Friday, 13 April 2012

The Brain Trust

...have been in touch with their comments on the first draft of the form.

One of the more interesting things was how differently each of them approached the task of tearing me a new one.

The Oxbridge Shark tore into every single sentence with detail - perhaps my favourite of his comments was: "Seriously mate, this form makes it look as if you're lost the capacity to function as a human". Dare I say it, but all of his comments were spot on. The original version of my form was littered with exclamations (although without exclamation marks, obviously) along the lines of: "Simply, I believe being a barrister to be the best job on earth". Ignore the alliteration. That was not taken straight from my form, but it might as well have been. The overriding tone of the first draft was: "I DON'T HAVE MUCH OF A BRAIN BUT I REALLY REALLY WANT TO BE A BARRISTER, I'M DESPERATE". The Oxbridge Shark recommended that I keep the passion for the criminal Bar in the form, but not at the expense of my actual abilities.

Ladyfemale's dad was also a bit of a demon, although thankfully didn't reduce the size of the dowry. His approach was to actually focus in on the fine detail of the questions, and my responses. His conclusion was that I wasn't actually answering the questions half of the time - and where I was answering the questions, I was doing so implicitly. He was right. Reading it back, I'd answered the questions in a way that suited me - as a springboard to write down whatever I wanted. Future-FIL's point was that barristers, with about two minutes per form, aren't going to care about the content if it doesn't answer the question.

The practising barristers who read my form had an entirely different approach. Their responses were invariably a maximum of three lines long and sent to me two days later than promised - and some of the time they seemed to be referring to a different person's form entirely. They proved helpful, though, if only to illustrate just how little time I'll have when I'm a proper-grown-up-baby-barrister.

The Judge replied: "Looks fine to me". Which was, at least, reassuring.

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