The Allard High Experience

high school.jpg.CROP.rectangle3-large
Author: Tahsin Najam

Why, hello there dear incoming law student. Welcome to the beginning of the rest of your life. What’s that? Perhaps you haven’t obtained admission into the hallowed halls of Allard Hall? It’s quite all right – this guide will be just as pertinent to your inquisitive and curious self.

Allard Hall. A rather glorious building nestled in one of the far-reaching corners of the never-ending UBC campus. Don’t fret, there’s a reason why this building is so illogically placed. Seclusion and pretension are instrumental in creating an air of hauteur within the law school atmosphere. Implictly understood is that if university campuses were divided into a class-system, the law students would be consorting with each other at the very top with a mutual disdain for those lowly undergrads.

There are a variety of main and side entrances to Allard, but it doesn’t matter. The second that you, a student not currently within law school, enters, we know. You will be met with looks of contempt and superiority. Has this person written the LSAT? Sociology, calculus, and psychology – please. Until you have composed 1000 words on why your trip to Africa made you yearn for a legal career to put right those ghastly wrongs in the world, you are an outsider. Hope, social justice and activism? While you use them to get into law school, the faculty sneers at such things. They spend every moment of three years extracting such ideals from your mind. They won’t stop until you can rationalize global corporations killing baby pandas for the sake of laying down mile-wide oil pipelines, and maybe a dog-fighting casino (sponsored by Michael Vick). That doesn’t make sense? Doesn’t matter, you’ll justify it.

Upon entering, you must go to the front desk to declare your presence. As stated before, we know you shouldn’t be here. If you’re able to make it past the accusing glares and gain admission into the prestigious elite, the front desk allows you to put a red sticker on your student card succinctly stating, OK.” This red sticker signifies that you are a law student and that you are indeed, okay. Anything else would be intolerable, and such imposters are stamped and put in a line, subsequently being slowly trudged out of the building as the law students pelt them with old statutes and gavels. Though one history student died of traumatic head injuries upon being flattened by the Criminal Code, there have never been any other casualties.

The Law Students:

Ahhh, the law students. If you are lucky enough, then one day you too can join the ranks of these neurotic and perverse souls. There are three types of law students – one for each year they attend the educational quagmire that is law. The longer they have attended, the more likely it is that they have completed their transformation to jaded and narcissistic suits.

First Years (Or otherwise known as, the 1Ls): If you ever gain admission into law school, you will be able to experience the peculiar life of a confused first-year law student. Often described by practicing lawyers as the most difficult year of their lives, fresh-faced individuals from all walks of life come together to undergo a torpid yearlong roller-coaster ride. This isn’t the plot of a movie, it’s an actual phenomenon, and Roger Ebert just gave it a post-humous two thumbs up. Faced with an onslaught of hundreds of pages of readings, one hundred percent finals, and a brand new way of thinking, these students look up to their upper year mentors and choose the only sensible option available – drinking their sorrows away. Indeed, besides the other required courses they take, law students gain an introduction to their inevitable descent into alcoholism.

Travelling in packs around the building wishing to avoid any contact from those outside their year, 1L’s often tremble and sweat profusely if addressed directly. Used to having been in the top of their classes, they come to understand that they are dreadfully average in law school and that there’s no better wave to ride than the class curve. Many events and social functions are offered to first-years to continue their legal education and serve as an opportunity for them to meet the socially inept people that they too will become in just a few years. This culminates with a final end of the year party after which they try and cleanse themselves of that feeling of contamination that just won’t go away. Fear not 1Ls, that feeling is there for the rest of your lives.

2L: By this time, students have become accustomed to the grind of the law school life. Besides their search for a job (a process so inhumane, one breaks several Geneva Convention standards simply by alluding to it), second-years have realized that their best opportunity to not remain alone for the rest of their cat-loving lives comes from the students around them. Equally awkward and motivated, students begin to pair off in increasing numbers in a Discovery Channel-esque mating ritual. Always beginning with an inebriated fling and resulting in a contractual relationship rather than breakfast the next morning, they tolerate one another and take solace in the fact that they aren’t that other law school couple. As a wise man once said, “if you ain’t no punk, holla we want pre-nup.”

3L: By their final year of law school, students have given up all pretense of being interested in their academic pursuits. Having usually figured out which desk at what firm they are going to be spending the rest of their lives performing menial tasks at, students simply drink and live. 3L, don’t care indeed.

