Bad News

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.

  1. “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.
  2. “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.
  3. “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!
  4. “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.
  5. “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.

  • Kali

Get Oriented!

Wow. So I’m officially a law student now. That’s really weird to say and write. I imagine I’ll get used to it in time, but for now it’s still new and exciting.

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Our orientation started last Tuesday and even though it’s only been a few days it feels like we’ve done so much already. The first thing we had to do was go down to the law school (which I have heard referred to as Macdonald Hall, Sir John A, and J-Mac) and verify our enrolment, sign photo release forms, and pick up some swag provided to us by law firms and our orientation tee shirts. My team has a yellow shirt and is Team Avengers.

After that we mingled, picked up our new student cards (mine is horrendous and UVic’s were nicer), and had a bit of a break before meeting our fellow group members and heading out for trivia night.

Graffiti Party

Graffiti Party

Most of the last couple of days have been late nights – there was a graffiti party, a movie night (where my team watched, what else, The Avengers, and a costume party night – where I was a very last minute thrown together Black Widow).

Costume Party

Costume Party

Today is a day off for us which has been nice. My roommate – who I shall call the Musician – and I were picked up by some of her family friends here in Kingston and they took us thrift store shopping. Our best purchase by far is a gorgeous coffee table that we only paid $25 for. After that I took my suit to a tailor and did some grocery shopping. Tomorrow afternoon we have a team potluck before heading out for bowling so I’ll be making cookies.

And I just finished doing my first official law school readings – for Public Law. I think that made it feel more real than anything else has. And, as a treat for myself for finishing my first readings, I pre-ordered my copy of the Welcome to Night Vale novel. Honestly, it’s been a whirlwind of meeting new people, social activities, and the reality that law school is here. I even bought myself a Queen’s law hat. The longer I’m here, the more convinced I am that I made the right decision.

My kind of party :P

My kind of party 😛

  • Kali

Welcome to Toronto

I spent a few days in Toronto before coming up here for school. Just figured I would share some of the best parts of the short but sweet trip. I didn’t fall in love with Toronto instantly the way I did with New York City, but I did fall in love nonetheless.

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The CN Tower at night!

I ran into this festival at the harborfront.

I ran into this festival at the harborfront.

  One of the things I love most about cities is that you can just go out wandering and you’ll find something interesting to do.

Comedy of Errors in the park

Comedy of Errors in the park

I’m eternally grateful that someone recommended heading out to see some Shakespeare in High Park. It was brilliant and I would go back without a doubt. I highly recommend it if you’re ever in Toronto.

What do you see?

What do you see?

The Religious Studies student in me needed to take a picture of this sign. When I first saw it I read God is Nowhere – which seemed odd given it was a booth done up by a church. But, on second glance I realized it could also say God is Now Here. Apparently the pastor planned it that way to get people to give it a second look. It certainly worked!

Hard at work at the Osgoode Hall legal library

Hard at work at the Osgoode Hall legal library

On my last day in Toronto I took a tour of the old Osgoode Hall where there are courts and the home of the local law society. Seeing this in the library there made me feel just that much more like lawyers are not so different than me. I’m not sure who was using this computer – be they law student, articling student, or lawyer – but whoever they are, I salute you.

I miss Toronto already, but my new place is starting to come together, my roommate wll be here tomorrow, and on Tuesday orientation begins and I will be able to officially call myself a law student. Weird.

  • Kali

3 Hours Ahead

Well, I live in Ontario now and that’s super weird. Before this I had never lived anywhere else so this is a major change. Go big or go home it seems to be in my world.

Decision made!

Decision made!

Myself and my future roommate went and visited Kingston the other day and we found a place to live. We did it all in one loong day, but it was a success. Our place is in a cute little neighborhood only a 15 minute walk from the university. Kingston’s a lot smaller than Victoria, but it kind of seems like a miniature version of my hometown which is comforting.

I feel like I keep calling everything ‘cute’ or ‘quaint’ or ‘adorable’ – but it really does look that way to me. There seems to be a lot of sweet little neighborhoods all done up in brick and stone. I miss the west coast for sure (and my family and friends out there), but so far I like Ontario. I imagine this might change once winter hits though!

