbreviations will help you to take notes more efficiently. Use abbreviations that mean something to you and keep it consistent. Here are some of my frequently used abbreviations:

w/           with

w/o         without

incl.        including or included

HCA       High Court of Australia

SC           Supreme Court

ct             Court

P              Plaintiff

D             Defendant

judg        Judgment

appl        Appeal

maj         Majority

min         Minority

 

SOME HANDY HINTS

Writing the information in your own words, rather than copying the lecturer’s wording will help you to grasp and retain the information.

Use dot points, indents and numbering to make the hierarchical relationship between different points clearer.

Spread your notes out – leaving space makes your notes easier to scan, and it’s helpful if your lecturer has a tendency to jump around.

If the lecturer has moved onto a new point and you haven’t gotten something down, just leave a few question marks next to the incomplete thought and fill in the gaps with a friend after class.

 

CONSIDER COLUMNS

Another option for making your notes more study-friendly, is dividing the pages of your notebook into columns. Here are the two best column strategies:

  1. Divide the page into two columns. The right one should take up about two thirds of the page, and the left column one third. Write your main lecture notes in the right column, and put keywords or topic headings in the left hand column. This makes it easier to find important information when you’re going through your notes later.
  2. Divide the page into two columns of equal width. Write points from your readings in the left column, and related points from your lecture in the right column. If you’ve ever struggled with integrating your readings and your lecture notes, this is the strategy for you.

 

HAVE AN AFTER CLASS ROUTINE

Type your notes up within 24 hours of the lecture. Turn key words and dot points into full sentences, and translate those abbreviations before you forget what they mean. Some studies have shown that if you revise the information within 24 hours of first hearing it, you’ll remember about 80% of it. Such a simple routine could make exam time a whole lot easier.

DEALING WITH DISAPPOINTING MARKS

April 1, 2013

It’s happened to all of us. Getting a bad mark (or a bad mark according to our perfectionist law student standards) sucks. Over the years I have had my fair share of disappointing marks, and although admittedly I may have shed a tear or two, I have developed a few positive strategies for dealing with the letdown of less than ideal marks…

 

1. GET FEEDBACK

Lecturers don’t bite, and many lecturers have consultation hours where they sit in their dark offices, probably playing Tetris and Bejewled Blitz (or so I imagine), waiting for students to call for assessment feedback.

Even if the final subject marks are in and there are no other assessments to worry about, feedback from a lecturer will help you to understand what you could have done differently – good advice about how to approach and structure your responses, for example, will help you in future subjects too.

 

2. REFLECT ON WHERE YOU WENT WRONG AND USE IT AS MOTIVATION

Although we hate to admit it, sometimes poor results can be the outcome of spending too much time on Facebook or leaving that major essay to the night before it was due. Although sometimes we can see these marks coming, it still hits as a hard reality check!

Before you start thinking that there is no hope and you may as well drop out of your law degree, think again. Bad marks can fuel motivation to improve, while consistent good marks can sometimes make some students lazy and complacent. Receiving a less than ideal mark can help you to reflect on where you went wrong and how you could improve for next time (for example, better time management or actually do the readings).

 

3. APPRECIATE THE BIGGER PICTURE

Sometimes receiving a bad mark in law can be overwhelming, especially when you’ve tried your best. At the end of the day a mark is just a number and you will need to take a deep breath and a step back. Seeing the bigger picture may mean appreciating that your overall weighted average mark wasn’t too dramatically affected by one bad semester, or taking comfort in knowing that some pass marks (or even an F) on your transcript won’t make you completely unemployable.

Often my best friend reminds me that Ps equal degrees, and although this doesn’t mean you need to lower your standards, it is sometimes useful to remind yourself that these bad marks are just hurdles to overcome in order to reach your final destination. So don’t be too hard on yourself!

CONVERSATION BETWEEN AN ATHEIST PROFESSOR & STUDENT!

March 2, 2013

Professor : You are a Muslim, aren’t you, son ?

Student : Yes, sir.

Professor: So, you believe in GOD ?

Student : Absolutely, sir.

Professor : Is GOD good ?

Student : Sure.

Professor: Is GOD all powerful ?

Student : Yes.

Professor: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to GOD to heal him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But GOD didn’t. How is this GOD good then? Hmm?

(Student was silent.)

Professor: You can’t answer, can you ? Let’s start again, young fella. Is GOD good?

Student : Yes.

Professor: Is satan good ?

Student : No.

Professor: Where does satan come from ?

Student : From … GOD …

Professor: That’s right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?

Student : Yes.

Professor: Evil is everywhere, isn’t it ? And GOD did make everything. Correct?

