Archive for September, 2014


Scandal In Kingston

I’m not one for gossip, but I’ve got a juicy one for you tonight. Let me hit you with the headline first:

A friend of mine might be involved in a sexual relationship with a professor.

I use the word “might” because I have absolutely no evidence of the relationship being sexual in nature. What I do have is pretty strong evidence that two are at least sharing a bed on a semi-regular basis.

Obviously, you’ll be wanting to hear about that evidence. Let me lay it out for you:

 

In class this evening, I happened to look to my right. I did so because, well, that’s where the lecturer was. As I did so, I happened to glance at my friend’s computer screen. She was looking at her email inbox – nothing usual about that. What was unusual was that her inbox was dominated by messages from a single sender, who was identified only by his first name. That name was the same name as one of our professors from last year. Curiously though, the subject lines didn’t seem very academic in nature. They were things like “You still there?” or “You awake?”

Obviously, my curiosity was piqued. I kept one eye on the lecturer while subtly keeping the other on her computer screen. Soon thereafter, she opened up an instant messaging program. The conversation she opened up was between her and a man with the same name as the one who dominated her inbox.

Two questions sprung to my mind.

1) Was this person the professor?

2) If so, what exactly was going on here?

I don’t have any decisive proof that the man she was speaking with was the professor. I do however have some strong circumstantial evidence. I’ve already mentioned the first bit of evidence a couple of times: the man’s first name. Obviously I’m not going to mention the professor’s name here, but suffice to say it’s a rather uncommon name. The second piece of evidence is that during the course of their conversation, the man mentioned having to meet with someone by the name of Flanagan. That would be the law school Dean’s name. Third, and most convincing of all, early on in their conversation the man asked her “How is class?” to which my friend responded “Boring. Not like your class.” He responded “Aw, thank you :)”

Again, all of that is circumstantial evidence. I never saw the man’s last name, which would have been the proverbial smoking gun. But putting it all together, I find it difficult to come to any other conclusion.

The answer to the second question is even less hazy. I can’t reproduce their conversation word for word as I was also trying to take good notes for class at the same time. Nevertheless, I caught a number of snippets here and there, which I’ve arranged below in a haphazard order. There’s plenty missing, but you get the gist of it:

Him: “I’m happy you said hey :)”

Her: “I’ll come with you tomorrow [for a walk]”

Her: “Are you going to pick me up after class?”

Him: “Are you going to spend the night?”

Her: “I don’t have my overnight stuff.”

Her: “I have don duty, so you’ll have to drive me back late tonight. But if I want I can always change my mind later.”

Him: “I think it would be nice to sleep together.”

Her: “Class is ending now. I’ll go back to my place and pack my things.”

You can take from that what you will. After class when I casually inquired about her plans for the evening, she mentioned don duty but nothing else.

 

Now, what on earth do I do with this information? The thing is, I don’t even know how much of a Big Deal this is. If this was high school, I’d be obligated to gather more information to make absolutely sure, and then get the police involved. But this isn’t high school. She’s 23 years old, and perfectly capable of consenting to an adult relationship. As far as I’m aware, she doesn’t have any courses taught by him this semester, and so it’s not as though he’s her professor. What we have here is a relationship (possibly sexual) between a law student and a professor at the law school that she currently attends. On her part, there’s probably nothing wrong with it aside from the social stigma such a thing might carry. From his perspective it’s not illegal, but it’s certainly unprofessional and probably unethical. The big question is, if the Dean knew that one of his professors was sleeping with a student, what action would he take? Would he suspend the professor? Outright fire him? Would he do anything at all? I haven’t a clue.

So the best thing I can do for now is to sit tight, gather more information if possible, and not tell a soul about this until I’ve made absolutely certain of the facts.

Well, not a soul besides the entirety of the Internet which I’m telling with this blog post. Oops.

 

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Four.

Of the nine places I heard back from today, I was granted interviews at four. It’s a very good result, and certainly better than I had expected.

But like I said yesterday, these are hollow victories. Actually getting a job at any of these places is still two interviews and six weeks away.

Nevertheless, there are genuine victories in along with the hollow ones. To find them, you have to look at which places offered me interviews rather than how many. 

You see, my parents have been on the warpath recently, using every tenuous connection they can think of to try and get me job interviews. Ultimately, their efforts led them to securing two interviews for me. They told me that no matter what, I’d get interviews with these two firms.

