It’s that time of year again. The last college class before Christmas. Always fun, but for the hapless law lecturer it does have its hazards….. Usually I count my blessings because I work with mature students and not 16 year olds but, at this time of year, it has it’s dangers….namely the gin! Let me explain..
This time last year I had newly taken over an evening class, and was unaware of their Christmas party tradition on the last week of term. “Have a little taste of this…” said one of them, pressing a plastic cup into my hand. Little did I know that this delightful lady is the proud creator of one of the most lethal sloe gins known to man! One unsuspecting sip later and (being a person unused to strong liquor…) I barely knew where I was. Luckily, this happened at the end of the class, so all I had to do was get out of the room with a reasonable amount of dignity. However, I’m still not sure quite how I made it down two flights of stairs to totter my way out of reception to my waiting lift!
This year I’m forewarned, but as I now teach the class before and after the break it could still be quite hazardous. I don’t want to be a killjoy, but this stuff is potent, and the merest mouthful will certainly kill my chances of managing the words ‘bona fide purchaser for value of a legal estate without notice’ stone dead. On the other hand, there’s always the hope that a little tipple on their part might loosen them up enough to warm to the joys of Land law.
I do have half a plan for how to deal with this and still keep them on topic. We’re just moving on to criminal damage in the Criminal law class, so perhaps I will lead with the cautionary tale of Jaggard v Dickinson? Indeed, maybe I should skip forward in the syllabus and devote the entire session to the study of intoxication as a defence to crime? Not sure about that, it might seem like encouragement…in view of the sloe gin, however, it does seem worth making the point that mistake as to the strength of the intoxicant does not render the intoxication involuntary.
One thing’s for sure…activity learning is a great idea but I’m keeping my wits about me, both in class and on the stairs. I think it best to avoid a demonstration of contributory negligence, the hilarity of which might rival Sayers v Harlow, don’t you?
Wish me luck!