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Tuesday, May 11

The Tort Exam.

Remember this time last year, how I posted about the cock-ups that befell my Contract Law exam, my first exam that year? I'll give a brief summary: The invigilators and organisers didn't know their ass from their face, and we were all fucked over by sheer incompetence.

Thankfully, that didn't happen today. I think I would have quite possibly collapsed on the spot if anything like that befell me today. I was little nervous, you see?

I'll start with last night, because, well, that's where I want to start. I was still revising until just after 1, fiendishly trying to complete as much as was humanly possible before my brain exploded from overuse. I figured that I wasn't going to get to sleep immediately, because my mind needed to wind down a little if it was going to switch off completely. I'd been revising solidly (except for Minesweeper-moments) for nearly 48 hours, and I needed to switch off before going to bed.

Darts seemed the obvious remedy.

We have a dartboard in our living room, so I popped into there to find only Pete still up. I threw a few darts and collapsed in a chair for a little while, before deciding that I was sleepy enough to fall into a deep slumber pretty sharpish. I had to be up the next morning to finish off a "tiny" (see later) bit of revision and to psyche myself up for the 2.30pm start of the exam.

Of course, I couldn't get to sleep. My brain was still running as it if it was on either Red Bull or speed, or possibly even both. I just couldn't stop thinking! One moment I was thinking about this September, when I move to Germany (this involved thinking in German for a brief period, which was pretty cool), and then I had this random idea for a film screenplay. I ran through almost an entire plot in my head, along with visualising various scenes and how they would look on screen. I'll be damned if I can remember all of the details right now, but I think it was pretty damn good.

So yeah, I couldn't get to sleep for at least 45 minutes, but eventually I drifted off. I woke up before my alarm woke me up, as per usual when I set an alarm. I don't know how my body clock does it, but if I set an alarm, I wake up before it goes off. If I don't set an alarm, I'll sleep right through, but somehow I wake up and have to wait for the shrill ringing noise to get my ass up and out of bed.

I have to put the alarm clock away from my bed, you see, because too often I have rolled over, stuck out an arm to switch it off and been back asleep within seconds. If I have to physically get out of bed to switch it off, that means I'm properly up. I've learned, although there have been far too many classes that I've missed or nearly missed because of putting the alarm clock within arm's reach.

But I digress. I'm good at that.

I did indeed make it out of bed at the designated hour, but before I could start doing any revising, I had to get out of the house for a short while. I'd been cooped up in my room for literally the entire weekend, and needed a break. Even if that break was only a 5-minute bus ride down to the local WH Smiths to replenish my pen stocks. I'd gone through too many in the course of my revision, what with writing out over 30 pages of solid text. I'm talking barely any white space here, and that's a lot of ink.

Sorry, I just stepped away from the computer to count the number of pages that I'd written over the course of this weekend, and the wad was a hell of a lot thicker than I thought. I must have worked very fucking hard!

So yeah, a trip to WH Smiths was my attempt to leave my room and my house for at least 20 minutes. I have such an exciting life at the moment.

The "tiny" bit of revision that I left myself turned into an hour's extra work, and because of that I wasn't really in the mood for going through the revision notes one final time. In hindsight, a last-minute flick through probably would have helped, but then hindsight is perfect sight, is it not?

I only live 2 or 3 minutes away from the exam hall this year, which is one of the best items of news I have received all year long. I live out in North London, and many, many of my friends on the law course have at least an hour-long journey to make to get here. I laugh at them, hahahaha.

A couple of mates popped round to my place before the exam, since they were quite early, and then we strolled on up, basking in the sunshine and the group feeling of intense nervousness. No mention of the exam was made, to be honest, because none of us wanted to admit that we were worrying about it.

I had to pop to the loo for about the 50th time that day before I went into the exam hall, as per usual before exams. That's the only way I show any kind of nervousness, to be honest. Even if I drink very little (as I tried to do today), I still have to piss like a racehorse every 5 minutes. Meh, what can you do?

Leaving my, erm, nervousness aside, what about the exam itself? I think the questions were pretty kind to me, and I would have been able to answer 6 from the 8 we were given. I only needed to do 3 in 3-and-a-half hours, and I chose to do 2 essay questions and 1 problem question. Most people usually do 1 essay and 2 problems.

When I say "essay", all of course are full written essay answers, but essay questions generally ask for your thoughts / knowledge of a specific area of tort law, rather than applying the knowledge to a given fact situation, which is what a problem question requires. You are forced to do 1 of each, and then have a choice on the third.

I, as per the norm, spent too long on the first answer (the problem question), and had to slightly rush my two essays. I think I still did pretty well though.

The best part of the exam (apart from the end) was the beginning of my answer to the final essay question I attempted. It was about how a particular case (Hedley Byrne) has undermined not only tort law, but also other areas of law, such as contracts and wills. I gave my answer the title "The Destructive Effect of Hedley Byrne", and started with the sentence "In the beginning, there was no liability for pure economic loss, and it was good. The law then created the Hedley Byrne excpetion, and chaos once more ruled the land."

I'm not quite sure why I did that, but I guess it's done now and there's nothing I can do to alter it. Unless....

I have to admit that the rest of that essay was particularly good (if I may say so myself), and I had put that intro in quotation marks before continuing to explain it, so it might not have a completely bad effect. It might even grab the examiner's attention after he's read through 2 other boring answers that I have given.

After the exam, we all bundled out, and I bumped into a few people who I hadn't seen for over a month, two of which invited me to post-exam parties at the end of the month. Don't mind if I do.

I tried to convince a couple of mates to come back to mine and to sink a few beers on the roof (it was still bathed in glorious sunshine), but there is another big exam tomorrow morning for a module that I don't take, so no-one was able to come.

I wasn't going to miss the opportunity, so I ended up sat up there with a couple of Sols (the perfect sunny day beer) and a Bill Bryson book that was lying around the house. I needed to relax for an hour or so, to do nothing and to forget everything I'd spent the last week cramming into my brain. Don't you just love exams?

And so now onto the other 3 that are remaining on my timetable. I have Evidence this Thursday, which I know I'm going to do terribly in, because the subject no longer interests me. It's open-book (thank God), which means I won't have to subject myself to quite the same punishing revision schedule tomorrow and on Wednesday, but I'm still going to need to work pretty flat out.

After that, it's another open-book exam next Thursday, and a final closed-book exam on the following Friday, the 28th. I'm going to get ridiculously drunk on that day, incredibly so. I'll finish the exam at 1, and I fully intend to be drinking beer by 1.10, preferably not stopping until the Monday evening (it's a bank holiday weekend...). Oh, and then I've got to get me a fucking job!!!

Or could I just spend my summer sitting on my ass and catching some rays? Now there's an idea...


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