Student : Yes.

Professor: So who created evil ?

(Student did not answer.)

Professor: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don’t they?

Student : Yes, sir.

Professor: So, who created them ?

(Student had no answer.)

Professor: Science says you have 5 Senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son, have you ever seen GOD?

Student : No, sir.

Professor: Tell us if you have ever heard your GOD?

Student : No , sir.

Professor: Have you ever felt your GOD, tasted your GOD, smelt your GOD? Have you ever had any sensory perception of GOD for that matter?

Student : No, sir. I’m afraid I haven’t.

Professor: Yet you still believe in Him?

Student : Yes.

Professor : According to Empirical, Testable, Demonstrable Protocol, Science says your GOD doesn’t exist. What do you say to that, son?

Student : Nothing. I only have my faith.

Professor: Yes, faith. And that is the problem Science has.

Student : Professor, is there such a thing as heat?

Professor: Yes.

Student : And is there such a thing as cold?

Professor: Yes.

Student : No, sir. There isn’t.

(The lecture theater became very quiet with this turn of events.)

Student : Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don’t have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.

(There was pin-drop silence in the lecture theater.)

Student : What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?

Professor: Yes. What is night if there isn’t darkness?

Student : You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light. But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and its called darkness, isn’t it? In reality, darkness isn’t. If it is, well you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?

Professor: So what is the point you are making, young man ?

Student : Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.

Professor: Flawed ? Can you explain how?

Student : Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good GOD and a bad GOD. You are viewing the concept of GOD as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, Science can’t even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing.

Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor, do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?

Professor: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.

Student : Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?

(The Professor shook his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument was going.)

Student : Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor. Are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher?

(The class was in uproar.)

Student : Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor’s brain?

(The class broke out into laughter. )

Student : Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor’s brain, felt it, touched or smelt it? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established Rules of Empirical, Stable, Demonstrable Protocol, Science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir?

(The room was silent. The Professor stared at the student, his face unfathomable.)

Professor: I guess you’ll have to take them on faith, son.

Student : That is it sir … Exactly ! The link between man & GOD is FAITH. That is all that keeps things alive and moving.

Lelaki Sejati Mempersiapkan Diri, Mengelak Couple

January 7, 2013

01. mari bahas tentang lelaki | ada yang baik hati | namun ada yang tak tahu diri
02. lelaki sejati itu menjadi mapan karena masa depan jadi tujuan | karenanya tiada habiskan waktu untuk perkara kesia-siaan
03. lelaki sejati persiapkan diri lalu datangi wali | bukan berkoar tanpa bukti kesana kemari merayu putri
04. lelaki tahu diri menjaga hati dengan menjaga lisan | tak suka tebar janji dan berlaku berlebihan
05. lelaki sejati datang dengan amunisi meyakinkan calon mertua | bukan datang dengan tangan kosong dan omong kosong belaka
06. lelaki serius pahami ciri dewasa adalah bisa meyakinkan wali | bila dia belum mampu maka dia mundur dan kembali dewasakan diri
07. lelaki sejati takkan umbar janji, tak buat janji yang sulit ditepati | karena bakal bekaskan sakit hati, yang pasti sulit diobati
08. lelaki bertanggung jawab akan siapkan diri baru datangi wali | bukan melamar baru bersiap diri
09. lelaki yang terencana tahu persis wanita seperti apa yang dia perlukan | karenanya tak perlu pacaran dengan alasan perkenalan
10. lelaki sebenar lelaki akan merasa sangat malu | bila ia inginkan wanita namun belum lagi cukup ilmu
11. lelaki disiplin melatih diri di Masjid | menguatkan diri dengan sujud | dan cita-citanya syahid
12. lelaki yang setia jaga pandangan sebelum menikah | setelah menikah ia juga jaga pandangan karena Allah
13. lelaki sejati besar perhatiannya pasti pada Al-Qur’an | dia tahu tanpa Al-Qur’an tiada punya petunjuk mengemudi bahtera kehidupan
14. lelaki peduli akan perhatian pada ummat dengan dakwah | bila dengan ummat dia peduli tentu juga dengan keluarga
15. lelaki baik pahami bila sebelum menikah dia bermaksiat | setelah menikah ada alasan yang lebih banyak untuk khianat
16. lelaki sejati ucapannya jadi pegangan, perbuatannya jadi tuntunan | semuanya disesuaikan dengan Nabi dan Al-Qur’an
17. sayangnya | mempersiapkan diri menjadi lelaki sejati dan pacaran tiada bisa disambi | karenanya lelaki sejatu TIDAK pacaran