I hadn’t posted anything in a while and figured I’d set blogging down for now. But I just went out and bought a new canvas and I already feel super excited to get the year going! It’s funny what a blank slate will do.
Law school is a funny place - it feels like a black hole. Every so often I remember that I have other things going on (family? outside friends? volunteer work? biology knowledge? what!) and it blows my mind. Perspective is a hard in a black hole, what with there being no time or space.
Having said that, I like it. What I’ve found really challenging though is balancing the parts of the law that I really enjoy and the part of the law that I need to know. I used to read cases with a lot of interest and curiosity - thinking about the kinds of social values different judgements reflected, and the systematic patterns they created. Turns out this wasn’t a very efficient way to use my time and I almost invariably missed the “point” of the case.
Then for a while I started reading cases solely for the legal precedent they set, creating a more succinct idea of what judgements meant, why they mattered, and the situations in which they would be relevant. I had coffee with two old friends from Queen’s last week, Matt and Sarah, and they said that it really sounded like I was being taught how to be a lawyer. I think that’s very true. But I also think that this is a very impoverished way of reading the law. It’s more efficient, but for me, it’s made my work more tedious and has been wearing down my enjoyment of the law.
So now I’m working to strike a balance between the two. It’s been challenging so far! Law school really feels like a marathon. I find that it’s not so much the volume or difficulty of the work that’s challenging. I remember having three labs a week and that was way worse on my free time (especially when I smelled like fly nap half of the week). What’s different though, I think, is the relentless nature of the work. It’s a steady stream, and it’s way too predictable!
My plan for the semester though is to strike that balance between learning what I like and what I need to know. And then to spend the rest of my time doing things that I really enjoy and value! Here are some recent developments that I’m pretty excited about:
1) Modern dance. I’m taking a class and there’s a RECITAL at the end! I hope I get to play the teapot/ watering can
2) Friday night trivia at Fort St. Cafe!! It makes me miss Grad Club Trivia
3) Knitigation - the law knitting club. I’m currently making a scarf!
5) Starting a new painting. This I will be posting about very soon!
6) Getting a little better at blogging
For now though, I’m going to research for a legal memo I have to write. Luckily it involves stolen jewelry and throwing stars, so it’s pretty interesting!
PS - HEY CHRISTINE AND LAURA!
My friend Karen came up with this idea where every weekend, a different person plans an activity for under 20$. Last weekend, we biked the Galloping Goose Trail and visited a natural historic lighthouse. It was beautiful, and there was something oh so cathartic about following our friend Chris who led the way (and seems most at home on a bike). It was amazing, and came in at a whopping 3.90$ (although if you factor in the post bike burgers and nachos and beers, maybe we weren’t quite on budget … )
Our next adventure is going to be a hockey game (this one’s Chris’ planned weekend). I think I’ll plan the next event - if the weather’s nice I might suggest joining a naturalist society in removing invasive species from a local forest.
In the meantime, I’ve got a whole lot of work and reading to do. I could really use a week off just so I can process and organize all the information accumulating in these binders. I’ll write a post about law school soon.
I’ve also started volunteering with the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre, and my first of about a dozen training sessions was this past week. I’ll post about that soon too.
Four weeks ago, I packed up all of my belongings into a tiny car and drove 5000km west. Three weeks ago, I walked into my first day of law school at the University of Victoria. Two weeks ago, I bought a big canvas and started a painting project called Conventional Wisdom. Last week I learned how to throw a nice left hook. And today I hiked up a mountain with some great people (who were, incidentally, also avoiding reading about criminal sentencing!).
These events are about law school, social justice, environmental ethics, art, trying new things, finding comfort in discomfort, and the maintenance of good character and repute.
Thanks for joining my adventure!
September 25th, 2011