The Premises:

Upon gaining access to Allard, there are several areas in which you can luxuriate in your newfound status. The first is the law cafeteria, or as the Faculty pompously calls it, the Hong Kong Alumni Student Lounge. This speaks to a maxim that you must take to heart for your career in law. Why state anything concisely when you can add half-a-dozen more words and a more impressive noun? Though primarily used to confuse non-legal folk into paying lawyers for inane work, there is also a precedent to put law students through excruciating pain by reading decisions and statutes hundreds of pages too long simply because the judges and lawyers themselves had to do such things. See that sentence? It could have been half as long and just as effective.

Moving back to the cafeteria however, it is a central location in which students sit amongst each other and discuss pretentious things that they all know nothing about. Meanwhile, the large-screen TV inundates the students        with news of global politics and disasters to which they throw an occasional glance as they wait for their turn to speak. While law students take pleasure in the sounds of their own voices, they eat from the over-priced and very bland café. It operates much in the manner of any campus cafeteria, serving slop on rice and other baked and somewhat healthy goods. The difference? This nutrition is worldly; that’s not just beef stew on rice – it’s Mongolian beef with Venezuelan baby carrots. Every day, law students eat the same slop while taking pride in their cultural acceptance.

Next are the lockers downstairs. Law school is not simply an illusion of high school, it is a deliberate recreation of the best times of some of these student’s lives. As students gather around their lockers partaking in the latest gossip, or mock-complaining about their time in law school, they are secretly assessing each other’s social value whilst trying to evaluate who they must befriend or dispatch from their inner circle. Once you make it past the lockers, you see that there are card-access showers where law students fornicate with one other in an attempt to never leave the building. Or washrooms where cardigan-wearing men ogle at themselves in the mirror whilst their female counterparts do the same in a variety of outfits ranging from outlandish to severe business professional.

Finally, you can retreat to the law library where a sullen despair reigns throughout the year. There is no happiness to be found within these three floors of study spaces and stacks. As students pore over volumes of confounding legal nonsense, they, as a unit, pull out their packs of highlighters and multi-coloured tabs. As they attempt to outdo each other by making the most beautiful flowcharts, case summaries, and lecture outlines, this twisted dance can only be interrupted by one thing. SNAILS. No, I’m not speaking about terrestrial pulmonate gastropod molluscs, but the presence of non-law students. You see, it is a privilege to be able to study in this tortured space; so much so that they have coined a term for the intruders. Students not actually in law school, or SNAILS. If any such person attempts to cram their much-less complicated material on these desks, law students will stare daggers at them, and occasionally unsheathe their actual daggers in a menacing manner. These SNAILS are only spared when the monitoring library staff asks to see their stickered student card. Upon coming up empty, the SNAILS are marched out while law students shower them with salt only to return to their studies with a vindictive silence.

The Professors:

The professors are like a cast of a frenzied musical – each playing their own role, each peculiar in their own way. Whether through illegible scribbling, unintelligible barking or whispered murmurs, these professors communicate the secrets of law as students hurriedly and peevishly take down every word coming from their hallowed mouths. Never actually found in their offices, the professors are often away on exotic trips to distant parts of the world, or just found in the faculty lounge where they drunkenly swap stories of old courtroom battles just like the grizzled veterans in your favorite forlorn pub. If you do manage to get some time with a professor to ask class-related questions, they will often take that time to distract you and regale you with stories of past students and their favourite refrain – “You’re going to be all right. Everything is going to be all right.” Whilst also acting as a cover to mask their forgotten knowledge surrounding their class material, this constant expression is used to build a façade to anesthetize law students into believing that they are indeed going to be all right, or put more plainly, make the exorbitant amounts of money that they came to school for.

Unfortunately for law students however, not everyone is going to be all right. Faced with suffocating debt, this is where career services play a role. A legendary branch of law school, these three women glow so bright that students have mistaken them for Greek gods sent to help students navigate through the mire that is trying to obtain a legal career. As they bring offerings for pieces of advice, students are funneled into corporate openings as firms test potential hires by first intoxicating them and subsequently asking them to complete complex legal problems while concurrently perfecting the weekly crossword. The students who fail this standard test are tossed aside only to be seen during commercials of your favorite legal drama offering their own legal services in exchange for just about anything.

Conclusion:

Finally, back to you, a potential Allard Hall student. Have you been swayed by the grandeur of law school? Fear not, if you do one day decide to attend law school, you will be welcomed with pasty open arms and clenched hearts. Despite being a breeding ground for Patrick Bateman types, the legal community is just that – a community. All it will cost you is a piece of your soul, impending alcoholism, and a skewed sense of right and wrong. Welcome to Allard High.

