The Salute

Posted on March 30, 2006


The following was my farewell editorial to Osgoode Hall, published this Monday in keeping with our newspaper tradition.

I have been looking forward to my farewell article for some time now. But now that it’s here, I’m not as excited, for a few reasons. First, I don’t think that many people read this paper. Two, I have released my outpouring of bitterness in installments over the last year, and I’m guessing everyone has gotten the point by now. But this will be the culmination of all my (admittedly angry) reflections about my three years at Osgoode Hall.
I suppose it’s pertinent to state that I’ve been so miserable here, and have such a bleak future outlook, that I’ve decided to leave Canada completely, perhaps for ever. I’m not even going to article. Is it because of my experience at Osgoode? Absolutely. I don’t like the person I have become, most of the people I have met, and everything I have heard about being a lawyer here. With regards to myself, I was just reading a novel where I came across the following sentence: “Susu had been getting witchier and witchier as law school progressed, a phase we’d all endured with the confidence that she’d eventually come back around.” I’m sorry about reading novels whose characters are named Susu (the cover is both red and pink) but the observation is unerringly truthful. I know this place has brought out the worst in me, and probably in of all of you too. As for the future, all I have to look forward to is long hours, no social life, or even worse, being friends with lawyers. And all that in this unforgiving climate? No, I’ll take my chances with the religious and sexual discrimination that characterizes my life in the Middle East.
I don’t regret going to law school; I always dreamed of it and I’m satisfied with having completed it. But given the atmosphere pervading Osgoode Hall, I think I should have gone to Western. I hear people there hang out and stuff, and occasionally exhibit the occasional moment of sincerity, besides not being handicapped with the unfortunate locale. Maybe I would have stayed nice if I’d gone there. I don’t know.
I’m grateful to Osgoode, though, for how much I’ve learned here, the brilliant and helpful faculty, the tradition of social justice, and the stimulating selection of courses and programs. But I’m really glad it’s over. The thought is as a sweet morsel I roll under my tongue. In fact, if it wasn’t for my boyfriend, we’d be looking at hospitalization/violence sometime in the last eight months. So you all have him to thank. I myself want to thank the Obiter Dicta, for giving me the platform to express my increasingly negative views, and for the consistently interesting and funny staff who have made life bearable. Needless to say, gracias to purveyors of alcohol all over Toronto. You guys are propping up the Canadian legal system.
Well, good luck to all of you. Sorry I couldn’t be more amusing.

Since it was printed, I have received an unusually large number of reactions, ranging from “I’m sorry you were unhappy and that I wasn’t more friendly” to “Wow. Can we say BITTER? But you’re absolutely right.” Even as I write this, an Osgoode alumni just popped up on msn repeating the latter. I’m gratified that alumni are still reading our august publication (78 years of complaining about Osgoode)! I even received a sweet email from someone who I thought disliked me (and in her case she had a right to) telling me that she was sorry, that she didn’t hate me, and that we should at least msn. I’m surprised and happy to see that such goodness exists in Ozzies still.
However, I had the following conversation with one of my best friends-on-campus-only, L. I spend at least 40% of any school time in her company, normally.

L: I read your article. It made me sad.
S: Yeah, sorry. I was definitely in a bad mood that day.
L: Still, you’re right. Osgoode sucks.
S: So then…can we hang out sometime outside of school?
L: Um, no. I don’t hang out. I’m pretty much a recluse.

Sigh. What can you do with these freaks? I spent another 45 minutes chatting to another guy who confessed that he, too, had had a terrible experience, since he was from Alberta anyway and had no pre-existing friends here. He also made no offer to hang out outside school. We could have double-dated or something cheesy like that! His wife sounded nice.
Although he did ensure that I would show up for the Pre-Hibernation Pub tomorrow. I swear, the Osgoode pub would have closed if it wasn’t for me. I even bartended last year.
Anyway. My point is – I’ve been sad. But I’ll miss those freaks and the school all the same.

UPDATE: I went to the pre-hibernation pub and was apprised that some guy, who I have barely spoken to, has a link to the aforementioned editorial on his msn nickname! Wow. Gratifying.

Posted in: law school