Sassy Answers to Future Questions

When you’re a kid the question of what you want to be when you grow up is fun and relatively simple for most of us. Generally you answer with a big grin and some far fetched idea. For me it was an actress – until I was 13 and then I was going to be a lawyer.

But it feels like the older you get, the more frustrating that question gets, the more pressure there seems to be to have a legitimate and thoughtful answer.

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There were times during my undergraduate degree when I waffled on the whole law school idea – though I always came back to it in the end – and times where even if I really wanted law school I just was not convinced I had a chance at being smart enough to get in. And it was around this time that the questions started cropping up again. “So, what do you want to do next?” “What are you going to do with that [a double major in political science and religious studies]?”

And I, like most of my classmates, both hated and dreaded that question in equal measure. Because the truth of the matter was that we weren’t 100% sure what was coming next, and even if we were sure what we wanted to come next that did not mean we would get it. And so my answers, as they tend to do when I’m feeling pressured, got sassy. “Oh, I’m going to solve the problems in the Middle East” I would say, or, “I’m going to save the world. Obviously.”

The same thing has happened now that I’m in law school. Except now the question isn’t asking what I’m going to do with my degree, but what kind of law I want to practice. And my answer isn’t as sassy (yet), but currently it’s something along the lines of “I’m not sure, but based on my classes for next year – the kind that won’t make any money”.

And yes, this is a long winded way of saying what my classes are for next year. So, here they are:

Fall Semester

  1. Family Law
  2. Mental Health Law
  3. Business Associations
  4. Clinical Litigation Practice (which is basically my working in the legal aid clinic)

Winter Semester

  1. Civil Procedure
  2. Administrative Law
  3. Immigration and Refugee Law
  4. Feminist Legal Studies Workshop
  5. Clinical Litigation Practice

So yeah, I wasn’t exactly kidding when I said the kinds of law that aren’t the big money makers, but I’m so excited and really there is more to life than money.

  • 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.┬áThe 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 ­čśŤ

  • Kali

Winner!

 

 

Once again I accomplished the NaNoWriMo challenge. I crossed the 50K mark on the 21st and finished the actual story on Monday. It was the sequel to last years NaNo and it was a lot of fun to write despite the torture and death of several characters. Admittedly all the death was off-screen so to speak.

I also started a new novel on Monday because this year I AM GOING TO WRITE POST NANO.

I know, I know – I say that every year, but this year it’s true. I know that to be the case because several other Victoria NaNo-ers/NaNites/WriMos have all decided to set a goal of 500 words a day. It’s not as challenging as the NaNo goal of 1667 words a day which makes ir completely do-able for the long haul. I can write out 500 words in 15 minutes if I’m really on a roll, but it usually taken me more like 30-45 minutes to do so. Putting half an hour aside a day for writing is easy.

In other news the semester is almost over which is great in some ways and sad in others. Monday is that last day of classes though my exams are not over until the 20th. My political theory exam is worth 50% of my mark and that one is absolutely terrifying because it could really make or break my mark. At this point I don’t even care if my grade for that class is particularly good (a first for me), I just want to pass so I never have to take another political theory class again.

I’m definitely going to miss my Arabic class though. Even when I’m sick and tired and do my homework last-minute it brightens up my day. And Nooshi is quite possibly the sweetest teacher I have ever had. I’m thinking about taking part two in the new year, but at the same time I’m also considering taking some time away from it and just trying to make sure I have everything we’ve learned in this class down pat. On the other hand though I worry that I will have great intention to study my Arabic and then just not do it which I do admit to having a tendency to doing. It’s a decision I can make in the new year though since the class doesn’t start until the end of January.

Well, let’s just get through this last essay (for political theory – yuck) and exams and see where the holidays take me.

– Kali

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

 

 

All My Spare Time

With all this spare time I have I have decided to take up beginner Arabic. I’m taking it through Continuing Studies though so we don’t have tests and it doesn’t affect my GPA which is nice.

I had my first class last night and it was really cool even though I was the youngest person in the room so I was a bit nervous at first. Our teacher Nooshi is super welcoming though so I got over my nerves pretty fast.

I’ve got to get back to writing my short assignment for my European Politics class, but I figured I’d give y’all an update.

– Kali

Registration Trials

Well, registration is now complete for me. I did run into a little snag when doing so though. The sociology class I wanted to take (Sociology 310: Religion in Society) had prerequisites that it did not warn me about on the UVic website.Unfortunately I do not have time to take the prerequisites so it means I can’t take the class. It’s too bad too because I really wanted to take it. It sounded really interesting and Dr. W (who taught the inter-religious history class I took last semester) was teaching it and I was looking forward to having him as a prof again.

I did manage to find another class to take though. It’s an Art History class in Byzantine Art. It sounds like it should actually be pretty cool and according to Rate My Prof┬áthe prof is pretty awesome too. Also, it will be my first class in the Hickman Building. I’ve only been in there a couple of times – once for an exam prep session and once just this last semester for a talk that was going on about the Arab Spring.

Even if it’s not exactly what I had planned on I’m still looking forward to next year. It looks like they’ve switched around a few things though. First semester reading break is a Monday-Wednesday instead of a Wednesday-Friday. I’m not particularly fond of that, I preferred it the other way around even though it’s not a difference in days or anything. Also, second semester seems to start on a Thursday instead of a Wednesday which is just strange. I had finally gotten used to it starting on Wednesday instead of Tuesday like all my other schooling until that point and now they’re changing it. Not cool.

