March 19, 2012
“Do you wish the Legal and Literary Society of Osgoode Hall Law School to cancel the Health Plan and Dental Plan currently in place with the broker Gallivan & Associates Student Networks (a Division of Groupworks Financial Group)?”
o Yes o No o Abstain
"Should the constitutions of the Legal and Literary Society and Student Caucus be amended to create an Equity Officer position?"
o Yes o No o Abstain
It’s Time to Vote Osgoode... The End of the World is Not Nigh
Follow my Dating Advice Don’t Follow Dating Advice
The Wendy Babcock Drag Show: The Space We Inhabit
“The definitive source for Osgoode news” Osgoode Hall Law School, 0014G York University 4700 Keele Street Toronto, ON M3J 1P3 Tel. 416.736.2100 x77527 Fax. 416.736.5736 E-mail. ObiterDicta@osgoode.yorku.ca Website. www.obiter-dicta.ca
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” - Henry Ford
Editors-in-Chief: Cassie Burt-Gerrans, Andrew Monkhouse, Jennifer O’Dell Sponsorship Manager: Rory Wasserman Business Manager: Kristina Bliakharsky Osgoode News Editor: Kyle Rees Opinions Editor: Nick Van Duyvenbode Arts & Culture Editor: Nancy Situ News Editor: Hassan Ahmad Sports Editor: Joe Marcus Staff Writers: Cass Da Re, Michael Szubelak, Jack LeCasse, Dave Shellnutt Contributors: Spencer Bailey, , Laura Fagan, Dave Babin, JP Bertoja Layout Editors: Julia Vizzaccaro, Harjot Atwal, Nancy Situ, Devin Santos Photography: Harjot Atwal Website Editors: Nancy Situ, Cassie Burt-Gerrans
Articles are due at 2 p.m. on the Wednesday before date of publication. The appropriate maximum length for articles is 1200 words. Please submit articles in Microsoft Word format via e-mail attachment to obiterdicta@osgoode. yorku.ca. Please attach photographs separately; do not include them in your Word document. The Obiter Dicta is the official student newspaper of Osgoode Hall Law School. The opinions expressed in the articles contained herein are not necessarily those of the Obiter staff. The Obiter reserves the right to refuse any submission that is judged to be libelous or defamatory, contains personal attacks, or is discriminatory on the basis of sex, race, religion, or sexual orientation. Submissions may be edited for length and/or content. The Obiter Dicta is published weekly during the school year, and is printed by Weller Publishing Co. Ltd.
monday - march 19 - 2012
Editorial - Thanks It’s the second last issue of the Obiter Dicta. Those of us who have been involved in the paper for the last 3 years have used the countdown to the final issue as a kind of calendar – second last issue, exams are on their way. Final issue on the 26th, exams are basically around the corner. AHHHH. Reading Luke Field’s column (on page 14) was interesting for those of us on the Editorial Board. He discusses whether he misses Osgoode (or not). It made us wonder: what will we miss after we’ve crossed that stage on June 14th? We’ll muse a little bit more on this topic in our next editorial, but there is one thing I know all of us on the Editorial Board will miss: the Obiter Dicta. Being a part of the Obiter Dicta has been a wonderful experience. We hope you, the reader, have enjoyed reading it as much as we’ve enjoyed publishing it. We also hope you’ve liked the changes we’ve made to the paper this year. You may have noticed we changed the layout of the paper and added some structure so you can jump to the sections you’re most interested in (like Osgoode News or Arts & Culture). We’ve also had a number of features that appear from issue to issue such as (but not limited to) the Fake It or Make It articles (courtesy of the superstars Kyle Rees and RJ Wallia), the Unreasonable Man columns (thanks to our hero, Travis Weagant) or the Happiness Project pieces (by the amazing Cass Da Re). We’ve also tried to have more themes for our paper like Diversity Week and ILP, and for the first time ever, ran a tabloid issue. Putting out 21 issues this year wouldn’t have been possible without our amazing staff. In our very first issue we joked about what it takes to put together a weekly school paper (did you know we’re the only law school paper in Canada that runs weekly?). There was crying, racoons and late nights in the construction zones of Osgoode Hall. In all seriousness, however, running this paper is like having a part-time job. There are numerous staff who put in a lot of hours to the paper each week. It’s a big commitment given that law school is more than a fulltime job itself. So, it’s time to thank these people for the work they’ve done all year. From the bottom of our hearts, Obiter Dicta Staff, you are amazing and we couldn’t have published a paper this year without you! The Layout Crew (Julia Vizzaccaro, Harjot Atwal, Devin Santos and Nancy Situ): The layout crew are like a bunch of Adobe InDesign ninjas. The break into the Obiter office (well, enter with their keys) and put together the stylish paper we have today.
The Business Team (Rory Wasserman, Kristina Bliakharsky and Harjot Atwal): We literally would not be able to send a paper to press without these people. They run our budget, liaise with our advertisers and keep the creditors away by making sure our bills get paid. They are also constantly coming up with great ideas to better the paper by increasing readership. For example, thanks to this team, we hosted our first-ever contest: The Wendy Babcock Social Justice Contest. The Web Guru (Nancy Situ): Have you seen our amazing new website? That was all done by the fantastic Nancy Situ… from scratch. That’s right. She’s not only legally brilliant, but she can code a website too. Check it out at www.obiterdicta.ca. There are some seriosuly sweet features like being able to view our issues in .pdf format (see the top right corner) or being able to comment on articles via Facebook. Our Section Editors and Staff Writers: We couldn’t produce a paper without content, and well, these people outdo themselves each week to provide us with a variety of articles. They are the paper’s bread and butter… without them, our paper would be 4 pages long consisting of a sudoku puzzle and a number of pictures of the JCR. Section Editors: Kyle Rees, Nick Van Duyvenbode, Nancy Situ, Hassan Ahmad, Joe Marcus, and Rory Wasserman Staff Writers: RJ Wallia, Eric Marques, Marcel Malfitano, Tracey Hardie, Travis Weagant, Ashley Stacey, Cass Da Re, Dave Shellnutt, Emily Gray, Hashim Ghazi, Jessica Hinman, John Lucas, Karolina Wisniewski, Pamela Hinman, Michael Szubelak, and Krum Dochev Photography (Harjot Atwal): Our staff photographer is there covering every event at Osgoode. His pictures are often the cover, and add an even more personal touch to the paper. We love his live action shots and we hope you do too! These are the people who have worked tirelessly over the past year, and right through to March so that we can keep on producing a paper that entertains and engages the Osgoode community. Finally, THANK YOU dear readers for being one of the most engaged students bodies this paper has seen. We have thoroughly enjoyed all the Letters to the Editor this year - yes, we enjoy your criticism! You have voiced your concerns, raised pertinent points and have greatly contributed to the overall quality of this paper. Hats off to everyone who has made this year an incredible one. the OBITERdicta
Letters to the Editor Letter to the Editor: Referendums are Cool Dear Obiter, Over the past year L&L has debated the necessity, functionality and price of our current health plan with Gallivan. Due to our small numbers the plan has fluctuated a lot (that has to do with usage as well). What started out in 2006 as a plan that cost students just over $200.00 has ballooned to $390+ for each student. We don’t know how much this will cost next year. Additionally, we are faced with paying these costs until 2014 unless you the student body decide through this referendum to end the contract with Gallivan. This is not Gallivan’s fault, it is the market and we as a group of 887 students are not fairing well in it. As an example, York students pay $225.00 for comparable coverage. I encourage you to look into the York University plan to make comparisons. L&L has decided to put the question of what to do with our health plan to you, the students. This is your decision. If students choose to opt out of this plan, we are left with many options. Currently a number of students are on the YU health care plan (all Osgoode students are eligible to apply to the York plan); others are covered by employers; there are also a number of insurance companies that cover individuals (e.g. Blue Cross). Depending on how this referendum goes it may be the mandate of future Legal & Lit Execs to look into different health care coverage plans. In the past there was a need for autonomy amongst the Osgoode body - we felt that it was
appropriate to have separate health insurance from the larger York University population. Now, students appear to value the cost of health coverage over the need for autonomy. By proposing this referendum we are being responsive to what we have heard from the greater Osgoode community this year and in years past. Secondly, after student consultations with the Equality Committee, a campaign to reach out to students and very detailed and in-depth discussions with both levels of student government, L&L and Student Caucus have proposed adding the much needed additional position of an Equity Officer. This decision was made in light of the requests we have received from students to have a member of your student government who will be focused on equity and responsive to the student body. This is a constitutional amendment that will create an Equity Officer who will sit as both a voting member of L&L and SC. We feel that equity issues require the full time support of a student government member. This position has been created for you, to ensure that you are safe, free from discrimination and able to speak freely and openly knowing your right to do so is protected. It is our hope that you will agree and vote YES to the establishment of an Equity Officer in this year’s election. We know these are very big changes. However, they are vital and necessary questions that need to be addressed. In terms of student government support, the Health Plan Referendum question received over the 2/3 majority vote needed on L&L, in fact it was nearly a unanimous decision. For the Equity Officer position both SC and L&L voted
separately on the issue. Both levels of government again met the 2/3 majority threshold needed to call a referendum and make a constitutional amendment. The support for an Equity Officer was almost unanimous as well. We will be providing more information this week through info sessions on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. We want you to be informed and confident in voting on both of these important student issues. As always we STRONGLY ENCOURAGE you to reach out to any of your student government reps or email firstname.lastname@example.org with you thoughts. Thanks and good luck to all the candidates. Dave Shellnutt President L&L Letter to the Editor: McGill Guide Editors, I found the footnotes at the end of your articles in the last few editions of the Obiter Dicta extremely helpful. Though the Obiter Dicta is “the definitive source of Osgoode news”it is slowly surpassing the Osgoode Hall Law Journal as the students’ preferred choice for scholarly articles. Sincerely, Mr. McGill Guide 1. Obiter Dicta (5 March 2012) 1.
