Monday, July 09, 2007

The gift that doesn't stop giving.

As you guys know, one of the main reasons why my year abroad has been so phenomenal is the Jessup Competition. I haven't written about it much in detail in part because I haven't had the chance to organise my thoughts, photos documenting the arduous, enriching and altogether one of a kind experience are in cameras of friends flung across the continent and a deep seated apprehension that words simply won't do it justice. (Plus I'm a procrastinator in the greatest degree but you guys already knew that).

Recent events however, have reignited my ambition and so here I am, attempting to give you guys a semblance of what Jessup 06/07 was like. (Fear not, said recent event will be made clear in the course of this entry. :) )

First though, the Brady Bunch:

These are the people who I have come to know and love as some of the most warm spirited, dedicated, hardworking and loyal people around. As the army has shown me, adversity, a shared experience, a common goal and long hours in confined areas tend generally to bond a group of people like no other, subject to the caveat and very real possibility that you don't end up killing each other first of course, and this has been no exception to that rule. For a period of close to 6 months, we spent at least 4 intensive hours twice to three times a week and in the months closer to the competition, 12 to 14 hours, 7 days a week in each other's company, picking brains, editing sentences, poking holes, arguing incessantly, coming close to fighting all in pursuit of a single goal.

We truly were a special team. The synergy and cohesion was palpable everytime we were together. At the risk of utmost corniness, we were honestly different pieces that made up a functioning, performing whole. Luke was the brain, brilliant beyond words, he always found a weak spot in my arguments. Marguerite was an administrator extraodinaire, keeping us on our toes making sure we had some place to moot and some professor to moot against. She was also the mother figure, bringing in cinnamon rolls, muffins and sweet treats which I suspect were more than a little responsible for my vastly expanding waistline. Rachel was the passionate firesparker, always ready on the get go, always pushing us on, always keeping the buzz in the room when the nights dragged on and when taking a break meant catching a cat nap in the student lounger at 5 am only to have to return in an hour. Ashley was full of ideas, innovative, creative and always armed with an unexpected comeback, she was responsible for more than a number of arguments that no one else at either the regional or international level put forth.

You see friends, what I really can't replicate here is the sense of pride and accomplishment I get every time I think back on the hours we spent arguing with each other, mercilessly editing sentences over and over again and the resulting end product. What makes the experience all the more priceless and honestly unbelievable is that we were a self made team. While we had fantastic coaches, they will be the first to admit that our memorials, our arguments, our awards are one hundred percent ours, honed from seemingly interminable brainstorming sessions and research sprees. We developed our case theory from scratch and because we were all involved in the research process, any of the five of us could have argued any position on any point. That, I am proudest of. Friends, I do not say it lightly when I say that this has been the experience of my life. Being involved from its infancy to the very end where till this date, we are still receiving pleasant surprises has been nothing short of an exhilirating and enriching journey and most importantly, an honour.

So, what brought forth this spiel you ask. Before that, some background information. The Jessup competition has 3 memorial prizes. The Evans award, given to the best memorial in the international rounds, the Dillard award, given to the best memorial amongst the best memorials in each region around the world (because a team can win best memorial but not advance out of the regionals) and the Baxter, which is the best of the top 10 Evans and Dillard memorials.

This evening, I received an email telling me that our team's respondent memorial was the recipient of the Baxter award, essentially making it the best single memorial in the world. I cannot say how happy and proud I am. This accomplishment, more than the 4th place ranking I got represents the fruit of our combined effort and that is probably the best vindication one could ever ask for.

This has honestly made me question if I want to take ILP next semester. After all, by any measure, this success is phenomenal and I wonder if I can or want to replicate or surpass it. At the end of the day however, I know in my heart of hearts that I will, but not because I want the fame or the glory but because of the opportunity to challenge myself, because I cherish the chance to take apart a complex factual and legal problem and find the best solution and most importantly because this will probably be the last chance for me, for us to work together, as law students tackling a problem free from the realities of billing hours, political correctness and advancing up the career ladder and concentrate on the law, the policy and the strength of the argument.

The experience of a lifetime:


Blogger bitchfaerie said...

there's so much i want to say but i'll just say... wow. :)

<3, Sue

10:59 AM  
Blogger dundundugi said...

Sorta my sentiments too. :)

And thank you. Can't wait to be home!


11:36 AM  

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