Wednesday, December 17, 2008

DONE!

Finished my family law exam this morning. I'm done this semester (as long as I pass everything). It's such a good feeling, but I'm in a state of utter exhaustion and numbness. Going to take 'er easy tonight, and maybe tomorrow I'll feel a little more jubilant. So nice to no longer have a crunch-time to-do list.

So ... tired. Where's my couch?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Two Down, One to Go

(AGAIN) Exams, that is.

I liked looking at it in terms of classes, though, so if we look at CLASSES, I'm four down, one to go. Much more encouraging.

Wrote my International Trade Law exam this morning. Yikes. It was definitely a fair test, had enough time to ponder and write, while still taking the full three hours. Hopefully I was on the right track for answering some of the questions ... they seemed to me to be the kind of questions where you could go a couple of different ways in approach ... just hope I covered all my bases.

What's always lovely about law school exams is that even if you think you smoked an exam (or bombed an exam), you'll never truly know how you did thanks to the lovely curve. It all depends on how all of your classmates did. Both a curse and a blessing. AND ... a good reason NOT to think about it until marks are available in January.

So ... to-do list for crunch time shrinks again:
  • Write my Family Law final exam on Dec 17
Last exam. Tomorrow morning. Must motivate myself to study somehow. I think I'll take a nap to refresh myself, first. THEN ... straight to scholarly pursuits. Why is it always so hard to motivate for the last one? Because ... the light at the end of the tunnel is just too close ... you can almost bask in its glory ... you can feel the heat of it but you can't quite see it through the darkness yet.

I'm going to keep picturing the feeling that I'll have when I walk out of the test tomorrow and I'm 5/6 done law school. THAT is a good motivator. Being able to focus on the holiday break and put my feet up without guilt ... that is enough to get me to study ... AFTER my nap of course.

Monday, December 15, 2008

So ... the Cold Hasn't Let Up Yet ...

... and our car wouldn't start this AM. Luckily, we're good ol' AMA members, and so we put our call in to the booster truck. About 8 hours later, we got our boost. Yikes. Must be BUSY out there. To be honest, it was nice NOT to be a priority, we were safe in our house ... can't imagine being stuck in the middle of nowhere and having to wait!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Oooooh ...

... just found a new motivator for studying. I made myself some hot chocolate (stove-top styles, cocoa, sugar, milk, and a little peppermint extract), and cut up some apple slices. Mmmm ... so satisfying, so worth sitting infront of the computer for.

Oh the Weather Outside ...

... is truly frightful:

The warning is an EXTREME WINDCHILL warning. YIKES! Good day to stay inside and not leave the house, I'm thinking. I guess procrastinating the studying will be a bit tougher ... although there's always the house to clean ... my place is never cleaner than during exam time.

For Jason's birthday on Friday, we had a nice little date night. We went over the the Keg to get a nice steak dinner, but as per usual the wait there was 60 - 90 minutes. We should know better by now, and get there before the dinner rush, but apparently we're not good at dragging our butts out the door much before 6:30 or 7:00.

In the interest of saving our poor stomachs from hunger pangs, we decided to check out Red Lobster instead. We got a table right away (faster than it took Jason to park the car), and I got to indulge in those garlic cheese biscuits that I always forget how much I love. Jason's snow crab was especially yummy, too ... I even got to sneak a nibble.

We then (finally) checked out the movie Zack & Miri Make a Porno. It was pretty much what we were expecting based on what our friends had said about it ... started off strong on the comedy side, got a little sappy near the end ... pretty much what you'd expect from Kevin Smith and the gang. It was a good date movie for us (Jason thought the beginning was funny even though the humour was a little over the top for me, I thought the ending was sweet even though Jason was a little disappointed in the lovey-dovey twist).

Yesterday, we opted not to leave the house due to the cold, so I actually did get a lot of studying done. Today ... hopefully ... will be the same. I was feeling pretty overwhelmed over the whole International Trade Law preparation, but now that I've spent some quality time with the material, I'm feeling much better about it. Sure does pay to actually DO THE READINGS and MAKE CANS throughout the semester, as opposed to right before the test. I always say that I'm going to to do that for every class ... this semester I did it for one. I guess that's a step forward.

Family law preparation has been slow for me, for some reason. I think because there is just not as much material to cover, so it feels like I should be going over it in painstaking detail. May have to just call it a day soon and focus on practice exam problems. We'll see.

Either way ... 2 exams and 3 sleeps to go before I'm finished this semester. Can't even express how impatient I am. I'm jittering with it, the impatience is leaking out of my pores ... I don't know how Jason stands to be around me right now!

Friday, December 12, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JASON!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

AND ... oh yeah ... So EXCITING

Picked up my new jacket today:










Now even MORE SO, I can't wait for spring.

One Down, Two to Go

Exams, that is.

If we're talking classes, it's three down, two to go ... sounds a little more encouraging that way ... like the exhaustion that I'm feeling has been worth a little more.

Ah sigh. Wrote my International Law exam this morning. I love my pre-exam routine ... went to Starbucks, got a YUMMY peppermint mocha twist, and relaxed my way through getting into the International Law frame of mind while fully waking up by going over the practice exams that I'd already done. No new material, boosted my confidence, and made me feel warm and fuzzy.

Ended up being a long test, but it definitely seemed more than fair. The questions were very similar to the practice exams, so doing those in the last few days definitely helped this girl out. Spent SOOOOOO much time writing! One of those tests where I didn't know if I'd have time to touch on everything that I wanted, especially as I was still trying to keep a mind to HOW I was writing it all out, trying to keep the style a little more on the logical reasoning side as opposed to the frantic-rambling-about-material-from-the-syllabus side of things.

I don't like to dwell too much, though, on exams once they're written. It's done. Can't do anything about it now. On to the next one.

So ... the to-do list for crunch time shrinks again:
  • Write my International Trade Law final exam on Dec. 16
  • Write my Family Law final exam on Dec 17
I think tonight I'll get over the exam hang-over by organizing myself to begin studying for Family Law (preferably with my feet up, something yummy to drink, and some kind of festive movie on TV) ... and then I'll have to organize my time between International Trade and Family over the next week.

And now ... a nap (I feel I deserve it ... ha).

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

First Exam Tomorrow

Well, I'm just about ready to head to bed. I've prepared like crazy for this exam, although "preparing like crazy" seems subjective at this point. I've spent a lot of time on it, but I'm not sure that all of that time was super efficient.

International law is so tough to put together, especially with so many unanswered questions and no real binding authorities. This will be a really different kind of exam, hopefully I'm on the right track though.

I'm going to try and take 'er easy now ... relax into what will hopefully be a deep and super refreshing sleep.

Friday, December 05, 2008

I SMASHED DOWN THE WALL!

Yay! Must have just been having an off day yesterday ... I pushed through that material that was holding me up, and I'm already well into the next section ... I feel like I'm getting a lot done today. Hooray. So encouraging. Looks like I don't have to drop-out of law school yet.

Motivation is Dissipating

Yikes. For being so organized and getting so much done last week, I feel like I'm hitting the motivation wall now. I guess it's usually the same around exam time, though. Just don't really want to study, and want exams to be over (and want to focus on fun holiday festiveness).

I've been doing my prep work for International Law, a class I've really enjoyed, but I've just hit one spot in the curriculum that I can't get past. My goal for today, get it done by noon and then move on. Maybe a time limit will help (helped when I was little and didn't want to eat my supper ... I don't see how this is any different than that).

If I just can't get the International Law stuff going, I think I'm going to switch over to International Trade Law prep. I've been making CANS for that class throughout the semester, so it will be a far less daunting class to study for.

