Canucks who grew up planted in front of the telly have now got the Smarties song in their heads. I thought that I’d pass it on since the jingle is looping in my head, driving me loopy. Actually, the song isn’t really driving me loopy. I am driving myself loopy.
You know, it’s the usual thing: I want one thing but do the other. I know what it takes to get what I want but I choose sabotage! Now have you got the Beastie Boys in your head? I sure do!
Want to cut back on the lard? Eat some leftover halloween candy! No, I do not eat the red ones last. I just eat the whole damn box. 80 calories and childhood memories transferred from little cardboard box to tummy in 10 seconds flat! Too bad that fat doesn’t only stick around for 10 seconds! Boo!
This weekend has been a bit of a blur. After leaving you with that unfinished entry, I made it to class late and then hit the little Waseda partay. The Waseda crew was so adorable. They organized a game of bingo that required us to answer a series of questions on Japanese culture and the link. Our team kept messing up but we ended up getting second prize. I am now the proud owner of a plastic Waseda bookbag (which none of the Canadians understood–”Is it an, um, shopping bag?”), a plastic Waseda file folder and some Waseda chestnuts (or “marrons” as the French and Japanese say). Since I am greedy, I sweet talked my way into another prize, a bag that we Canucks would more easily understand as a bookbag. I think it might actually fit my old beaten up laptop. Stylish, Waseda-y and functional. Woot.
Dinner, the experience, was fun. Dinner, the food, was yuck. Instead of going to the business school’s fancy dining room, we dined in the law school’s retro faculty common room that was gussied up with white tablecloths. The event was catered by the school cafeteria, so the chafing dishes were full of disguised cafeteria food. Mmmmm…salty chicken boobs drenched in even saltier hollandaise sauce!
I sat at a table with two professors, an acquaintance from McGill* who had spent some time in Japan after completing his Master’s at LSE, a Korean Waseda student and a Japanophile Canadian dude (married to a Japanese woman whom he presumably brought back to Canada with him after studying in Kyoto for several years.) Some very interesting conversation was had that night. Let’s just say there was a fair amount of delicate talk around discrimination against Koreans in Japan and general Asian relations. We talked quite a bit about World War II without letting our conversation erupt into WWIII. Sweet. It was so interesting to see P, the guy with the Japanese spouse, take on the diplomatic role as defender of the Japanese. It was also amazing to see just how diplomatic we all could be when addressing ultra-sensitive issues. Perhaps we’ll all end up as diplomats someday. I sense that some of us are interested in careers in international relations!
Among the other interesting things that came up during this little cross-cultural exchange was Joo Hee’s comment about the number of women attending my law school. Not only is Joo Hee a cultural minority at her school, she’s also in the gender minority. Whereas Canadian law schools are over 50% female, Japanese universities, especially law departments, are still overwhelmingly male. Joo Hee’s comment was saddening, if not surprising to most of us Canadian students, but she also pointed out something we had taken for granted: the number of women who have been filling our school hallways for the last century. She said that during their tour of our school, the Waseda students (who were all male aside from Joo Hee and one other girl) were shocked (yes, she said “shocked” to see that women had been studying at our law school for over a century.
Obviously, there weren’t a lot of women kicking around the old boys’ club back in 1892, but there was at least one and plenty more who followed her. Even though my friends and I still think that there’s a lot of progress to be made in the gender (and other) equity department at our school and in our profession, we should be proud of the progress that has been made so far especially considering the experiences of students from other places!
I had promised to take the Waseda crowd out on Friday night because I had abandoned them on their post-dinner Karaoke outing (in North York Koreatown of all places. I wanted to show my new friends my city and a good time! Unfortunately, my body rebelled against that idea and I spent Friday afternoon and evening swaddled in bed.
I’m not yet sure if all that snoozing has done the trick as I am not yet feeling 100% better, but I believe in the power of deep sleep and Cold-Fx. Part of me thinks that pre-exam stress is already kicking in. Once again, I’m ill-prepared in all courses in all respects, but at least I’m prepared to fight the good fight! Ganbaru!
So here’s to a fresh week, in a fresh month. I refused to let November be solely defined by stress. Stress always means illness for me and who likes being sick? If only I could fight this pre-sicky feeling with a little Caribbean sun. My mother and grandmother are currently basking in the glorious southern sun without me. Actually, at this time of night they are probably just leaving a fantastically cheesy cabaret show and heading back to their little cabin to prepare for their beauty rest. Tomorrow they reach their first port! Girls’ vacation sans a key girl! Terrible, right? ;P I guess it is all for the best as a vacation down south would probably derail my study and lard busting plans even more. But a girl can dream…
*This guy, Matt, and I were in an honours political theory seminar together in our final year at McGill University. The class was extremely intense and full of smarties that intimidated me. Even though I was a poster child of the honours poli sci program and could have gone on to grad school in the field, I felt like I should not have been in the class. It wasn’t even the presence of a bunch of graduate students or the fact that I recognized my undergrad colleagues as people who brought keen to a new level. It was just knowing that it was all theoretical. God damn confidence. In the end, I always managed to rock my theory courses (more than other poli sci courses, go figure), but still always worried about how I interpreted philosophical texts.
Anyway, I’m way off on a tangent. The asterisk was meant to bring me to a quick point! Eep! Distraction city! I just wanted to point out that a disproportionate number of people in our teeny tiny heavy duty theory seminar hit law school after finishing their degrees. 4 people out of a 18 person class ended up at my law school. I am certain that there are more of us in law school. In fact, I remember that there were others going to different law schools the year I graduated and that I was the only one going to my school that year. But 4 of us are at the same law school now! There’s at least one of us in each year. Small, weird world. That the seminar was on justice and reconciliation wouldn’t have any relevance now would it?