Vol 12, Issue 4
My name is Wang Yunong. ‘Yunong’ means ‘Romance of Rain’ in Chinese. I chose a similar pronunciation ‘Raino’ as my English Name. But later I found that many of my Australian friends wrote down my name as ‘Reino’. Since then I knew that the concept of freedom was entrenched in Australia.
I studied Chinese law in Beijing at one of the top law schools in China and passed the Chinese Bar Exam. I may well stay in China and get a steady job without much pressure. However, as a popular Chinese slogan goes, ‘The world is so big. Why not travel?’ Perhaps that is why I flew to another side of the earth and suffer so much pressure at law school. Yes, a very happy trip.
What law school means?
The first impression I got from Melbourne Law School was when I picked up my student card at Stop 1. When he heard that I was a JD student, the staff member said: ‘Congratulations! You must have worked very hard!’. At that time, law school meant such a great honour to me.
Similarly, many of my Chinese friends who study Accounting would be envious of me, since the requirement of PR (Permanent Residence) for an Accountant is much higher than that for a Solicitor.
Unfortunately, that is not the whole story.
During the first week of LMR (Legal Method and Reasoning), I applied for a piano accompaniment position at Apollo Choir, after I saw the notice in ‘my.unimelb’. The interview was very smooth. I played some scales and a short Chopin piece. The two undergraduate students who interviewed me were very satisfied. I thought: ‘Come on! I have learned to play the piano since I was five years old. Accompaniment? A piece of cake, ok?’ I remembered clearly that the last question they asked me was ‘how would you balance study with our choir?’. I handed in my timetable of Semester 1 (only 3 courses) to one of the students and was confident that the accompaniment position was mine already. Suddenly, the student screamed: ‘OH MY GOD! You are from the Law School?’ The other student rushed to looked at my timetable, murmuring: ‘…lots of readings…’ At that point, I knew that I was out already.
It turns out that they were absolutely right. As a non-native speaker, I always have a hard time covering all the readings. Even if I stay up to go through all the readings on time, some important details may well be ignored. C’est la vie.
Law school, a warm community.
In LMR, my tutor Paula encouraged and helped me a lot. I have a strong feeling that I would have failed the assessment if it were marked. Also, students in law school are so friendly to each other. For example, I felt that I was respected and valued during the syndicate meetings of PPL. My teammates would never look down upon me simply because my English was not as good as theirs. Instead, they encouraged me a lot. I am very grateful for it.
Lastly, I have to say that it is my great honor to live in such a warm community and bathe in the sunshine of freedom for three years, or even longer. It is my great honor. Yes, it is. All the best! Vive l'amitié!
Wang Yunong is a first-year JD student
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