Referendum Questions: Health Plan: "Do you wish the Legal and Literary Society of Osgoode Hall Law School to cancel the Health Plan and Dental Plan currently in place with the broker Gallivan & Associates Student Networks (a Division of Groupworks Financial Corp)?"
Equity Amendment to L&L/SC Constitutions: "Should the constitutions of the Legal and Literary Society and Student Caucus be amended to create an Equity Officer position?"
raise awareness of discrimination on campus and in the community; and f. be responsible for ensuring that all activities and endorsements of The Society reflect the antioppressive mandate of the Society and g. endeavor to facilitate that all Student Government Members, Student Club Executives, Staff, Faculty and Students of Osgoode Hall Law School receive anti-oppression training within five months of the elected term; and
Here is the Proposed Amendment to Article VI POWERS, DUTIES AND QUALIFICATIONS OF MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE, the addition of Art. VI s. 10.
h. be responsible for observing all activities of The Society and those supported by The Society to ensure that they are not exclusionary or discriminatory in nature and address any problems as they arise within all best efforts; and
10. The Equity Officer shall: a. be a Regular Member and Executive of the Society; and
i. act as the official liaison between the Society and relevant University organizations, offices and departments dedicated to the awareness and elimination of discrimination; and
b. sit as a member of Student Caucus; and c. be an undergraduate of the Law School throughout his or her term of office; and d. sit on the Equity Committee of Faculty Council; and e. promote initiatives and activities that aim to
j. represent the Society when issues regarding discrimination and equity are raised in the York University and Osgoode Hall Law School community and need to be addressed; and k. work with the President and Vice President External to develop equity-based and other rel-
evant campaigns; and l. participate as a member of the Orientation Committee; and m. report twice a semester to all equity speaking groups, the Society, Student Caucus and the general student body by way of an open forum and written report; and n. actively solicit the opinions of equity seeking groups and work with those groups and other partners for the promotion of a discrimination free, equitable, and safe campus; and o. promote mental health awareness and lead the student body in responding to mental health issues; and p. represent the Society on relevant University committees and taskforces concerning use of University space, security, and admissions; and q. create or update a transition binder to inform the incoming Equity Officer of ongoing campaigns and goals for the Society, the Equity Officer and other partners; and r. train and advise the incoming Equity Officer; and s.
discharge the duties listed in the By-Laws.
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The Woodwork Briefs MICHAEL SZUBELAK Staff Writer Following soccer has become in many ways the bane of my existence. Don’t get me wrong - I still adore the thrill of seeing the ball hit the back of the net or a keeper’s impossible fingertip save, but the act of staying up to date on every minutiae of soccer news is becoming tedious. There is a lot of soccer content on the internet. The problem is too much of it is poorly written and repetitive in nature. Original pieces and new themes are difficult to come by. So to save my readers from having to drudge through the mud that can be soccer journalism/blogerrism, I wish to provide you with the briefest of updates on the latest soccer news focusing on some lighter areas of general interest. Goal Line Technology Lampard’s goal for England at the last World Cup actually went in, but was disallowed apparently ruining their chances of advancement. The Brits are pissed off (surprise, surprise) wailing on about Maradona’s Hand of God and their status as perpetual underachievers, blah blah blah. Am I the only one bored by their complaints? That said, FIFA’s old boys are acting slowly on this front - afraid it’ll hurt the “flow of the game”. Some leagues have begun experimenting with the tech. Give it another year or two. Women’s Progress Canada’s U-20 women’s team lost to - you guessed it - the U.S. of A. That’ll be the case for most teams that face the American women in years to come. No worries though, the game was largely a glorified practice session as both teams qualified for the Under-20 World Cup in Japan this summer. The senior women’s national team lost in the final of the invitational Cyprus Cup against France. Again, not to worry, our women are one of the favourites at this summer’s Olympic games in London.
The real Champions League Messi scored 5 goals in a single match. A week later Mario Gomez scores 4 in 90 minutes. Chelsea comes back from an unexpected two-goal deficit against Napoli. Frankly, Champion’s League soccer is the best kind of soccer. Top European clubs begin facing off in September and the tournament runs until May. The remaining elite 8 include AC Milan, APOEL (the dark horse Cypriots), Chelsea, Barcelona, Bayern München, Marseille, Real Madrid and Portuguese outfit, Benfica. Unfortunately, many of the remaining matches take place just before and during Osgoode’s exam period, which is plain depressing.
bad news - the Impact will likely spend most of the season at the bottom of the league table. This seems to be a trend with expansion teams in the MLS.
The other European tournament This is the tournament that the top coaches of the top teams deride and complain about when they are ‘forced’ to participate. Both ManU and ManCity fit that description. Every other participating team is thrilled to match up against a variety of the decent to good European clubs. Playing against quality competitors is experience many players long for. In many ways this tournament is the great equalizer on the European stage where minnows like Sporting CP and Athletic Bilbao can trounce the aforementioned Manchester giants.
Canadian Players Abroad We all know about Dwayne DeRosario. Yes, he’s pretty good, but he’s old news. David ‘Junior’ Holiett, striker for the Blackburn Rovers, should be on your radar along with Jonathan De Guzman (Villareal), Simeon Jackson (Norwich City), Josh Simpson (BSC Young Boys) and Atiba Hutchinson (PSV Eindhoven). Holiett and De Guzman, in particular, are exactly what Canada’s men’s team is lacking - youth and talent. The problem is both players have multiple heritages and might end up playing for Canada or donning jerseys for Jamaica - Holiett’s father is Jamaican - and, in de Guzman’s case, one of the Netherlands, the Philippines or Jamaica. The Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) - the executive of Canadian national soccer - must act with haste and pull out all the stops to convince these players to represent Canada. This is a very difficult task as evidenced by U.S. failure to recruit New Jersey native Giuseppe Rossi and previous attempts to get Bosnian born Asmir Begovic (who grew up in Canada) to join Canada’s senior team. Here’s hoping.
