It seems an odd title I know, since I do know how to write. And I like to think that as far as grammar goes I keep the mistakes to reasonable levels; although some pedants might argue my use of the word ‘reasonable’ when it comes to something as important as grammar. Still, I suppose at least I know my failings and I do try to improve on these skills. Especially now that getting HDs is somewhat dependent on my ability to not only string together logical arguments but also have perfect grammar and AGLC.
I also have a nasty habit of abusing the English language … sigh so I’m outing myself here . Any of you who have ever received an email from me will know exactly what I’m talking about. And then there’s my very bad habit of failing to give context to statements. Sadly I am often misunderstood and I cannot blame anyone but me for that. I do a really bad job of explaining things. In short, I am a sloppy writer/communicator … and it’s a problem.
The problem isn’t quite so bad when I get email responses answering some of my question but then noting the writer has no idea what “that” refers to. (and here you have another prime example of sloppy writing … ). It’s not even hugely problematic when people choose to argue with me in some online forum and taking offence at my statement – when we’re on exactly the same page but I have expressed my thoughts differently. Not sure if that one counts as ‘sloppy’ or being obtuse – but either way it does point out that there is a major problem with my communication style.
Some things are easy to communicate. For example not many people have been told I love them – if I’ve told you there’s no doubt that I do love you (so far I have not simply stopped loving anyone – which seems unusual even to me but there you go ). However, I have been told I’m somewhat flirtatious and have been hit on by men who are sure I’m interested in them (so do I change how I interact with people in the future to avoid any embarrassing incidents or just chalk it up to experience?) … Oh look, another flaw in my thinking … maybe there is no such thing as ‘easy communication’ but only ‘sloppy communication skills’? eeeeeekkkkkkk now it’s getting messy to boot.
And all I really wanted to say is that I need to improve how I write – so that when I do exams my answer is so clear the marker is in no doubt what I mean to say; when I write assignments there is no confusion as to which Act applies to what and so on.
It’s hard to say which particular writing offence is my worst … sometimes in an effort to be brief I leave out important details that really do change the proposition. Sometimes I discuss a couple of ideas and then fail to differentiate as to which “that” I refer to in drawing some conclusion. Then sometimes when I draw conclusions I can be fairly accused of drawing a long bow … although in my defence I like to think that when something looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and waddles like a duck it is, in all probability, a duck! Although try telling that to a duck that thinks it’s an eagle .
But why would I worry about that when my writing skills seem to be reasonable and I do better than merely okay in my studies? Would you believe that I worry about stuffing up my client’s chances if I don’t get things articulated in just the right way? What if I end up working for, say a mining company, and something I’ve written can be interpreted in a totally different light and that in turn leads to a whole lot of people being financially damaged by my mistake? It could happen – never say never in the legal game – the improbable is not impossible; and sometimes a whole lot rides on the difference between using the word OR and AND, such tiny little words that pack a whole lot of punch .
Don’t think that’s a far-fetched idea either – think about how much litigation revolves around the interpretation of some part of some Act that isn’t quite clear. I remember sitting in court listening for some three hours while a barrister explained his argument that the interpretation of the Act by his learned colleague was absolutely flawed and therefore the whole case depended on the court seeing that his interpretation was the only one that mattered.
It was a loooooong three hours (was it really three hours or did it really just feel that long? ) – I remember even the judges yawning, and fidgeting, and finally when the barrister complained that his submission had been limited to a mere 20 pages one of the judges remarked “yes, and I note that you managed to find the smallest font still visible to the naked eye to make the most of the 20 pages”.* I love a judge with a sense of humour .
I guess the poor judges might have been saved the tedium had the original drafters of that particular Act paid a bit more attention to the language they used.
Then again, some argumentative jerks have been known to argue not because the other person was wrong but because they expressed their position awkwardly. Again outing myself as I once won an argument with someone near and dear to me wholly on account of being able to argue the way he’d expressed himself – he was right, I knew he was right, but what he’d said could be interpreted in another way. So I argued … and when he finally threw his hands in the air and called an end to the argument I owned up and told him which bit of his statement had made him ‘wrong’ despite being right.
I guess ^that’s the reason why some of my family and friends think I will make a great lawyer …
Anyway, I still have to work on my written expression – and that’s the next challenge in my study career – to get on top of sloppy communication skills and ace the language thingy.