  • Kali

A Clear 180

Well here’s a spot I never thought I would be sitting in. The last time I wrote here I was feeling sad and pessimistic about my chances of getting into law school which had been my dream since I was 13. Well, 8 classes, 2 LSAT writes, and one convocation ceremony later and I actually have a difficult decision to make.

I’ve received admission to two of my top choices for law school starting in September. Western and Queen’s. I’ve already paid a deposit to Western as I’ve only recently received admission to Queen’s. It’s a difficult decision, but one that I’m thankful to have.

I don’t have long to reach a decision, but I’m excited that a new chapter of my life is beginning. And it includes LAW SCHOOL!

Decisions, decisions.

– Kali

What is feminism, to you?

Hi All,

Sorry I haven’t posted for a while, life has been stealing my potential blogging time. I will try to do better.

Recently I’ve been reading “Full Frontal Feminism” by Jessica Valenti, founder of feministing.com, and I highly recommend it. Its an easy to read book that has thus far broken down feminism and its many various facets and faces, the pretty and the ugly. I have found it to be immensely helpful. This post is NOT a book review, but it does play a part in the reason behind this post.

It was while I was reading “Full Frontal Feminism” that I became intrigued about what other people thought feminism was, how much they knew about it, and what they thought of it. This, of course, lead to me thinking of a way to find out. The obvious answer was to simply and plainly ask people. I know that some people I will ask wont be comfortable answering these questions, but that isn’t going to stop me from asking, I’m just not going to pressure anyone into answering. No one has to ask any question asked, a choice will always be involved.

I want honest and candid answers, not long thought out answers with lots of research involved. That’s not what I’m interested in learning, that’s an essay. I want to know what people really think and know about feminism, and I mean those that don’t identify as feminists. Though, that said, I will be wanting to ask everyone I can, no matter what ones political views are about the subject. The answers can be anything about feminism, everything is interesting to me. There can be no wrong or right answers, since every answer (I’m going to assume while doing this) is exactly what it is supposed to be. Honest.

Now, this post is not meant to get people answering just yet, its really just to get some feedback about what people think about this idea and if anyone who reads this blog (which is way more then I ever thought would read it, I always thought we’d just have one or two readers that were friends we’d told about the blog and they were just following it to be polite) would be willing to answer one or more of the three questions above (and below). All opinions are welcome.

The Questions:
1) What do you think feminism is?
2) What do you think about feminism?
3) How much do you know about it (feminism)?

This is only meant to be for my own personal knowledge and interest, but it may become more if it really catches on (which I am highly doubting).

On another note; if anyone has any job or career advice, a list of choices, or any kind of related information really, I would be more then grateful. I have found myself at a time in my thus far short life where I’m not sure what I’m doing or what I even could be doing. The possibilities are endless and I find myself feeling lost. Some advice would be helpful and appreciated.

Thank you and I hope that life is treating you kindly,
Rachel

Kali, Callie, Kalista, Calina, Kaliana…

Yeah, that’s right, it’s about my name again. I still like Kali, but it just doesn’t seem to pass the ballerina/Supreme Court Justice test.

What is the ballerina/Supreme Court Justice test you ask? (Actually, I bet you didn’t, but I’m going to explain it anyway).

The ballerina/Supreme Court Justice test is something I see on a lot of naming forums when looking for character names. Basically it’s a test to make sure that the name you are choosing would be suitable to any walk of life the person with that name might choose. So, he question is whether the name is nice enough for a ballerina, but serious enough for a Supreme Court Justice. I’ve seen many variations of this test, but my personal favorite is the princess/president version.

Anyways, I’ve been thinking that I don’t think Kali is quite formal enough to pass the test. I would still definitely go by it (that’s what nicknames are for), but I feel like I need something longer for when I actually legally change my name. So, I’ve been looking into alternatives. I’m not particularly attached to the spelling of Kali – I’d be fine with Kallie, Kally, Callie, Cali, and Cally too. That makes it both easier (more names to choose from), and harder (… more names to choose from).

At the moment the ones in competition are: (with [name] (nickname))

Kalista (Kali)

Calina (Cali)

Kaliana (Kali)

Calliope (Callie)

Kalliope (Kallie)

Kaliyah (Kali)

Out of those I think I probably like Kalista, Calina, Calliope/Kalliope, and Kaliyah best, but I’m just not sure.