Montreal Impact Part of the careful MLS expansion strategy, the Montreal Impact have risen from the second tier NASL to join the Division I elite of North America, that is Major League Soccer. The good news - another Canadian MLS team, not to mention one from Quebec; the potential for a derby-like rivalry developing between two cultural capitals; improved player development opportunities for young Canadian players. The
Bankruptcy and Big Money Owners Fact: The majority of soccer clubs lose money. Those that turn a profit tend to have wealthy owners among them sheiks, Russian oligarchs, Indian magnates and Lebron James, who happens to hold a minority stake in Liverpool FC. Rangers FC, a top Scottish club, is on the brink of insolvency and could very well become a play toy for someone out there with, like, way too much money.
TFC in the CONCACAF Champions League A sold out SkyDome is in itself a spectacle. Some 45,000 fans came to watch the TFC play a respectable game against 2011 MLS Cup winners L.A. Galaxy. Yes, David Beckham was there too. So were Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane. More importantly, 23 year old rookie Luis Silva scored his first significant MLS goal. Keep an eye on this kid - he’s hungry. The second leg in L.A. could not have gone any better. TFC played with heart, determination and some serious gusto. A 2-1 win means the boys in red head to the semifinals against Mexican side, Santos Laguna, who have played notoriously well scoring an insane total of 17 goals in 4 home games. monday - march 19 - 2012
Opinions The End Of The World Is Not Nigh. DAVE BABIN Contributor So, it’s March. That means that several things are true right now: 1. The Maple Leafs are going to make a con certed effort to sprint to the finish of the NHL season, only to trip at the finish line. 2. It’s maple syrup season, which means that if you’re so inclined you can traipse an hour in almost any direction of the city and drink sugar straight from a tree (awesome). 3. We’re all slowly realizing that the notion of “doing ___________ after Reading Week” has transmogrophied into the need to “do ___________ now, OH SHIT!” The thing about point number 3 is that it can quickly grow from a nuisance into an all consuming hell-storm that crushes happiness like a sunflower under a Ford pickup. If you don’t keep things in perspective, it can really harsh on your mellow. It can feel like you have drawn the worst lot in the world and no one has it as bad as you. Well, friend, you are wrong.
manner, and so decided to take a route known as the Hastings Cutoff. The cutoff was proposed by a guy named Lansford Hastings, who recommended that the group navigate their 500 wagons through his super secret route because it’d get them to California without too much trouble. They instantly got into trouble by taking this route, because Hastings had never once taken ANY wagons through it, and they all got stuck in the snow. Everyone dealt with this in more or less the same way: cannibalism. 15 members set out on snowshoes, and 8 made it, having survived by eating their friends. The remainder hid out in cabins, and of those, 40 made it to California eventually, having survived the winter by (wait for it), eating their friends. This whole sojourn would have felt like the end of the friggin’ world. 3. The Toothpick Fish The toothpick fish is the colloquial name for the ‘Candiru’, which is a parasitic freshwater catfish that is native to the Amazon River. They typically feed on the blood of mammals by latching on to their prey using backwardpointing spines on their head to latch on to their meals. Moreover, these clever mofos have translucent bodies that make them hard to spot in the waters of the Amazon. That doesn’t sound
so bad, right? I mean, the Amazon is home to all sorts of other dangerous and intriguing creatures, infectious diseases and impenetrable jungle. Well, the funny thing about the toothpick fish is that it’s been alleged to use those same backwards-pointing spines to help it lodge itself inside the human urethra. Yep, THAT urethra. Whether the stories are true or not, anything that has somehow garnered a reputation for leaping headfirst into a person that way has got to be an incarnation of the end of the world. So, let’s recap. Law school gives us three months of prep time for a couple of days of mild anxiety, after which we have almost no academic responsibilities for a duration of at least two weeks at a time. At no point does law school ever threaten our well-being with white hot clouds of imminent destruction, survivalism predicated on eating our classmates, or, well, the toothpick fish. When you put all of these things side by side, it would seem that we sometimes overlook how good our lives can be while we remain students. Let’s all keep that in mind as we quietly pass the time between now, and the when the Canadiens pass the Leafs in the Eastern Conference. Sorry, between now and the end of exams.
At the end of the day, students, and law students in particular have problems that are minor in the great scheme of things. We get 3 months to get ourselves organized, read, discuss questions with our colleagues and professors, and then sit down and quietly record our answers for marking in exams and essays. Doesn’t really seem like the end of the world, does it? Need proof that it isn’t? Okay. The following is a short list of things that would actually seem like the end of the world: 1. The Eruption of Mount Vesuvius. In 79 AD, the entire town of Pompeii was buried under up to 25 meters of ash when the mountain next door decided to up and explode. That ash was 250 degrees Celsius when it slammed into the town and buried everyone and their brother alive. It was moving so fast that, had the townsfolk been about to twupdate their twitter accounts, they would have written “OMFG Vesuvius #isithotinhere #ashcloudwednesd…” and then been vaporized. This, friends, would have felt like the end of the world. 2. The Donner Party. The Donner Party was an ill-fated expedition to explore the American West that set out from Missouri in 1846. Long story short, they were aiming to get to California in a timely the OBITERdicta
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Follow My Dating Advice – Don’t Follow Dating Advice! LAURA FAGAN Girlfriend-at-Law & Contributor Dating can be a complicated and frustrating social practice. In order to simplify baffling situations that invariably occur when we attempt to determine the suitability of another as a potential mate, society has conveniently created a set of rules that most people abide by. Following established “dating Dos and Don’ts” may seem convenient on the surface, as it allows for predictability and clearer explanations when trudging through the dating mud. However, ironically, the rules that intend to simplify dating have instead turned it into a manipulative game resulting in unfavourable consequences. Dating rules assume that people are predictable and alike. When the dating process inevitably allows for the discovery of another person’s individuality, and when a situation occurs that we cannot neatly prescribe to the Dos and Don’ts of dating, it can cause shock and lead to dating failure. I’ll explain. I admit, I am an avid reader of woman’s magazines. I also enjoy reading chick lit and watching a good chick-flick movie. This has allowed me, like many other people, to become quite knowledgeable and well versed in dating rules. One famous well-known rule is Never Have Sex on the First Date. It is popular belief that when a woman has sex with a man too early in their relationship, the man will assume she is only interested in him for sexual purposes. To him, she will never be wife material, only a fuck buddy that will serve him until someone who is wife material comes into the picture. Another dating rule you’ve probably heard of is Wait Three Days to Call. After a date, it is a social faux-pas for a man to call a woman right away. Never mind if the date was really good, and both interested parties would like to see each other sooner. And if waiting three days causes the interested female anxiety and she is left wondering if she did something wrong, so be it. Waiting the prerequisite Three Days is a dating must. A third popular dating rule that has been slightly adapted to suit feminist standards is A Man Must Pay on the First Date. This is a traditional dating rule. Although it is now socially acceptable for a woman to offer to go dutch, the man must never take her up on this offer. This would mean he does not have a) either enough money