Sigh. Might have to throw something festive in for a study break somewhere ... I'm thinking ... some kind of baking maybe? Dangerous, since I'll probably eat it all ... hmmm ... must put my thinking cap on. Maybe I'll just put on the Bell fireplace channel (which actually IS playing holiday tunes this year too), and read a little Harry Potter ... that would be a nice break from studying. I could even make my poor-man's version of the Starbucks Peppermint Mocha
Twist ... I've been making hot chocolate (just milk, cocoa and a little sugar), and putting in a little peppermint extract ... so good! Is it bad that I'm thinking about my study breaks before I've even begun to study?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Busy Few Days - Huge Sighs of Relief

Well, with handing in both my ADR Progressive Learning Journal and my Intellectual Property Major Paper, and with my classes all being finished, I'm officially DONE two of my classes, and only have three to go. My to do list is looking a lot better:
  • Write my International Law final exam on Dec. 10
  • Write my International Trade Law final exam on Dec. 16
  • Write my Family Law final exam on Dec 17
AND NOW ... a word about citations.

Yuck. I had a tonne of authorities for my major paper. I thought I was being smart about the whole citation thing by creating a new system for doing them ... tried to be über organized ... but I think I ended up spending a good 7 hours total, after my paper was done (which is another story), just wrapping up the citations. Too long. I must find a way to cut this process down.

After 2 years of law school complete, I think I finally understand (more or less) how to use the McGill Guide ... and use it I did ... but I'm getting ahead of myself already.

As I was researching and writing my paper, I compiled a numbered authority list (in no particular order) in a word document. This reached about 60 authorities in no time (yikes).

While I was writing my paper, I would add footnotes, and reference the authority in the footnote as "Authority #", where the # corresponded to the # where that authority appeared on my numbered list.

I was able to edit away at my paper, add footnotes, delete them, etc. and I still knew which authority they referred to (as opposed to previous approaches that I've taken, where I did Supra and Ibid. references while writing, and when I changed the structure of the paper, I had no way to figure out which footnote referred to which reference). When I was finally done with the paper, it was time to address the footnotes.

First, I had to go through my authority list and find the proper citation format from the McGill Guide. This took awhile.

Next, I went through my paper, and began to substitute in the proper citation from the list for the "Authority #" that was in the footnote, all the while keeping track of the original footnote citation # on my authority list so that I could cross-reference easily while adding Supras and Ibids (i.e. If the first time I referenced Authority 1 in my paper was at footnote 22, I would put the proper citation in footnote 22 and write "22" next to authority 1 on my master list. If the next time that I referenced Authority 1 was in footnote 57, I would look on my authority list for "Authority 1", see by my notation that it had been originally referenced to in footnote 22, and I would then write "Supra note 22" for footnote 57).

May seem slightly complex, but it allowed me to complete all citations in one pass of my paper. This was a VAST improvement over other papers that I've written where citation chaos was the norm.


NEXT TIME I do a major paper ... I think I'll take the time, as I add each authority to the list, to actually put the proper citation on the list as opposed to just the author/title/website url approach that I used this time. This could probably cut almost 3 hours off the process. Could be enough for me to downgrade citation from "miserable pain in the butt" status to "tedious, but at least I have a good system" status.



As for finishing my major paper ... this one was really hard for me to "put to bed". I had a lot of things to say, but didn't have the space to say all of them (who'd have ever thought that a 50 page maximum would hold me back ... so crazy). I tried to pick and choose the most meaningful things, present them in a sufficiently general way so as to appeal to a legal reader as opposed to a legal/technical reader ... AND ... tried to keep the focus centered around what we covered in class. Also - it was tough, as someone with a technical background, to know how to inject my technical knowledge without referencing back to some authority from a class I took in University 10 years ago. As someone not super experienced in academic paper writing, this was a tall order. Hopefully I somewhat achieved these goals ... only time (and my Professor) will tell.

So funny how, when I'm actually trying to convey a point of view that I care about, my insecurity about how the paper will be received and understood goes WAAAAAAAY up. While caring about the subject matter makes it easier to write (especially on the motivation front), it sure leaves me quite vulnerable feeling in the end.

On a final note, there was a Jostens Rep in our student lounge over the last couple of days showcasing rings that could be purchased for graduates of this year. I had to really get me head around the fact that I fall into this category. Law school has gone by SOOO FREAKIN' FAST! Once exams are done, and it is established that I've passed everything (heh), I'm 5/6 done ... that's 83.333% done ... that means that I have about 3 1/2 months left of being a student before I'm back out in the real world as a working woman. Crazy. Don't get me wrong, a salary will be a nice thing to re-establish in my life, but it seems like it's happening so fast.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Welcome December!

Holy smokes. It is December.

Usually, I'd be raring to deck my halls with various holiday paraphernalia, but this year I'm opting to focus on school instead. The halls will have to wait.

Luckily, there are a few things that definitely get me into the holiday spirit, without all the grunt work of digging out my decorations.

The smell of mandarin oranges. I'm not a huge orange fan myself (it's a texture thing, love the taste, not fond of the texture, I will still eat them, but I don't LOVE them). Jason bought a box for himself at the grocery store, and every time he eats one, the smell makes me feel Christmas-y.

The fireplace channel on our Bell satellite. Last year it played holiday tunes as well, this year it seems that it's just the sound of a crackling fire ... still OK by me though. Chucking that channel on and listening to holiday tunes while wrapping presents ... definitely makes me feel Christmas-y.

I've already mentioned the Starbucks addictions that I've fallen prey to, flavoured as they are with festive merriment and goodness. They make me feel Christmas-y.

Seeing the Tim Horton's holiday cups around school. Also ... makes me feel Christmas-y.

I'm so excited about our donation drive for adopt-a-family beginning this week. I'm pretty sure that this will give me the ultimate Christmas-y feeling.

Unfortunately, when I'm feeling especially Christmas-y, all I want to do is bake, which both takes time away from studying, and adds unnecessary layers to my butt ... I will have to resist the impulse.

I do have quite a few birthdays to focus on ... December is a big birthday month for my family. I'll have to try and shift my focus ... that may just help.

Now ... all I have to do is get through the crunch-time to-do list (which is shrinking - fa la la la la, la la la la):
  • Go through major paper one more time in an editing spree, and fix all citations, then hand the sucker in tomorrow.
  • Write my International Law final exam on Dec. 10
  • Write my International Trade Law final exam on Dec. 16
  • Write my Family Law final exam on Dec 17
While it is so nice to be crossing things off of my list, I must admit that there is a certain paranoia to holding 25 pages of text in your hands and realizing that it compromises 80% of your grade (as in the case of my ADR learning journal), or holding 45 pages of text and realizing that it compromises 100% of your grade (as in the case of my major paper). Yikes. Where's a salted caramel hot chocolate when you need one?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

It Pays to be Organized

If only it were easy to be organized.

So ... I had a really successful weekend. I finished my major paper. I've edited it (on paper, still must transfer edited changes to the e-copy), and only need to tackle the citations before I hand it in by 4:00 on Tuesday. This is, quite possibly, the earliest that I've ever finished a paper for law school. While two days early doesn't seem like a big deal, it really squashes the stressed out feeling that usually comes with finishing these types of assignments.

I'm also a member of the LSA's Community Outreach Committee (a new committee this year), and we're launching an event this week, which I worked on a little over this weekend. We're hoping to raise enough money to adopt a large family through Rawlco Radio's Brent and Penney's Adopt a Family program. Tomorrow we're starting the donation drive, so that should be super exciting. The support from the college faculty, staff, and students so far has been so amazing and encouraging ... I'm pretty excited to see how quickly we can reach our goal.

