Log in

16 March 2010 @ 07:32 pm
I suck at livejournal now I guess.  It is sort of a shame because it is not like I am great at Facebook in its place.  There is a little perfect storm which keeps me from doing things-journally of any kind now:  I write slowly; I tend not to write unless I have a substantial idea or observation to communicate; and law school demands generous tracts of time.  Thus is the situation unlikely to change in the short term.

But anyway I am older today.  I can spare an hour for reflection maybe.


I do not care much for the timing of my birthday.  When I was a kid I remember it always happened on March Break, which meant I rarely or never heard my name on the announcements.  The announcements were a big deal when I was in grade one.  Nowadays it rolls around at the same time as things start going haywire in my back and neck each year.  These are not the ideal circumstances to consider my advancing age and consequent mortality.

In general though I do not mind getting older.  Every year is another mile between me and adolescence, and that must be a good thing.


Back Junk
I had a minor episode at the beginning of the month.  I got used to feeling so shitty that I managed to go a couple of days before realizing I was suffering from a killer migraine in addition to my enhanced baseline discomfort.  An eighteen hour nap did me some good in that arena, however, and since it broke I've been feeling considerably better.  At least for relative values of "considerably better."  Like 70% as opposed to 40.  Difficulty getting quality sleep and making it to morning classes but I can put in a proper day's work.


Law School
I did not perform as well as I would have liked in the first semester, but that is about par for the course.  People in law school are all at least similar in intellect, and by definition it is impossible for everyone to be in the top 20% of the class.  I am fortunate in that I am not interested in getting to Bay Street so I do not need to be a law super star, nor believe that they give the other 80% of the kids a choice between their J.D. or a straight up lethal injection at the end of our three years.  Still, it would do my ego some good if I could keep out in front of--or at least on--the B curve.  Whether or not this is achievable in light of Back Junk will be determined at the end of April.

Back Junk is not a pleasant backdrop for birthday considerations and may cost me some marks at the end of this year, but it is a useful for colouring my thoughts when they are turned to what I'm doing here in London.  Many of my colleagues are participating in a moot court competition this week, for instance, and similar exercises are common year-round.  Assuming that advocacy was something I was interested in to begin with, it's not clear to me that I would be able to find the time or energy to commit to these exercises in addition to what I already expend on the compulsory material.  The same might not have been true at the beginning of the year, but the take-away from this is that a focus on litigation would be an irresponsible career path.  You don't get a do-over when you're in front of the judge and your clients have a justifiable expectation that you bring your A-game.  That is something I can't guarantee.  So I ignore the moots and focus on getting my reading done for contracts and property; if I'm to make a practice out of this the emphasis is going to be on my skills as a planner.

Some of my colleagues have expressed surprise that the end of the year is coming up so fast.  While I agree that the year has flown by it was something I had totally expected.  Three years is not a lot of time to be in law school and some educated choices have to be made about how you're going to spend them.

I have a variety of interrelated thoughts about how one goes about prioritizing one's objectives within those years but my hour is up.  Maybe next month.
Tags: ,
Music: Radiohead - Life in a glass house
02 February 2010 @ 03:43 am
My distaste for the January Term cannot be overstated. For better than three weeks I did nothing but read cases on misfeasance in a public office and vicarious liability. I have learnt that if you get dissed by someone, and if their job is created by a statute, it may not be impossible for you to recover. Bonus points if they report to somebody because there's a good chance you can dip into their pockets too.

I also learned a lot of things about how to do legal research, but that is the sum total of the substantive law. It was the hardest I've worked and probably the lowest quality legal work that I've produced since I got here.

Or there. Here is Ancaster. I'm in Ancaster for the week because our reward for finishing the month is an early reading week.

Some of my colleagues are making trips to Cuba or Las Vegas. I photocopied the section of Employment Law in Canada on constructive dismissal so I'll be researching and writing a paper on that. For fun. Or I'll be playing Internet poker for fun while I do that. Something along those lines.
Music: The Impossibles
03 January 2010 @ 04:20 am
My final memory of 2009 is of a hipster with a bad hat tripping over another hipster in a bar that was assuredly violating the fire code for maximum hipster occupancy, and dumping a plastic cup of cheap sparkling wine directly onto the head of yet another hipster occupying an unfortunate seat. 2009 was good to me.


Hello Internet. I have not been on you in awhile. Partly I have been much too busy what with the social obligations and the people to go and places to meet; partly I have felt like not filling my holiday with things Internetty. I was stationed here in the fancy-basement for a good time and not a long time you see and the Internet is good at waiting until the sun stops shining.

I feel as though I have forgotten how to law school over the holidaze. This is a thing I expect to remember in a hurry, but in the interim it is not helping with the appeal of the imminent trip back. On the other hand I suppose I have largely burned through the novelty of having a large expanse of time in which nothing must be accomplished and in the past couple of days I have begun to grow restless. Perhaps my break has been exactly long enough.


While my attention to things Internetty has been sparse, I have observed a number of postings in the style of year-in-review. This is to be expected of course, but a sentiment my sparse attention has failed to stumble over is the fact that we've also just closed out another decade. Ten years from now we will be summarizing it blithely as the '00s and our children will have never known a time before iPods.

