What oh what can I say about my time over the last two months?
Well, I suppose I should start by saying that it definitely feels like time flew by, and yet it feels like I was there forever.
The castle became my home away from home, I met and re-met some absolutely amazing people, I learned so much and experienced so many invaluable things, and I learned that a peacock's squawk is quite possibly the most distracting noise to hear during an exam.
I took 3 courses over the course of 8 weeks. For the first two weeks all 50/51 law students participated together in a foundation class, which essentially gave us an overview of international law, the structure of the UN and its organs, as well as the problems encountered when trying to apply the law within the international arena. The class was taught by a prof from my home university - Stan Corbett - Who is really amazing and enjoyable teacher to listen to and learn from. I thought this class was phenomenal, that was until I was taught international criminal law.
There were three sections to ICL - The law covered by the ICC and the other international tribunals, UN criminal conventions, and extradition. The first section, which was half of the class was taught by a MAN named Norm Farrell. He completely deserves the emphasis put on the word MAN, if you know what I mean. If not, let me explain. First, he simply exudes sex appeal - the way he carries himself, his stance, how he holds a notepad, how he hums and nods when we give a comment or an answer, and the dreaminess of his sea-blue eyes. PLUS he has one of the sexiest jobs ever - He is the deputy prosecutor for the ICTY - he is basically a superhero! So needless to say I enjoyed the class, even outside of the dreaminess. He taught us about war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, so really it is kind of impossible for that to EVER be boring. The second section was taught by a judge at the ICTY - Justice Proust - who will soon be leaving her position to become the ombudsperson for the Security Council's sanction division. Unfortunately, despite how sexy her position is, her course blew! Thank goodness I missed half to go to Egypt. The last half was taught by possibly the sweetest woman in the world - Elaine Krival. She works for the Department of Justice's extradition division. She did an amazing job making this topic interesting even while explaining the material to us in a way a five year old would understand. She really should've been a elementary school teacher 'cause she also had a habit of praising us like crazy any time we spoke, regardless of whether or not our answer was right. This is definitely an improvement over regular law school classes, where the just ignore you when you are wrong - they're kinda like Korea that way.
The last class I took was International Human Rights, which sounds a hell of a lot more interesting than it actually was. The first half of the course was spent studying the specific provisions for the big 7 conventions. We literally sat in class while Michael (the prof) read the provision to us. It made for some boring 6 hour days!!! The unfortunate part was that Micheal could have given us an amazing practical perspective - he works within the human rights division of the special UN unit in Jerusalem. The second half of the class was taught by a man who works with Canada's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He tried and failed to make "Canada's role in international human rights" seem interesting.
The best part of the whole 8 weeks was our week long field trip during week 5. We started in the Hague where we got to see the ICTY, and even sit in on a couple of trials, and got to go out for drinks with some of the lawyers. We also went to the ICC but unfortunantely were unable to observe the Lubangua trial since it was in closed session. Next we went to Strasbourg in France, which is where the European Court of Human Rights is. That does not mean that we actually went to the EUCHR, nope we just had a free day before hitting up Geneva, our final stop where we saw the Canadian Mission, the UN Commission on Refugees and the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, and got to sit in on a session of the Human Rights Council.
Anyway as I said earlier, I met some amazing people, who I won't bother naming, with the excepotion of the Salma, my roommate. She put up with my crap, laughed both at me and with me, and just kept me sane in our castle in the middle of nowhere.
I also learned some things about myself. 1)if ther are no other distractions I will actually voluntarily do school work, 2)I am also much more inclined to go to the gym if it is close and there are no distractions, and 3)I am quite the participator in class.
Additionally I realised that studying for exams is much less stressful when you have done the work beforehand, law students drink A LOT, and it doesn't actually rain all the time in England.