• Jaded

    This isn’t a post I particularly want to write, but it’s one I need to write.

    I’m not really even sure how to phrase it, but here goes.

    I’m having doubts. I’m just feeling really disillusioned.

    I love writing. I like writing so much, I don’t even need to see my name in print – I don’t care if I get a byline.

    But it’s so not a good way to make a living. Like Penelope Trunk’s said, if you can find another way to get by than by writing, you should take it.

    So many of us went into journalism full of hopes and idealism. But once you learn more about the machine, it’s pretty near impossible to retain that.

    News is so mundane. Things get blown out of proportion. There are PR/comm types who stonewall you and irate, often irrational readers who abuse you. There are actually people who talk media-speak – who speak in soundbites and try to make every sentence quotable.

    I know there’s bureaucracy in any job. I know there are commercial concerns and I know there will always be people who you can never fully satisfy. People whose perceptions are so out there, people who are determined to infer things that aren’t there. I don’t just mean nitpicking, I mean straight up crazies. I know accountability is part of having any job, and as much as I fear screwing up and getting the facts wrong or misquoting, I would rather do that than be crunching numbers and potentially making errors which could spell catastrophe for a company’s bottom line. (Did I mention I went through a bunch of my old crap and found my old Stats workbook and exercises? I looked through them and actually recoiled. Then I threw it out. Not that stats has anything to do with, say, accounting, but maths is maths to me…)

    People may look down on those who work in community news. But you know what, I enjoyed doing human interest stories. I enjoyed working with real people, with genuine, honest, humble and down to earth Kiwis.

    I don’t really know where this is going… I just needed to get some stuff off my chest. And just lastly, if anyone out there is struggling with shorthand….freaking A, you’re not alone! It’s bloody impossible to keep up. I’m so not at the stage where I can do it without thinking – it requires concentration, which slows me down and makes it faster to use abbreviated longhand. Bring on second semester!

  • A topic close to my heart….


    Random pic that comes up if you search teeline shorthand!

    Random pic that comes up if you search teeline shorthand!

    One of those classes you gotta go to, because if you don’t, you’ll fall behind and never catch up. I think I’ve missed two classes so far – the first time I caught up from a friend’s notes, and the second I winged it from the guidelines.

    And literally everyone loves our tutor! There’s a Facebook group created especially for us, called “i heart shorthand” along with a treasure trove of quotes from our all-knowing sensei. She comes up with some real gems. I’ve copied and pasted some here for your amusement.

    • “Normally” looks like a wee animal you’d take for a walk or something.
    • “I’m like a little team all on my own”
    • “Don’t fluff around with vowels.”
    • “Faulty….” as in towers
    • “-ment and -tion all holding hands together and getting on marvellously.”
    • “You’re gonna amaze yourself, horrify yourself, do whatever to yourself.”
    • “You can go to bed listening to me. I can be in your ears 24/7.”
    • “You should be chanting these special outlines every chance you get.”
    • “I usually have a few tail-end-Charlies at the end of the course.” (Don’t know what this one was about….)
    • “I know your head is a heavy thing but it can hold itself up.”
    • “We’re getting the whole family group in here one by one.”
    • “If you hear it as a negative when it’s coming at you, treat it as a negative.”
    • “We really are old-fashioned, I even have a watch I have to wind up. We don’t even have the internet at home.”
    • “There’s no hope for me. I have a cellphone… but it’s never switched on – it’s 7 years old.”
    • “Has anyone heard of a pixel? There’s one in this thing here.” (points to computer)

    I realise that out of “context” (one of her favourite words) she might come across as a bit ditzy or behind the times. But I assure you, she’s LOVELY! The sweetest, nicest, and one of the funniest people ever.

    One more week of classes next week. And no more lectures! We’re going to be filling out those end of term evaluation forms for each class and my plan is to write mine in shorthand for her. Something basic, along the lines “sweet, patient, and so very funny. Don’t ever retire!” I’m sure she’ll appreciate my efforts.

  • Will these lines and squiggles ever represent words to me?

    Law Essays require a particular style and format if they’re to be written effectively.

    Be Clear

    As with most essays, it’s critical to read and understand the question and be clear what you’ve got been asked. this might sound obvious but only too often essays are given low marks because the question isn’t actually answered.

    Identify material

    The first thing is to clarify the topic matter in order that you identify the world of law that’s being addressed. Sometimes this may be obvious as when the question asks about the differences between a suggestion and a call for participation to treat which can direct you towards the law of Contract.
    However, sometimes the question is more obscure and this needs more effort in determining what the topic matter is and might involve watching quite one area of the law. If an issue asks about the fear laws, then this might well span human rights and constitutional law too.

    Identify the Approach

    This is absolutely vital when answering an issue . Often the essay will ask you to guage something; reflect on something; write a critique; discuss a specific statement; reflect on a judge’s particular statement during a case, or discuss the impact of a case on a neighborhood of law. If an issue asks you to match quite one thing, then you want to identify the similarities and differences between them, and ideally reach a conclusion on which one you think that is preferable. If an issue asks you to debate something then you want to study and discuss it from all viewpoints, and reach your own conclusion.

    Prepare the Structure

    The structure of the essay is extremely important. If an essay exceeds 10,000 words, a contents page and chapter headings should be included and, even in shorter essays, it’d be appropriate to line out chapter headings. Chapters are relevant where the solution straddles a good area of law and addresses several areas. Chapters help focus both the author and therefore the reader on what’s being discussed and maintain focus. One major criticism of law essays is that they drift from the most topic and angle that they’re meant to deal with , and therefore the thread and point are lost. Another criticism is that the author tends to only list the legislation and discuss the subject without containing any incisive opinions of the author . An introduction and conclusion should be included.


    Make sure that your sources are current; this is often vital because very often questions are written which are impacted by recent changes or maybe proposed changes within the law. So an issue on Control Orders should be checked out within the light of the proposed increase in detention periods and therefore the impact on human rights.


    The correct referencing should be used consistently throughout. it’s vital to offer credit when quoting somebody else , otherwise the essay could also be plagiarized. it’s never acceptable to chop and paste from the web . Neither do you have to copy directly from a book unless you give the acceptable credit. Copying huge sections, albeit credit is given, won’t be looked upon favorably. The examiner are going to be trying to find the writer’s comments and own views and opinions, supported a sound interpretation of the law and thorough research. The examiner are going to be looking to ascertain that the author has researched several resources. References to case law must be relevant and illustrative. Remember to incorporate a full bibliography.