AND ... I'm printing the final copy of my ADR Progressive Learning Journal. It seems like a big commitment to actually print this, since it is such a different style of writing than I am used to for assessment in university, and I'm feeling a little insecure over whether what I've done is what was expected for this exercise. Ah well. Since it's due tomorrow, I'm not going to be changing it.

Now ... I'm going to start transferring my paper edits to my e-copy of the major paper ... and try and stay away from the half a Twix bar that Jason just put on my desk. I've already brushed my teeth, which is helping, but resisting the siren call of a Twix ... I'm just not sure if I'm up to it. Luckily, I'm pretty tired, and it is pretty close to my bed time. Will the Twix survive? Only time will tell.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Well ...

... I made some real progress on my paper today. I have wrapped up talking about the legal theory, I just want to point out how my thesis topic has been handled in other jurisdictions, and then get into the analysis portion of the paper ... which SHOULD be easier and quicker than what I've done so far. I'll definitely have no worries about meeting the page number minimum quota, which is kind of nice ... felt like last year I had to stretch a little.

My goal for tomorrow is to finish the paper off, so that I can have all day on Sunday to edit, and then Monday to wrap up the citation nightmare that I am sure will ensue. Not sure if it's wishful thinking, but here's to having goals.

OMG

I think I just finished my ADR journal. I'm just going to do a quick edit, but that's one thing off the list already. I'm so excited!

...
...
...


YUP - I'm done. Did my quick edit and I'm fairly happy with it all. Just have to find where I wrote down the method for submission. Crikey. At least that part I can wait until Monday for.

AND now ... to tackle the beast that is my Major Paper.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Crunch Time

Things Left to Do before December 17th:
  1. Finish 1 1/2 ADR Progressive Learning Journal entries (amounts to about 3 1/2 pages of writing, I already have about 23 pages and 8 1/2 journal entries done) - will be handed in on Monday Dec. 1.
  2. Finish Major Paper for Intellectual Property (have about 25 pages written, have about 12 pages or so to go, outline and research are done though) - will be handed in on Tuesday Dec. 2.
  3. Write International Law final exam - Dec 10.
  4. Write International Trade Law final exam - Dec. 16.
  5. Write Family Law final exam - Dec. 17
Only 5 things to do before I'm officially 5/6 done law school (assuming I pass everything, of course).

I think I'm in decent shape. I've already handed in my International Trade Law term commentary, so that's already a burden lifted from my shoulders. I feel much more organized this semester than any other semester so far. Hopefully that's a good sign. I felt rushed the last time that I wrote a major paper, for Natural Resources, and this time I think I'm way further ahead in schedule than I was then. Hopefully I don't have that same rushed feeling at the end (I always leave citations to the last, and MAN is that tedious stuff that gets the blood pressure going when running out of time).

AND ... all I want to do is bake gingerbread men. Sigh.

International Law, Fish, and it Feels Like Home

I've really loved my International Law class this semester, and it helps that it's taught by BVT (love her). It will be our last class today, which makes me kinda sad. Lately, we've been going over the prohibition on the use of force, and the self-defense exception. Makes me look at the terrible happenings over in Mumbai with a new perspective, wondering what will happen next (ahem ... what will the US do) and the significance of State responses, especially in terms of what would seem to be a non-State actor's use of force and the US/Pakistan exchanges from earlier this semester (although the origin of the non-State actor here seems to be in question from what I can gather through media reports, i.e. either from Pakistan or from within India itself).

As for me, I caved and got another salted caramel hot chocolate from Starbucks last night. I'm weak, especially for evening classes it would seem. Luckily, I only have one evening class left this semester, so I should be able to contain the beast of addiction that I seem to be developing for them. Still haven't looked up the calorie count and have no intention of doing so.

Also, the realization is starting to hit home that, after today, I have 2 days left of classes, with 3 classes left in total to attend. I still feel like I'm fairly organized, and the Family Law review class yesterday made me feel A LOT better about that class, but it's hard to ignore the heightened frenzy of energy that always occurs around this time of year. Must try and insulate myself from the aura of panic that will soon descend on campus ... but not tonight ... tonight is EVIL FISH!!!

Oh - and one more thing. I hope writing this doesn't jinx it, but I can't BELIEVE how lucky we've been with the weather so far this year. I almost feel like I'm back in Calgary.
Here's a post from this same day last year, showing all the snow, and here's a screenshot of the U of S webcam from right now:

Still looks a little frosty, but it is supposed to warm up today, which makes this cowgirl ever so happy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mmmm .... Starbucks

So, one aspect of being a student at the College of Law in Saskatchewan is that there is a Starbucks located, literally, across the street from our building (in the Royal University Hospital). It's pretty much a STAPLE for law students.

The fall is always awesome when the Pumpkin Spice Latte comes out. My usual lately has been a non-fat, decaf, 1/2 sweet PSL (and with getting Starbucks gift cards from turning in some points I've been accruing on an airmiles-like program, it's been FREE ... mwoo ha ha ha ha). Last night, though, I dashed over to SB on a 10 minute break in my ADR class and was in a rush (had to get back for a guest speaker). I had wanted to try the Peppermint Mocha, but they were out of it. So ... I quickly decided on a Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate.

In the illustrious words of the character Janice from Friends ... Oh.My.God.

It was so good that the classmate sitting next to me asked me what it was because it was even tantalizing her olfactory senses.

I don't even WANT to look up the nutritional information. It will only spoil the splendour that was last night. OK ... maybe I should ... ahhhhh ... saved by the internet Gods ... that part of the SB website is down right now ... I take this as a sign that I should never know and that any calories that were consumed last night no longer count! WOOT! At least now that I've identified this weakness, I shall have to be very cautious when approaching the Starbucks kiosk. "I will not become a slave to the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate" is my new mantra.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

While Researching for my Paper

... I stumbled across this. Love it. Hilarious.

WIPO's copyright comic book.

Had to Share

A classmate of mine had this picture for their Facebook profile:


Intrigued, I had to find it and see what it was. Mental Floss sells it, here's the run-down from their website:

Law School in a Box

Sure, you could spend $100,000 on an Ivy League law degree. But then you'd have to deal with crowded classrooms, inconvenient course schedules and rigorous academic study (the worst!) That's why we're proud to offer the very prestigious Law School in a Box, jam-packed with:

• Law School in 96 Pages: This mini-textbook features Law Lingo (what’s the difference between assault and battery?), Famous Cases (Brown v. Board of Ed.), and the most supreme of the Supreme Court Justices.

• 10 Heroes of the Courtroom Trading Cards: They’re all here—Abe Lincoln, Johnnie Cochran, Sandra Day O’Connor—with portraits and famous quotes on baseball-style trading cards.

• 10 “You Be the Judge” Cards: Put your new legal knowledge to good use! One side features an ethical dilemma—the other side features real courtroom verdicts on the matter. Test your legal IQ!

• Mini-Bar Exam: Ready for trial, Matlock? Not so fast! Better answer these tantalizing legal trivia questions first! They come complete with detailed answers on an accordion-folded exam.

In fact, we're so confident in our system, we're even including a rolled-up diploma with real Latin words. It's the perfect gift for lawyers and would-be lawyers of all ages.

I'm not gonna lie ... kinda makes me want trading cards of the Canadian Supreme Court Justices ... hmmmm .....

Friday, November 21, 2008

Grrrrrr.

//START RANT

So ... I'm sure that many of you heard about the Supreme Court of Canada denying WestJet and Air Canada the right to appeal the Canadian Transportation Agency decision which says that the 'one person, one fare' policy must stand (i.e. that some obese people and some disabled people cannot be charged for more than one airplane seat, even if they require two).

