Thursday, October 23, 2008


get back to work

Thursday, October 9, 2008

the other half undercover

Last night I took the train home and started my Thanksgiving weekend a day early. It's Yom Kippur, so I have no class today -- thanks, York! I decided to make good use of this Day of Atonement by catching up on my many, many neglected Intellectual Property readings. With that in mind, I thought I would pay a visit to the University of Western Ontario Faculty of Law and find out what life might be like if I had chosen a different path.

It's worse than I feared. Western Law makes Osgoode look like U-571: Western's walls are painted in muted, elegant hues; the hallways are filled with natural light; the ceilings are high; the library, though smaller (cosier, more intimate) than Osgoode's, is equipped with grand wooden tables and carrels half again as large as ours. There is a triumph of modernity and timelessness here, compared to which my alma matter is a dated 70s monstrosity (true, at least for two more years) and 905 nouveau riche at the same time.

It took me an hour to walk from my girlfriend's house to here, a little more than the amount of time it takes me to get to Osgoode by subway and bus. It's beautiful outside: the leaves are turning, the sun is shining and there's not a cloud in the sky. Western is in a bubble where it's always sweater-and-skirt weather. It's like the town where the Gilmore Girls lived.

I can only presume that the students here enjoy relationships of scholarly camaraderie, that they help one another without a moment's hesitation to consider how such altruism will affect their positions on the grading curve. They're better looking, too.

They don't get Jewish holidays off though, so it balances out.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

There's no emoticon for how I feel when Jose Gonzalez rhymes 'passion' with 'compassion'

Angry face wouldn't do. >:( It's not anger, really. I'm in too fine a mood, drinking my coffee on this overcast morning, and Jose Gonzalez is too wussy.


my ongoing efforts to transform myself into New Model Will (hereafter: NMW), a dynamic young legal scholar whom firms will line up to hire, I'm trying to limit the amount of time I waste online [he wrote in a meandering, aimless post in a blog read by no one -- Ed.]. To that end I have discovered a helpful Firefox add-on: TimeTracker. It's a tiny little clock in the bottom-right of my screen which informs me how long I've been online since getting up this morning. This is helpful for days like today, when I don't want to limit my surfing entirely (in which case I would activate LeechBlock, for people with absolutely no spine or will power, people like Old/Current Model Will) but I don't want to waste the entire weekend.

For instance, TimeTracker tells me I've been online for 52 minutes already this morning. I don't know where that time went. I seem to recall watching some SNL sketches from last night (I'm glad NBC stopped swimming against the current and started uploading all their most popular material immediately after it airs) and reading the same Facebook feed updates I read half a dozen times yesterday. Dangerously un-NMW-like.


Unrelated: studying for my one-hour Criminal Procedure test has led me to two conclusions:
  1. When I am forced to write notes by hand [the prof enforces a laptop ban in her classes], I just draw pictures of people I don't like;
  2. I don't know how to prepare for a one-hour test, as I have not had one since grade twelve or so; and
  3. Short numbered lists are the cornerstone of the criminal justice system -- without them, it would be margin-to-margin chaos!

The dynamic young legal scholar is off to the gym now, because he signed up three days ago, it's a rip-off, and he hasn't used it once yet; because helping the body helps the mind, or some bullshit; and because anything, even physical exertion, is better than reading about Waterfield and Mann again.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

good news today

Not good news for me, good Lord no, I'm still hopeless. Good news for the American justice system: it got a do-over!

Martin Scorsese : Academy Award for The Departed :: O.J. Simpson : armed robbery conviction

Juice looks good for a sixty-one-year-old man. I guess thirteen years of being the earthly golf-playing embodiment of all that is wrong with the adversarial system is good for body and soul.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Track and Field Day at Osgoode Hall

This week reminded me of elementary school during track and field finals, when the athletes among my classmates went to another regional school to compete for ribbons. The rest of us (the majority, it turns out, but it didn't seem so at the time) stayed behind for Fun Day, or Play Day, or some bullshit thing. The grade eights would run three-legged-races and limbo contests and egg-related feats of agility. It wasn't fun, partially because the games were invented and administered by thirteen-year-olds, but principally because everyone there knew they were there because they had failed to demonstrate any strength, speed or agility and because the faculty felt they couldn't make some of the kids work while the rest were off jumping over bars and sand pits.

My classes were half empty yesterday. Many of my Osgoode peers are taking part in On-Campus Interviews, which will determine whether they obtain coveted jobs in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver or (dare to hope!) New York in summer 2009. Everybody is dolled up and stressed out, and nobody is in class because at this point their futures are all but assured and they needn't trouble themselves with such minutiae.

Meanwhile, back at Fun Day, it's business as usual, only more excruciating than normal because the students who normally monopolize the discourse are all at OCIs. Those Left Behind put on a brave face, talking about how they chose not to participate in the whole stressful rigmarole (and maybe some of them really did, choose), joking about their bad marks, pretending their futures are truly in doubt, flat out lying that they already have a job locked up back at the Public Prosecutions office where they worked last summer. That last one is me.

At least profs continue to lecture, rather than slap us in the face. If I go to school on Monday and I am asked to negotiate an obstacle course while balancing an egg on a spoon in my mouth, I will do what I should have done in grade eight: drop out.