From what I understand (though I could be wrong), after the game last night, I don’t think anyone got slammed to the ground by police or took a rubber bullet in the eye and died, so that’s good. I think a lot of it had to do with how we lost—apparently everyone filing out of bars and onto the trains last night was just somber and depressed. After seeing the Rangers botch the sixth World Series game so spectacularly and seeing how goddamn depressing that was, I can understand. And I’m not even a sports person. So with that in mind, I think I will be avoiding my clinic professor today and just bother him tomorrow.
I will be in NYC for the latter half of the week and weekend next week for my international competition. I am lucky in that I really like my other three teammates and the coaches are all nice. We are going to lose and we are going to lose huge, and that is fine. (Seriously, we’re in New England, think about it. I think there is a particular NY school that shall remain unnamed that wins the entire thing every year. And this is a world-wide competition. Though this portion will just be regional, sadly.)
We have practice every Sunday very early and this past Sunday we finally had one of the real international law coaches back again (and I shudder to think how awful our arguments may be substantively) so we feel a little...underprepared to say the least. But we also had a guest coach who had been in the competition before and he gave me an interesting (good?) compliment, but I should explain first, otherwise it will probably sound horrible.
The other coaches are quite fond of saying “fake it til you make it.” (We also had to write briefs for our arguments but those were due early January and long out of our hands.) Finally I said, “Yes, but we’re not going to go up there and just make shit up, right?” (Or something to that effect.) And the guest coach basically said, “do what you gotta do.” I think part of it is because international law is so mushy and also this is an oral competition, meaning advocacy and successfully selling what you’ve got is most of the battle. So I got up there (at practice) and barely got to stick to the structure of my argument since the main coach interrogated me nearly the whole time.
Afterwards, during feedback, (which was mostly positive but I also still need to research a few things), the guest coach said, “You have an amazing skill to be able to continue talking even when you have no idea what you’re talking about!”
Luckily, this was also buttressed by the main coach saying I am very quick on my feet and that can go over quite well with a bench.
The guest coach's compliment (which is how it was meant) is still funny, particularly since I probably thought I did know what I was talking about most of the time? But yeah, mostly I knew I just had to answer and sell it. Lots of the judges at this thing don't know international law (but some absolutely do, so there's that) so they can be fooled. Though these are also the same judges who will want to know precisely what article of which convention says what. Or will ask you questions that are TOTALLY irrelevant. So no matter what, there is suckage to be had. Sigh.
UPDATE: I did end up having to run some questions by my clinic professor. It was a little like talking to someone who'd just been stunningly dumped by their true love.