What KILLS me is the way that this story is reported in cases like this:

Obese have right to 2 airline seats

GAH! I'm pretty sure it's not about having the right to 2 airline seats, but about the right NOT to be discriminated against. Let's all keep in mind that the airlines choose the spacing of their seats ... with a MIND TO PROFIT from packing as many people in as possible. THIS IS THEIR CHOICE (and blaming it on the airline manufacturer is nonsense, since they'd be able to have it changed if they wished ... hence the existence of first class seats on some airlines). THE AIRLINES are creating the accepted norm for airline passenger body size by doing this, and therefore they are targeting certain passengers for differential treatment when they implement the 'one seat, one fare' policy to those that require more than one seat.

As for those that will say that the poor airlines will flounder because their profit margins are so narrow, they NEED to have every tiny seat filled and paid for to even break even ... to argue that the only way to ensure the success of a business is to require a discriminatory pricing policy is UNACCEPTABLE. There must be some brilliant business people out there that can take the parameters of a NON-DISCRIMINATORY scheme and effect some profit through an appropriate business plan ... especially when people are always going to have to fly!

Reading the CBC reporting of this ...
Top court backs free seat ruling for some disabled, obese travelers
... also makes me want to lose my mind.

Bus, train and ferry companies have long agreed to such arrangements, but the airline industry has argued it would lose too much money by doing the same.

...

But WestJet spokesman Richard Bartrem said there are still many unanswered questions.

"Will we be putting criteria in place to determine whether somebody travels with an attendant out of necessity or out of desire?" he said. "What is morbidly obese? How are we going to be able to make that determination and implement that respectfully, and consistently and fairly?"


It's like they aren't even TRYING! If other transportation services have already put these policies in place, what can POSSIBLY be so hard about figuring out how to get this done? They have examples to look at!!!! I'm fairly certain that most people who can't fit into one airplane seat are well aware of it (assuming they've flown before), and would take whatever measures that they could ahead of time (i.e. a doctor's note) to avoid any humiliation at the airport. Same goes for those that are disabled and need assistance ... I'm FAIRLY CERTAIN that the need for assistance is known about ahead of time, and a doctor's note would be fairly easy to obtain. Being clear about these policies at the time of booking a ticket doesn't seem like it is a far stretch either. I thought that people that made "big decisions" at companies like WestJet and Air Canada would have more creativity and gumption than this ... to be defeated by having to implement a non-discriminatory policy that they've KNOWN was coming for years now.

Grrrr.

Not good for my blood pressure.


//END RANT

Sunday, November 09, 2008

It's Official

The snow has begun to fall.

While I'm not opposed to gorgeous, gorgeous snow in the winter-time, the first snow-fall symbolically represents the beginning of a stage of hibernation for me, and so it is a little sad.

It doesn't help to look at my post from a year ago.

But ... looking at two years ago makes me feel better.

Here's a pic from right now, just to keep the tradition going.



Luckily, I don't think this snow will stick around. The forecast seems to say that we'll be getting a little warmer this week, with some rain thrown in there for good measure. Looks like by next Sunday we may be back to snow, but a week is a long time for the weather to decide it wants to do something different.

Unfortunately, the forecast for tonight is coupled with this ominous looking graphic:


Those ice pellets look like they could put an eye out, non? I'll have to make sure to wear safety goggles if we go out tonight.

As for me, I've been cranking away at my major paper for Intellectual Property Law. I've got the introduction done, and I'm hammering away at the first section of background material, to set the stage for my analysis. I think if I keep this pace up, finishing on time will be a leisurely process. So much better than the last major paper I wrote for Natural Resources ... I definitely allowed myself to get a little too rushed with that one.

Monday, November 03, 2008

November Already?

I suppose I should be grateful today that it's raining here instead of ... the s-word-ing. I am, but the rain is a little depressing, I must say.

Ah November. I can't believe you're here already. This is, really, the last month of my semester. December is pretty much about exams, so I don't really count it as active school time since there aren't any classes to attend. After this semester is finally over, I'm 5/6 of the way through law school. Unbelievable. The time really has flown by fast, and after reading James' post, I completely agree with it being a time for reflection.

Celebrating the lasts is something that has been on my mind, but it has really been mixed with the excitement of moving back home and beginning my life again, which makes for a bit of an emotional roller-coaster. I've made such amazing friends at law school, and I know that these relationships will continue on into the future. I really miss my friends and family back home ... those people who have been around for me for years, and will continue to do so for years to come. Sigh. A light at the end of the tunnel always brings about contemplation of the next phase (especially contemplation of earning a paycheque again - ha).

As for school, I feel like this semester has gone by sooooo fast. I've fully caught up with my ADR journal entries, which is all that we're really marked on this semester (as well as class participation, there is no final exam), so that's a good thing. We have a double class tonight though, so I'll have to crank out a couple more entries this week to keep up. I'm just about finished my Term Commentary for International Trade Law, which isn't due until the beginning of December, so that's well under control. I just have to hammer out the last little bit which shouldn't take too long, and then edit it and make it a little more "flow-y" than it is (and yes, that's a technical term for term commentary writing). My major paper is mostly researched, I've filled in my outline with points from the research and my own commentary in return, so this week the goal is to begin actually writing. Hopefully by this weekend, I'll have at least started, so that I can use the weekend to just keep hammering it out. Besides exams, these are the only things that I need to worry about.

I suppose I should start thinking about exams, but my exam schedule is so great that I'm not sure that I'll have to do too much before December. I only have 3 exams, so it won't be overwhelming. My first test isn't until December 10th, more than a week after classes end, so I have lots of time. I've been putting a lot of effort into keeping up with my readings in International Trade Law, so I'm not too worried about the prep for that one. For International Law, my prof is BVT, so my class notes are pretty amazing. For Family, I'm feeling pretty disorganized about the class, but I think because it is so legislation based, that if I take some time in November to actually work through the Family Property Act on my own, it should come together a little quicker for me.

Sigh. I just can't believe that it really is November already.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Got Through One Movie Last Night ...

... The Band's Visit.

We both really liked it, and knew that it would be a little heavier than the usual movie that we pop in (in terms of thought process required to enjoy the movie). If you read the Director's Statement at the website linked above, it will give you a good idea of what the movie feels like.

We still have Noise for tonight ... so exciting.

Friday, October 31, 2008

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

We don't get very many trick-or-treaters here at our place, so what to do to occupy my time tonight, while still feeling festive? MAKE HALLOWEEN COOKIES!



I used these two recipes:
The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies
Decorator Frosting

AND ... they really are the BEST ROLLED SUGAR COOKIES ever. So yummy. My icing was a little runny, but I kind of threw in some of the ingredients instead of measuring ... ya know, trying to be a rogue or maverick or diva or something.

Luckily, these pumpkins didn't get out of control like the gingerbread men did that Jason and I made a few years ago:


We also rented a couple of movies that we're about to pop in.

Last week, we rented War, Inc. and were pleasantly surprised at how much we liked it. Good ol' John Cusack, he just never disappoints me. ALL of the acting was delightful, great cast. Highly recommend.

As for school, I'm still swimming along. This week was busy, since I had an LSA meeting as well, but one of my profs has the flu (yikes), so I had one less class than usual, which helps with the ol' schedule. I'm still as caught up as I want to be in terms of reading/assignments etc., and I hope to be a little ahead by the end of this weekend.

On the home reno front, we've pulled apart our kitchen for painting, and hopefully we'll begin to put it back together over the weekend, so there's a lot on the go.

Sigh. These weeks are flying by. Christmas vacation seems just around the corner which is great and also terrifying.

But ... in the meantime ... I'm going to go have a cookie.

