November 15, 2006


My 1st year class is all stressed about the bar results that will become available on Friday. I'm sure, in any normal situation, I would be too.

But when people talk about the bar exam, all I can think is, Dad died 3 days after I finished taking that stupid test. It just repeats over and over in my head anytime someone asks me if I'm scared or stressed or worried about the bar exam. I'm numb to their stress. I don't share it. I'd take that stupid test a million more times and suffer the humiliation of failing a million and one times if it meant Daddy could still be here. I know I can't make that trade, but for some reason, my subconscious thinks it's reasonable to consider.

The bar really is just a test. I'm amazed at my detachment and the clarity with which I can see this. I know if I hadn't suffered as I did this summer I'd be in the same spot as my colleagues. Instead, I'm alone and empathetic for their anxiety. Sure, I'm also wrapped up in my own anxiety about what seems important to me at this moment, it's just not the test. I want to comfort them, to tell them it's not really that big of a deal. But those words sound so hollow when it is a big deal to you. So I try to stay silent, except for the occasional outburst after the 6th person explains how upset and stressed they are and someone looks at me with the compassionate head-cocked to the side, as if to say, Are you worried too?

No. My dad died. For some reason that generally ends the conversation.

This Zen-like perspective on the bar is a strange gift, but I'll take it. Thanks Dad.

Also, yesterday and today, when I can bring myself to shake the association that the stupid exam has with my loss of Dad, I think of Beanie and smile. Go congratulate her! She passed the NY bar exam after a very difficult path. She inspires me. Between her and Dad, I have this calm sense that I can and will pass the exam. The only unknown is when.


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