Volume 10, Issue 5
I’ve been at the law school some time now, by which I mean the exact same length of time as any other second year JD student. I want to say that I know this place back to front but that wouldn’t be true, especially because I still get confused between the Mezzanine classrooms and those on the Ground Floor. Nonetheless, there are quirks and perks of the law building which I adore and would very much like to share with you.
The Cheapest Coffee: Level 2 Coffee Machine
The Level 2 coffee machine is the best-kept (and possibly the only) secret level two has to offer. This is where I go when I badly need a dose of caffeine and am too lazy to make the trek down two flights of stairs to Porta Via. For a lowly $2 you can get a caffeine fix that almost tastes like coffee. In terms of options, there is no substantial difference between the cappuccino and latte, but the mocha is a real standout. And, if you prefer your coffee plain, I have found that spiking the long black with extra sugar makes it taste a little bit less like desperation. Finally, while I highly recommend the Level 2 coffee machine, please do not attempt to branch out and sample the so-called chai latte. It tastes like a rancid little cinnamon bun pooped in your mouth.
I was told in passing that it is possible to get free coffee from Level 6. As it happens, the ‘free’ coffee (and tea) on Level 6 is not actually free. It is only for masters students. You should only attempt getting coffee from Level 6 if you feel daring, have your own cup and are willing to risk being told off.
The Level One Student Lounge
This entire area is a mystery. For example, why are lunches regularly stolen from the communal fridge, but nobody steals the decks of cards from the lounge? For that matter, why are there chess pieces, but no chessboard? Is that a metaphor for something?
Mysterious as it is, the level one student lounge is best understood as prime napping real estate. It is one of the quietest places in the law building, acting as a sort of musty-smelling oasis where exhausted students can often be seen snoozing on one of the sofas. If you ever want some peace and quiet or a pleasant space for a nap – this is where you should come.
The Study Spaces on Levels 5 and 6
Every semester, the law building receives an influx of non-law students during the SWOTVAC period, which puts space at an unpleasant premium. This process is as inexorable as the complaints that surface on either the JD Facebook Pages or articles in student publications.
If you would like to avoid the tension and struggle for a space in the library, I encourage you to explore the other levels of the law building. Levels 5 and 6 in particular have been opened and reserved for law student use as recently as last SWOTVAC. The rooms have two advantages. Firstly, they are spacious and less stuffy than the library. Secondly, some of them are home to spectacular sunsets. When you’re studying, there’s nothing nicer than a room with a view.
The Asian Vending Machine
If you like Pocky, eel-flavoured snacks and ChocoPie then you’re in luck, because the Level One Asian Vending Machine has you covered. Ambiguous fruit chews? Check. Canned coffee? No sweat. You can even buy a drink called Pocari Sweat if you’re feeling adventurous.
Most importantly: Hello Panda has made a comeback to the vending machine. While this is exciting news for everyone who enjoys faux-chocolate filled cookies, I feel compelled, based on my own experiences, to warn against this temptation.
The reason is simple. If you purchase a packet of Hello Panda you run the serious risk of it jamming in the machine. This happened to me in my first year. Not to be outdone by a box of cookies, I attempted slamming my fist on the machine to make the Hello Panda! move. This might help you. What you really should not do, is buy a second box of cookies in the hope of dislodging the first. I attempted this and the second box also became stuck, taunting me. In a last ditch attempt to salvage my sugar fix I ‘gently’ rocked the machine and (I was later told) startled a class of Principles of Public Law students. Sorry. I was hungry at the time.
If you feel bound and determined to buy Hello Panda and this happens to you, I think your only option is to calmly resign yourself to failure and go purchase a Snickers from one of the other vending machines. Failure tastes pretty good.
Alice Kennedy is a second-year JD student
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