Naturally, I'm supposed to be writing a paper right now, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to procrastinate a bit... and muse about being a Canadian in a foreign land. Which has its upsides, downsides, and things that make you go hmmmmmmm.
For the upside? This has been a wonderful adventure and experience in a LOT of ways. It may be that Southwestern is A-typical of American law schools, but I really like it. It has a more relaxed atmosphere in general, but I don't feel like I'm getting less expertise from my professors. I feel like we are more encouraged to ask questions and discuss issues more openly. And yes, there are still a few cliquey cool kids who try to make you feel like pond scum, but they are in the minority.
Is anyone surprised that there isn't a lot of emphasis put on Canadian law? And what mentions there are are often mis-conceptions? That said, I've noticed a few gaffs about American law that my Canadian professors made... so there. Interesting to see... Although, I do have to say that I'm not a big fan of mocking Canada -- Trademarks, I'm looking at you... And really? You don't immediately recognize the Boston Bruins logo? God, no wonder it took the Great One to get any interest in hockey in this town... *rolls eyes*
Major upside? The number of AMAZING seminars available through the Beverly Hills Bar Association. I'm barely home anymore! A seminar in Production counsel and one on the Latest Trends in Financing Motion Pictures (included with lunch at Lawrey's -- YES that Lawrey's - where the steak spice REALLY comes from) - coming up tomorrow, an all day program at USC. Next Tuesday - Internet and New Media seminar. More all through November. Also in November and offering 2 days of industry related seminars is the AFM - American Film Market - the American equivalent of Cannes -- and it happens to be in Santa Monica - just a few blocks from my apartment!!
I really feel like I am learning so much from every side. I'm still enjoying it, and really feel like I'm "getting it" - that I made the right choice. I know that I can be good at this. I'm passionate about it.
Downsides? I miss a lot of what day to day life in Canada is all about. (and you heard me say it - "about" is the one word that always gives me away - otherwise I "pass" pretty convincingly...)
I miss my easy access to things - like phone and internet... I miss our overt politeness. I'm not saying we are friendlier - I truly believe that's mostly a factor of how friendly you are regardless of where you are...
I miss people who can drive in the rain. OMG - you should have seen the freak out on the television weather about the thunder and lightening. And really? You could barely see 20 feet in front of your car for the rain??? Talk to me when you can't see the hood of your own car for the snow!!!
And PEOPLE!!! A little rain - I mean barely wetting the pavement - does NOT turn the road into a sheet of ice - it does NOT mean you have to slow down 30 miles an hour!!!
I'm definitely hitting the homesick stage about now, but I'm also even more excited about what I'm doing - so I guess it's still balancing itself out.
Last observation, the obsession with business cards. Everyone has them. Everyone gives them out. Have I been missing this in Canada? On the to do list to have some made up...
Only two of the super fun activities I've done this week? Ninja blogging and Pirate scuttling... God, how I love you entertainment law...