The Diary of Allard Girl: Pages 1-3.

Page 1:

Law School Party in 2012.

Law School Party in 2012.

Something very strange is happening at law parties, and it doesn’t add up. Are Allard High students truly responsible for the atrocious things that have happened at recent ‘animalistic’ law parties? An independent task force (Andreea Frasier with a magnifying glass and her sleuth dog Banks) has looked into the matter and has come up with startling findings – students from Saudr Skool of Stocks and Bonds (“Saudr”) have been getting their suits tailored-up to look like real law students, and appearing at all of our events to crash the party.

Let me recap for you the horror, caused by these rogues at the museum party: Employees were running back and forth with mops, using their bodies as human shields for the precious “exhibits” (a few toy boats and some wooden blocks), propping the crumbling rafters up with broom handles, and shutting down what was left of the dance floor, which had completely fallen away to expose a bottomless abyss. As the apocalypse raged on around them, one museum employee dropped to their knees, screaming “Whyyyyyyyyyy??? Why is there a pitchfork stuck in the ceiling????”. When interviewed, Kaytln Cowarrd summed the atrocities up perfectly, saying “You know what? You’re the best. Seriously though – I love you. You’re great. I love everyone here,” before hugging every person at the party. Roslyn Chann, a Saudr grad, was witnessed grimacing from the shadows, hissing “excellent, my pretties….excellent…”.

Geez, you’d think that would be enough, but no. I’m afraid it gets worse. When two people love each other, sometimes they do puzzling things. Sometimes those things happen on an artifact in a museum. What better way to declare your romantic love for someone, than on a stationary boat, in a public function, in a museum? Of course, this has happened multiple times on moving boats in the law school’s history… but that’s different.

In a disappointing turn of events, the Illegal Beavers rugby team were surprisingly calm, sober, and well behaved, as they bravely manned the beer tubs amidst the chaos. Branden MacLowd had this to say “Some people just like to watch the world burn. Others like to make money off of beer sales while it’s happening.”

The museum is not the only thing that Saudr students have left in complete and utter shambles. From the original boat cruise boat (may it rest in English Bay), to the ruins of Hycroft House (anyone want some reclaimed mahogany?), law parties have run rampant over Vancouver. Initially, the Channing regime tried blaming all of the atrocities on the fact that law students get ridiculously stoked, causing them to do inexplicable things. This obscures the truth. We do, from time to time, get stoked, but the task force has made a vital finding of fact: the Saudr rogue group is a bunch of ‘stoking-experts’. With Chann’s help, they are capable of going ‘incognito’ at any private function, and getting so stoked that the group hosting the event actually gets banned. Then, on they go to their next victim.

This threat must be addressed, and the moles among us must be exposed, so that we’re not relegated to partying in barns like they do in Winnipeg (though at least this would be an appropriate venue to bring a pitchfork). On the whole, it’s just so relieving to find out that law students would never ever do anything like that, ever. Phew.

-Allard Girl xoxoxo


Page 2:

A new sporting craze has taken Allard High by storm. Since its introduction in September, Spikeball has gained an almost cult-like popularity. Played with a green oversized dog toy and what appears to be a trampoline for 3 year olds situated on the ground, Spikeball is played by two teams of two, who alternate hitting said dog toy off of said baby-trampoline until one team fails to do so. It’s all very important and epic. Yay sports.

Tal Letourno-Shesaff, the owner of a pretentious hyphenated name and incredible Spikeball skills, is the undisputed MVP of the Allard High spikeball league. Bill Skinnr, the grand-daddy of spikeball at UBC, says of Letourno-Shesaf: “I’ve never seen anyone with such direct access to the net. Even when he’s fully standing up, he’s no more than three feet away from it. That’s a big…..errr….significant advantage.”

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows in spikeball-land though. Will Skinnr is not happy with the game’s reputation as a “glamour sport”.

“We’re tired of being objectified as ‘those shirtless guys on the front lawn’” said Skinnr. “If you can see past the manly chest-hair, the rippling biceps, and the chiselled buttocks, we’re actually extremely skilled players.”

At press time, Blaire McRadoo and Letourno-Shesaf were showing off the results of their summer cut, Will Skinner was exhibiting his voluptuous chest-bush, and Corey Segall was tending to his pristine quaff. Jamie Hoops was also there.

The UBC Spikeball team, in a rare, fully-clothed picture.

