The Soundtrack to My Law School Experience

This. is. it. Wow. 3 years ago, I started working for the Obiter Dicta, doing layout between classes, and it blows my mind that this is my last issue ever. It’s even crazier to me that my time at school is almost done. Like some of my fellow writers in this paper, I wanted to write a piece on my time at Osgoode Hall. You know, something reflective, that was also kind of funny and epic. But how do I sum up 3 years here? It seems only fitting, as a former Obiter music columnist (the Rock Snobs of the World Unite series from 2010 - 2011) that I sum up my time here via song. And so, I give to you dear reader, the soundtrack to my law school experience.

First Year: Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance”
Oh, first year. What an exciting, but mostly terrifying time. Maybe terrifying is too strong a word, but I was definitely wracked with anxiety for most of first year, particularly first year, first semester. It was an uneasy time. I was learning to do the work, was faced with an absurd amount of readings, and had no idea whether I was doing any of this law school thing “right”. As an aside, I know now that I’m not doing this whole law school thing right – you know, doing readings ahead of time, not cramming last second, not writing 30 page papers in a day – but I’m also cool with it.

Anyway, first year was an anxious time, but it was also a good time. By the time first year was over, I had made a ton of new friends. I picked Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” because I remember dancing my face off to that with some of my law buddies the last time I was ever at Dance Cave (oh how I miss you DC). It’s also an appropriate song because I had to tell myself a lot during first year, “it’s going to be okay… do do do do do, just dance.” And by dance, I meant “read my textbooks”.

Second Year: The Antler’s Hospice
What does an album about an abusive relationship that begins in a hospice between a caregiver and his patient have to do with second year? Nothing. Except that I listened to this album an absurd amount of times. Oh, and that I discovered it on the subway one day heading up to campus. I have a habit of picking up a ton of albums I want to listen to, listening to half and then forgetting about the rest. “Shiva” from this album came up randomly on the TTC. I immediately listened to the rest of the album and reviewed it for the Obiter.

Second year was fun. Made new friends, took some great classes, worked for the Obiter. Rinse, lather, repeat.

Every Exam Period: Telepopmusik’s “Breathe”
I have a ritual during exams. Like most people it involves cramming and eating shitty food. But, right before I write any exam, I listen to Telepopmusik’s “Breathe”. I find exams particularily stressful, and since undergrad, I’ve found this song to be helpful. It’s chill and basically tells me over and over again to “just breathe”.

Being an Editor-in-Chief for the Obiter Dicta: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes’s “Home”
You know in Radiohead’s Black Star where Thom Yorke screams at the top of his lungs, “this is killing me?” Well, running the Obiter occasionally felt like that. Being an Editor-in-Chief for the Obiter is frankly, a lot of work. There were fires we had to put out almost every other week. There’s all the editing, the layout-ing, the being on campus past 10 pm-ing. But would I do it all again? HELL YES.

At the end of the day, the Obiter Dicta has been a creative outlet and a much needed fun activity that I appreciate particularly during times when I feel smothered by case law. It was a way for me to be involved in the Osgoode community, for the last 3 years. The Obiter has been my “home” here on campus (Edward Sharpe’s song tie-in achieved). There was a lot during law school that I didn’t feel passionate about, but I’ve loved working for the Obiter Dicta.

On a personal level, I just want to take this time to again thank all the wonderful staff at the Obiter Dicta who made this year’s paper possible. I heart you so very, very much. And Jenn O’Dell, you are my better half.

Third Year: Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”
“Don’t stop believing. Hold on to that feeling.” It’s very appropriate. I can’t believe this is all coming to an end. I know when I’m much older, I’ll look back on my time at Osgoode fondly. But there’s something about now, about this moment, that I do want to hold on to. Maybe it’s because this is likely the last time I’m going to be in school. Maybe it’s because I feel young and idealistic and I’m pretty certain the working world is going to beat that out of me. Or maybe it’s because I’ve had a lot of fun here. I’m ready to move on, but I don’t want to forget what it was like to be a twenty-something in law school. I’ve learned a LOT and had a great time simultaneously. It’s been an amazing experience, mostly thanks to the wonderful people I’ve been able to meet along the way.

So, that’s it folks. Good-bye, farewell and amen*. Signing off, one last time,

- Cassie Burt-Gerrans

* that is a nerdy M*A*S*H reference. Yup.