Thought I would start my reading week with a bit of a reflection on the school term thus far. Jeremy Dutcher is filling the room – I got Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa on vinyl a little while back and haven’t fully listened to it yet.
I’m actually taking six courses this term, which will probably start to feel like a lot in early March when due-dates begin to pile on top of each other but as of right now it’s manageable, especially with a group-effort of tackling readings and sharing notes. (Working smarter, not harder). Though with this, I need to make sure I’m still taking a look at the overall reading assignments to do a deeper dive into the readings that genuinely interest me as opposed to just glossing over another students’ notes of it. I should still be prioritizing my interests in addition to making sure I get work done. One example of this is my readings for Indigenous law – I want to read those fully every week because I genuinely find them interesting…
Currently the classes I am getting most out of is Indigenous Law and Facilitation. This isn’t me saying that the others are useless, but rather that these two are resonating with me the most as big pushers of take-home thinking, post-class pondering, that sort of thing. The Indigenous Law course is giving me an arsenal of legal analytical thinking techniques (and also just the factual basis upon which to build legal analysis – for example, understanding the Daniels decision when it comes to thinking about status identity) in order to effectively understand Indigenous legal theories and how they interact with Canadian legal theories. It’s also just a genuinely interesting topic that I’ve been intrigued by in the past couple years (so much as actually influencing the curiosity of, ‘what about law school?’). I don’t really take notes in this class as it’s more based on discussion, but I definitely take notes on the readings when I do them fully. In the introduction, it was a lot of John Borrows which I was happy to dive into. I’d love to be able to take notes in class but I feel like I get just as much out of sitting back and listening (and engaging, of course) in the discussions that my small class and I have about legal decisions, their implications, and the bigger social concepts influencing (and being influenced by) these topics. I’m surrounded by smart and curious thinkers, so I am getting a lot out of that class in general. (It helps to have a small cohort, I think.)
The other class, facilitation (and mediation and conflict resolution), is just an enriching but for a different part of my brain. I definitely find it more tiring than the Indigenous law course, but a good kind of tired… a tiredness you get from being energized, not from being sluggish. This course is actually at the end of the week and while I wish I could figure out how to allocate more energy to dedicate to that class by the time it comes around, I like that it’s at that time. You could have had a really shitty week, but then when you get to the class you can really vibe with the content and purely enjoy it. At least, so far. I also know for sure that this course is extremely practically applicable to not only my future professional career but also to my friendships, relationships, and general day-to-day — I think it really helps when you see the value of what you’re learning right as you are learning it; it helps with being engaged with the content and not taking it for granted. I find some other courses bring up the age-old question of, ugh, what is the point. Not this course. I’m really compelled by deep democracy and role theory — two main concepts we have covered so far. And Aftab is an incredible professor; I really feel listened to. To be able to accomplish that sort of atmosphere over Zoom is remarkable.
Hopefully during the reading week I actually am able to get ahead in some course content and assignments, but maybe not. And that’s okay.