The feeling after eating raw shallots,

when we do like them with satay but it makes our tongue numb.

Not a great feeling, but it does taste good, sweet, even.

So perhaps that is what the next five years will feel like. To pick it because we want it and enjoy it.

I hope to enjoy university! Writing this knowing that it’s already Friday morning and my Monday morning class has freshly released pre-readings to get to, what a feeling it is!

Someone said they almost missed the grind of JC life – but I really haven’t.

At any rate, that’s my Buddhist scripture book put on hold now, in the middle of the Heart Sutra translation provided by this compilation.

How expensive textbooks are! And to think that in other countries’ they are even more so. And to think that most of us are using the electronic copies gladly gifted by seniors.

That at some point, someone scanned those hundreds of pages to help us. To dream of it in legal terms to retroactively justify everything, perhaps it is that this is not for profit.

That if everyone who touched those copies added a page each, it would have taken six batches to finish. Since the legal maximum for replication is quite a bit more than that.

To do pre-readings to get the most out of the lesson, to be able to take part in class and provide some kind of discussion that benefits your classmates.

Still, nineteen cases to be covered in a lesson – I hope it’s not the norm though it’s in the lesson plan. It makes me a bit sad to know that I won’t read these cases from cover to cover.

It’s technically possible but not realistic when it’s only one class. Besides, I know myself! The Monday class is the most urgent and I’ll end up finishing those pre-readings – then the cycle repeats in a race to Wednesday.

Forty minutes a case makes 13 hours inclusive of a nary break: What a calculation it is to come up to 2 hours for a single class per day if one does readings consistently. I suppose that’s why our seniors have said to note the header the cases fall under and just read the relevant paragraphs.

But that future holds many more cases, definitely. So reading more is no problem. Let me tell you about the case we studied this week during pre-class class. Lecture 0, they called it!

A case about a decomposing snail found in a gingerbeer bottle – the drink consumed leading to severe gastroenteritis (stomach upset, if you like! Still dangerous) and then can you imagine a question where someone has to argue in court that the manufacturer is responsible.

A landmark case they call it – and we cannot even imagine a time where manufacturers did not yet legally hold a wide-ranging and general duty of care towards their consumers to protect as-of-yet unsealed product containers from pests.

The law is an odd thing. Contract Law really makes me think about whether or not the world is real. ‘Careless’ signatures – what happens to them?

And what about that electronic signature copied for me? With implicit permission, maybe.

In this first year, I have met people I’ll spend the next four years with. Just one who would be around in my fifth. And someone else said it was too early to think about it now and that things could change.

I’m also not a planning person, it’s not a great sign to see that everything has been planned out without much space for deviation. If I lose any of bids in any term, I’ll be behind and at risk of paying for an extra term.

A risky endeavour! I still think taking Italian sounds cool even if it will be difficult and as the seniors comment, will hurt my grades. (There still, anyway, wasn’t any alternative I would have taken instead.)

‘Will’ is too dispassionate a statement, or maybe I am the fool because I really know no Italian and apparently despite needing to sign a waiver asserting otherwise, most people who opt for language classes have background in it.

Still, pasta shapes and the language of pizza!

I had a great fall today from

a pile of leaves left damp by the morning rain.

I was in a small hurry and slipped,

skidding across the pavement with its little rocks

and was left worse for wear after.

Like an inexperienced skater tumbles over the ice

blades flying in the air and chipping cracks for others to trip over,

gymnastics in physics rather than flight but still I fell.

Looking at the parallel lines that are not deep enough to scar,

feeling the tenderness of my wounds but not dignified with a bruise,

I realise my youth again.

A machine that the Buddhist scriptures describe as being useable for sacrifice to a hungry lion is also this one which falls and breaks down and also hurts.

The lines parallel those on my beaten phone case which protected my writing palm.

I was in a rush for the bus this morning,

I caught it with much time to spare,

though much of that time was devoted to shakily and tenderly

brushing

the leaves off my forearms, my palms, my knees.

The thought of hoping and praying that they would not bleed.

They didn’t, in that youth.

By the afternoon I couldn’t run for the bus even though I wanted to and

by now I nurse an ache I can no longer retroactively explain with this young body.

For it does not bleed, it will only hurt.

Little teeth of skin like the thorns of a cactus hurt when you touch them.

That long time ago when I rode my bike into a cactus,

it must have hurt too.

Next morning thoughts:

To the grasshopper that slammed

into the door of my room –

Would you have rather been smashed to death or suffocated?

How still you were when I caught you.

In your next life I hope you will be a bird,

so the collision and first impact will be the end of you.

Spare yourself.

 

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