How exciting that will be.
Mood: excited.
Music: The Beatles - Ticket To Ride
18 December 2009 @ 08:28 am
For nearly three weeks I'd been having trouble sleeping and consequently trouble getting out of bed until after 3 in the afternoon.  Last night I took my pills a little after midnight and within fifteen minutes I was sound asleep and woke up feeling completely rested at 6:30.  I lay in bed for another hour afterward just to make sure.  If you'd have told me I could get by on less than eight hours of sleep at the beginning of the month I'd have laughed in your stupid face.

Could be extraordinary circumstances I guess.  I write the last exam today and maybe the adrenaline is pumping a little early.  Kinda a waste if so.  I could have used the extra energy before Constitutional Law or Criminal.  Foundations of Canadian Law is just 45 multiple choice questions--like a first semester exit poll.  You'd be forgiven for not remembering that each of the questions is worth a little over 2% of my final grade in the course.  But it's nice to feel a little alive again.  After I finished the first week of exams it just about broke my head to realize I'd have to put on the same show for the next one.

I remember before I came to law school I couldn't find anyone who could relate to me what the experience was going to be like, and I remember this being a little off-putting.  I suppose I get it now.  The problem is that in most ways it really is just the same scholastic bullshit you do anywhere else.  Endless reading, arduous dissection and analysis of endless reading, classes the professor is only barely interested in teaching and you're not interested in sitting through.  But the whole process gets under your skin and you get swept up in it somehow.  At 1 AM last Saturday I realized that, after a week doing nothing but reading cases for a week, I was voluntarily reading more Contract cases in preparation for next week.  There just wasn't anything else I could think to be doing.

Atmosphere is part of it, I guess.  Law school is by design attractive to a certain kind of personality.  Western isn't exactly competitive like I imagine it is at U of T or at Harvard or wherever, but you're in this with people who are used to doing well and are motivated to keep up the appearance.  If you get tired of rowing for a little while, you'll still find yourself carried downstream by that current.  And to this you add the subject matter.  As boring as it can be to sit through a lecture on a principle of property law settled in a case from 1502, the intellectual exercise required to reconcile a series of disparate holdings in order to learn the substantive law is again attractive to a certain personality--as is the later exercise of distinguishing your case from that body of substantive law so as to obtain the result you want.  You find one or two more things to like about the experience and soon enough it swallows up your entire life.  Since early November I've had only the vaguest idea what the actual date is.  Like a six year old on summer vacation I get up everyday and do whatever comes next.

Five semesters remain.

Tonight:  Booze.

Tomorrow:  "Holidays."  My social calendar is already jammed up and I need to find time to buy Christmas presents and run errands while I'm home. But I am looking forward to soaking up whatever R&R I can find.

Tomorrow my paid account for LiveJournal also expires. I can afford to keep it, but with as much as I use it, and with the course trends in online interaction are tacking lately, it seems like twenty bucks for which I could find a better use.
Music: Ben Folds - Losing Lisa
14 December 2009 @ 06:59 pm
  1. Unsorted law school related messages in Gmail inbox:  40
  2. Exams written:  4
  3. Exams still to write:  2
  4. Exams prepared for: 0.7
  5. Days without shaving:  ~29
  6. Days before I am likely to shave again:  4
  7. Profit from Internet poker:  $9
  8. Christmas presents purchased:  2
  9. Christmas presents actually possessed:  1.5
  10. Dark Tower novels listened to:  4.2

Contracts and foundations are still to come and I have about checked out.  There are about 25 pages to read before Wednesday and another 60 before Friday.  I've had way more on my plate over the course of the semester but after two solid weeks of exam prep already I am not exactly feeling "it" anymore.  The forthcoming R&R will be well-deserved.  Forcing myself through two hours of some promissory estoppel or tendering fact scenario is going to be a chore.

I should qualify that when I say I have not shaved, I mean that I have not shaved my beard--a noun which does not encompass the random hair that sometimes grows haphazard on my cheeks and between my mouth and nose.  These facial deformities are subjected to the cruelest razors at hand.  I mean, I do have to venture out into public to write these exams and all.

Also I must confess to having performed some landscaping this week on the more scraggly aspects.  And with product in my hair you cannot immediately tell that it has been four months since it last knew the cold embrace of scissors.  I look only mildly unkempt.

I worked my way up to about $70 in online poker profit before I became bored with the concept again and started throwing tournaments away when they weren't moving quickly enough.  I probably should have noticed that funds were steadily draining after $30 or so but sit n' gos were a simple way to break up the monotony of sitting in this chair reading summaries.  Easy come easy go.

