Remaining Anonymous

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While the opinions of celebrities and professional are valued, their publically provided opinions do not necessarily reflect their personal convictions insofar as their convictions, if revealed, may damage their social image or incite aggression. Celebrities must be vigilant in expressing their convictions, as that which they express is limited by the social consequence of their statements; their reputation is at stake. Similarly, professionals are constrained by the beliefs of their profession and could be persecuted for contradicting them; could you imagine a minister preaching atheism? That minister would likely be excommunicated. The publically provided opinions of celebrities and professionals, therefore, may not be entirely theirs--consisting partly of the publically accepted view--or may not be theirs in entirety--providing only a part of their conviction. Accordingly, I sought out a common individual to provide me with an uncensored account of a controversial law--Bill 78: An act to enable students to receive instruction from the postsecondary institution they attend. Furthermore, in an effort to gain true conviction and to avoid inciting aggression, I guaranteed the individual anonymity and so she shall be referred to as Anonymous. Anonymous is the ideal subject for the interview that will follow insofar as she worked her way through law school and struggled by herself to raise two children, each of whom attended a university in Canada.

About the Person:
Anonymous is a middle-aged woman of Egyptian decent. She has short-curly-brown hair that neither seems to end nor seems to begin; one could imagine a miniature roller coaster rushing through the loops. Her face appears worn, tired from her exploits; her eyes are deep brown and, as a woman of her heritage, her skin has a dark tone--almost a caramel color. Standing five feet five inches tall, Anonymous is relatively short, but when combined with her small figure, she stands an attractive woman. 


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As attractive as she stands, however, her son explained, Anonymous is best known for her "fiery attitude" and "kind heart". She has a fiery attitude insofar as she is as stubborn as a mule and "as argumentative as a lawyer," allowing an argument to end only once she's established her position. She will "cut you off without a second thought"; in some cases she won't even let her opponent speak; and "there is no being neutral with her, you must always pick a side". She is very opinionated and always has something to say, "especially when it comes to controversial issues," including the recent student protest in Quebec and the emergency legislation that followed.

While she is dreadfully fiery, Anonymous is also approachable if you wish to discuss a personal problem, and when discussing such problems she is both "a good listener and very perceptive," her son conceded. Unlike when having an argument with her, if you approach her to discuss a personal problem, Anonymous "sits quietly and listens to you attentively". Having heard the problem, she carefully analyses the situation and "often provides sound advices". However, if your problem is one that she believes you knowingly created for yourself, Anonymous often responds in a combination of English and French, asserting that you have acted foolishly.  

About Her Education:
Anonymous decided that she would like to practice law while pursuing a degree in Pure and Applied Science at Marianopolis College, one of her oldest friends explained. Upon completing her degree at Marianopolis, she applied to McGill University and, although her grades were sufficient, she was explicitly rejected because, at the age of seventeen, she was deemed "too young and inexperienced" for McGill. Being rejected by McGill was a defeating experience for Anonymous. Accordingly, she applied and was accepted to the biological chemistry program at Concordia University. Near the end of her degree at Concordia, her friend continued, Anonymous applied to the law program at University de Montréal and was hastily accepted, so she completed her BSC to pursue her childhood dream. Having graduated from University de Montréal, Anonymous completed Bar school and, subsequently, articled for six months. Articling is similar to taking a stage; thus, Anonymous worked in a law firm and performed many of the tasks required of a legal professional. She was then admitted to the bar in October of 1986 and continued practicing law for another six months. 

About her Perspective:
When she entered into the study of law, Anonymous was an idealist who believed that the object was to "dispense justice"; however, she asserted, "sadly, in practice justice is not always found in law". She liked the idea of practicing law because she believed that the practice was subjective; the outcome of a case would be determined by the case's particular facts, entailing that a judge could in similar cases make opposing decision because of minor distinctions. However, once she began practicing law, she found that the legal system suffered from many significant problems. The most significant of these problems being that the legal system was capitalistic; those with money had the power to manipulate legal outcomes, while those without capital were at the system's mercy. To quote something Anonymous said: "I don't think the law is accessible to everyone, engaging in any suit is a very costly endeavour and a very long drawn out endeavour, so most people either can't afford to hire a lawyer or wait the time it will take to actually see justice done." Anonymous, for these reasons and others, ceased practicing law. 

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Image Source: Flicker--DonkeyHotey

About Her Today:
Having given up her profession, Anonymous took a trip to Venezuela, where she met and married the man who would father her two children. In Venezuela she became pregnant, but returned to Montreal to give birth to her son, a joyous event. She then returned to her husband in Venezuela, where she became pregnant for a second time. Before her daughter had a chance to be born, however, Anonymous again returned to Quebec, but this time she filed for a divorce and was left to raise her two children alone, leading to difficult times.

While her son is currently a student at Concordia's John Molson School of Business in Montreal, her daughter has recently completed a degree at St Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia and is now working on a Masters degree at McGill University. Insofar as she has two children that attended university in distinct provinces, Anonymous is aware of the discrepancy in the cost of admissions between provinces. It is this awareness, in conjunction with her brief legal training, that makes Anonymous the ideal subject for the intended discussion--Bill 78--and, given the guarantee of anonymity, she has agreed to provide the uncensored view I seek.  

1 Comment

She is a brave woman.

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