Thursday, July 26, 2007


You don't really appreciate what you have till you miss it. And you appreciate what you miss a whole lot more when you get the chance to experience it again. So it isn't too surprising that people deem the 5 month postgrad Practical Law Course (PLC) to be a heaven-sent opportunity to chill out and enjoy the campus-like flexibility of skipping classes and planning one's time as one pleases. Especially when it'll be the last chance to enjoy such a slothful break or any decent break for that matter for the next 10-20 years.

There is of course a small but significant minority that do not have the ability to exploit this opportunity to its fullest either because they are valiant and fully paid members of the Legal Service or they are slaves of firms that make full use of the $500 monthly allowance during PLC and haul them back to work. And naturally, the minority isn't thrilled when the majority, inadvertently or otherwise, makes overt displays of where to go for tea later or how tomorrow's lectures seem incredibly boring and spending more time in bed is an infinitely more appealing alternative.

But seriously, I don't think the minority have it all that bad. Especially those in the Legal Service. ^^ They get paid their full salary, do half (or less) their normal workload and apart from the regrettable inability to slack blatantly and having to put up with jibes from the free wheeling majority; they get to slack work at a measured, steady pace in their office and with some astute strategizing, make full use of PLC. And of course they get paid.

The slaves, naturally, aren't as well off. Their flexibility and ability to relax/slack are reduced significantly, having to return to their masters after lectures/tutorials to slave away. And unlike their counterparts in the Legal Service, they have neither fixed working hours nor their full salary. Which really translates into a lose-lose situation for the unfortunate few. Blame it on their rotten luck.

As for the majority, the top of the pack in terms of the Wealth-Free Time Index are undoubtedly those whose firms pay them the $500 monthly allowance gratuitously without expecting them to return to work during the course. Those have both money and the time to spend it and in my humble opinion should be shot if they even so much as whine about PLC being more tiresome than working.

Within the majority, however, there is a minority: happy, free, people who alas for some strange compelling reason only known to the firms employing them, are not paid a cent during the five months PLC. And yours truly is one of them. Happy, free but broke. Which makes staying at home and sleeping in (as often as possible) the de facto option for me and not a choice that the free wheeling, well-heeled majority are equipped to make.

Factor in the horrendous prices for the often sub-standard food at the lecture venues and the lala land inducing quality of most lectures; the de facto option doesn't seem all too bad. Of course having money never hurt anyone (not me at least since I never seem to have enough of it) and the pinch is keenly felt at times. Especially since the Husband, Sean, is perpetually broke himself.

But at least I have a perfectly justifiable reason for skipping lectures and sleeping/staying in/going out (sparingly). Something along the lines of staying at home and self studying diligently for the PLC because he is too poor to afford the transport costs for travelling all the way for a crummy 2 hour lecture. Not that I ever needed a reason, justifiable or not, for skipping classes and slacking off.

Waking up to an overcast noon with that mild, fleeting confusion as to which day it is, a light drizzle still falling outside, is a slothful pleasure once taken for granted, a luxury indeed. One that is all the more precious given its rarity once work proper commences again in December. And I fully intend to revel in it.

Ah, the joys of slacking.

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