Friday, September 25, 2009

 

Brain food

Over twenty years after coming to Vienna to study computer science, I felt like going back to university and enrolled in a master's degree program in legal studies offered by the Institut für Multimediale Linzer Rechtsstudien at the Johannes Kepler Universität Linz.

The program started in early September with one week of lectures at the Burg Schlaining conference center. Besides getting an introduction into the concepts of law, registering and picking up the text books and DVDs, we had sufficient time for socializing and getting to know fellow students. On the first evening, the major invited to a reception at the town hall. I appreciated the warm welcome and thoroughly enjoyed the week, learning something new in the relaxed atmosphere of scenic Stadtschlaining and meeting nice people.

Having spent a good portion of my study period with checking bulletin boards distributed throughout the campus for announcements and organizing the study—the Web had not been invented—I was positively impressed how well things were organized here. The lectures and practice sessions are available on DVDs or as video streams, and textbooks are available for all courses, eliminating the need to take illegible notes.

What's nice about the program is the flexibility where and when you study. Of course that flexibility comes with the risk of procrastination, so feel free to ask me about my progress from time to time (read: no more than once a quarter!) as a gentle reminder.

Will I become a lawyer some day? Probably not. I haven't given much thought to how a law degree might change my career plans. Either way, it will be worth it to me.

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