As much as I like that I have the ability to choose my own name it is fairly difficult. Although, I suppose it’s kind of like naming a character – difficult, but worthwhile in the end.

– Kali/Cali/Kallie/Callie

 

 

The Name Game

 

I’m Kali the Kangaroo.

 

That’s not the name game I’m talking about (which is really too bad since I used to be really good at that game at camp). I’ve been thinking about names lately. How names reflect who we are, and can say something about who we want to be. Kali is not the name on my birth certificate and has only been my name since I was 15. It’s been about 5 years since I changed it and while I would never go back to my legal name (which I’m not going to state since I despise it) I’m finding Kali somewhat lacking in describing me as I want to be known.

Not that there’s anything wrong with Kali, but it just isn’t sitting right with me nowadays. That doesn’t seem like a big deal,  but considering it took me three years to convince my mom to call me by it because she thought the name change was just a phase it’s not something I can just change on a whim. Not unless I want to be accused of it being a phase again anyway.

When I changed my name the first time I didn’t really think it through to be honest. The reasons behind it were thought out (I hated and had always hated my legal name), but the new name wasn’t thought out at all. In fact I asked my friends for suggestions and then let them vote on my three favorites (Kali, Mackenzie, and Ariana). Kali was my favorite of those three so I eventually just made an executive decision, but I realize now I shouldn’t have been so hasty. I made the decision to change it one day and 24 hours later I was going by Kali. I put more thought than that into naming my characters.

I’ve had issues with it in the past of course – do I really want to share a name with a goddess of destruction (even if I am a Slytherin)? Kali also doesn’t sound that professional, and considering my ideal goal is to be a lawyer my name should probably be a bit more professional. Also, I just don’t feel like Kali suits me – did it when I was in high school? Maybe, but I’m not sure. All I’m really sure about is that I like it a whole lot more than my legal name.

My name is not legally changed, but I do want to change it one day. Do I really want to change it to something I’m not entirely happy with? No, not really. At the same time though I’m not sure what else I would go by – and changing it again would probably vindicate my mother. I guess I could start small – figure out a new name first, maybe use it in some of my classes next year, and I probably shouldn’t force everyone around me to use it this time. I don’t mind Kali after all – so if my  family and current friends continued using it, it wouldn’t be a huge deal.

Or I could just stick with Kali. It may not be perfect, but I’ve put years into that name and I don’t want to be seen as wishy-washy. No matter what I decide, it’s still Kali right now. What’s in a name? As someone who has changed her name once I say that a lot is wrapped up in a name. It’s true that a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet, just as I am the same person whether my name is Kali or something entirely different.

– Kali

Also, I’m going to the Hunger Games on Saturday!

Perhaps a Double Major

I know we’ve been over the fact that I’m a bit university crazy before, and, since it’s almost the end of January it’s time for me to rethink my degree. Granted, last year I waited until February (maybe even early March), but since this is really my last chance to change anything if I want to graduate within the timeframe I’m planning on I guess I figured I’d get thinking early.

I’ve actually been thinking about it for a while – since I decided to drop the English double major in fact. To be honest I’m not really sure why I ever thought I should do an English major. Sure, some of the classes look really interesting, but I’ve found that I’ve always liked English better in theory than in practice. I love to read, and that’s probably why I don’t like English classes. I like to read books that interest me for fun, and not to analyze them to death. I convinced myself that by taking English I would get to read real books, not textbooks, but all it did was change real books into textbooks – it took all the fun out of reading.

So, as you know, I dropped the English major and redesigned my second semester. Now I’m in second semester and my classes are just… random. I thought I would be okay with that since they are all topics I’m interested in. My classes are interesting, that’s true, but I feel like I’m drifting. To a lot of people that sounds nice, after all, drifting is relaxing, but I’ve always been bad at relaxing. I need to be working towards something, towards a goal. It didn’t bother me as much last year – my classes last year were really random for the most part. I don’t know if that’s because it was first year, or because I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do along with Political Science, but I did not feel this annoying feeling of being without a goal. I didn’t feel that way last semester either with my 3 Political Science classes and 1 English, but I feel that way now.