Monday, October 27, 2008

First Year Charter Class In the News

Always neat to see something that you've taken in school on the pages of the newspaper:

Tories scaling back on tough-on-crime agenda


With regards to the artistic-merit exception they must be referring to R. v. Sharpe (had to really dust-off the cobwebs in the ol' brain for that one), which always stuck out in my mind as being a dramatic case.

Makes you wonder about campaign promises in general (not that everybody doesn't wonder about them already). Making broad, sweeping promises that fly in the face of the Constitution and the Charter really doesn't seem like fair play or responsible campaigning, and really drives home the point that so many Canadians know so little about their Charter rights (including, it would seem, many of our politicians).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Results of the Canadian Election Are In

While there is much that can be said about it all, I'd like to highlight the fact that:

Canada elects record number of women

YAY! Thanks to Equal Voice which has worked hard in promoting this outcome, especially when we have ranked 49th as compared with other countries with regards to the equality of gender representation in our government:
Women in National Parliaments (as of January 2008)
Inter-Parliamentary Union


Hopefully this is the start of a real trend towards true gender equality in government representation!

For a little more information about the issues that lie behind women in politics, see here:
Women in Government, Resource Kit
(The Center for Legislative Development and the UNDP-Asia Pacific Gender Equality Network

Monday, October 13, 2008

Was Away for Thanksgiving ...

... so I'm trying to piece my life back together for the rest of the week.

I'll post a more complete update in a bit, but I'm so excited about these pics (which I've been promising for awhile) that I had to take care of them first:

BATHROOM RENOVATIONS!

Before Pics (just a reminder of how far we've come):




And now .... the AFTER (woot woot):


We moved the shower piping behind the wall to make it a permanent shower, tiled the tub surround, tiled the floor, replaced the toilet, vanity, sink, faucet, light fixture, mirror, towel rack, added some shelves, and painted. Whew.

Monday, October 06, 2008

My Thoughts ...

... are obviously worth far more than a penny, especially when the penny itself costs MORE THAN A PENNY to produce:

Copper coin costs pretty penny
The Star Phoenix


Won't be long now that, just like our friends Down Under, we no longer have to deal with copious amounts of pennies ... I'm hoping.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

YAY! We Finished!

They're addictive, I tells you.

From far away, looks like a distinct picture well enough:


BUT ... from up close, it was chaos.



We decided to do all 1500 pieces WITHOUT looking at the picture on the box too ... cause we think we're hardcore.

Well Known, But Little Talked About

I haven`t encountered this much in my law program, but undergrad is notorious for this. As someone who didn`t ever cheat (kinda tough to do in computer science at the time), it`s nice to know that this is on the radar, as it should be:

Fewer U of S students cheating
Star Phoenix

Friday, October 03, 2008

Must Be a Good Sign ...

... I'm not NEARLY as exhausted today as I have been the past couple of Fridays ... so the school schedule/routine must be becoming more comfortable. Jason and I did a bunch of running around today, all over Saskatoon, and I feel like we got a lot accomplished. He had already done the raking of our leaves earlier in the week (which I had been putting off for the weekend), which was just awesome of him. What a great way to start off the weekend.

I'm working on my goal for the week right now - finishing up the organization of our office. I'm pretty excited about it (yup ... I guess my need for visual harmony is a pretty driving force).

I made a batch of these cookies a while ago, and they were so good that I think I'm going to have to make some more today (I leave out the coconut, though). They're so perfect and fall-licious.

My organization frenzy in our office should also be directed towards my school work this weekend, I suppose. I'm fairly caught up, but I'd really like to start organizing my notes so that when exam time comes around I can get straight down to studying (instead of spending copious amounts of time shuffling papers into an easily scannable, easily flippable bundle). I'll let everyone know how that goes. It's so hard when the weather outside is so gorgeous. Sigh.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Not Too Much to Report

I've just been enjoying the gorgeous fall weather (still no fall shots of campus though, must get on that), trying to organize my life, and keeping up with school as much as I have to.

I've made some real progress on my Term Commentary for International Trade Law, which is great. It's taking a load of the ol' shoulders.

I went to yoga again tonight, which was super great. I just love going to yoga every week. I'd love to go more than once a week, but once a week seems to be a pretty big commitment for me right now, so I'm trying to pace myself at a level where I can maintain my success.

Goal for this week (besides keeping up with school at the same pace I've set for myself) ... finish organizing our office. This summer I made real headway with actually implementing a filing system for us (amazingly we survived without one before, I'll never know how), and I finally was able to buy some more hanging file folders so that I can finish the job. I can't wait to have a place for everything (even if everything isn't always in its place).

And now ... a post yoga snack ... mmmm ... yoga always makes me hungry.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Son of a ....

... 20 teams had already registered for the FMC Negotiation Competition, so my team is now on the waitlist. GAH!

So ... If This is True ...

Why does it seem like there aren't many stay-at-home Dads?

Women are Primary Breadwinners in their Households in Nearly 1/3 of All Canadian Dual Income Households.


I wonder if that's one of the questions that Andrea Doucet will be asking:
Fellowship winner to study 'opt-in mommies'.

Also - must see if we have a copy of this book at the U of S library ... looks like a must read:
Do Men Mother?: Fathering, Care, and Domestic Responsibility

An interesting commentary from Statistics Canada:
Stay-at-home dads

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Forget After Watching

Jason and I went out on a date last night, and we both concur with many of the reviews from Rotten Tomatoes ... Burn After Reading is more aptly named 'Forget After Watching'.

Don't want to put any spoilers out there, but in the Editorial of the Cineplex movie magazine it talked about how the Coen brothers wrote the characters for people they wanted to work with, and then tried to fit them together in a story. You can tell. ALSO, probably our distaste for the movie wouldn't have been so acute had there not been so much inappropriate laughter last night. Like Fargo, this movie was quite dark and had some violent bits in it ... and people were outright guffawing at these parts ... it was a really weird experience.

Either way, the popcorn was good, and our confusion at what the movie was trying to say coupled with our sense of being weirded out by morbid laughter provided good conversation for the way home. Can't ask much more out of date night, I suppose ... non?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

News Coverage of the Milgaard Report

The Star Phoenix:
No Coverup in Milgaard case
Police, justice officials cleared of wrongdoing
Recommendations of Justice Edward MacCallum in Milgaard Report
David Milgaard and Larry Fisher: A Timeline
By The Numbers - the David Milgaard Story
A who's who in the David Milgaard case
Officer pressured teenager to lie
Police missed opportunity to reopen case

Something I just thought about, which is kind of interesting, is how most of this timeline went down prior to the Charter of Rights being around. Interesting ... in evidence last year we learned about how the Charter affects evidence used (i.e. the prior sworn statement of Nichol John which was read in court, and the jury was then told to disregard).

Can't Believe It's October Next Week

My school weeks have been flying by, which is both good and bad. With only four days of classes a week, and all of my LSA responsibilities, it's a lot packed into a short space of time, and I'm usually exhausted at the end of it all.

I do feel like I've got some progress going on though, which is a good thing. I've drafted a rough copy of my major paper outline, and had some talks with my Prof about it ... so that's a step forward. I've been keeping on top of my Progressive Learning Journal for ADR, which is fabulous, and MOSTLY keeping up with all my reading for classes.

The weather here has been surprisingly gorgeous, for fall, which makes my bus transiting that much better.

I've been feeling pretty relaxed on the weekends, which really helps. Even though I'm exhausted, there usually isn't too much on my plate except for school, resting, and doing a little laundry/household stuff. Really, I've been watching what I take on since it seems that I really need this time on the weekends for myself.

I forgot to mention the fun too ... Jason and I (ahem, well ... probably more so me) were inspired by Thomas' puzzling skills last week, so we picked up a 1500 piece jigsaw that we're having fun putting together in the living room. Awesome.