The UBC Spikeball team, in a rare, fully-clothed picture.

-Allard Girl xoxoxo


Page 3:

We Allardians love hearing about the latest hook-ups, break-ups and make-ups amoung our peers. In fact, nothing gets us more excited than some good old-fashioned relationship drama. Nothing, that is, except for bromances a-brewing among the Allard bros and let me tell you, the boys have been drama-licious this year. Here’s what you need to know about the brouples and blossoming bromances at Allard High so far this year.

By now, Dawid Kempp and John Brawn’s sit-com-esque, 1 gay, 1 straight, bromance turned roomie-ship is old news but there’s a new duo trying to steal their obnoxiously charming thunder. Rumour has it Wilsin Scot and Kevan Hennissey took the plunge and became roomies this summer and their apartment is as hilarious and awkward as we all imagine. We get it, you’re so 2014. Sources tell us Wilsin was spotted at the Exchange Information Session, could there be trouble in paradise?

The gym has proven to be a bromance breeding ground this year. Sources say Waine Fernandess and Cryley O’Rien have been seen “chalking each other up” on more than one occasion, if you know what I mean. “Just last week, I heard Cryley sensuously whisper to Waine that he’d take him to ‘Thighland’ to get some nice spicy ‘thigh’ food – I don’t even want to know what that means,” said gym frequenter Daweed Csysyslsuhdfk. Daweed has also been spotted broupled up in da gym with Babs Zargarianne, but the two refuse to comment on their own bro-lationship status, stating that they “Keep it professional” when they’re “pumping”.

Even the new kids are getting in on the bro love. We’ve all seen 1Ls Jamess Strutters and Meesha Smokin gallivanting around Allard showing off their Bro ‘Mos and skinny jeans but our sources tell us the two have taken their bromance to the next level. “They’ve even given themselves a brouple name, they call themselves ‘Jasha’ and I heard they got a joint account, tinder account.” said fellow 1L Jenn Hortin when asked about her friends’ bro-lationship status.

Perhaps most scandalously, there are rumours that Tye Dergosouph has been seen bromantically engaging with a Non-L. That’s right people, Tye is rumoured to be bro-ing out with his J Crew Salesman. Tye refused to comment but the proof is in the well-dressed, preppy pudding if you ask me.

Jasha <3

Jasha ❤

-Allard Girl xoxoxo

The Confusing Road to Allard Hall: One Step at a Time

20141027_112525

Seems like a 45 degree angle to me.

Warning: this article contains personal opinions about stepping-stones based on actual facts.

Written By: Dawid Cieloszczyk, 2L.

Do you ever feel like you’re taking steps in the wrong direction? Does the path to your destination seem like a nonsensical winding, side-ways, unevenly spaced, awkward series of motions? Because this, is precisely what the new steps leading to Allard Hall feel like.

Just look at them. I am doubtful that Allard changed its admissions standards to invite individuals with extraordinarily long legs, or who are generally comfortable walking sideways, AND have a high LSAT/GPA. With TRU and a possible TWU looming about, this scenario becomes frightfully more realistic.

Here’s the thing about ‘funny’ architecture. It’s just not very humorous at all. As a functional thing, ordinary people usually take pathways cutting through fields in order to save some time; effort is presumably reduced. “Yes, but we are absurd beings though”, says the existential architect. “We must embrace the futility of progress, and that straight, evenly spaced steps are simply le mainstream”. Can we rid ourselves of our fragile mental shackles and embrace the awkward path before us? For these steps are more than just slabs of rock, my dear friends. They are the burning in the loins, because you usually find yourself overextending to avoid taking 100 baby steps and mud on your shoes.

Could you imagine how complacent students would get walking straight to class, without navigating their footing oh so fanatically? It would be like Groundhog Day: every day is exactly the same. We can only shudder at such a reality.

There’s a popular theological argument called “Paley’s Ontological Argument”, in which a person walking by the beach discovers a watch, knowing nothing about it or where it came from. He/she can only be led to the conclusion that a watchmaker or intelligent designer was responsible for the complex gadget, and draws an analogy to an intelligent designer for the universe. When I look at these steps, my mind goes blank, because I only see the design part. Well.. yeah, at least they were designed.

Surely Allard Hall isn’t all about the schadenfreude, as a progressive institution of learning with all of these egalitarian values. Could this have really been done to watch your tortured friends attempt to shimmy across the field awkwardly? I guess we’ll never know..

20141027_112509

Just look at those failed footprints.