Saturday, March 11, 2006

Overheard at Queen's

Some of my favourite blogs out there are the "Overheard at X" sites. Overheard in New York has got to be one of the best. New Yorkers just let it all hang out.

What is Hardcore? (NYC Short Stories)

Girl: Wow, last night I was so drunk. I can't believe that I got so wasted off only a pint of gin. In first year I could drink like twice that amount and party all night.
Guy: So you were hardcore then?
Girl: Naw, I wasn't hardcore, I was just an idiot.

--NYU A bus

Overheard at Western is also amuzing. Here's a post from the law school:

And you thought lawyers were soulless creatures.

Law Professor: I don't even know what fine arts is. But I assume it involves, like... making stuff.

-- Law school, overheard by Drew

Queen's doesn't have such a site, as far as I know. But another Queen's blawgger sometimes includes postings that might qualify:

Overheard in the law lounge today.

Woman with silver laptop: "Our reading for Ethics now is this novel, which I was psyched about because I thought it would be easy, but it's the worst thing yet. My god. It's about this butler, and it's set in super old times."

Woman with the black laptop: "What's it called?

[G, internally: "Please don't say Remains of the Day, please not Remains of the Day.]

WSL: "Remains of the Day. I think it might have been made into a movie..."
There is certainly a SparkNotes version. :)

For the record, I think Ishiguro's Remains of the Day is a brilliant novel and I applaud the professor for assigning it.


At 4:28 PM, Anonymous Jordan said...

We were assigned The Remains of the Day in Legal Ethics back in 1993 (Mark Weisberg was the prof then, and hopefully he still is) -- tremendous novel, and wholly appropriate reading for law students. It demonstrates, in gradual yet grotesque detail, what happens when a professional ceases to use his or her own judgment and instead relies entirely on that of his or her client or employer. This happens to lawyers so quickly and easily, you'd scarcely believe it.

It also demonstrates what happens when you, as a professional, wall yourself off from your own humanity and define yourself solely in terms of your job. We begin doing this in law school, by the way -- the prof's instruction not to "emotionally engage" in your client's problems is the start of it -- and by the time the articling year draws to a close, it's pretty much all over.

I hope Silver Laptop reconsiders her dismissal of Remains of the Day and rethinks her approach to legal imagination (though I suspect, from the snippet of conversation provided, that that ship has long since sailed). But if you're reading this and haven't perused the book, do so. Yes, it takes a little while to get into it, but before you know it, you'll be sucked in, and you'll be a participant in the devastating end result.

If you're hardcore enough to really want a challenging lawyer novel, try picking up A Frolic of His Own by William Gaddis. Proceed with caution, though -- not only is it dense and difficult to read, you should only try it if you're already committed to law as a career. Otherwise, it may send you running in the opposite direction.

At 9:25 PM, Blogger a blawger said...

Here's another site in the same category:


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