I know it’s been forever and a day since my last post. School started and the ennui soon followed. I have pretty much spent the last two weeks reading for class, going to class, and trying to figure out how to best work my schedule around class. Oh, and I was sick for a few days, so that was a great time. This post is going to be short and sweet as I will just briefly ramble on about school for a short while. Please feel free to skip if this is of no interest to you. Next week I will be traveling to London and Paris so I can promise you that those posts will be way more exciting.
For those of you still with me, I’m obviously here in Denmark to take some classes. It’s been very interesting to compare and contrast them with my law classes back home. For one thing, my schedule is very different. I’m only taking two classes and they’re only scheduled on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. This means that I get four day weekends! It also means that on Fridays I have six straight hours of class starting at 8am. Basically on Fridays I keep having to repeat “four-day weekend” as a mantra in order to will myself out of bed. It’s been hard (especially since my other days I either have an afternoon or an evening class) but I’ve been managing.
Another difference lies within the structure of the classes themselves. I have found that both of my classes rely way more on discussion than my classes back home. I kind of like this as it makes me engage in the content. Plus, it makes my 2-3 hour classes seem to fly by much quicker. On the other hand, it means that the readings are long (generally around 60 pages per class session) which, combined with my bunched up classes, makes for intense study sessions.
Perhaps the best part of classes here is that exams are completely different than what I am used to, but in a good way. Instead of having 3-4 hours to regurgitate as much legal knowledge as I can onto the page, my exams here are research paper based which is right in my wheelhouse. This means that I can take my time and actually delve into a topic that I’m interested in. It also means that my stress is more evenly spread out (although I’m thinking that it will be almost nonexistent considering I’m taking my courses pass/fail). The only bad part of this paper approach is that instead of having a maximum word or page count, we are given a maximum character limit. This means absolutely nothing to me and it’s so hard to visualize how much space I have. I’m sure I will power through this setback, though. If that’s the biggest complaint I have I think I’m doing pretty well.
Another great thing about exams here is that they are not curved. They are graded on individual merits alone so you are entirely in control of your own destiny. I absolutely love this. As somebody who has struggled with law school exams, I hate the curve the most. There’s nothing worse than thinking you studied enough or that you understand the concepts only to receive a less than stellar grade because somebody else was more eloquent or faster at typing than you.
Now that I’ve discussed my classes in general, I’ll get into specifics because I know that this is the riveting content that you’re here for. My first class is Artificial Intelligence and Legal Disruption. I really enjoy it. Although I am not super interested in AI per se, I am interested in our legal systems in general and how they adapt to societal changes. AI is a great lens to explore this through as not only is the technology rapidly changing but our legal system as we know it currently isn’t equipped to handle it. I’ve actually gotten really into this class. I even voluntarily attended the Copenhagen Techfestival (on a Saturday!) to listen to lectures given by my professor and his grad students about autonomous vehicles, killer robots, and legal disruption and AI in general.
My second class is Corporate Social Responsibility. I like this class as well, but not as much as my Artificial Intelligence class. The content is very interesting and actually pertinent to real life. After all, our world is basically run by corporations. Although I do like the subject matter, the class itself is a struggle for me. It’s heavily discussion based which would be fine except only 8-9 people show up regularly and there are a few who annoy me every time they speak. With so few people in the class, the ones that I don’t like speak frequently which isn’t ideal.
This was just a short update because I know that there’s at least one person out there who was dying to know about my classes. I really lucked out that both of them are so interesting because it makes it easier for me to actually attend class despite the distraction of Europe just outside my window. I’m cautiously optimistic that this momentum will continue and that I still love my classes just as much in December.