Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The weird small world that is my life...

Recently, I've been running into people whom I haven't seen in a while. Yesterday, at work, I am helping a student when I suddenly look up and see a prof I had at Dal. I first met Anne when she was doing her LLM at Dal. That was when I was in first-year law. In my second year I took one of her courses, Law and Technology (and wrote, I am afraid, a somewhat mediocre paper (at least I thought it was) on the feasibility of enforcing publication bans on the Internet). She has just started her doctorate in Law at University of Ottawa, which is pretty cool.

Today I had just finished doing a tour of the library with some students, when I turn around and see a girl who I also knew from law at Dal. Josephine was doing her LLM when I was in my first or second year of law, and has actually been at U of O doing her doctorate in Law for about three years now.

And finally, someone un-law-related!!! I am taking a course in Art History at the U of O (as an employee, I get to go for free!), and the first class was tonight. It's an introductory-level course (2000-level), and at least half the students there were in their first year. I was not the oldest person there, but pretty darn close. Anyway, during the break, I'm waiting to speak to the professor (I needed to ask her about the course book) and I realize the person she is talking with is someone I know. Anna is the girlfriend of a guy I know who is a first-year lawyer at the federal Department of Justice. She herself is a teacher (high-school, I think). It was nice to see a familiar face (especially one in her mid-twenties rather than 17).

At any rate, the Art History class is going to be interesting and fun ... plus I don't think I've ever taken anything so approximately equating a "Bird Course". At least it will be for me. The readings are moderate and hey - they sure do beat both library school and law school readings in terms of interestingness. (I know, I know: you're shocked to hear it.) We have two in-class exams worth 35% each (memorization of terms and selected works of art, short answer questions, etc.), plus a take-home that we have a month to do which should be about - are you ready for this? - 3 pages long.

Let me make this clear: I have no desire to recreate my law school or library school experiences in any form whatsoever. I have written 25- to 30-page papers worth at least 70% of my final mark, taken exams worth anywhere from 80-100%, and completed complex computer multimedia projects worth at least 60%. I really don't need to do any of that again, at least not at this point in my life. And I'm sure when I was in my undergrad, I had smaller assignments that made me squirm then, at which I would likely laugh now. This Art History course is going to be very interesting, I will find it enjoyable, and I am taking it for credit as well as interest, so I do plan on putting my "all" into it, so to speak. But I doubt it will keep me up late at night with worry. Right now, however, that is OK with me. (Besides, I can't stay up late anymore - I have to work in the mornings!)

The only "bad" part about the course is that, despite a number of chapters on it in the textbook, we shall not be touching upon any East Asian art. I'd been looking forward to that. If I take the second introductory course next semester (which I am planning on doing), maybe we will then.

Oh, and on a sad educational note : last night was supposed to be my first Japanese Level 2 class. But it was cancelled due to insufficient enrolment. So now I must learn Japanese on my own. Any budding Japanese speakers out there who'd like to set up an online study group???

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