Okay, so firstly I must confess that this article is not a product of pure originality. This article’s idea was largely inspired by the 9gag thing that has been going around on FB about ‘stereotypes’ of certain groups/professions etc.

 

I am sure most of us would have seen the law students one but here’s one to refresh your memory:

 

So the reason why these images resonate so well with us and make us go ‘TRUE STORY’ is because we know that others’ perceptions of us are not always entirely true and in fact it might be completely different from whom we really are.

 

There is definitely more to people than what meets the eye, and we all know that. Hence, I thought it would be interesting to interview 5 distinct individuals who are ‘stereotyped’ as the following

 

1) Musician

2) Smart guy

3) Debater

4) Sweet girl

5) Sporty dude

 

and ask them to reveal a little more about themselves so that we will get a glimpse of ‘who they truly are’.

 

CAVEAT: These ‘stereotypes’ are not representative of law school’s population. These 5 labels are just a sample representation of the various dynamic individuals we have in our law school

 

MUSICIAN

 

 

First up is Khai Boon (Year 2) who is a professional saxophone player.

Here is proof of his musical genius: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmFMb2JslNs&feature=context&context=C37b0207UDOEgsToPDskL7evJfapcf9wfpTUQIILCv&fb_source=message


He is the perfect example of how talented musicians can be equally gifted in sports as well.


1.As a musician, what are some of the typical impressions people have of you? And are they true?

Whenever I tell people I play the saxophone, their usual response would be “Wow so you play jazz?”.

Well, a saxophone is one of the most versatile instruments in the world and it’s not meant just to play jazz. In fact, the sound of the saxophone can be so similar to that of a human voice, that it has been used to keep a choir in tune during a performance, while playing back-stage. Nobody in the audience could tell that there was a saxophone playing throughout the whole performance!

Personally, I do play a bit of jazz, but mainly pop and classical

2. Could you reveal certain interesting/quirky traits about yourself that might shock people?

I wouldn’t say that I have any interesting or quirky traits…but generally, I’m not just a “music person”. I enjoy doing sports very much as well. I personally aim to do as much (non-school related stuff) as I can during my 4 years in law school, as I know that I probably won’t have as much time after I graduate and go into practice.

The things I usually do in the course of the week (besides school) include:

1) Regular rehearsals, performances and music competitions

2) Teaching saxophone (and sometimes band display/drum majoring) about 6 times a week (3 private students and 3 schools)

3) Badminton sessions 3-4 times a week

4) Badminton lesson once a week

5) Other forms of exercise including table tennis, basketball, running and hitting the gym

3. What are the certain things that you wish people wouldn’t so hastily judge about you?

Musicians who are classically trained or do classical work may generally be perceived as shy and reserved, or eccentric. Personally, I may appear reserved to most people at first glance, but I do warm up to people that I know well.

 

4.
a) What my family thinks of me: Awesome saxophonist
b) What my friends think of me: Crazy (“how do you do so many things at one time!”)
c) What I really am: A normal person aiming to seek a balance in life J

 

From the saxophone to sports, Khai Boon has clearly gotten his balance in life right and he is an inspiration for all of us who have wanted to try something outside our expertise.

 

SWEET NEXT DOOR GIRL

Amalina (Year 2) is the sweet, friendly girl who is always armed with a ready smile and willingness to help. Her soft voice and cheery nature definitely reflects her sweet character. Her stereotype, save for a few ‘angry’ moments, is pretty true!

 

1. As a sweet girl, what are some of the typical impressions people have of you? And are they true?

They think that I am demure, reserved and unassuming. But I AM demure (right..), reserved and unassuming – Haha.

I am reserved to people I don’t really know and it takes a while for me to be comfortable with new company. So I guess that is true to a certain extent.

But I do get easily angry on the bus when people don’t move in and I don’t like it when people talk really loudly in the school library etc.

 

2. Could you reveal certain things about yourself that might shock/change those perceptions?

I am secretly a crazy person!

 

3. What are some traits/characteristics that you wish people wouldn’t so easily come to conclusions about?

I’m not so sure about this one. I’m not really bothered I guess? Haha

 

4.

a) What my parents think I am: I’m a good girl

b) What my friends think of me: I’m a good girl

c) What I really am: A good girl 😀

 

Indeed, a good girl she is! I am sure most of us who know her can testify to that. Lina’s sweet girl label is pretty accurate after all.

 

SMART GUY

 

 

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that everyone knows Afzal Ali (Year 2) as an extremely intelligent and outgoing guy. However his modest and sincere replies reveal that perhaps he is just like one of us (maybe except that he is a dean’s lister and the Torts & Contract prize winner)


1. What are some of the typical impressions people have of you? and are they true?

I think implicit in their own behaviour though they might not know this is that people think I’m judgmental and that I’m always judging them for the things they say. Nope not true at all. In fact, the reason why I don’t judge is that I’m pretty dumb myself and in the things I often say. So to me, I’m in no position to judge.