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to be a good provider, or is b) too inconsiderate to pay. Translation: he is a poor potential mate that probably shouldn’t be granted a second date. It seems that when it comes to dating, most people have a Deal Breaker. Even if the person you just had a date with has the physicality of Ryan Gosling and is funnier than Seth Rogan (or whatever floats your boat), if he/she lacks this one important trait or interest you deem to be Very Important, they are out. For a soccer player, not having an interest in sports may be that one character flaw that overrides every other positive personality trait. For a computer programmer, not understanding binary code may be theirs. A bad kisser may be non-negotiable. The Dating Deal Breaker makes us forget that people can have different interests in a relationship, and (shocker!), the relationship can still be happy and successful. However, it is just not all women’s magazines articles, movies, and books that are to blame. Men are not immune to the pre-established rules of dating and they are key players in the dating game. The website Askmen.com published 10 Timeless Dating Rules. Included in this article are gems such as Thou Shall Not Place her on a Pedestal (“it may seem romantic to revere your girl like Aphrodite, but it comes across as desperate and overbearing”), Thou Shalt Not Seem Too Enthusiastic (“Like the old showbiz cliché says: Always leave them wanting more. Try to follow the 3-for-1 Rule: Don’t initiate contact more than three times in a row; let her come to you once in a while”), and my personal favourite Thou Shalt Not Share Excessive Details about Your Past (“You have a past; she has a past. Bringing up all the fine details of your old dating triumphs and troubles is unnecessary. It’ll only lead to jealousy and pointless competition. Don’t give her graphic details of your best one-nighter, and don’t badmouth the ex”). This same article advises men to treat dating like you are presenting your CV to a job interview. It suggests men should “give the woman a few details to display your credentials, but not enough to show that you are a psycho”. So what is the harm about following these Dating Rules? After all, now we don’t have to decide what to talk about during a date, who should pay, if we should have sex afterwards and how long we should wait to call. However, if we only abide by these rules, we forget about individual differences that are necessary to consider if we are going to engage in a relationship with another person. Our culture likes to pretend that men and woman are very different and mysterious to each other. We need
articles in Cosmopolitan Magazine and chickflick movies to explain their actions, wants, and needs that are difficult to understand. Instead of actually communicating with our partner, we can instead use the “sage advice” provided by popular culture to explain their behaviour instead. I am actually probably not the best person to give dating advice. I am in a long-term relationship and my last date was almost a decade ago, at sixteen. I have only ever dated two people. But this date at sixteen was with my future husband (Osgoode News editor, Kyle Rees), so it was successful as far as successful dates go. Maybe it was because we were new to the dating game, or immune to a lot of popular dating culture that we didn’t follow any Dating Rules. From the very beginning, we communicated how we were feeling. Kyle didn’t need to pursue an AskMen article to tell him what to do or not to do on our date. I didn’t rush home after our movie to read a Cosmo magazine to help me interpret the subtext of our conversation. He knew that I was interested in him, and I knew he was interested in me and there was no second-guessing about it. When we were dating, hardly anyone had cell phones. I didn’t worry about obsessively analyzing his text messages, and he called me the next day. I didn’t even know this was a faux pas according to the Dating Dos and Don’ts. We never played any games and we communicated our feelings. Oh, and about Deal Breakers? I am glad my Star Wars obsessed fiancé (who has a pair of Boba Fett sneakers hanging in a protective case on his wall) never stopped dating me because I hadn’t seen any of the movies. Or thought Darth Vader was actually called Dark Vader. So ironically, I’ll end this article about not following dating advice by providing some dating advice. I think it’s time to take the game out of dating, and to be mature in our adult relationships. How about we drop the dating rules and pretences, communicate our feelings, act according to the individual circumstances and not how society expects us to act? Dating rules which were created to help us find somebody better suited to us have now become so out of control and absolute that they prevent us finding who we are really looking for. If we let the other person know how we feel, there is no need for second guessing or interpretation. If you want a second date, tell him/her. If you want to have sex on the first date but are still hoping for a potential long-distance relationship, let that that person know. This will allow you to get to know the other person better, and decide for yourself if they are a suitable potential mate, which is what dating is all about. The idea that dating is complicated may provide for a good chick flick script or help to sell an article, but dating is actually simpler than you have been led to believe. the OBITERdicta
The Exam-Time Library Guide (Part 2) SPENCER BAILEY Contributor I love studying in the library. Well, really, I just cannot study at home. If you find yourself cleaning your apartment, cooking food, browsing the internet, and doing just about anything to not have to study, then you really need to get out in the city and find a decent library. Lucky for you, there are lots of them. I would know. I’ve searched far and wide to bring you the best and worst libraries in town. Last week, we took a look at York’s Scott library and U of T’s Bora Laskin. In this edition of the Exam-Time Library Guide, we will look at two more downtown spots that tend to raise the bar when it comes to find a space to cram. Gerstein Library - U of T Rating: 3 uncracked textbooks out of 4 Also at the University of Toronto St. George campus, located a few minutes walk from Queen’s Park Station, you will find Gerstein Library, a central science library for U of T students. When you enter, to the left you will find a spacious and brightly lit reading room with some journal and book stacks. Seating is relatively sparse, but for fans of natural light, the tall windows will certainly satisfy. This wing of Gerstein also notably houses a squirrel, who can be heard running around above the ceiling boards. If you turn right, you will head through a short-term computer terminal area, through to the gem of Gerstein, which is an airy and architecturally astounding vaulted roof. This ovalshaped space, complete with lamps and plugs at each spot is a great destination to settle down for
the afternoon. Generally, the science students are polite and silent, and you will not be distracted if you are a “study in silence” type. There is what appears to be a Grad Lounge upstairs, and sometimes the students there can get rowdy, but during exam season, that is not so likely. If you proceed through that room, there is also another reading room with great paintings and portraits, though the architecture is not spectacular. When you get hungry, there is a cafeteria in the same building with a moderate selection of food. Since the general rule is to never trust cafeterias, there is a microwave for heating up your own home cooking. Gerstein generally has ample seating, a quiet atmosphere, reasonable opening hours, and the architecture will make you feel like you are studying alongside Harry, Ron and Hermione. As with other U of T libraries, the other big sell is the fact that as a York student, you cannot log into the internet. Facebooking down, productivity up! Graham Library - U of T Rating: 3 uncracked textbooks out of 4
The big sell at Trinity is atmosphere. There are gas fireplaces on every floor in the central reading rooms, along with big comfy chairs. Of course, any serious library-goer knows that taking a comfy chair by a fire place, no matter how attractive it may look, is a big nay-nay. I always say the library is for studying, not sleeping. If you want to sleep, you might as well do it right in your own bed. Outside of the middle reading rooms are plenty of nice large wooden tables with strong wooden chairs, and some great rooms that get plenty of sun at the end of each floor. You cannot bring in food because of the legendary Trinity squirrel, which will occasionally be seen running around the stacks. This policy is strictly enforced by snark library staff. You are allowed to bring in coffee, which is great, because at the corner of Bedford and Bloor is a fine Starbucks, and right next door is a little U of T cafeteria called “The Buttery”, though its hours are limited. To eat your lunch, there is a beautiful courtyard with wrought iron chairs and tables which is perfect for warm weather, but for colder weather, the enclosed hallways outside the library do just fine.
Long known as a downtown get-away, Graham Library (Trinity) is to Osgoode students what Cuba is to Canadians. It is a relaxing haven; a favourite spot for extended visits, perhaps once or twice a year. There are none of the obnoxious students of common libraries around, but rather an assortment of tight-jeaned, bearded, bespectacled liberal arts students, mixed in with a handful from every other faculty (including friendly U of T law students) who are generally docile (with the odd exception, of course).
Historically, the Graham library was a residence called “Devonshire House” for students of Trinity College. You can see interesting plaques on the exterior of the building that note students who lived there and died during First and Second World Wars. Though it has been redone, the art and book collections are all fascinating, and its renovations have kept it up to date. If you stop by during exams, you will certainly see a few faces that you recognize.
offer to help you with your groceries on your way to your car. I’ve done that myself when I’ve seen someone with a big grocery load, particularly when they’re an elderly person. It’s just good manners.
in the big city. When I first moved here, I used to think that the TTC was almost fantastical. In Woodstock (and then Kingston where I did my undergrad), there is basically no public transit. You want to go somewhere? You walked, drove or took a cab. My first time riding the subway, I was amazed at the whole system. You can get almost anywhere in Toronto for $2.25 (as it cost then). And I thought it was fun, riding these underground trains. When my youngest cousin comes to visit me, riding the subway is one of his favourite things to do in Toronto. I guess I initially looked at the subway in the same light.
Big City Blues CASSIE BURT-GERRANS Co-Editor in Chief A few weeks ago, I was walking into the Spadina subway station. I had a package with me that I had picked up from the nearby Fed Ex. The package was large, but not heavy. A young man who was also entering the subway offered to carry the package for me. Immediately, my initial reaction was mistrust. I thought to myself, “I’m not giving you this package. You’ll run away and will have stolen my new winter boots (courtesy of Browns online shopping)…” I smiled, thanked him for his offer and politely declined. This experience bothered me. I dislike that my initial reaction was to mistrust the young man. He was probably only trying to help me out. Growing up in the small city of Woodstock, Ontario, it wasn’t uncommon to have someone the OBITERdicta
I talked about this with a friend of mine who’s from my neck of the woods. We both commented on how the big city was changing us and how we don’t like it. We walk everywhere quickly. We’re always rushing. We don’t know our neighbours. We’re not as polite or courteous as we used to be. We’re anonymous members of our communities. We’ve become absorbed into a culture of materialism and spending. I was talking to my 14 year old cousin the other day and I teased her for not knowing what Chanel is. Why does that matter? Wait – it doesn’t. Maybe it’s not the big city of Toronto that’s changing us. Maybe I’m changing because I live
Now, the fantastical aspects of the subway have worn off. I’m annoyed when I have to wait for a train. I’m annoyed when there is a delay. I’m annoyed when I can’t get a seat. I’m annoyed when the subway car gets too crowded. I’m annoyed… but I used to be amazed and Continued on page 12. monday - march 19 - 2012
Osgoode News The Wendy Babcock Drag Show: The Space We Inhabit NICHOLAS VAN DUYVENBODE Opinions Editor
Last Thursday a group of students put on the Wendy Babcock drag show, with two clear objectives: to celebrate Wendy’s life and to raise funds for the establishment of a public interest scholarship in Wendy’s name. Without a doubt it was an extraordinary success. The atmosphere was great and there was a substantial amount (to the tune of around 5k ) that was raised out of donations by and to performers, donations from faculty and tips from the JCR drink slinging barman, Dave Meirovici. Among the many things that resonated with me during the event were the student engagement and the use of space (the JCR). Often at Osgoode we live our law school experience in defined groups that have specific mandates, and there’s a significant amount of insider and outsider positioning of how one relates to a said group. What I had an opportunity to view was a relatively low bar threshold for feeling one could be part of this event. I would bet a large part of this is because of the human connection that people had with Wendy, and that this transcended often dissecting interests and opinions that divide people.
uncomfortable by any future emerging photos (well I completely understand this, again conservatism vs. professionalism for the win). Outside of the actual performances, the shift in the spatial qualities of the JCR I found to be another inviting and important component of the night’s success. I really do like the JCR, but with the typical new building polished structure, comfort, and more importantly the ‘connection’ of a student to a room, takes a back seat. With a combination of covering up the waytoo-bright pot lines, lots of decorations (some that are still up in the JCR), reconfiguration of the seating space and a handy set of risers, the JCR became a transformed environment. The whole room just had more of a friendly, stu-
dent connected feeling, which is promising as I’ve often heard from various students that it has been a bit of a struggle to feel a connection in this way to the JCR. It’s great to have a new building, but it’s not home until we make it our own. It really did seem that the JCR took on more of our personality as students that night. It’s not an exaggeration to say I do put a high value on this type of supportive environment. Nights like last Thursday serve as positive and transformative events which develop a deeper bond between individuals. So here’s to an excellent night for an excellent cause, but also, an event that was a real value for the Osgoode community and how we relate to one another and the space we inhabit as students.
I was also very amused by the extent that the male contingent of Osgoode came out in force and put on some excellent performances. While giving high regard to the Mancers, it was the drag queen clad performers that really impressed me. Law school is training grounds for being a more conservative individual (unfortunately we still lump conservatism with professionalism even in the 21st Century), so when a group of, I’ll go out on a limb and say straight male students don drag for an evening, it’s a pretty refreshing sight. Not only did our LL President Dave Shellnut, aka Strawberry Fields, actually look better than I’ve ever seen before (keep on working that make-up, Dave), the night allowed for a playfulness of gender, its shifting boundaries, and the lowering of traditional barriers to be part of performing in and/ or attending a drag show. I’ll also say big props to the female drag performers here as well, they did an excellent job at channeling the male embodiment in an entertaining manner, which is arguably a harder task than donning female tropes. The hosts of the evening were also mindful of ensuring that performers were not made monday - march 19 - 2012
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Legal Outsourcing: The Future of Legal Practice? ANONYMOUS Alumni Contributor You are in-house counsel for a medium-sized enterprise in a growing industry. Your legal budget is tight and as a result of recent economic downturns your company has just lost a major client. To make matters worse, you are in the midst of figuring out the best way to deal with a rather large infringement claim sprung on you by one of your market competitors. Your CEO has told you that the legal budget needs to be tightened, and you’re banging your head against the wall right before you call the large Bay Street firm you have on speed dial for when things are beyond your time and resources. You explain to your lawyer contact at the firm your problems; a large litigation pending and not so much money in the corporate coffers to pay for it. What are your options? Your Bay Street colleague gives you two scenarios. He’ll handle all of it in-firm, having a student or first year associate handle the “grunt” work of legal research and writing, document review, and initial drafting for between $200-$400 an hour, and then he’ll handle the higher-end stuff such as taking the matter to trial. He can give you a ballpark on what it will cost but his metrics are very much an estimate with the biggest variable being the work done by the younger students and lawyers. Or he tells you, there is another option. He can take all of the back-end prep work such as document review and legal research and outsource it to a firm that does nothing but back-end work, with a good deal of the work being done by lawyers with 3 or more years of call experience as litigators themselves. Their hourly rate is $50, or you can opt for a flat rate once your file is assessed so you know exactly how much that part of your file will cost you. In the past the thought of a lawyer referring out actual billable hours to another organization in the age of endless legal budgets would not be considered a real option. But with increasing financial and time constraints in a changing legal service economy, Legal Outsource is becoming more and more of a real alternative to traditional legal practice. Legal outsource, while multifaceted, is essentially the farming out of work by firms and sometimes in-house clients to organizations specializing in discrete projects or areas of law. There are a number of models and ways that legal outsourcers organize themselves. Some organizations actually “outsource” in that work is farmed out overseas to common law trained lawyers in places such as India. Others use an “in-source” method, whereby work is done by licensed Canadian law-
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yers. There is a variation in the business model as well. Some companies use a staffing network model where projects are contracted out to independent lawyers who are part of a loose network. Others operate more like a traditional legal practice with lawyers working in-house for an actual firm dedicated exclusively to legal outsource services. Whatever the method of choice, there is no question that there is an increasing demand for these types of services. Outsourcing has been a slow trend in the legal marke but it is not entirely new. Taran Virtual Associates or TVN based in London, Ontario began offering legal outsourcing services in 1997. "I realized that some of the principles of outsourcing being applied in other industries could be adapted for the legal profession while I was in law and business school." says Steven Taran, CEO. "So after I finished articling at McCarthy Tetrault's London office I began TVN and we've been growing ever since." Since it began, over 1000 lawyers have used TVA's services for everything from arguing cases in court and trial strategy to basic research memos. TVA'S network consists of over 75 lawyers with varying levels of experience from new calls enrolled in graduate programs to retired judges. Yet despite the existence of some established outsourcers, others are still entering the market place and finding a willing, if cautious, client base. Shelby Austin left Davies, Wards, Phillips and Vineberg LLP in Toronto shortly after making partner to start a boutique firm specializing in legal outsource in 2010. In that short time ATD Legal has quickly established itself as a major player in the outsource market having worked with a number of large firms in Toronto such as Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. "I had no real intentions of starting my own company. I loved Davies and really thought it was where I was going to spend my career." Austin says "But after working on a number of complex commercial litigations I identified that there really was a niche in the market for a more efficient way to do things like document review. After taking some time to crunch the numbers, I knew it was an opportunity that I had to take." Her timing could have not been better. Legal commentators such as Richard Susskind have noted that advances in information technology and client-side demand will create increased commodification of certain types of legal services. These predictions seem to be coming to pass in a number of ways. In the U.S. increased
economic pressures in a post-recession climate have prompted even large “blue chip” clients to demand that firms train new associates "on their own dimes", demanding that first and second year associates not appear on their bills and that firms look for more efficient ways to trim the fat from legal bills including employing the services of legal outsourcers. This trend seems to be catching on in Canada even with some of the biggest players. In a 2011 article in the law times, Emily Jelich, associate general counsel at Royal Bank of Canada told the paper that her company makes significant use of outsourcers for multi-jurisdictional projects and non-complex document review. Jelich stated that outsourcing was an untapped resource in Canada and noted that she’s often the one to initiate its use. Does this push for efficiency and the movement of some of the work traditionally done by young associates to companies outside the firm’s walls threaten jobs for new lawyers and young calls? To some extent, yes. There is no question that as firms begin to shift more work outside of their four walls to meet client demand the need for people within the firm to do this work will decrease and so to may the overall number of entry level positions. But according to Austin most of the demand from firms for ATD’s services has come from young associates looking for more efficient ways to take on the complexities of today’s litigations and deals. Many young lawyers are comfortable focusing more on some of the substantive parts of the work and are happy to leave some of the leg work to more efficient hands. Further, while legal outsource may present some possible threat to the traditional legal job market, it may simultaneously be opening up new opportunities in a legal market that itself has faced a rash of mergers, regulations, and increasing cost and time pressures. For one thing, legal outsourcing presents a way to level the legal playing field for smaller firms. Very much in the way that new information technology and business outsourcing services have allowed small tech start-ups to compete with established players, the ability to outsource time intensive aspects of a legal practice such as due diligence and document review to a professional, experienced firm full of licensed (read:insured) lawyers may be a game changer. It allows young star litigators or corporate deal-makers to approach bigger clients and solicit work knowing that the infrastructure is in place behind them, should they be able to sign that retainer. In addition, legal outsource itself is becoming a field for practicing lawyers. It is no secret that there is a generation of young legal graduates and lawyers who have a very different set of expectations regarding what this career is supposed to mean to them than their predecessors did. The number of young lawyers disillusioned with the “partner at all costs” mentality is very high, and the growing attrition rates of young lawyers leaving large firms, the OBITERdicta
page 11 or even the practice of law for that matter, seems to be evidence of this growing mood of discontentment. “I’d say that more than half of the lawyers in my network are young calls with young families who enjoy being lawyers and the work they do, but find traditional practice to be too inflexible.” Says Taran. Austin agrees, stating that her firm has attracted a variety of legal professionals with a variety of reasons for making this career adjustment. “As lawyers grow in their careers, you will always have a group of lawyers who are not neces-
sarily going to be rainmakers, but are extremely skilled at the type of fine detailed work that any successful firm needs some of its lawyers to be able to do. Our full time track allows those types of lawyers to continue on doing the work they enjoy without the added pressures of having to develop a client base. And our part time track allows lawyers who may have other interests or business pursuits to still practice in a way that suits their needs as well as the needs of our clients”. In Ontario, 12.1% of law school graduates do not have articling positions and the law society has recognized that not only are the number of articling positions static over the last decade, but that positions are increasingly limited to a few major
metropolitan areas like the Bay Street corridor. As traditional articling and young associate positions contract, the creation of new, more flexible, legal job opportunities may be a welcome addition for a generation of lawyers with increasingly diverse priorities. "I think we are past the point of trying to convince lawyers that outsourcing is a value added service for their clients that helps foster long-term relationships" says Austin, as we leave a building full of law firms of all shapes and sizes. "Outsource has gone from being something that made lawyers hesitant, to something that seems to make more and more sense to firms and clients of all shapes and sizes."
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JOB NAME: TS ‘12 YOUNG ADULT NEWSPAPER - ENGLISH
Disgruntled Ramblings of a Troglodyte KYLE REES Osgoode News Editor I have a short attention span. It’s surprising that I can sit through the end of this sentence without getting distracted by something shiny or flammable. As such, it doesn’t take much to stop me from listening to a prof lecturing on, say, the division of the matrimonial home. I’m usually more interested in what that squirrel is doing outside of classroom 1002. In fact, I am writing this article as my professor lectures on that very subject. I’ve been at Osgoode for 2.5 years, and despite my low interest in law school, I go to most of my classes. But over the years, I’ve noticed that Osgoode students have no regard for classroom decorum. We may be able to stand in court and behave perfectly well, but when it comes to the lecture hall, it’s like Lord of the Flies, and no one respects the Conch Shell. So at the risk of seeming like an old curmudgeon, (a categorization fully deserved, by the way) I’ve prepared a list of my ‘miss manners’ Osgoode classroom gripes. I’ve numbered it so you can call people out by citing the numerical reference. You can thank me later. 1. Eating in class: Unless you are diabetic or have some other condition that requires you to eat at specific intervals, you can wait until the break to eat your intricately-pre pared meal. I have no problem with small snacks, but when you break out your pre mium glassware full of homemade lasagne, and start clinking around with your fork, this becomes a distraction without reason. 2. Typing loudly: Especially if you don’t bring a computer to class, this is really annoy ing. If I started tapping on the table, or click ing my pen for 2 hours straight, you can bet someone would ask me to stop. Slow it down, and take it easy. There’s no expiry on that Facebook comment. 3. Watching videos while sitting anywhere but the back row: It’s hard to pay attention to the prof when a basketball game/cat video is streaming right in front of you. 4. Arriving early, and sitting at the edge of the row: This makes people arriving late have to push past you and everyone else to get to a seat, making the middle of the classroom nearly inaccessible, so move to the centre. Speaking of arriving late… 5. Showing up late with a coffee in hand: Nothing screams ‘douchebag’ like showing up 10 minutes late with a latte. This says ‘my coffee is so important that I’m willing to monday - march 19 - 2012
Big City Continued Continued from page 7.
interrupt your lecture to get it.’ 6. Storming into class late, booting up your computer, unzipping your jacket, and nois ily unpacking your materials: Turn down the sound of your computer before arriving, take off your coat outside, or even better—show up on time! What a novel concept! 7. Walking into class late and squeezing through the isles with backpack on: This method hits everyone in the row in the face with your backpack, knocks their computers, and sends people scrambling for their falling coffee mugs. This is an unfortunate implica tion of #4, but it can be avoided just by hold ing your bag in your hands. Simple. 8. Going for a smoke-break and coming in reeking of smoke: You aren’t allowed to smoke inside, so that third-hand smoke isn’t appre ciated by anyone, least of all those with aller gies. 9. Assuming that just because your phone is on vibrate, it’s ok to let it ring: This is even worse when it’s laid on the desk. In some phones, the vibrate is even louder than the ringtone. Keep your phone in your pocket or on silent. 10. Wearing lots of perfume/hair product: Remember, York is a scent-free environment; this means not only that you should avoid perfume and cologne, but strong smelling deodorant and hair products. No one will crawl over you like they do in those Axe com mercials, unless they are trying to get to a centre seat and you are in the way, as sug gested in rule #4. And it won’t be sexy. Perhaps it is an unavoidable implication of having laptops in class that makes us less aware of others in our classrooms. Remember, everything on your computer screen can be seen by others. This means your Facebook browsing, your ticket purchases, and your online outfit selections. All of these things are more interesting to someone without a computer in class than the professor, and it is the explicit reason many of us choose to take notes with pen and paper. Remember, websites are explicitly designed to hold your attention, unfortunately professors are not. I understand that being sans laptop puts me in a minority, so maybe I am wrong to complain. But being in a class with other people seems to be a necessary evil (at least until Dean Sossin completes his Matrix-like virtual law school), so following these rules can mitigate the undesirable effects of learning with other people. Now get off my porch.
thankful. How did I get this way? When did I become so materialistic, untrusting and ungrateful? Is it that living in a big city, I’ve become more wary? Or is it just that I like nice things now because they’re actually available to me (since I grew up with basically just a Wal-Mart)? Have I just become accustomed to a certain lifestyle? Am I still the same small-town girl from the country that I used to be? Or have I become that jaded, materialistic girl strolling down Bloor that I’ve always feared I’d become? I’m probably still a little of both. And having not lived in Woodstock so long, I’ve probably idolized that small, agricultural city existence in my mind. The tragedy of the Tori Stafford murder shows my hometown isn’t perfect and is not impervious to crimes of the worst kind. I always used to think that things like that only happened in big cities like Toronto. I think that’s something those of us living in small cities and towns tell ourselves. Maybe we’re too trusting of our neighbours and our community and overestimate our own safety. Clearly tragedies and horrifying crimes aren’t reserved for Toronto alone. What’s the point of this article? I think I needed to write this all down for myself. This article is a reminder that when I get on the TTC tomorrow to go to Osgoode, I can be annoyed when it takes 10 minutes to go from Wilson to Downsview, but I should also be grateful there is a service like the TTC available. It’s a reminder that I should still exercise caution when it comes to strangers, but I should also try to involve myself in my community and get to know my neighbours. It’s a reminder that being polite and courteous is always better than being in a hurry or being rude. It’s a reminder that I can enjoy both designer goods, but I should also patronize local business. Finally, it’s a reminder of where I come from and where I live now; a reminder that there is room for small-town values in the big city.