And now ... just have to fit in a little WOW ... ya know ... gotta do it!

Friday, September 26, 2008

11:00 AM Today

That's when the Commission of Inquiry into the Wrongful Conviction of David Milgaard inquiry report will be released.

Did witnesses lie? We'll all soon find out.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Negotiate This!

I signed up to participate in this year's FMC Negotiation Competition. Exciting! I'll get to put the newly acquired ADR knowledge to the test.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I Was Just Reading ...

... in Canadian Lawyer 4 Students magazine ...

a U of M Law prof conducted a SWOOP in his class ... he forced all students to raise their hands from their keyboards, and then walked around to see what was on their screens.

Hilarious.

Can you imagine? I'm a note-taker by hand, so I always find it interesting to hear about the prof perspective on laptops in the classroom.

The article is Friend or Foe by Robert Todd on page 9, which can be viewed here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

25% Done This Week

Is it bad that I'm already using percentage count-downs to motivate myself? Not sure if it's the infamous 3L apathy setting in, the onset of colder-than-I'd-prefer fall weather, or my exhaustion ... but the percentage count-downs are most certainly necessary already.

I even resorted to breakfast-for-dinner tonight. Can't be motivated for anything, except school (which actually is mostly OK). Got all my reading done for International Trade Law today, which is a feat for me (did up my CANS and everything). ADR was pretty great tonight, but 7-10:00 is a tough time slot when you go ALL THE WAY to 10:00. AND NOW ... to think about tackling tomorrow when all I want to do is curl up with some hot chocolate and a blanket, and watch something good on TV, and then go to bed.

Oh well, at least getting ready for tomorrow doesn't take that long. I like to get organized before Tuesdays and Thursdays so that I can just roll out of bed and keep on rolling out the door without having to process too many brainwaves.

On a side-note ... I <3 my dishwasher. Still making me happy. We've been really good lately at keeping on top of our kitchen, and it honestly grants me serenity. Doesn't take much, non?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Family Filled Weekend

What a great weekend. We were so lucky and got to connect with people from both sides of our families.

Purple sweet peppers from the experimental farm? Yup ... we got a stash from Auntie Dona and Brenda, as well as some gorgeous tomatoes, when we had dinner with them Thursday evening. Mmmm ... ham ... that's all I can say. It was nice to chat with them, and be treated to a great home-cooked meal (makes my cooking look like frozen dinner fare).

Friday, Jason's cousin Ken, his wife Tina, and their 3 kids drove up from the Edmonton area to visit with us and attend the stock car races (Ken's company sponsors one of the drivers). It was so great to have the house full of people again ... the kidlings in this family are such great kids, seriously a pleasure to host.

AND ... the stock car races ... AWESOME! We went to the Auto Clearing Motor Speedway, where we persevered through the chilly evening (thanks to sweaters, blankets, a lucky sleeping bag, and the occasional hot chocolate), and watched the ARCA West Mac's Late Model Series race. It was super thrilling; the cars were loud, the track was tight, and we even got to see some bumping and grinding ... race-car style. I totally understand why people buy season's tickets. Totally something Jason and I would never have just bought tickets for, so it's great that Ken came out and we had the opportunity to see what a great facility is here in Saskatoon.

Between time trials and the race, we even got to see some kids, aged 8 and up, race minicup racing stocks. Apparently these kids got up to 68 miles/hour on the track, and there was passing and jockeying for position, all the same stuff as with the full size race ... pretty kewl.

And now ... to get ready for another week of school. Reading, reading, reading. I may even make soup from scratch today ... anything is possible.

Friday, September 19, 2008

And Then She Rested

My schedule this semester grants me Fridays off. I was thinking this would be such a great opportunity to get ahead on my school work, but so far I've been finding that I'm just exhausted from the 4 school days that I've got, and Fridays turn into days of rest.

Today, though, I'm quite proud of myself. I've gone into an organizational blitz and cleared most of my school 'to do' list, apart from your everyday friendly neighbourhood readings. I finished my first Learning Journal entry for ADR, I've begun my Term Commentary for International Trade Law (which isn't due until the end of the semester, but I figure if I get it done now, it's a weight lifted from my shoulders), and I'm narrowing in on my actual thesis for my Intellectual Property major paper. Besides normal readings and writing 3 final exams, I believe these are the only things that I'll actually have to tackle this semester (in terms of academics).

The Learning Journal for ADR (Alternate Dispute Resolution) is worth 80% of my mark. It's a progressive writing assignment that is due at 3 times over the course of the semester. We have to write 10 entries based on 10 of the 12 classes that we'll end up having. It's just brilliant. A very welcome break from legal writing. I was able to be reflective and inquisitive at the same time, in a conversational tone no less. I think the only challenge with this is keeping up with it. I can't imagine how difficult it would be to try and think back 3 or 4 weeks to a class that you're starting to forget, and come up with some kind of meaningful rumination. At least class is only once a week ... means I have a whole week to tackle each journal entry.

I'm also, I believe, up to date with updating the LSA website which has taken up a good deal of time for me. I'm still really happy with how it's looking, and I've received some really great feedback as to how it's working for students. I'm really hoping that the LSA Council members pick up on the blog feature and we can get a real feeling of communication and involvement going between the LSA Council and the greater LSA membership.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Time Management

I've been trying to time manage, and I'm staying ahead everywhere that I NEED to, but I find that things that I WANT to do are starting to fall behind. Haven't found a chance to skip down to campus for an early morning picture of the fall leaves yet. Maybe next week. I did get the chance to treat myself to a non-fat, decaf, 1/2 sweet pumpkin spice latte yesterday though, and it was SOOOOOO good. Definitely brought home that feeling of fall. Also, haven't had time to round up all of my gym locker stuff from around the house yet ... maybe this weekend.

I have had time to keep up with most of my readings, even start on CANS for some classes (a huge thing for me), and attend an LSA Council meeting last night ... I even did the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument for ADR to find out what conflict resolution style I predominantly lean towards .... Collaboration if anyone is interested ... heh heh heh ... I'm a problem solver. A fellow student even showed me where a sneaky little cafeteria is in the hospital across from the law school, where I could grab some grub before my evening class. I love learning about new sneaky little places.

I'm almost ready to take pictures of our bathroom renos, to show everyone how far we've come ... just need to do some last minute cleaning, and find some shelves and a towel rack. You'd think this would be easy, but we've already checked 2 Home Depots, Rona, J&H Builders, Jysk and Walmart for the shelves ... to find nothing like I'm wanting. I may have to settle for glass wall shelves instead of the Ikea LACK type shelves that I'm wanting (the LACK shelves themselves are too long for the space I want to put them in). The 2 Home Depots had the towel rack that I wanted, but were both out of stock. Sigh. This bathroom has been a real test of my patience, I tell you. As an aside ... who the heck pays more than $50 for a towel rack? There were tons of those available at Home Depot, but it blows my mind that any towel rack could be worth more than $50. Really?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What a Great Day

This last week has been pretty hectic. I did take a relaxing weekend for myself ... did NOTHING school related, slept, recovered from a crazy first full week of school and flexed my culinary prowress. My favourite kitchen creation of the weekend - I tried this fruit crumble recipe from epicurious with frozen blueberries and raspberries (cut the crumble recipe bit in half, though, and followed advice in the comments about upping baking time to 1 hour if using frozen fruit), and it was HEAVENLY. I've got another batch in the oven right now, because I can't get it out of my mind. Super fruity, just enough crumble, seriously ... heaven. PS - pastry blender = one of the best inventions ever.

Seems like overnight the leaves have started changing colour here in Saskatoon. This is my favourite time of year on campus, as the U of S campus becomes so colourful and gorgeous with the fall foliage. I must remember to bring my camera to school one morning, and take some pics ... especially since this will be my last chance to do this!!!