Western Law merchandise came in after all.  There IS a Santa Claus!
Music: Handsome Boy Modeling School - Rock n' Roll (Could Never Hip Hop Like This)
06 December 2009 @ 02:35 am
  1. Unsorted law school related messages in Gmail inbox:  30.
  2. Exams to write:  6.
  3. Exams prepared for: 3.2.
  4. Property slides summarized:  888.
  5. Days without shaving:  ~21.
  6. Days with migraine:  4.
  7. Days before I am likely to shave again:  12.
  8. Profit from Internet poker:  $50.
  9. Christmas presents purchased:  1.5
  10. Christmas presents contemplated:  8.5
  11. Christmas presents actually possessed:  0.
  12. Christmas presents purchased which will actually be possessed by Christmas:  0.5
  13. Dark Tower novels listened to:  3.7
  14. NateJournals completed:  3

EAT IT NATE.Collapse )
16 November 2009 @ 06:42 pm
I suck at NateJournals!  My threat of NateJournals nonstop is coming to naught.


So when you arrive at law school they flash a bunch of student organizations and intramural sheets all up in your face and tell you to join some.  For this reason my career as a basketballer was briefly revived, but like all things resurrected after a long death it was a mere shambling husk of its former unglory, and was put to rest permanently last week following our 2nd round play-off loss.  The new tombstone reads "one time I jumped and my arm went numb."

This is also how I have found myself preparing a report for a local non-profit with a group from Pro Bono Students Canada.  Maybe you would not like legal advice from someone who has had nine weeks of contract law but non-profit organizations will take what they can get!  Even if it is nothing!  Nothing was about what I figured I'd be able to give them, but then I met with the Associate Dean.  The Associate Dean knows much more about labour law than I have learned in nine weeks of contracts.

This particular meeting was also my first experience with recruitment.  I guess the Associate Dean doesn't always have first years come to his office to ask about common law issues in employment contracts?  I suppose you don't get to be the Associate Dean by ignoring opportunities like that when they present themselves.  So today at law school I learned about how volunteer work can make you look smart to the Associate Dean--who told me about how knowing about employment law can make you look smart to important business directors.

I also learned about seller's liens under the Sale of Goods Act.  They protect you from detinue!  Nobody likes detinue.


They were selling CDs under the student centre today.  I bought a remix compilation of Death From Above 1979's You're a Woman, I'm a Machine, instead of the actual copy of You're a Woman, I'm a Machine which was sitting right next to it.  This was an unfortunate oversight.  Would anyone like four remixes of Black History Month?  ...and then another four of Romantic Rights?
Music: Death from Above 1979 - Black History Month (Alan Braxe & Fred Falke Remix)
04 November 2009 @ 07:26 pm
The weather is getting colder and wetter.  I know from history that these changes put stress on my mutant old-man spine and that the end result is the application of a pathetic cost-benefit analysis which ranks the priority of my various obligations.  There is the statutory interpretation assignment to complete this week, for instance, and I must read at least some things that have also been assigned so that I know what is happening in different classes.  Regular attendance of those classes, in contradistinction, ranks somewhere below the allegorical arm-wrestle required to lull my mutant old-man spine into allowing for six or seven hours of sleep per sun-cycle.

History teaches that these things must be done in the order of their priority or else I will be incapable of doing any of them.  Nevertheless it remains troublesome to me that I am so busy because my health requires that I not allow myself to be too busy.  Mostly because it is difficult to produce a practical distinction between being tremendously busy trying not to be too busy and simply being lazy.  Particularly now that I am surrounded by motivated and intelligent people whom I like but with whom I generally cannot keep up.  The balancing act was easier to maintain in my undergraduate career because I was not taking classes with anyone who made for compelling conversation.


In Constitutional Law yesterday we learned about parliament's criminal law-making power.  This has not yet been super-interesting because it is just an instance of the division of powers between federal and provincial governments which we have been talking about for weeks already.  Also because the cases which best illustrate this are not strictly criminal cases at all.  The leading case is RJR-MacDonald v. Canada, which is about the promotion of tobacco products.  This lacks the pizazz of your average case in an actual criminal law class, perhaps.  Where are all the manslaughters at?
Music: The Cat Empire - All That Talking
02 November 2009 @ 05:18 pm
Usually on Mondays there is no class until 1:30, but TODAY we had a makeup class for Contracts at 11:30.  Lame!  Except I actually have to get up for a meeting at 11:30 with my Pro Bono volunteer group on Mondays anyway, so this did not effect my regular morning schedule at all.  Well, except that I went to Contracts instead of the meeting.  But the meeting was cancelled anyway. So actually this make-up class was an exceptional inconvenience.

EAT IT NATE.Collapse )

In the future "EAT IT NATE" will replace "Read more" as the default value for lj-cut text.
Music: Grandaddy - Pull the Curtains
03 October 2009 @ 05:45 am
I have written two nearly complete entries about why this entire Olympic fiasco is ridiculous, and then I have deleted them because they are too long and I have been out drinking too long.  I will now try to be succinct.

1.  Americans do not get what it is that the international community does not like about Americans.

A Not Terribly Original Analogy That I Have Adapted To My Own Purposes:
America is the pretty girl at the school dance that just will not shut the fuck up.  The IOC is the chaperone.

The IOC does not care how pretty you are, or who will vouch for the fact that you are of age; it will not sleep with you.  That would be gross.

2. On what planet is it a good idea for the president to lobby for a bid for the Olympics?

A planet that is named America, maybe.  The problem is that this planet is named Earth.