Friday, July 16, 2010

What is this bramble bush?

Recently a friend of mine who had a look at this LLB blog asked me what exactly I meant by the subtitle about me plunging into a bramble bush...oddly enough it comes in part from a Mother Goose nursery rhyme called 'Man in Our Town':

There was a man in our town,
And he was wondrous wise,
He jumped into a bramble bush,
And scratched out both his eyes;
But when he saw his eyes were out,
With all his might and main,
He jumped into another bush,
And scratched 'em in again.

The rhyme was in turn picked up by a prominent American legal scholar by the name of Karl Llewellyn and 'The Bramble Bush' was the title of an early work of his. Still quite popular today it is intended mostly for and as a reflection on the first year of legal studies. The notion is that as you enter the study of the law, as bright as you might be, you find yourself a bit in the dark. Your eyes are "out" as the rhyme says. You feel that you can not find your way in the maze of the law and that the way is in fact quite painful. The trick is to push on, to move forward with all your might into the thicket of the bramble bush. Only by doing so will you actually be able to "see" again. Words of inspiration to the beginner like myself stumbling along...

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