Wednesday, September 15, 2008 – First Assignment Due Tomorrow… and other things

Well, I have to say, so far, so good. Last week was intense for me because I had missed a bunch of readings for Civil Law Property in my first week, and it took me quite a while to wade through them, partially because they were in French (constantly having to refer to a 20-lb dictionary takes time), and partially because they were written in a dense, obtuse style that would have made my head spin even in English. I am still not sure if that time was well spent, because I got only fragmentary information out of those readings and their content was not covered in class, but the good student in me is still glad I did them… despite the hours and hours and hours I could have spent with my boyfriend, or cooking, or doing laundry…

Overall, we’re getting into the substance of the courses now. Classes are lively, and most of the material is being taught with constant comparisons between the common law and the civil law system. The Socratic method is not extensively used here, so we’re all pretty relaxed in class, free to speak when we have something to say, but also secure in the knowledge that we won’t be mercilessly grilled about something we only have a rudimentary grasp of.

And tomorrow, our first assignment – a case summary – is due for Legal Meth. It’s worth 10%, and it’s a baptism by fire – we’ll know how to do it right after getting it back with a grade. Not that we haven’t had explanations of how to do it… but the explanations have been brief and somewhat contradictory, coming one way from the prof and another way from the tutorial liaison (upper year student charged with teaching us the nitty-gritty). I kinda like this approach – one learns better from failing than from succeeding, right? And it’s only 10%.

Before I run to my contracts class, I wanted to also mention that Wednesday last week was Clubs Day – and there was a bit of a fair going on in the atrium of the law building with every student organization hawking candy and gathering e-mail addresses from perspective members. The variety was impressive – everything from the Business Law Association to wine appreciation to a theatre group to Avocats Sans Frontiers (Lawyers Without Borders). I joined a few things for which the time commitment would be manageable – the Womens’ Caucus, which involves female alumni and is a bit of a mentoring group (among other activities in the community), and the Human Rights Working Group, which has a number of smaller groups involved in community outreach activities. I can definitely say, there is a student organization for every persuasion. This is a dynamic place. On that note, I gotta run to class.

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