Robynne Thompson (1L)
Tortes and Torts is back for its third edition! Kudos to myself for sticking to something 66.7% longer than I normally do!
This month, I met with Brianna Walsh. You may know Bri as Swift Justice’s own 6-foot tall all-star forward. Or as a Criminal SLS badass. But Bri is also the Social Media Chair on the Mental Health and Wellness Committee and a great person to give some advice on the impending throes of exams.
Bri and I met on a blustery Friday morning at Remedy Cafe. At 8:30AM, it’s pretty quiet and perfect for a morning study session. But even during busy hours, there’s usually ample seating. For those that haven’t been, it’s a hotspot for hipsters, students, and pretty much everyone else.
Remedy’s menu is vast. They have chai, curries, wraps, desserts, beer, and more. Plus, it has a plethora of vegan and vegetarian-friendly dishes. I ordered a breakfast bagel with egg, ham, and cheese and a regular chai. Bri had her chai with a peanut butter and jam bagel. The bagels are served on an aluminum tray that always makes me feel *fancy*.
The ratio of peanut butter to bagel was aggressive, but all things considered, I had no major complaints about the food. And I do love a Remedy chai. I wonder though, why do they always stick the receipt under your food? I’m sure there is a reason for this, but half my cheese melted onto and subsequently stuck to the receipt. I’m still pretty bitter about it. If you know the answer to this mystery, let me know. Some real investigative journalism might be necessary.
Chai in hand and stressing about midterms, I asked Bri a pretty hard-hitting I-don’t-actually-know-how-to-interview question: is it beneficial to watch law-related TV shows to prepare for exams? Bri says yes. That’s right, you heard it straight from the Mental Health and Wellness Committee. Bri was technically laughing when she answered, but did legitimately recommend The Staircase. (It’s a documentary so it doesn’t really count as TV, right?)
Is watching TV actually studying? Who knows. But I’m going to tell myself it is. Plus, my Torts professor (shout-out to Professor Ogbogu!) has mentioned so many law-related TV shows that I feel like at the at the very least, I’ll get his references if I binge-watch a few series. (Note to Cohort 3: Prof. Ogbogu was not joking, Rake is super weird). Kidding aside, Bri stresses the importance of incorporating entertainment into study habits.
On getting ready to get marks you might not be thrilled about (I’m talking about a ‘B’), Bri says, “just the amount of people in the curve is so centre heavy. It takes so much to distinguish yourself. A.K.A. you have to know what you’re doing. But then at the same time you can have no idea what’s happening and still get a B which is very comforting.” That is comforting. And I’ve had B’s before (and worse *gasp*) and I was fine. It’s like Remedy’s bagels; average is still pretty good. I mean, an average bagel still has egg, ham, cheese, and delicious carbohydrates. Or, an excess of peanut butter and jam. You really can’t go that wrong.
But, if you’re like me and imposter syndrome has just become a part of your personality, you might be feeling worried about not getting a B. Don’t fear. As Bri pointed out, if you’re feeling like a dummy, chances are your classmates are too. And as Michael Scott always says, average [law students] are the most special [law students] in the world. And that’s why God made so many.
When it comes to studying for exams, Bri recommends stepping out of the law building and finding the right physical environment. U of A’s libraries have a spot for every type of studier. For the student that wishes they were actually at Hogwarts, you can pretend you’re studying herbology in the Reading Room in Rutherford South (plus, for my fellow art nerds, you can appreciate Sky Talk by the master Alex Janvier). If you’re a gunner, check out the silent floor in Rutherford North (that’s right, chewing is not aloud … pun intended). Medical Sciences is nice if you like sunlight. But if natural light isn’t your thing, the basement in Cameron Library might be a good fit.
Whatever strategies you choose to tackle exams and wherever you choose to study (or binge-watch) Bri reminds all of us, “value yourself as a human” and take time to care for yourself. And escape to Remedy when you need some chai and some high-quality café white noise.
So, it’s exam time, diaper up (just kidding, that’s from Brooklyn 99). I haven’t actually worn a diaper during an exam … yet. Kidding again. It won’t be that bad, right? Be an average breakfast bagel. Still pretty good and it gets the job done.