Saturday, May 21, 2005

First Canadian Apple Store: Grand Opening!

It's about time! Apple finally opened a retail store in Toronto. For photos of the event, check this out. If you have a chance to get out to Yorkdale, let me know what you think!

Friday, May 20, 2005

Next week: The Hague, Paris and Geneva

Rough life, eh? :)

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Follow up: Career Day loot

I wanted to follow up on my post about the stuff we got on Career Day. I agree with Connie Crosby's post that the Pez dispenser was cool. Here are some suggestions for future Career Days:
~~ If you're handing out a marketing CD that has "requires Windows" clearly printed on it, don't tell students that it will run on a Mac.
~~ Include a map at the entry that indicates where firms are in the room.
~~ Puzzles are fun! For example, the 12 question test that used to be on Osler's site was hugely popular - even for students not interested in Osler's. I think in general, law school students like puzzles.
~~ High-tech gadgets can be cool, hip and trendy.
~~ A Flash memory keychain would be an awesome giveaway. Even if it was only 64MB, it would still be useful. They're useful and easy to loose.
~~ If you can afford it, how about an iPod Shuffle? You can even put your firm's jingle on it.
~~Gift certificates for food and coffee are also great. Perhaps it wasn't the most expensive giveaway, but Bereskin & Parr's gift certificates to Tim Horton's were a bit hit. When we would get coffee before class, if someone pulled out a gift certificate, other law students would say, "courtesy of B&P?" That one hit home.

Okay, I'm going to try to get some reading done.
Later peeps.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Doctoring photos

During class today, the guy sitting next to me was changing his grey skies to blue. The software seemed to be quite sophisticated: you just click on the grey clouds in the background, then click on the colour of sky you like, and it will replace the area using hues & light gradations of the original. With one click he inserted at red sunset, with another it because a noon-time deep blue. I didn’t get a good look, but at a glance it looked genuine. In a snap, the grey skies above Dublin became blue and perfect.

Another example is more serious. In class, an instructor used an example of doctored evidence. Soldiers used a package from the Red Cross to get into a hospital to apprehend a suspect. It is against international law to use symbols such as that of the Red Cross for military purposes. The photo (evidence) of the soldiers had been doctored to reduce the size of the symbol on the package and argued that it was too small to be of significance. Hmmmm. Thankfully, the prosecution could identify the alteration and it wasn't a major incident.

BTW, in case you’re wondering, the photo on the right (of our cat Pickles) is not doctored. It is a shot of him in the mirror looking into the camera. A friend asked me if it was 2 cats – no, it’s just Pickles (our little trouble-maker).

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Perspectives on Castle life...

I came across this blog by an undergraduate student here at the castle. She seems really sweet, and she's interested in law. Here are some except from a post about castle life.
Speaking of law, I have met several law students, several very stand-offish ("What, you want to talk to ME, you puny undergrad?"), but many very nice!
Hopefully she's met more of the latter than of the former. Also, it seems like she's getting some pretty heavy marketing from one of us ...
One who is doing Business Law at Queen's told me all about the law program there and why they call Osgoode "Was-good." He fortunately warned me that getting a job after doing law at UofT would be very hard because of the recent cheating scandal in which professors were implicated. I had totally forgotten about that (about 2001, I think it was), but Bay Street has a long memory, apparently. He informed me that of the Ontario Universities, Queen's students have the best chance of getting an articling job right after third year.
Hmmmmm... Well, I would be nice if it were true. And, unfortunately, it seems like one of my classmates (perhaps the same as above?) has been passing along misinformation:
Oh, and another thing, if I get 170 or more on my LSAT (I think that's about the 90th percentile), I get the first year tuition fully paid for in most universities (maybe not Osgoode or UofT, but all the others definitely).
Nope - sorry hon. But if you score above 170, you'll have a good chance of paying tuition to whichever school you like. (Or, if anyone can confirm the above, I'd like to know.)


On a less sober note, ;) a fellow Queen's law student here at the castle has started a blog. Check it out yo.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Sport that bonds

An experience over the weekend made me particularly aware of the potential bonding power of sport.

I was having dinner with a group of well-educated professionals from varying backgrounds and industries. The table included:
a Canadian business consultant (IBM)
a Swiss/ French business consultant (IBM)
a Malaysian business consultant (IBM),
a Swiss banker (private)
an American IT exec (mobile)
a Cambodian marketing specialist (with Coke, among others)
and myself

Initial attempts at conversation fell flat. The American made an attempt to spark debate about JFK’s assassination (there’s some conspiracy theory that Johnson was behind it) failed. Then the Swiss started a little discussion on the unavailable & quality of Swiss wine which was interesting but didn't go far. The topic that really pulled everyone in was sports.

The first sport that came up was soccer. This past weekend was huge for British soccer with many clubs playing key matches. The results could determine which teams would move up into a better league, and conversely, move down into a lower league. Despite the fact that there wasn’t a Brit at the table, many of them had been following these matches and they had strong opinions on the matter. Furthermore, the Asians at the table followed World Cup 2002 in Japan/Korea and we talked about that. And, of course, everyone had something to say about Beckham.

