Family Court II

Posted on November 15, 2005


I’m in administrative law class right now. It has been determined that this is in fact the best time to blog. It’s at night, it’s dangerously boring (I need the blogging to keep my heart rate up) and blogging looks like taking notes to my neighbours – the coloured moving shapes from the games I used to play proved distracting to them. This ruse doesn’t work that well when people lean over and look at my screen and ask, “The case name is what v. Canada? She should write immigrant names on the board!”
After over 30 years of complaints, Osgoode Hall had two new classroom windows put in. Would you believe they had opening ceremonies to inaugurate these amenities, with food? For windows, yo. Not that the windows actually open. So after the unveiling, the two new windows emerged: slivers of glass placed in such a way that the only person who can actually look out of them is the professor. And they look out onto a dark alley. So insignificant are they that in class earlier today our professor exclaimed, “What is that?!” Forty heads swivelled to see what she was looking at (the other half of the class has stopped coming due to boredom). She was looking out of the window. “That’s a…car,” someone said.
“Oh,” she giggled. She is a government lawyer in her fifties of impeccable dignity and repute. “I thought it was looking through to the next classroom or something…one of those psychiatrist windows, you know?”

This morning I had my family court shift again. I blew if off last week in disgust, which gave me the energy to deal with it this week. I strode into the court quivering with energy and compassion, only to find that there was no one signed up to receive my healing balm. Evidently the legions of people who read my blog have indeed been motivated to distribute prophylactics to the residents of northern Toronto. So I wandered around the courthouse and noted the presence of two other hilarious new videos: “Family Mediation: We Can Work it Out!” and “You’re still Mum and Dad”. Jeez. And Canadians say “mom”, too. Evidently lame government educational filmmakers are even more out of touch than I thought.
Eventually I was summoned to help a harassed woman file an ex parte claim. These are exciting because they’re emergency matters appearing before the court on the same day and involve writing affidavits against the clock to save babies from crazed parents etc. Duty counsel instructed me on what to write and told me that the client was writing the affidavit herself as she “was quite literate”. The client was right there – one should confine one’s condescension to the absence of one’s clients, I feel. None of my clients today were the should-have-slammed-your-legs-shut variety, and there was only one incidence of mouth odour. Also, a strangely red-haired Indian security guard flirted with me and a grown man, not a client, called me ma’am. This was very disturbing. I confided this to the information desk lady and she said not to worry about it and that I didn’t look old. She then lowered her voice to a polite whisper: “Was it a black guy? Cos sometimes they…” What atrocity was she about to say? I hastily cut her off by pointing out that it was a lily-white guy. Pink, even. So there.
After I left, I wandered around the nearby quasi-mall. A thugged-out dude approached me and said, “Excuse me?” Still in helpful volunteer mode, I stopped. I thought he was going to ask me directions. But instead he opened with, “What’s up?” That’s some repartay right there.
“Oh no, I don’t think so. You’re just…really not hitting on me.”
“Why not?”

Aho keda yakhooya.