My greatest fear going into today was that I’d log into my profile and find that the only two places which offered me interviews were the places that my parents had lined up for me. That would have been just as bad – if not worse – than finding nine rejections because that would have meant that all of the effort I put into this was meaningless. It would have indicated that I’m part of a hopelessly corrupt system in which it truly doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done, so long as you know the right people. And worst of all, it would have shown me that I’m still nothing without my parents propping me up; that I can’t accomplish anything on my own.

Of the four acceptances I received, only one was a “parental guarantee”. The other three were places that my parents had never heard of. And that means that I earned those interviews on my own merit, and through my own efforts. And that is a genuine victory. It’s a small, fragile, barely significant victory, but it’s real and tangible, and I can hold it in my hands and proudly say “I did this”. 

It doesn’t matter that the other side of the ledger says that five places rejected me today. It doesn’t matter that I was rejected by an employer with whom I was supposedly “guaranteed” an interview. What matters is that all of that work I put in last month – waking up early to write cover letters, tearing myself away from an incredibly patient woman who flew 3000 miles to see me, taking on all the added stress that I didn’t need – it actually came to something. It might not be much, but it’s something. For now, that’s good enough for me.

 

Hollow Victories

Tomorrow is kind of a big day. By the time the day is through, I’ll know which employers want to give me an interview, and which ones aren’t interested in the slightest.

It’s hard to get excited though, because the best possible result for me is a slew of hollow victories. I can’t come away with a job; I can only come away with a notification that an employer is interested enough in my services that they’re willing to let me participate in the first of two rounds of interviews. Actually being hired (for a temporary position, no less) will still be six weeks and two interviews away – if I’m lucky.

On the other hand, I can (and will) be eliminated from the lists of at least a few employers tomorrow. That will suck because it implies that they didn’t even see me as worthy of an audition – an awful insult.

Honestly, I don’t know what to expect. 18 months ago I would have been genuinely excited about all of the possibilities that would no doubt be coming my way tomorrow. But the last 18 months of my life have been filled with more rejection letters and unanswered emails than the first 22 years combined, and I can’t help but think about all of the rejections that I’m sure to receive tomorrow.

Those first two weeks of March 2013 are what did this to me. First, UCL rejected me after getting my hopes up by requesting an official transcript to confirm my grades. Then the LSAT dealt me a final humbling blow. And then, insult of insults, the University of Windsor waitlisted me. I still haven’t gotten over that one. I want to go to Windsor’s admissions office and say “How fucking dare you. Your shitty school is consistently ranked in the bottom three in this country, and YOU’RE waitlisting ME? You should be so lucky as to have someone like me even showing the slightest bit of interest. You should be licking my boots and BEGGING me not to reject you.” 

…But I digress.

The point being, I’m going to keep my expectations low. I’ll be hearing back from about 9 of the 19 employers I’ve applied to thus far tomorrow. If not a single one offers me an interview, I don’t think I’ll be shocked. I’ll be devastated, but not shocked.

Here’s hoping for some hollow victories.

We’re all of eight days into the school year, and already I’m exhausted. I’m under pressure from so many different sources that it’s getting difficult to keep track of who wants what from me when.

I’m under academic pressure, financial pressure, pressure from employers, pressure from people who may or may not be able to put me into contact with employers, pressure to figure out what extracurriculars I’ll be doing, pressure to maintain some semblance of a social life, pressure from my parents, pressure to keep my apartment from becoming a pigsty, and pressure from about a dozen other sources which would cause my eyeballs to start bleeding if I tried to name them all. And it’s only going to get worse over the next few weeks. 

Tonight was nice though, because for five glorious hours I ignored everything. No readings, no emails, no cooking, no talking to anyone. I sat, I ate cold pasta, I watched the Blue Jays actually win a game, and I had a round or two of Mario Golf. When I’m done typing this out, I’m going to go to bed and sleep for however long I please (the one advantage of having class start at 6 PM). Tomorrow I’ll do my readings, and negotiate my Internet bill, and send emails to people who probably won’t bother to read or respond, and figure out whether I’ll be doing any curling/fencing/ball hockey this year. But tonight, none of that matters. 

I think that every now and then it’s important to take a night off and let the world turn without you. Everything will still be there in the morning, after all.