I’m going to stick this semester out obviously, but I know I can’t do it again. It saps my motivation in my classes to know that they’re not going anywhere. So, with this in mind I’ve been reconsidering my options for a minor. I knew I didn’t want to just jump into something new so I went and looked back at the classes I’d already taken to see how I felt about those things. English has already been ruled out of course so I thought about my other classes and came to 3 different options: History, Religious Studies, and Women’s Studies.

History seems like the obvious option. It is the option I have the most credits in. After this semester I would only need one more lower level History class and then I could jump into the upper level stuff. Also, I would have one upper level class (History 388) under my belt. I pondered this for a long time, but ended up ruling it out. According to my History 388 prof, a lot of upper level history is dedicated to historiography, and I’m finding that I don’t really enjoy that very much.

I’ve only taken one Religious Studies course. I did well in it and I enjoyed it. I enjoy studying religion in my free time (hello Free Jinger), but it would be quite a bit of catching up.

Women’s Studies was my third option. Like Religious Studies I’ve only taken one Women’s Studies course and would have to do quite a bit of catching up. Unlike Religious Studies I have two friends in Women’s Studies – both majors students (Rachel and another friend of ours).

I decided on a Religious Studies minor (as I mentioned in my last post). Women’s Studies is great, and it would be fun to take classes with Rachel and our friend, but I’m more interested in Religious Studies. However, I’m still me, and looking at the requirements for a Religious Studies minor (and the list of classes I could choose from) made me want to turn it into a major. So, a Political Science and Religious Studies double major it is. I’ll have to do some catching up (I’ll need to take Religious Studies 200B. I took 200A last year) and another 200 level course of my choice (from a list they give you). It’s 2 from the list, but fortunately the Greek and Roman Studies class I’m taking right now counts for one of them. Also, I think my Inter-Religious History (History 388) course might be able to be counted as one of the upper level courses – though I’m far from positive.

It will be a tight fit. Counting up my classes I’ll only have 2 classes left after fulfilling the requirements for both majors, but I’ll still be able to graduate in the timeframe I had planned (barring any major disaster of course). However, I’m feeling more focused and determined then I have since this semester started which is a good sign.

Now I just need to start harassing the two departments about classes being offered next year.

– Kali

Type One

Reading Rachel`s post has got me thinking about school and myself as a student. Whereas she fell into the second category of her creation, I definitely fall into category one. Since I was 13 years old I knew I was going to one day go to university. Now that I`m in university I love it even more than I expected.

I love planning classes, scheduling timetables, buying textbooks, going to lectures and tutorials, and even (sometimes, depending on the topic) researching for papers. My friends are also the recipients of this eagerness. I love to help them pick out classes, schedule timetables and get textbooks as well. Usually they just roll their eyes at me and go along with it.

Over the past few days I`ve gotten to do all these things again. I spoke to the European Studies advisor on Friday and it went really well. Unfortunately, as much as I would like to join the program, I can`t do it. It`s just not financially feasible because of the mandatory European experience component. However, talking to my mother, I realized that I don`t like English enough to do a major in it. So, I`ve been rescheduling my second semester. I`m still taking my International Relations class (of course), but instead of the English courses I`m now taking Greek and Roman Mythology, History of the Modern Middle East, and a history course called- The Multiple Faiths of Europe: Contacts and Conflicts: Middle Ages to Present. It`s a dramatic change to my schedule and I`m so excited. Textbook lists go up on December 1st and I cant wait for that too.

That`s not to say there aren`t days when I don`t want to go to class. I have those just like everyone else, but the difference is that I still go and I`ve never regretted it yet.

As far as NaNoWriMo goes I`m still ahead, but just barely. This past week I`ve always been at least a couple of days ahead, but after today I will need to write to make sure I hit the word goal for the day. I`m hoping to get a little writing done tonight still though and I have a write in tomorrow morning that will hopefully give me a boost. It seems like my novel will be even longer than I was expecting though, which I`m not sure whether I am happy about or not. When all is said and done, just like I`m motivated for school, I`m also motivated to win NaNo. Also, I really want this years winners shirt (even though I don`t have one from the other years I`ve won (2009 & 2010)), but I can`t buy one if I don`t win!

I guess I`m a type one without a doubt. Maybe that`s why I`m a Slytherin. After all, you cant get to the top without at least a little bit of hard work, and, since I`m not a Malfoy, I`m going to have to work harder still.

– Kali