Because you know, none of us want to be misunderstood
Take care out there in Banksterland
Oh and if I haven’t told you in a while … you know who ‘you’ are – I love you
Lady Rosie xxx
*please note the disclaimer that this is not word for word what the judge said – I guess I was laughing too hard to really remember everything verbatim
I’d call myself a bit of a social media expert … after all, I have a BA in Internet Communications and spend a lot of time in various online groups and see how social networking works (or doesn’t). Last semester we spent a fair bit of time on defamation law and of-course there was that attempt at suing me for defamation from some turkey who really ought to be sued for defaming me in the first place (among other things) … but hey, I’m kinda busy atm and I don’t want to get into this tit for tat litigation thing that a few people have going on.
But there is a fair bit of stuff happening in defamation litigation involving social media atm that has a few of my family and friends concerned, not just for me but for our freedom of speech in general. I’ve written about SLAPP before (that’s a strategic lawsuit against public participation) and how defamation law is abused to stop people from discussing issues of public concern; especially on social media platforms like Facebook, where a lot of the current crop of litigation seems to stem from.
I don’t want to talk about the legal implications, I’d much rather share my thoughts about my journey through this acceptance of an online persona that leaves a huge digital footprint – Google my name and there’s an awful lot that is about me. I’ve set up Facebook to not allow browsers to find my comments but I’d bet a few of them still find their way into the public forum.
One of the reasons I was careful in the beginning of starting to use Facebook and other apps is because of the questions raised during my studies (I’d also note here that the reason I got so involved with so many apps out there is because of my studies ). I was very careful about not adding people I knew through the blog because they were caught up in banking litigation like I was. I would be super careful that when I commented on newspaper stories online that I kept the tone just fine and dandy (still managed to get blocked on a few haha ). I tried to watch my Ps & Qs.
So why was I careful about who I added as a ‘friend’ on say, Facebook? Initially it was because I didn’t want to have the expectation that all I post is bank stuff …. I sometimes share bank stories but my Fb wall is supposed to be a social experience for me. I share funny videos, music videos, quirky things and some downright unPC stuff that tickles my funny bone. A part of me only wanted people who really were friends in my real Facebook account. I was so anal about it I had a couple of ‘fake’ accounts just so I could play games like Farm Town and Castleville and ‘friend’ people to my hearts content and they’d never get to know the real me.
The real me was pretty much non-existent following my bank experience so I played with developing a new me online and seeing if that could translate to being a whole new, functioning me offline too. Sometimes I’d use the fake me’s email accounts to post comments on stories about banks (after real me was banned hehe – oh my, maybe I’m not as sweet and lovely and straight down the line as I like to pretend? oooops, my bad ).
But the more I studied, the more I learned about me in the process, I grew back into my own skin. I still worried that my digital footprint would hurt any future career, especially this blog – everything I write on here is open to scrutiny – people will judge. Will it cost me a job? I know family and friends were really worried about supporting me because, you know, they might need to get another loan one day and they wouldn’t want the banks to know they supported me or anything (that’s probably one of the biggest reasons fraud in major corporations can flourish – who feels powerful enough to stand up and be counted? Can affect your job, finances, standing in the community – say the wrong thing about the wrong company/person and your life can effectively be over – that’s mass censorship based on nothing more than fear – and it’s bloody hard to beat).
There’s this frightening phenomenon at the moment where self-righteous do-gooders feel it is their duty to contact employers of Facebook users who dare to post their personal opinion on refugees in a public forum and demand these people be sacked. They then brag about how many people they have gotten sacked and feel good about doing this – never mind the fact that the people sacked have mortgages and now their kids will probably be facing poverty because of a smear campaign that is unwarranted. I’m not sure the particular refugee advocate I am referring to even gets the hypocrisy of her actions, but it’s social media – apparently it’s okay for one person to destroy people’s lives because they can’t agree on something.
So I’ve always been a bit circumspect about what I post and how I word things (I have pretty average, run of the mill opinions and the most controversial thing I’ll say is that I think banksters and those who allow them to strip assets off customers with illegal/dodgy scams need to be thrown in jail and the key accidentally lost).
But recently I’ve developed a bit of a rebellious streak – I’ve accepted that there will always be people who judge me by what I write on any given day (and sometimes I write on a bad day when the world is total crap and my words won’t be measured). Any potential employer that sees this blog and doesn’t see the personal journey I have had that makes me a bloody good employee will miss out on having a great team player who understands the meaning of ethics and morals. That’s life.