So far 3L has been busy, but not necessarily from the school-work point-of-view. At this point, I think third years have this aspect down ... we know what it takes to write exams and papers, and we know what we have to do throughout the semester to get there. The flurry of activity, for me, has been from the extra-curricular side of things.

There's been a lot of work for the LSA website that I'm maintaining ... this has taken up a lot of my face-time with the computer, hence my blog neglect. I see this slowing down a bit, as school gets busier and as I get into more of an established routine with this. I hope so, since I'd really like to prioritize the blog enteries, seeing as it's my last year to be imparting the law student point-of-view.

Also, September is notoriously packed with events and activities to welcome the first year students, allow returning students to reconnect, and pack in as much fun as possible before we all need to get all serious and studious.

As far as school goes, so far I'm enjoying all of my classes. None of them are too overwhelming on the reading assignments ... so far ... so that seems to be setting me up for a fairly manageable semester. I'm really happy with all of the profs that I have this semester, which also makes a HUGE difference as to how enjoyable the next few months will be.

AND ... on a personal level, I started a weekly yoga class tonight. Sigh. I love yoga. I gave Yoga Central a whirl back in my first year here, which was great ... but I think the weekly class format will work better for me this semester ... with Yoga Central I suffered from I'm-Wasting-Money-From-Not-Attending-Enough-Classes Guilt when I got busy with school. Weekly classes should be more manageable from that perspective. Makes me miss my favourite yoga instructor back in Calgary ... Donna! Can't wait to get back to take classes from you again!!!

So ... today was a great day because I went to school early (had to run to catch the bus, but didn't miss it!), got all my reading done, had relatively painless classes, went home and had a cat-nap, got to go to yoga, and now the Big Brother 10 Finale! Woot woot ... and my berry crumble should be ready soon. Sigh. If only all days could be so perfect.

To cap off the great day, here's a funny to leave with you all ... check out Lainey's blog entry from Monday ... she posted a clip of Tina Fey as Sarah Palin and Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton on Saturday Night Live... it's AWESOME. Seriously, a must watch. Made my week.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Days Seem Shorter

Which is true in terms of daylight time, but not in terms of hours that I have to get stuff done. Yikes.

Monday I had my first ADR class (Alternative Dispute Resolution), which seems like it's going to be an excellent reprieve from the usual daily grind of law school classes. It's supposed to be much more practical and skills oriented, so we'll see how that shapes up over the semester.

Between LSA Council duties and easing back into the routine of reading for school ... I'm exhausted. On the bright side, I'm really happy with how the LSA website is turning out. I'm hoping that people are finding it easier to navigate and more functional/useful this year.

Last night we began painting our bathroom, and to escape from the fumes for a couple of hours we decided to hit up a movie. Unfortunately for us, the only thing that we could both agree on seeing was Tropic Thunder (there honestly isn't much out there for movies right now). Luckily, we used Airmiles coupons, so it wasn't something that we had to pay for ... because if I'd shelled out my own cash, I'd have been pretty mad.

After seeing the film, I can say that in my opinion, all the controversy that surrounded it was well warranted. I understand that the movie was trying to get at humour through being offensive (and believe me, nobody was safe from this ... there were racial jokes, sexual orientation jokes, the marginalization of women ... etc.) ... BUT ... every time someone mentioned the mentally handicapped character that Ben Stiller's actor character portrayed, it was mentioned with the word "retarded" and always with words like "stupid", "idiot", etc.

I can't help but think that if a group of people is going to be picked on, it's in incredibly poor taste to pick on mentally challenged people, and in even poorer taste to analogize being disabled with being stupid. Seems like a really cheap way to get a laugh.

Apart from all that, the movie did have a few moments that were funny. I'm a HUGE Jack Black fan, but his character was pretty weird in the movie. Robert Downey Jr. was pretty good, but again, there were just some really weird parts where you felt like it was designed to engage laughter, but it was too awkward to give the appropriate response. While I'm definitely more sensitive on the "I'm offended" scale than my Husband, even he agreed that, as a movie, it was a pretty weak effort by Ben Stiller.

Oh well ... now we don't have to wait in line to buy it when it comes out on DVD ... ahahahahaha.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Mamma Mia!

Just got back from a matinée with the Law girls ... Mamma Mia! Loved it. Was super cheesy, with some seriously questionable singing (ahem ... Pierce Brosnan ... ahem ... at least he gave it his all ... it would have been way worse if he only gave a half-assed performance) ... but OVERALL the entire experience was delightful and had us all giggling and sighing in pure abandon!

Now ... we all want to go to Greece.

AND ... as a tribute:



Friday, September 05, 2008

Another Look at the Swastika Mom

Here's an interesting article from Canadian Lawyer Magazine about the same topic I addressed back on July 15th and July 22nd:

When Harm is Defined Politically
by: Ezra Levant

Had A Pretty Great Thursday

So ... International Law and Intellectual Property Law are probably going to be just great. Professor Von T is teaching International, the same prof that I had for Health Law. She's straight-forward, knows her stuff, and is really easy to follow. This should be a great class. She even addressed the scary appearance of the casebook, which I now understand to be the lesser of all evils when it comes to International Law casebooks.

Also, it made my day yesterday when I found out that I can write a major paper instead of the 100% final exam in Intellectual Property Law. This means that I'll be done IP on December 2nd instead of December 19th, bumping up my fall semester finish to December 17th. Yay! Home for Christmas two days earlier than expected. I'm already booting around ideas for my paper topic, which is a good sign, I'd say.

In celebration of the first week of my classes done, Jason and I went to Calories for dinner last night (with our trusty GC, thanks S). Mmmmm .... Calories. The new menu had started just last night, so we were privy to a neat selection of dishes. It is so nice to be able to eat somewhere where the serving staff are actually knowledgeable and excited about the menu. While it is on the pricier side of normal, the food is really inventive and quite different from what you'll find at any ol' restaurant ... and the dessert .... the dessert. Chocolate Pâté ... need I say more?

This weekend I'm planning on sticking around close to home and trying to get a leg up on my reading (ya, ya, ya, nerd alert ... I know). With my LSA involvement this year, I don't want to chance falling behind at all, so if I can get ahead right off the start, I should be in good shape for the rest of the semester. I've tried a new method so far this year, and it seems to be working out OK. I'm actually constructing my own formal CANS (as opposed to spreadsheets and flowcharts), which I print and take into class to make notes on throughout the lecture. I'm sure the flowcharts will come into the picture around exam time, since they really help me sort out the concepts in my head, but for now I think I'll see how the CANS method does for me.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

One Day of Classes Under My Belt

So, yesterday I had my first International Trade Law class, and my first Family Law I Class. I think I'm really going to like both.

The more I think about it, if I end up getting into anything technology related, International Trade Law will probably be imperative. The social/political issues that are so intertwined with the subject are also right up my alley. In summary, I'm super glad that I ended up balloting out this class, even though it wasn't at the top of my list.

Family Law I was entertaining last night. I've heard nothing but good things about Professor Whalen, so I'm glad that I was able to get into this class with him. This was a class that I wasn't REALLY looking forward to taking, but again, I think I'm going to be pleasantly surprised. My Gender and the Law class last year, as well as being a married law student, have really changed the way that I critically think about a lot of the issues that will be coming up in Family. Hopefully this will prove to make for a really engaging semester. In summary, I'm really looking forward to this class too, and I REALLY love evening classes. I'd probably take all evening classes if I could (although then it would be hard to fit in the yoga classes that I signed up for ... sigh ... I guess you can't have it all ... ahahahaha).