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Features The Happiness Project: Freedom of Expression CASS DA RE Staff Writer I recently read the Freedom of Expression chapter for my State and Citizen class. Although I probably should have been asking myself about how understandings of expression have evolved through jurisprudence, and the flexibility of a section 1 analysis, I instead found myself wondering, “why?” Why have people fought through the entire court pyramid for a sign, a statement
and has never participated in class; not for a lack of ideas, but for a lack of courage. Today is not the day for passive attendance. Pedagogical studies consistently show that active engagement in learning and dialogue yields better marks and a more comprehensive understanding of the subject. Moreover, you will get your opinion heard, an important step to self-actualization. Too often one sits in silence while thinking very loud and powerful thoughts in one’s head. Wouldn’t class be that much more interesting if
become a part of a group working towards positive changes in the world. What could be more smile-worthy? 4. Make a Sign. I am not aware of any by-laws restricting the size of your sign, so go as big or as small as you like. Making a sign is quite simple. It often only requires cardboard, a Sharpie and a message. Of course, you can get fancy with those special scissors that cut patterns, coloured paper, glitter and other dollar-store accessories. Might I suggest a “Free Hugs” sign, which not only says something, but also has the added benefit of getting hugs. Feel free to share your 2012 predictions, thoughts on the Osgoode grading bell curve or a comment on the latest episode of American Idol. 5. Write Something. You may be uncomfortable with the spotlight or public speaking; thus writing is an excellent alternative to share your thoughts and opinions with others. Writing is a cathartic exercise that has physical and psychological benefits. It is often used a therapeutic tool for those who have experienced trauma. But there is no need to wait for a traumatic event to start writing. An easy start is writing a text to address a problem you have ignored. Write a letter to an old friend, an email, a Facebook private message, pick your flavour. If what you want to say is a little more substantial, write an essay or research paper. Lastly, if you want your story to be known, write an article for the Obiter Dicta.
or a sentiment? Leaving aside the grand theories of the need for freedom of expression in a democratic society, a fair political process, and a marketplace of ideas, why do everyday people care so much? The answer to me was not obvious at first, but the theory of self-actualization sheds a little more light. It is not the sign itself or the act of making a statement, nor is it not even the sharing of sentiment that spurs our happiness. It is the silence of not doing anything that makes us terribly unhappy. It is this epiphany that makes freedom of expression a Happiness Project. Your challenge of the week is speak up and say something. Osgoode Hall is a particularly apt avenue for expression so here’s how to get started: 1. Say Something. You may be the student that sits in the back the OBITERdicta
it was filled with the discussion of opinions and not obiter? 2. Do Something. Expression is not confined to the spoken word, but can manifest through physical acts. On the most extreme end, you can join a protest, rally or sit-in. On the more subtle end, you can pick up a piece of litter for the global environment, open the door for someone for the survival of manners, volunteer for the survival of humanity, or dance in the halls just for fun. Judith Butler reminds us of the corporeal power of the body and its capacity to transform our surroundings. Whatever message you wish to convey, you already have a medium – yourself. 3. Sign Something. As law students we are well familiar with petitions. Such a small act that takes mere seconds can make a significant impact. Not only do you engage your civilian duty, but you also
6. Sing Something. At the last Nuit Blanche, there was a stand called “Sing for a Cause.” Individuals chose a song that represents something they loved or hated about the world, and sang. A simple concept with a simple stage left each performer and audience member smiling. Let me clarify, I am not suggesting that you enter into the next Open Mike night or engage in impromptu karaoke in Gowlings Hall - unless that is in fact what makes you happy. I am suggesting that you make music a greater part in your life. Listening to moving music causes the brain to release large amounts of dopamine, a feel-good chemical that spurs motivation. Songs with a quick tempo and in a major key are deemed “happy music” and the body is hardwired to react accordingly. Happiness is really only a top-40 sing-a-long away. Whatever your message, means, method or medium, just evoke your section 2(b) Charter right - your happiness depends on it. monday - march 19 - 2012
One Year Out LUKE FIELD Alumni Contributor (& Former Editor-In-Chief) My successors as editors of the Obiter asked me a while ago to write an article about what it was like to be one year out of law school, and how different the articling experience was from school. I responded with an enthusiastic yes, at which point I began re-watching the complete series of The Wire on DVD and totally forgot about the assignment. However, having delivered absolutely nothing for well over a month, I am confident that their (and your) expectations are now at a low enough level for me to deliver what will almost certainly be an underwhelming report on life post-graduation. Ready? Here we go! Articling The most important feature I wish to point out about articling life is the width and breadth of experiences. Obviously, people are working in different fields, for different firms or employers, and this means there is no one uniform ‘articling’ experience. However, even amongst those of us working at downtown, Bay street firms, I cannot point to any singular unifying feature defining our lives. Some of my friends love their firms, some are starting to identify strongly with disgruntled postal workers. I know some people working at seven sister firms who are exhausted and overworked and stressed and ready to melt down. I also know some people working at seven sister firms who are bored, and very up to date
on current events because they spend most of their day reading the newspaper and the Economist (they’re also nerds). What is perhaps not talked about enough when it comes to articling is how temporary and, frankly, insignificant it is. Law school, at least as far as I can recall, seems to be geared around getting you an articling position. Which, looking back, is absurd. 3 years devoted to getting a position that lasts only 10 months? I am over halfway through articling and, though I have learned quite a bit and enjoyed my experience, it has hardly been defining or life-altering. Even if I stay at my firm beyond this year, I doubt where I articled will have much of an impact on my legal career. I am beginning to realize articling is just a small event, a quick intermediate stage between law school and lawyer, and a relatively unimportant one at that. The Absence of Law School What articling is not, is school. It is educational but it lacks the community, the shared activities and events that a school, even one as commuter based as Osgoode, possesses. This is both negative and positive. Negative in that an absence of shared experiences, as I touched on above, can leave one isolated, cut off. Without the requirement that you and your friends all sit through the same lecture, or write the same exams, you may be less likely to see them, or even keep in contact. Without effort, life after school does feel a bit like a maze leading you and your friends off into different directions.
The positive side of the ‘not school’ coin is that you don’t have to go to fucking school. As someone who never took any time off or did anything else besides school from kindergarten until Oz, this has been a thoroughly welcome development. I do not miss classes, or papers or exams. I most especially do not miss the structure, the schedule and the syllabus. This, like with everything else I’m saying, probably depends on the firm, but my articling experience has seen a remarkable increase in independence. Of course, there are meetings I need to be at, emails I need to respond to etc. But, once they figured out I wasn’t going to set the building on fire, the lawyers at my shop have generally told me what needs to be done and trusted me to take care of it. This may not sound like much at all, but there is a pleasant feeling of confidence and, dare I say, adulthood, that comes along with knowing you have the power to handle settlement offers, speak to the client directly and generally take care of a file all on your own. Missing Osgoode A year ago, as I prepared to leave, I wrote that I neither hated nor liked Osgoode, but regarded it as essentially a bland, middle of the road experience in my life. 12 months later… well I feel exactly the same really. But I do enjoy grabbing drinks with my friends and laughing about how brutal law school was, and some of the ridiculous people and things we had to put up with. So look forward to that I guess.