I’ve started accepting and sending out friend requests on Facebook to all sorts of people who couldn’t be considered ‘friends’ in any real sense of the world. I’ve now got a large cohort of bank victims being subjected to my odd sense of humour and my occasional (or maybe not so occasional) foul mouth (is it still a foul mouth when you type excessive expletives?). If you have a love of the irreverent, the downright odd or just like to look on the bright side of life (and don’t mind reminders that Christmas is coming 313 days before the event) then maybe I’m the Facebook friend for you hahahah .
I would note that I fell foul of my own brother once and he unfriended me on Facebook!!! (yes, that really did need the extra exclamation marks ). What was my great offence? Erm, okay, I posted this
and when he made a derogatory comment I told him it was totally unfair that marriage could only make heteros miserable … oh dear . It’s all good now but gees, after what happened with the bank we had a pretty difficult relationship anyway – and this is just something I sometimes give (fleeting) consideration to. Apologies to all deeply emotionally attached people on either side of this particular fence, but I have other things to get worked up about and at the moment I have a pretty short fuse on all things religious. And yes, I find lawsuits against Christian bakers who refuse to bake a gay wedding cake to be a batty idea …. The law should not exist to kiss anybody’s booboo better (sh*t it didn’t give a damn about mine and mine wasn’t hurt feelings FFS … oh dear, my happy bubble just got pricked ).
Best sign off and get on with it … and just to end on a happy note (reinflating the happy bubble) enjoy
oh and I found a really funny video but that one made it on my Facebook wall, because, you know, at least it’s (mostly) private so I won’t be judged too harshly hahaha
Hang in there and take care out there in Banksterland
This is just a very quick post about something that has been bugging me for a long time. When I say a long time, I really mean since I was a child and being told what to do by people who knew better than me – which judging by how often this happens this is pretty much everybody. And doesn’t everybody really like to make sure I know it!
It doesn’t matter how old I am or how much I know from serious studies – whenever I state an opinion or query some action (like why would the government do *insert whatever crap thing the government has done now* ) and put forth alternatives, all and sundry go all Ygritte on me . Because there are experts who say it’s all good and I am wrong to have my opinion (ergo I know nothing).
It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside when I’m told I’m doing it wrong, or I’m wrong to feel how I feel, or I should stop talking about what is happening (this is not specifically about the government ignoring calls for a Royal Commission into banking). Apparently only experts are allowed to have an opinion and ignorant me needs to get with the program
Don’t get me started on the fact that I have armchair experts tell me that I can’t be a lawyer and write this blog so I need to stop blogging about what happened to us and not talk about any problems I might have during the semester because somehow this will lessen my validity. When I counter that argument and say that this adds to my portfolio of useful life experiences and shows my willingness to engage with deeper analysis of legal problems I am often on the receiving end of “the look” .
Mind you, I’m sure I am the giver of “the look” when I get sucked into arguments on some legal point and the armchair expert (who acquired their legal knowledge by osmosis) knowledgably informs me that when SCT* happened to X** the law screwed them over because of STIR.*** Silly me thinks that maybe they want to know whether poor X could have been saved by the law or wondering if they might get caught up in the same web of deceit (usually the context of the conversation leads me to assume they want to test the state of my current legal knowledge).
Even when I call them out on the DSB**** by stating the law and the consequences/remedies (sometimes I’ll even know a case on point) and ask if they’re sure they have the details right (the devil’s in the details) they confidently tell me that is exactly what happened and obviously I’m wasting my time studying law because I remain the feminine version of Ygritte’s Jon Snow . Looking on the bright side this does prepare me for stepping into any professional role where I will be derided by other experts because my opinion based on my understanding of complex matters is plain old wrong.
The problem with expert opinion is that the opinion part gets confused with set.in.stone fact and anyone who doesn’t agree with the majority view is a denier, a conspiracy theorist or just an idiot. Have a look at politicians and the kindyesque shenanigans our current crop of parliamentarians are up to; they pick an expert opinion that reflects their agenda and state it as fact i.e. there is no need for a RC into banking because there isn’t a real problem – the banks have explained it all in a totally believable way.
Or think of the scientists copping flak for not agreeing with climate change and economists who argue with current economic policies, the personal attacks on the integrity of these individuals are breathtaking and abhorrent. (so we’re all entitled to our opinion as long as everybody else has the same opinion?) Watch any debate on the telly and there are at least two sides – and which side wins invariably depends on who puts forward the better argument.