2. Could you reveal certain interesting/quirky traits about yourself that might shock people?

Hmm. I take fantastically long to decide what to buy when shopping which is part of the reason I hate it. Very bad at cost-benefit analysis. After 2 hours of looking at shoes I might not even buy one. And it’s not window-shopping because I genuinely want to buy but since I cant decide, I either buy all the pairs I like or none.

 

3. What are the certain things that you wish people wouldn’t so hastily judge about you?

Oh that I have things easy. A lot of the time, people say ‘it’s damn easy for you’ when it comes to academic stuff. But the truth of the matter is that it’s not. I’m having as difficult a time as everyone else. I’ve got the same amount of reading and possibly the same burdens or commitments. So I guess I don’t want people thinking that I’m having an easy time

4.

a) What my family thinks of me: All talk with little substance
b) What my friends think of me: All talk and some substance
c) What I really am: All talk and no substance

 

Such humble words from someone whose talk with much substance made him a Rodyk Moots winner.


SPORTY DUDE

Kelvin Toh (Year 2) is pretty well known for his ripped muscles and friendly nature. But he surprises by being more than just a fit and toned athlete; he is also a dancer and was a wushu player.

Most importantly, he reveals that people tend to misconceive his sexuality and he wants to clarify that!

 

1. What are some of the typical impressions people have of you? And are they true?

I’m flattered to be approached as a ‘sports’ figure in NUS Law but before I answer these questions I’ll say that I’m totally not in the same league as sports aficionados like Tay, Ongbak, Weisong, etc.

That said, I actually don’t know what people in law school think of me.

The little feedback I get sound pretty much the same:

1) “Wah Kelvin your shorts are DAMN short.”

2) “Kelvin your pants are really tight I can’t stand it”

3) “Kelvin that’s a damn gay top”.

Are they true? Well… Maybe I’ve got bad dress sense to some people but I’m definitely not gay. Hahaha

 

2. Could you reveal certain interesting/quirky traits about yourself that might shock people?

That’s a tough question. I’m quite the average Joe, really. I guess something people don’t know is that law school is pretty cool in its own right! Law club makes things happen every now and then – Chill-outs, performances, and now there’s a run at McRitchie coming up which I’m thinking about joining too. And it does get people to take time off to have fun. And I think the sub-club people are pretty tight. Heck, even the hardcore library people find their own camaraderie!

Perhaps something which people would be surprised to hear is that I wish I was more involved in school and spent more time with law peeps. Yeahh.

 

3. What are the certain things that you wish people wouldn’t so hastily judge about you?

Nothing in particular. Maybe my sexual orientation? Haha. Okay but jokes aside, I do get that a LOT.

 

4.

a) What my family thinks of me:
b) What my friends think of me:
c) What I really am:

 

 

DEBATER

 

 

For those who came down for Law-Med debate finals, you got to witness Heidi (Year 2) in her element – debating.

With her wit and charm, she is indubitably an excellent debater but she reveals that debating doesn’t mean one is, by default, au fait with mooting.

(Although winning Mallals might have perpetuated her debater stereotype a little)

 

1.As a debater, what are some of the typical impressions people have of you? And are they true?

Hmm people tend to think debaters are very adversarial – it’s true to some extent! I love a good, classy oral showdown (or an episode of Boston Legal)

 

2. Could you reveal certain interesting/quirky traits about yourself that might shock people?

I prep all of my lame openings and jokes.

 

3. What are the certain things that you wish people wouldn’t so hastily judge about you?

A lot of people think having some debating experience automatically makes you a good mooter – starting out it was mostly a crutch actually. They’re separate skill sets, and debating is a lot more argumentative, there’s this temptation especially at the start to argue with the judge, which we know in moots, doesn’t go down very well…

 

4.  

a) What my family thinks of me:

 

b) What my friends think of me:

 

 

c) What I really am:

 

(It is quite surprising that she didn’t choose a cat picture.)

 

So there you go! Humans are all complex beings and cannot be simplistically categorised into a single label. We are like onions.  Society, friends, family all see a different layer of ours. But underneath it all, we are all pretty much the same on the inside because most of us try to live our lives to the best of our capabilities and while doing so, we tend to view ourselves in a self-deprecating manner. (Unless of course, you are a good girl like Ama!)

Hope this was a fun read and inspires you to think of your own ‘who i really am’ meme! Lastly but most importantly,I would like to thank Khai Boon, Heidi, Afzal, Amalina and Kelvin for graciously agreeing to answer these questions.

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Article contributed by: Priyanka (Law 2)