Things were going just a little too well. That changed.
A couple of weeks ago now I received a Facebook message from my mom’s old boss asking me to call him. When I did he dropped a bomb on me that I definitely did not expect – they had found my mother dead in her apartment.
Within 24 hours I was on a flight to Victoria BC because I had to be there as the next of kin. My friend’s parents paid for the round trip flight using their points even. Everyone both at the school and back in Victoria has been amazingly supportive. I was only able to stay for a week and it was a whirlwind trip – including cleaning out the old apartment, meeting with the funeral directors, holding a small memorial, etc. At this same time we were in the midst of course selection for next year as well. It has been a hectic and chaotic time.
I’m (amazingly) back on track now. I don’t think I’ll need exam deferral (which is good because that would be a real pain with the whole castle thing) even though I’m still a little bit behind where I wish I was. Though, I imagine that’s how a lot of people are thinking at this time since we have our last day of classes on Friday!
My mom and I were always really close – she was a single parent and I her only child so it was always us against the world. I miss her and I always will. With that in mind I thought I would share some of our favourite in jokes here to be preserved.
- “You lost me at DNA” – this started when I was in grade 12 and studying for a biology test. I was explaining how DNA and RNA work (not that I remember any of it now) to her in order to help study. I did well on my test, but she was soon lost.
- “Why can’t you go get pregnant like a normal girl?” – In case it hasn’t been obvious I’m not exactly a wild child. As much as my mother accepted her geeky, fandom obsessed kid sometimes she just wished I was a little less weird. I think this was said for the first time when I was about 18 or 19. Somewhere in there.
- “What’s my password again?” – I definitely got this question too many times to remember when it started. For some reason she was absolutely useless at remembering any of her passwords or emails, etc. Sometimes she would even call me while I was in class and I would call her back, panicking that something was wrong to find out everything/everyone was fine, but she needed her password NOW!
- “You know I’d love you even if you were a lesbian…” – Uhhh thanks mom? I’m not, but it’s good to know you’re not a homophobe I guess.
- “Why didn’t you tell me I dress like a teenager!” – My teenaged cousin came to visit and my mother realized she owned the same clothes. I did tell you mom, I really did.
We were nothing alike in looks or personality in a lot of ways, but we shared a sense of humor that I will always cherish.
Well, okay, I’m not actually capturing anything, but it seemed like a fun title to reveal my summer plans. Which, again, sadly do not involve any capturing, but does involve a castle!
As you may or may not know if you’ve been following this blog, I attend Queen’s University (the Canadian one). One of the really neat things about Queen’s is the fact that it owns a castle in England. Because why not, right?
Queen’s Law offers two summer programs at the castle – International Business Law and Public International Law. I had been hemming and hawing on this one for awhile. But Kali (I imagine you saying) – it’s a castle! In England! You’ll basically be Harry Potter! While these are all very legitimate arguments, the issue was the price tag attached. But, I was talking to one of my 2L friends yesterday and she pointed out that A: I would be taking classes I wanted to take anyway, B: it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, and C: I don’t have any other summer plans.
So, I filled out a bursary application form and handed in my program application this afternoon. It’s all but official, for part of this summer I’m going to be living in a castle in England. 100 points to Slytherin for taking advantage of a first rate opportunity!
And for those who are wondering – I applied for Public International Law. I’m not super interested in business law (which is unfortunate since that’s where all the money is) and I figured taking business law courses in the condensed and intensive format the castle program requires would probably not be the brightest of ideas.
It may not actually be Hogwarts, but it’s probably the closest I’ll ever get.
I’ve been negligent I suppose and I apologize. Second term has been a whirlwind of classes, reading, and the beginnings of our exposure to oral advocacy.
Oral advocacy is not a thing I’m good at. I get super nervous speaking in front of people. Sure, I’m better than I used to be (thank Model UN!), but I definitely still get very nervous. I’ve heard on multiple occasions people say that this seems surprising because apparently I don’t seem that way when I’m speaking normally.
Partially I suspect this is because I don’t feel like I need to impress my friends when we’re just talking normally. Sure, once upon a time I felt more of a need to impress my friends and that’s not to say I don’t care what my friends think of me – because I definitely do – but it’s still less pressure than speaking in front of my professors or even, one day, in court.
So far we’ve had two main oral advocacy exercises – one in Criminal law and a moot (basically a practice court situation, but only the part where you make your argument, not the bit with witnesses and stuff) in my Introduction to Legal Skills (ILS) class.
The Criminal law one was definitely more nerve wracking – that was partially because of the professor being more intimidating and partially because of the subject matter. My criminal law professor is one of the biggest names in Canadian criminal law – he literally wrote the textbook – and the case we were arguing was one about consent in sexual situations. If I never hear my professor say the phrase ‘kinky sex’ ever again it will still be too soon.
The subject matter for my ILS moot was drier – contractual interpretation of an indemnity clause – which was something more comfortable to talk about even if a tad boring. But, honestly, what I think really made the difference was two main things – my comfort with my professor and the fact that myself and my partner did some power poses beforehand.
Power poses are basically just things like putting your hands on your hips (Superwoman pose) or doing the Nixon ‘peace sign hands in the air’ thing, etc. It sounds dumb and honestly I felt a little silly at first, but it does loosen you up and calm you down. Or, at least, it did for me. There’s even a TED Talk about it so that must mean it works!