Arts & Culture
Burning Love: Young Lions/ Marching Orders JACK LECASSE Staff Writer
the thought making her so acutely nauseous, she wouldn’t attend classes in her final term.
The Exodus III, a beaten two-masted brig, moved out past the breakwater under motor power, its lights shimmering across the dark water. On deck, three young professionals leaned on the starboard rail, breathing the night air.
Neil Langford, J.D. Osgoode ’12; tall, at his most handsome in the fall; money formerly from his father, who ran a business of refurbishing broken cranes, selling them as new from Dubai to Tehran, until his death; money now from bank credit, after depleting his father’s estate with a series of trades in good securities, exchanged for not-so-good securities, and finally, parlayed into equity in an off-shore website, the assets of which were frozen by the F.B.I. last fall, on an Friday afternoon when he looked stunning; the moonlight illuminating a rippling path across the water leading constantly to him that, according to his father, made him special.
Kate Purcell, J.D. Osgoode ’12; hair easily windswept, almost windswept, then brushed from her forehead with a prescient corrective stroke; staunchly against umbrellas, with the consequence of being wet every time it rains; resilient but worn, those arid twerps basking in that law school stink of mouthed feet, and of pablum, sensing their achievement, to her, swindlers, bastardizing the delight that Sunday’s persistent lovers take in their mid-morning pornfume, collapsed in their sweaty bed; their vitality cheapened somehow; after three years, monday - march 19 - 2012
Parm Gupta, J.D./M.B.A. Osgoode/Schulich ’12; allergic to peanuts and ragweed; laissezfaire except with regard to her spectacular hair, and sometimes, her red lipstick, though seldom
used, to preserve its sinister effect; a queen born on a country road; her father, a fox, sometimes unlucky, but on his best day, not only made it into the henhouse, but by an incredible stroke of luck, made off with a goose; averse to the sound of boys chirping the cockitude of men, walking like pigeons, peddling the gurgle of their satisfied appetites as a rumbling hunger. Intrepid voyagers in the apoapsis of their odyssey, floating with the other space junk, leaking radiation like damaged Russian satellites. They look out over the water, delaying their inevitable return to the city, resisting their training for framework performance, for thinking in shares, options or subsidiaries; deals, liability and risk. This was not the rebel fate they envisioned when they were riding their ten-speeds through the car wash. It was then that they laughed, a deep belly laugh, as together they wondered why, when cast on thin ice, they had such a tendency to dance. the OBITERdicta
A Murder In Kensington Market JP BERTOJA Contributor
Not atypical for a Thursday night, Sebastian could barely remember most of the bike ride home. Traveling east along Dundas towards Bathurst he gingerly negotiated the blurry outline of parked cars and the odd pedestrian, legs methodically pumping up and down, until eventually turning into the relative safety of the quiet residential streets of Kensington Market. He had not intended to get this drunk, but Marshall and Ruben had insisted that tonight was in fact a celebration, the reason for which was never quite clearly elaborated. Sebastian had thought, ‘What the fuck, why not?’, and accomplishing such a feat at The Communist’s Daughter was pretty easy given they served PBR on tap for $4 a pint and the cute brunette bartender with legs for days kept sneaking him free tequila shots because, he guessed, she must be into him. Now, careening from side to side along the road as he went, the gentle slalom of the one speeder was interrupted when veering too close to the curb, the bike’s front rim scratched along the concrete, suddenly jolting Sebastian from his boozy stupor. Squinting and
Sebastian was suddenly jolted awake. Flinging his eyes open and inhaling sharply, he glancing around the darkened apartment. Then he heard the noise again. The sound was loud, a pop followed by a fading crackle. Soon after it rang out once more. This time, it was followed by the pitter-patter of shoes smacking the pavement in a run trailed by the echo of men’s shouting voices. Propping himself up on his pillow, Sebastian looked out the open window trying to see what the commotion was all about. On the side walk across the street, the shadowy form of a person lay crumpled and face-down on the pavement. The low thumping of bass speakers could still be heard coming from the door of the reggae club open well past closing, outside of which the sprawled body rested. To his right, Sebastian could still make out the sounds of shouting retreating into the night. Turning once more to glimpse at the rigid figure on the sidewalk, Sebastian dropped his head and passed out cold. … It was a particularly bright and sunny morning
your head”, asked Marshall. “Hurting”, Sebastian replied, “no way I’m going to be able to mark those damn seminar essays. I don’t care if Professor Bennett flips, he’s not even my fucking thesis supervisor. Those undergrads are so stupid anyways.” “Speaking about thesises...wait, is it thesises, or thesisi, or maybe theses...yeah, that’s it, theses, anyways, speaking about theses, I’m so behind,” Ruben added. Their conversation was soon interrupted as Sarah slid into the bench beside Sebastian to join them. “Guys!”, she exclaimed, pushing her large wayfarers over her eyes and adjusting them atop her blond pixie cut hair, “Did you hear what happened? Some dude got shot three times outside that grimy reggae club last night. I saw it on Facebook. Can you fucking believe it!” “What!?”, breathed Ruben, “Wait, isn’t that right outside your place Sebastian?” “Holy shit”, Sebastian slowly recalling through the mist of the night before, “I...I think I heard it happen. I think I woke up in the middle of the night to some loud noise, and I saw somebody lying on the curb outside my window. I guess I must have passed out again, I didn’t remember any of it until now.” The table fell silent for a moment. “So you saw a dead body?” “Yeah I guess I did.” “Oh man, that place is right outside my butcher, I can’t go there now, who knows if the shop was contaminated with blood or guts or something.” “Way more importantly, what if they started shooting again, like in a revenge thing, and you got caught in crossfire while you were buying veal.” “Shit Sebastian, are you going to move now?” “I don’t know guys, seriously, what do you think I should do? I loved that place, rent was cheap and it’s close to everything without being... you know ...too close .” “This is terrible. A murder in Kensington, can you believe it?” “It’s the worst thing that’s ever happened.”
looking around, he came to recognize the tightly built semis and interspersing brightly coloured storefronts of cramped food markets and musty vintage shops that make up the neighbourhood. Pulling up to a redbrick two storey building on Baldwin, Sebastian dismounted and succeeded in hitching his bike to a metal signpost. Fumbling with his keys, he finally unlocked the door to his apartment and proceeded up the stairs to his room. No sooner had he discarded his clothes into a lumpy pile of denim and plaid strewn upon the floor did Sebastian carelessly flop into his bed, not even bothering to gather the strewn blankets around himself, and fell asleep. ...
in the neighbourhood. Closing his door behind him, Sebastian groggily stepped into the street. ‘What happened there?’, he thought to himself, as he noticed the dark uniformed officers and police cars parked across the road. Someone probably got their bike stolen, he figured, and it was about time they did something about this kind of stuff. Sebastian cringed at the particularly painful memory of a long disappeared blue Raleigh that had gone missing one night last year, the kind that could never be replaced, not even off of Kijiji. Although, he noted, it does seem a bit excessive that they sent three officers to handle it. Soon after, Sebastian was seated with Marshall and Ruben on the tightly packed patio of a local café. Like him, they also lived close by. “How’s
Sarah, who had been largely silent up to this point, piped in. “You know, it’s not all bad. Actually, I kind of see it as a positive. It means that all these damn hipsters,” she said, leaning into the table and pointing around the room to indicate the café’s other occupants, “all these damn hipsters haven’t completely scared off the original locals and gentrified this place.” The listeners all looked first at Sarah, then one another. “I kinda see what you mean,” Marshall said while rubbing the corners of his moustache. Ruben nodded slowly and pulled at the edges of his wool cap. “I guess you’re right,” Sebastian said, “but somebody did die.” “That’s true,” Sarah replied, “but I bet you they won’t be opening a Starbucks here anytime soon.”
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