My trip to the bookstore was pretty successful yesterday. I think I've picked up everything that I need. I got to the bookstore at about 8:10 or so, and it opened at 8:30. I was the first in line. There was a line that developed to get in, but the check-out lines were super fast. I stand by my assertation that opening is the best time to hit that place.

On deck for today is International Law and Intellectual and Industrial Property Law. I have to admit that I'm mostly un-thrilled with the looks of the International Law textbook ... pretty thick and pretty heavy (and NO COMMENTS about not judging a book by it's cover ... you would too if you saw this book). Might have to be one that stays in the ol' locker at school so that I don't have to lug it around. Hopefully this textbook doesn't mean a CRAZY amount of reading (I don't mind A LOT, since Bus Org last year I've learned how to manage A LOT, but A CRAZY AMOUNT would really bring me down). I checked out the class list for International, and a few of my buddies that did the Jessup Moot (International Law moot) last year are in this class ... so that's a good sign. Hopefully if I have a panicked late night question for any reason, they'll humour me.

I'm also looking forward to Intellectual Property. I've heard that this is a good course, and of course with my background in Computer Science, it should be pretty relevant to creating a niche for myself in the law somewhere when I'm out in the "real world" as a lawyer ... that is ... if I don't get seduced by the money to be made by the mess that is the human condition as a family law lawyer .... Whalen is so funny.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Orientation

What a long day, yesterday.

Orientation for the 1Ls officially started yesterday. As an LSA Council member, I was there with bells on helping with various activities including handing out LSA T-Shirts, herding people around for the various registration type things, and participating in the sibling match.

Looks like we've got a great bunch of 1Ls coming in, everyone seemed very friendly, super eager, and a little bit nervous (ahh ... how similar to my first day of law 2 years ago).

Also, looks like classes officially start for the upper years TODAY! There was some confusion on this topic, so it is finally settled. I'm making an early morning trek to the bookstore to get some textbooks and then it'll be on; 3L will begin officially.

After talking to some of my classmates yesterday, I think I'm going to forget about finagling my schedule, and just stick with what I've got ... one person told me that International Trade Law is a pretty good course. I was sure that it was interesting, but still was thinking about trying to get into a seminar to have a paper assessment instead of an exam assessment ... but I've been convinced, so I'll see how it goes.

And ... off to school I go. I have International Trade Law and Family Law today, so I'll update later with how those classes seem to be after the first class.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Right Back in the Swing of Things

Wow. I can't believe it's September.

Today was the first official LSA Council meeting. It was kind of a shock to be back at school, but kind of refreshing as well. There's something about going back to school in the fall ... the word crisp comes to mind. Reminds me of a line from the movie You've Got Mail ... "Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address." Sigh.

My blog postings should become a bit more regular now, since I'll actually have relevant things to talk about. Aren't you all excited? Ahahhahahahahahahaha.

As for jumping right back in, that's no joke. There's a full week of orientation activities going on this week, not to mention the start of actual classes.

Speaking of which, I've balloted out the following classes:
  • Intellectual Property (my #1 choice)
  • Family Law I (my #2 choice)
  • Alternate Dispute Resolution (my #3 choice)
  • International Law (my #5 choice)
  • International Trade Law (my #8 choice)
So ... I didn't do too badly, I got my top 3 choices ...

I may have to finagle the schedule a little and try and drop International Trade Law for a paper seminar ... but we'll see how the first week goes.

What sucks is that I have a cold. Started with a scratchy throat (just over a week ago) which went away but turned into the sniffles, then the major runny nose, and has now resulted in some chest congestion. GAH. I hate coughing. Hopefully this stage of this cold runs it's course as quickly as the other stages have. I bought some orange juice today for some extra vitamin C boostage, and I've got chicken noodle soup on hand, so I should be good to go.

And ... to prepare for the ubiquitous line-ups that plague the first few weeks of school. Luckily, no parking pass line-up for me this year. The bus pass worked out so great for me last year ... hopefully there isn't too long of a line-up for the bus pass though. Sigh.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I Know It Has Been Awhile ...

... but I've been busy Baby!

Jason and I were so lucky, we got to go on an ALASKAN CRUISE with my family. The modes of transportation that were involved were plentiful and diverse, and so I'm going to list them (in a brief outline of where we've been which I hope to fill in with more detail later):

We drove in our vehicle from Saskatoon to Calgary on August 14th:


In Calgary, we had a few days to get some things done and connect with some people. We got to spend some time with Jason's family in Canmore, which was a real treat, for his cousin's 30th B-Day:
On August 17th, we flew to Vancouver:


We had a nice breakfast (all 8 of us) at the Vancouver airport, and then we took a limo to the Canada Place Pier:


At Canada Place, we boarded the Norwegian Cruise Lines ship, the Norwegian Sun. It was bright and sunny onboard, and we were docked at Vancouver until about 5:00 PM.


From Vancouver, we sailed for a day and a bit and arrived in Ketchikan, Alaska on August 19th:


Ketchikan was pretty busy with cruise ships ...


... so we got to ride tenders in to the actual port:


In Ketchikan, some of our party were bussed to the Rainforest Ropes & Zipline Challenge Course, and the rest of us walked to the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show:


We all grabbed a nice lunch overlooking the harbour, and then got back on our ship to sail to Juneau. We arrived in Juneau on August 20th (NOTE: I take liberties with marking the pathway of the cruise ship, I just wanted something to illustrate where we ROUGHLY went, I didn't look up our exact path through the inner passage):

In Juneau, our entire group did the Juneau and Mendenhall Glacier tour, where we all boarded a bus driven by a tourguide that we dubbed "Carefree Carol". First, we stopped at the Mendenhall Glacier:


Next, we stopped at the Macaulay salmon hatchery:


Some of us were traumatized when we witnessed the following:



The mature salmon are clubbed so that their eggs and sperm can be harvested to create the next batch of hatchlings.

After "Carefree Carol" dropped us off, we walked around Juneau a little bit, and dropped into the world famous Red Dog Saloon for a beer:


After leaving Juneau, we sailed through the Tracy Arm and took in some AMAZINGLY SPECTACULAR scenery, definitely a highlight:


We spotted a scouting boat from our ship that went ahead to see how dire the ice situation was ...



... unfortunately, there was too much ice in the water and we had to turn around about 2 miles away from Sawyer Glacier.

We arrived in Skagway, arriving on August 21st:


Here, the whole crew partook of the White Pass Scenic Railway tour, where we took the White Pass and Yukon Rail train ride.



And then had lunch and walked around Skagway itself.


From August 22nd - August 24th we sailed back to Vancouver.


On our first at sea day (August 22nd), Kristin celebrated her 26th birthday on the roughest sea day we had for the whole trip. Most of us retired to our rooms for a good portion of the afternoon, but we had a great b-day dinner celebration in the Seven Seas dining room. That evening, we also got to check out the chocoholic buffet (HAPPY b-day for Kristin).

When we arrived back in Vancouver on August 24th, we took a limo ride to our downtown hotel. We spent the afternoon trying to get our land legs back, and dined on Granville Island , at Sammy J. Peppers, with family friends who live in the Vancouver area.


After dinner we took a water taxi back to the downtown side of False Creek, and got to watch the sunset over the water. Sigh:


August 25th it was an early taxi ride to the Vancouver airport for all of us, and an early flight back to Calgary (Kristin and Julie both had to go to work that day ... yikes):


On August 26th, Jason and I drove up to the Edmonton area to visit with his family (it was his Mom's B-Day), and so that he could play in a hole-in-one tournament.


On August 28th, we drove back to Saskatoon.



Sigh.

Here's the whole trip on a map. So ... you can see ... I've covered a lot of ground: