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.


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


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.