Then we moved to hockey. Again, everyone knew the basics and, of course, as Canadians we offered our “expertise” on any points in dispute. ;) The Swiss were really happy about our suspended NHL season because they’re able to watch players who would normally be in the NHL. The American was a huge Pittsburgh Penguins fan and the Malaysian loves Olympic hockey.

It was really amazing that we, a group of individuals from across the globe, can sit down and have fluid conversation on a topic we all have a perspective. Sport: don’t underestimate its power to transcend differences.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


I got a few questions about the castle and I thought I'd field them here just in case others might benefit from the answers.

Q1: At the castle, is it worth it to get a single room?
A1: The issue here is: how much do you value your privacy? For some, the extra few hundred $$ is well worth having a room of one's own. For others, there's a benefit in rooming with a friend and potentially developing the friendship. Here at the castle, there are, in fact, 2 girls who initially had single rooms and they've opted to move in together to save a bid of dosh. (However, I know of many more friendships that have actually suffered from such an arrangement.)

Q2: Can you please comment on getting a single room or a single with an ensuite?
A2: My impression is that most of the rooms are single rooms, but there are certainly a good number of students doubling up. I don't know of any student who has an ensuite. For our field trip (to The Hague, Paris and Geneva), we will have to double up in our hotel rooms so for that week we will partially lose our privacy - as far as I know it's a non-issue.
A photo of a typical room in the residence building can be found here. It looks pretty much like where we're living. The biggest difference is that the photo shows a TV, phone and kettle, but we have none of those things in our rooms. Probably the lack of a phone is the biggest void in the rooms.

Q3: Do you know if its hard to get a single room?
A3: I believe the rooms are assigned on a lottery basis but most people who wanted single rooms got them (90%). I know of one student who needed a single room for medical reasons and it was granted.

Hope that helps. I'm more than happy to field any questions that I can. Thanks for the email.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

New members to the castle community

We have 3 new ducklings to add to our little community. The gardener has built a protective cage in the corner of the courtyard and students spend their class breaks feeding them crumbs (or whatever else is on hand).

That said, we saw the security guy marching into the forest with a gun a few days ago to cull rabbits. So, the population as a whole might be at a net loss. If they attempt rabbit stew on the cafeteria menu there might be a revolt.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Shakespeare Quote

We read this in Brighton today:
The guy knew what he was talking about. ;)

Thursday, May 05, 2005

A day in London

They've organized a field trip to London for tomorrow. At 7 am we have breakfast and pack a lunch for a long day in England's fair capital. It should be great. Everyone here (the law school students and undergrads alike) is looking forward to it. The highlights include a Jack the Ripper walking tour and tickets to see The Tempest at The Globe Theatre.

A day at the castle

7:00 Get up, finish readings for International Tax
7:45 Wait in line for a shower, get ready, walk over to the castle
8:30 Breakfast (try to avoid eating too much of the fried grub)
9:00 Listen to anecdotes/ stories on the negotiations of tax treaties
10:15 Coffee break (opt for the cappuccino instead of the so-called "coffee" they serve here)
10:30 More stories (prof laments that we're not in a pub cause he could use a pint)
noon Lunch in the Dining Hall (read: cafeteria): lamb chops with beans
12:45 Go to the library to finish readings for International Commercial Arbitration
1:25 Grab a tea before heading to class
1:30 Our class waits for a tour group to go through the classroom before we get started
1:40 Presentation by classmates on which circumstances are appropriate for an arbitration clause in a contract
2:30 Break for fresh air
4:10 Our prof tells us that our 100 pages of readings was "not so much"
4:15 Head back to residence
4:30 Go jogging around the grounds with a friend (repeat to myself that I need to get back into shape)
5:30 Dinner: fish sticks, potatoes, veggies and apple crisp
6:30 Shower (no line)
7:00 Chat with friends (independent trips are being planned for Belfast, Amsterdam, Paris and Moscow)
8:00 Ping pong in the rec room
9:00 Start readings for next classes
10:30 Head over to the pub, in the castle, to socialize with students and profs (regular fixtures)
11:30 Back to residence - review my readings
midnight Bed

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


I'm in awe. Studying at the castle is amazing. As I was walking to class this morning, the rising sun cast a yellow glow around the battle-worn crenellations. Passing over the moat, I could see dozens of resident carp biting for a morning meal. It all feels surreal - especially for a new-world Canadian who's not used to seeing so much history outside of a textbook.

I think I may start jogging in the mornings. Fields of bluebells are in bloom around the perimeter and there are "footpaths" all through the grounds. Not to mention it's a good excuse to get outside!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

The Castle

We arrived at the castle yesterday in three "waves". I arrived in the first wave with about 40 other students. About 5 mins into the bus ride our Orientation began and it feels like we've been in tours ever since: the grounds tour, the castle tour, the residence tour, the classrooms tour, the pub tour ...

PS. I should have brought sandals.

I survived first year law!

It's official: exams are over. I feel like I deserve a prize or something. After all, when we were evacuated from Cape Hatteras due to Hurricane Felix we got T-shirts that read: "I surfived!" Law school exams were at least as perilous as a hurricane. :)

Honestly, I have no idea how I did. It a grueling to try to review all the material we've covered since September, remember it and understand it as a tool. Tools. I think the biggest thing to come out of exams was a change in perspective. I now see how important it is to see cases/ principles/ rules/ etc as tools. "How can I use this?" That is the question.