So who are the experts whose opinion counts more than mine? Well, realistically they are just people like me – people who have an interest in a certain subject/object and then study the arse out of it. They talk to other people who share their interests and the top of the whizz experts really delve into the dark side of the matter. And they write about it, and share their conclusions (these would be the opinions they have formed given all of the evidence) – there are no guarantees that they are right in the God-like sense. It’s just they hold a set of beliefs based on their knowledge. The quality of their knowledge is not dependent on whether the majority agrees with their opinion. Over time some people might get stuck in one particular mind-set and be immovable from that position regardless of new information that arises but most experts continually reassess whether their original opinion is still valid.
I guess that makes me an expert in my field … and I’m really enjoying the challenge of figuring out what’s what and what matters and how to fix the system that allows banksters to get away with dastardly deeds. And yes, there’s a part of me that would really like to work in a bank and sort it out within its hallowed halls – sometimes a good bog-out is quite therapeutic
Anyhow, that’s all I have time for just now, a thrilling week of readings awaits :P – have a great week and take care out there in Banksterland
Lady Rosie xxx
*some crap thing ** invariably some step-brother of the boss’ niece’s step-mother-in-law’s next door neighbour *** some totally illogical reason **** deeply suspicious bullshit
Or the past always comes back to bite you on the bum
Apologies for my prolonged absence – things have been … erm, interesting here , as I’m not one to make mysterious statements and leave people guessing (hey, I’m writing a warts and all blog – it seems counterintuitive to go all shy now right? ) I guess I can fess up and say that last semester kind of broke me. It was a whole lot of things ganging up on me that combined to present the perfect storm really (metaphorically speaking – I would have hated to have been in that shit storm if it was an actual, physical shit storm ).
People who only know me because of what happened with the bank may get the impression that this was the first “bad thing” to happen in my life … but family and long-standing friends know that since my husband and I got together we seem to have lurched from one disaster to another. Life has been kind to us in an unkind kinda way. Even though our family has seen more disasters than seems fair for one family to handle we seem to have had a reasonably good outcome considering the circumstances.
For example our premmie son didn’t die (with just one factor different he would not have lived – we got a lucky break) – this same son has had so many near misses I’m beginning to think he’s got a fair bit of cat in him (he almost died in a car accident and a couple of years later almost died from Wegener’s Granulomatosis, there’s also been other near-misses that didn’t involve hospital visits). I won’t bore you with the sad-sack stories of my own medical disasters but some of that became a part of the perfect storm.
To put it simply; even though we have faced adversity, we seem to have had it easier than others who have faced similar circumstances and I am both aware and grateful that we got the breaks (I’m guessing my guardian angel was on holidays trying to recuperate from saving my sorry arse all the time when the semester from hell rocked up). Even with this bank thing – we didn’t go bankrupt and hubby started looking on the bright side long before I started accepting things (for me the only bright side is that I ended up going back to uni and have finished one degree and I got the confidence to start the law degree – no idea where life will take me but I know this wouldn’t have happened but for the bank screwing us over – and yes, still wishing I had my old life back … ).
I have always talked about the crap fest that seems to happen to us, not because I feel sorry for myself, but because I figure maybe by sharing someone else may benefit from my experience and either handle things differently/better or just know they’re not alone in having to deal with stuff. When I first started sharing my story with the bank via the website and blog I had no idea just how big this thing really is and how hard it would be to get the system cleaned up – six years later and I’m still hitting my head against a brick wall. Although there seems to be a turn-around in the fortunes of customers at the moment – great in one way as I really am happy for them but it does tend to amplify my own losses. Just as well I’m a big girl now eh?
So I talk about all the bad stuff that happens to us – except I don’t – not all of it – there was one thing that happened that family and close friends knew about but we don’t talk about it. I don’t think I’ll ever wrap my head around it or get over the mix of feelings. And while I won’t say what this thing was trust me it was big, it was ugly, too many families have to deal with it and too many people excuse it. And this thing was a discussion topic in one of my units for what seemed like every lecture and tutorial (I’m sure it wasn’t but it still feels like it’s all we talked about). I let the lecturer know but that didn’t help. I put the anxiety down to the massive work-load and the medical problem that affects me intermittently (an injury from a car accident that gives me curry every now and then making life a bit unpleasant); I told myself that I could look at the content of the unit in a dispassionate way just like lawyers should.
Silly me didn’t allow for the fact that I’ve been a mother longer than a law student and I’d dealt with the situation but not with how I felt about it (the embarrassed emoticon is because I’m a trained counsellor and should have seen it coming a mile away … le sigh). And of-course every week I told myself that now that we’ve dealt with it in class I don’t have to worry about it again – not realising that this was the topic the lecturer had chosen to teach the whole damned unit through and that it would be right there every week in some shape or form. Fast forward to exams and this unit was the second exam – I think I felt myself break when I read the questions …
So not only did I give limited attention to the blog during that time but since that exam I’ve been pretty much AWOL from life. We’d already booked an eleven day break in Phuket so at least I had some warm weather to look forward to. I managed to read five and a half novels in that time and still spent a lot of time doing stuff (read Dan Brown and Terry Pratchett if you’re interested ). We even managed to catch up with an old friend while we were there so that was good.
Do I feel ready to put ye olde nose back to the grindstone next week? Probably not, but I know how to pick myself up, dust myself off, spit out the blood and get back into it … anyway, I have nothing else planned so may as well ace this semester eh?
Oh and I did okay with all my units so no need to stress about having failed one, so sex ed remains the only thing I have ever failed in my study career (as I patiently explained to my teacher, it really doesn’t help me to know what all the internal bits are called because if anything goes wrong with them I will have to see a doctor who knows all the names ).
Hopefully my energy levels will rise to my normal level of exhaustion by next week – I’ve certainly given my body and soul a break, although now I feel guilty that I didn’t manage to do all those semester break odd jobs I’d promised myself I’d get around to … oh well, can’t win them all.
So enjoy today’s music video …
Remember – take care out there in Banksterland
There are many times when I am wont to say “I did not know that” … take that awesome song from Neil Diamond “Cracklin Rosie” (always been one of my faves and not just because my name is Rosie ). A couple of weeks ago I found out that this song is not about a woman but a wine … apparently Diamond heard a story about a native Canadian tribe where there were more men than women, and the men sans the fairer sex would sit around the camp fire cradling their wine. This is from Wikipedia which also goes on to say that perhaps the Rosie is a play on rosé (okay, Wikipedia says that’s a misspelling … but I don’t buy into that interpretation, what with my utter faith in music God Mr Diamond knowing exactly what he’s doing ). I guess I can still look on the bright side though … the song can still be my theme song – perhaps I am like a bottle of wine – simply getting better with age . I will be celebrating my umpteenth 21st this month – oh, so does it still count? I might have to snuggle with a glass of wine to ponder the conundrum .
But the whole point of bringing it up is that no matter how old we get we can always have our assumptions and beliefs challenged.
Take my reading for Criminal Law this week (6 substantial chapters of a book written in the tiniest font they could possibly get away with … but I digress ) – it was certainly an eye opener for me. It’s hard for me to explain the nuanced difference between what I believed the law was in relation to corporations being charged with a crime, what I had been told by a couple of lawyers and what this book explained as the current state of affairs in relation to corporations found to be breaking the law. As far as research topics go this one sounds really promising as well – especially in light of the calls for a Royal Commission into banks and their unscrupulous activities (okay, criminal activities – they are all guilty of crimes).
The more I learn about the law and how it is meant to operate, how the courts have ruled in the (not so distant) past and how things are going now in bank fraud cases (where the bank employees have committed the fraud and the banks are taking their customers to court to pay the ultimate price) the more depressed I get. To say I have days when my readings/lectures/tutorials trigger unwanted emotional responses is an understatement. The more I learn, the angrier I get about how the system was used against us so that we could not possibly win even though the law was actually on our side. We had law and equity to draw on … and got screwed over by lord knows what.
When I first thought about starting this degree I didn’t consider becoming a lawyer and dealing with the banks on behalf of people like me. This has not changed, rather, I am more convinced than ever that I would not be an exceptional advocate for people like me. I fear I would hamper their case as my ‘issues’ cloud my judgment and my emotions run riot (I have visions of slapping my learned friend when s/he implies my client is a master criminal who had intended to defraud the bank, or smugly says “caveat emptor” … I take it you get the drift ).
While I want to research this whole shemozzle and be a part of the change that needs to happen, I don’t’ see me making a good living out of that – and because of what happened to us I have become a convert to the “show me the money” philosophy of career choice. So right now I’m thinking specializing in mining law with all the other laws that come into it (you know, environment, employment & corporate law) but hey, I haven’t even finished my first year yet so plenty of time to figure out where I want to be … right?
Anyway … my head is fried and I still have readings to do before heading off to tomorrow’s lectures and tutes so I’ll leave you with my favourite song about wine …
and don’t forget – take care out there in Banksterland