Tuesday, November 25, 2008

CUPE 3903 strike, day 19

Was my last class on November 5th? Where did that time go? What the fuck have I been doing for the last nineteen days?

I’m including weekends in my Strike Count, because
  1. if they were actually at the bargaining table, the disputants would be working through the weekends, and
  2. all the days are bleeding together.
Of my goals for the strike period, I have accomplished most of the first one and none of the others. I’ve been reading my IP textbook every day for not less than a week and I’ve finished 220 pages. I figure I’m averaging about ten pages an hour. If there were a remedial legal reading class, I would be in the front row. What’s really killing my time is I’m highlighting the shit out of the book: the further I get, the more significant everything seems and the more I highlight. The last two chapters will probably just be wall-to-wall yellow.

I’m only partially to blame for not accomplishing my other strike goals:
  • I’m sure my course summaries would be a masterpiece by now, but my puppy ate my laptop power cord -- not his first offence -- so I’ve been biding my time reading and highlighting and stealing other people's computers until a new cord arrives;
  • my IPilogue assignment is canceled altogether [Damn you, CUPE 3903, look what your avarice has wrought! that was a 250-wd assignment for god's sake!];
  • my seminar on "Termination of the Lawyer-Client Relationship" would have taken place yesterday;
  • my apartment’s toilet likely continues to run, but I wouldn’t know because I fled Toronto the day after the strike began;
  • likewise the smell in the front hall of my apartment [read: the entire apartment]; and
  • as for curing heart disease, if the answer lies in sitting around eating my parents’ food, I’m surely close to a breakthrough.
Composing this list has been disheartening, and I love bulleted lists. I'm no longer ambivalent about the school stoppage. I can't shake the feeling that nothing I'm doing is enough and everyone is getting ahead of me. Historically, this has in fact been the case. I have wasted two solid weeks of free, no-strings holiday, and while my classmates have no doubt devoted nine hours out of every ten to forging themselves into better, faster, stronger legal automatons, I have spent the day
  • making coffee, drinking it, then making more, then taking pills for the headache inevitably induced by the coffee;
  • reading about Hillary as secretary of state;
  • reading about Hugh Jackman;
  • trying to determine if I have synaesthesia or if I just want to have it;
  • deleting dormant/unread/annoying blogs from my RSS reader;
  • adding things to my girlfriend's reader without her knowledge or consent, despite the fact that she has never used a reader and has explicitly stated that she has no intention to start; and
  • making bulleted lists.
That's two bulleted lists and I don't feel any better. I'm going stir crazy. I'm having nightmares that combine conversations with exes, hunting the Most Dangerous Game and high school football into one bizarre transaction. You would think I would be having the dream about having to write an exam for a class I've never been to, but no: it's killing people and football.

I must get out of here. I must get free. Please resume negotiations.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

hamster local 293

Toothpaste For Dinner


It's 2:00 and I'm in my pajamas, which are stained with coffee because this morning I had a spill while drinking in bed and watching Dexter. And by this morning, I mean noon or so.

My abject sloth today isn't really that much different from any other day, except I don't feel as bad about it this time, thanks to our comrades at CUPE 3903, who as of 7:00 this morning are manning the barricades at Jane, Finch, Keele and Steeles the optimistically rebranded University Heights. Hope they brought their flak jackets! And not just because Schulich is still in session and the business students are going to throw bricks at the picket line. Mostly because of that though.

I don't have a position on the labour dispute. I guess TAs have a right to a living wage. And it's not like my nascent Bay Street career is in jeopardy, like a number of other students. However, my sympathy might evaporate if the strike lasts more than, say, a week or two.

No Canadian law school has ever lost an entire term. After the last long strike, Osgoode gave students the choice of opting out of the grading curve in favour of a pass-fail scheme. I don't know where I stand, should it come to that. On one hand, I feel reasonably confident that I might do well this year, at least the middle of the curve, if not the high side of it. If I choose pass-fail, my transcript won't reflect any improvement over last year. On the other hand, I'm probably deluding myself in thinking there has been any improvement. I am probably a prime candidate for such an opportunity.

But that won't happen unless the strike is quite lengthy. In the mean-time, I have big plans for my time off. I'm going to
  • go back and read the IP textbook which I didn't receive from Amazon.ca until late October
  • create the greatest summaries Osgoode has ever seen -- even better than my first year summaries which, though comprehensive and impressively bound (such that I fooled some people into believing I was extremely well prepared), did not help me at all since I finished them on average four hours before their exams were to begin
  • write a response for IPilogue.ca, even though the assignment is postponed, maybe cancelled
  • prepare to discuss the "Termination of the Lawyer-Client Relationship", even though my seminar on that topic is also postponed
  • read the thirty-odd unread, non-law-related novels (and three Rumpole books) calling to me from my shelf
  • figure out why my toilet is always running
  • get rid of that fucking death smell in my linen closet
  • cure heart disease
The last one is a maybe, but the rest are for sure for sure.

S ... solidarity?

I can't take notes by hand

I just end up drawing my peers.

To wit:
The likeness is poor: in reality he wouldn't have his hand up, he would just speak out of turn.