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.