First day of school! I was a tad on the nervous side (my stomach was in knots the whole day!) but tried to put on a brave face. I arrived at the downtown Sydney Law Faculty (having walked passed the Opera House on the way!) a bit on the frazzled side, but nevertheless tried to glide into the room packed full of undergraduates exuding an air of effortless calm and sophistication... (after helping myself to the breakfast spread in the lobby of of course!) Oh ya, I wasn't late! (for those that know me well that's a pretty monumental achievement.) In fact I wasn't late for anything the whole week!
We were greeted with the usual welcome type messages and then after a short intermission, sent off to our first small group seminar. Yikes! This was the nerve wracking part as we were told right off the bat that participation will be graded. Sounds easy? Not so much- it has to be the right KIND of participation. An uninformed or worse, irrelevant comment is worse than saying nothing at all. A pretty tall order for a bunch of green newbies who don't even know what a ratio is yet! Anyhoo I survived the day, speaking once during the seminar, face bright red the whole time, and even met a couple of friends.
Our first lecture on precedent. Pretty interesting and the best part? Typing the notes on my new Macbook laptop! I had no idea I could type as fast as someone talks and unlike the hand and wrist cramps writing furiously in lectures used to give me, I was able to type everything without so much as a finger twinge! We had a full day including two, two hour seminars in addition to the lecture. It is very very important to be prepared for the seminars. This requires hours and hours of reading and digesting the information enough to be able to participate meaningfully in the discussions.
Wednesday and Thursday
Another few seminars and a lecture on statutory interpretation. Even though it's only the first week I can already tell that law is a MUCH better fit for me than teaching ever was. Each case we look at is like a puzzle- even though there are tricky parts and some things take a bit longer to absorb than the latest chicklit novel, it's really interesting to work through the problems and satisfying to come up with the right answer. I am also really enjoying the company of my classmates. They are bright, funny and interesting and help me stay on track with the readings!
A rather long day- again two, two hour seminars and then a two hour screening of a documentary film on the Mabo case, a landmark Australian Aboriginal land rights case. After such a long day, not to mention week, some of my classmates and I retired to a gorgeous downtown bar/ restaurant. Although we were the only students amidst the corporate crowd we still fit in pretty well as people here generally dress much more nicely and I've tried to follow suit (no pun intended...) We kicked back for a beverage and I shared a scrumptious made-to- order tomato and chorzio pizza. The prices were good too which was a delightful surprise in light of my experience with prices in Sydney thus far.
Overall a smashing first week!