In other news though, I caught up in my Camp NaNoWriMo word count. I’m still not sure how it happened, but I’m even 1000 words ahead. The plan is to finish on Thursday. I still love my characters, but I’m getting tired of this story. It will be good to have the month off in between too. I already have the basics of an idea for my August NaNo too. Hopefully August will be better.

Now I just have to wait for textbook lists to be up on August 1st!

– Kali

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, ┬ábut 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 ┬áfamily 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┬á200A┬álast 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

Co-Prezzie Kali

I’m sure you all remember how I said that I have that bad habit of signing up for clubs and then not going through with actually being a member. I’m sure you also remember that I said I was going to try a lot harder this semester to actually go to meetings.

Well, last night I had my second Circle K meeting. I even managed to drag Rachel since she had signed up too. She’s actually pulling a bit of a Kali this semester. She signed up for a bunch of things – juggling, ballroom dance, Circle K, etc, but isn’t really going to any of the meetings. I can’t really say anything though since, well, I call it pulling a Kali for a reason.

Anyways, at the meeting they needed to nominate a new executive for next year. They needed a whole new executive (Co-Presidents (aka Co-Prezzies), Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer) and told us that if they didn’t get a new executive the club would die. One of the current Co-Prezzies drew a pig on the board and called it Circle K, and told us that if we didn’t step up the pig would die.

People were slow, but stepping up, but they could only get one person to step up to be President. They admitted that they could have a single President, but that it would be a lot more work for that person and a lot more work for the Vice President. For some reason my hand found its way into the air. So, apparently, I’m going to be trained to be one of the new Co-Prezzies. I guess that’s one way to step up and guarantee my club involvement, but it’s certainly not what I expected when I signed up.

I’ve also got my first Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) meeting today. I’m really excited, it’s been far too long since I’ve been involved with the Tibet cause and I didn’t realize just how much I missed it until I rededicated myself. I’m going to let the radio station, networking, and blood drive clubs slide though. With training to be Co-Prezzie of Circle K, throwing myself back into SFT, and being a kind of unofficial aide to the Writing Club Vice President, not to mention still looking for a job and juggling my classes, I think my hands are going to be full enough.

Mom says she thinks I’m going to go off the deep end and join the Peace Corps, but I keep reminding her that as a Canadian citizen, I can’t. However, it’s probably best that I keep the future Co-Prezzie of a freelance volunteer organization under wraps. Yeah, what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her.

In other news, I’m considering doing a Religious Studies minor. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m going to. She probably doesn’t need to know that either. Now I just need an actual paying job (because as mom keeps reminding me, volunteering doesn’t pay) and the craziness that is my life will be complete.

Okay, maybe I’m a bit nuts.

– Kali

Change

One of the things about the first couple of years of university is the capacity for change. Not only are you changing as a person as your ideas and beliefs are challenged through both classes and contact with other students, but you also tend to change your mind about classes a lot. I’d like to tell you a story.

I have one friend who started out studying history at the same university I’m at now, but then her scholarship was dropped and she was forced to drop out of school. She spent the rest of that semester working and then enrolled in college for the January semester to study criminology. She did that for a semester, decided it was too impractical and did the next (September) semester in business. This bored her to bits so she considered transferring again back to criminology. Before she had done this however she decided to move in with her boyfriend in a nearby city. At the moment she’s considering pastry school.

Now, her story is probably more extreme than many, but it makes the point. When you’re our age you don’t really know where you’re going, or how you’re going to get there. When I was 13 years old I decided I wanted to be a lawyer. I completed high school with the type of single minded determination that you often see in people who make up their mind that young. I ended up having to take a year off school when my grandmother died so I spent the year working and counting down the days until I could start university.

University came. My first year I knew what I wanted to do for the most part, unlike many other people who start university with no clue. I was going to major in Political Science and have a minor that I had not yet identified. After my first semester I decided that minor would either be Religious Studies or English. By the time I finished second semester I thought either Women’s Studies or English, and as for poli sci, I was going to concentrate on either international relations or comparative politics (definitely NOT poltical theory!). By the time I registered for classes I had my mind made up. I was going to double major in Political Science and English.

I’m in second year now and nearing the end of my first semester. This semester I’m taking a class on European integration and the European Union. I absolutely love it. My school offers a political science degree with a concentration in European Studies. In order to do this I would have to get rid of my English major and rework my entire second semester. I would need to take more classes in a European language, in my case this would be Spanish as I’ve finished first year Spanish already (although I’d like to take some Italian and some German classes if possible) and a multitude of classes in different disciplines that connected to Europe. Another requirement of the program is to spend a semester abroad, either a school term, or because I’m in co-op, a co-op work term. This excites me to no end, but I know it would be difficult and expensive (although there is funding available).

I’m seriously considering switching into this program, but I’m going to talk to the European Studies people before making any major decisions and overhauls. To top it all off, I’m not sure I want to be a lawyer anymore, some days I consider going to grad school and then going on and becoming a prof. And if I switch into this program I might find something else I want to do altogether.

Sometimes I miss the days where my mind was set in stone and I did not even consider anything else, but considering something else is kind of the point of getting a university education. I don’t know whether I will switch, but I like to think 5 years down the road I’ll be happy I at least considered it.

– Kali