May 31, 2006

Bar: Carrots of Neurosis

Some of this bar review stuff is quite boring.

So far (exactly 10 days in), I'm dealing with it by putting myself on a strict work-to-earn rewards program. Ordinarily, I'm a planner, but thanks to the bar, I'm taking planning to the next level -- planned self-bribes.

For each one to two hour chunk of scheduled studying, I find myself setting up the next pleasure to be earned. The rewards are, more often than not, just regular old life stuff that wouldn't ordinarily seem like something to look forward to, but in the face of bar studies, they become imminently fascinating.

It's not that bar studies suck, per se. I've actually found myself enjoying parts of it thus far. It's just that they are *very* dry and I find myself in need of motivation to get and keep going throughout the day.

In case you need an idea of how dry I'm finding this stuff, here's the low down on how I've bribed myself through the work I've done so far today:

Reward #1
I let myself come home to make lunch from scratch (mmm... scrambled eggs with cheese, homemade cilantro-chile-cucumber salsa, and bread) and call a friend as my reward for staying awake during the full 4 hour lecture.

Reward #2
Then I hit the books for an hour or so with the promise of letting myself open the box that came from UPS today. Sure, I know what's in it. I ordered it. But opening any box or mail holds fun for me in some strange childlike way. It didn't disappoint.

Reward #3
Post box-opening, I made it through the next hour with the promise of a workout. But, I then thought better of it and instead did dishes and allowed myself to blog.

Rewards #4, 5, & 6
From here, I've got plans to go heads down 'til E comes home. That one's difficult since the length isn't totally in my control. But, since it's the best part of my day, it's the easiest one to work towards. I already know that trick from finals, so I'll continue to take advantage of that and try to stay focused. Then, after E and I briefly catch up, I'll try to fit in another two or three chunks between dinner, yoga, and bed.

Good times.

May 30, 2006

Little help?

Apparently, there's an intentional tort titled Malicious Prosecution.

A prima facie case involves the following elements, according to the Conviser Mini Review:

i) institution of *criminal* proceedings against the plaintiff
ii) termination in the plaintiff's favor
iii) absence of probable cause for prior proceedings
iv) improper purpose
v) damages

The CMR goes on to state, "Prosecutors are immune from liability." The next bullet point covers wrongful civil proceedings.

So my question is this: If prosecutors are immune and one of the elements is institution of criminal proceedings, then who are the defendants to this tort?

May 29, 2006

The Segue

I suspect this weekend will be the last long weekend of debauchery and social exhaustion for quite some time.

Man. Weddings. In the South. With many guests being long-time friends coming together after long absences from one another in the scattered locales of their new adult lives. You can't imagine the amount of back-in-the-day stories told and bourbon consumed (thankfully, no bourbon for me, but I did more than my part on the wine, food, and vodka tonics.)

One fine gentleman, we'll call him Derrek, was in particularly impressive form by the end of the wedding. He started talking about how women used to find him attractive (and my heart went out to his drunken soul-bearing, it's rough to be at the wedding of one of your close childhood friends. Who hasn't drowned the emotions it brings?) Finally, some of his well-meaning, but also quite lit, friends tried to suggest that he should stop imbibing. He responded, while dancing to music that only he could hear in a bar full of people dressed in black-tie having non-musical conversations, "Oh, no. [dance move, spin around] Derrek has been much more drunk than this. [Shake the booty towards the well-meaning friends and look over the shoulder, smiling...] Derrek's fine."

Gotta love people who talk about themselves in the 3rd person when drunk. Comedy. I'm not doing it justice. Trust me, it was funny. I also can't imagine how horrid Derrek must have felt this morning. I was nowhere near his level of intoxication, but after the bit that I had and the 5 AM bedtime plus cross-country flight, I'm slow, fuzzy, and just couldn't get anywhere near the studying I thought I'd try to fit in done. Thankfully, I managed to squeeze in just enough studying during the rehearsal and various other activities that I don't feel guilty.

I also had the pleasure of finding myself the only female guest with uncovered shoulders at an outdoor wedding in the humid 85 degree sultry weather of the South. Oh, wait, not the only woman. In fairness, there were two teenagers or young twenties from Great Britain whose shoulders were uncovered as well. Initially, I felt I couldn't look to them for back-up, because, hey, they are foreigners and didn't know the rules. But then, I decided, hell, I'm a foreigner too. California is NOT the south, and I'm the Californian wife of that Southern Boy up there in the tux. I'm gonna be the woman who shows up at hot afternoon Southern outdoor weddings with my shoulders uncovered. I don't wear stockings (the two women on either side of me both had *stockings* on!). I meant well and I didn't mean to offend. And I was probably more comfortable (although, even with my low covereage option, I did have disgusting sweat stains on my silk dress when I stood up. Thankfully, they dried quickly. Nothing elegant about it, though.) Regardless of my foreign excuse, I still felt slightly apprehensive about my faux pas.

Of course, one of the best things about the South is that everyone is much to polite to actually say anything. So I have no idea if I offended anyone or if it was all in my head. Needless to say, if that's my biggest concern, my brain wasn't too focused on bar studies this weekend. And that's just fine.

Overall, it was a perfect last hurrah. A gorgeous wedding, time spent with friends from afar, time with the in-laws, and planning visits in the future when I can travel again. But boy am I glad to be home and able to sleep in my own bed.

May 25, 2006

Bar: Inventory I

I've finished all the PMBR questions for the 6 day "Early Bird." I refused to study one minute before I took each practice exam. I wanted to know exactly how much I knew cold.

Turns out, not much.

On over 300 questions, divided into 50 questions on all 6 MBE subjects, I got exactly 50% correct. I scored nowhere near 50% on any of the topics standing alone. In fact, I performed just slightly better than guessing in all of the first year courses: Torts, Criminal Law, Contracts, and of course, Property. (Turns out, another big topic in that wacky property syllabus was nuisance, so at least that helped me out in torts.)

By the time 2L/3L rolled around, I either figured out how to retain some knowledge, or had better professors, or something (maybe my retention time for info is 2 years?), because the evidence and con law PMBR questions were an entirely different experience than the 1L subjects. I managed to get a decent chunk of those correct and pull my overall average up to 1/2. Thank goodness, too. Because otherwise I'd be freaking out right now. (This is not to say I should be, just to admit that I would be.)

Instead, I'm just confronting reality and framing the battle.

I haven't started BarBri and I'm giving myself permission to avoid thinking about how much ground I need to cover in the essays. That can wait 'til Tuesday.

I'd planned on using this week as an assessment, a recovery from finals, and a relaxing introduction to the MBE portion of the bar, followed by a holiday weekend of no studying before I buckled down.

I've already rethought that plan. I've got 60 days 'til the exam. 66% correct is what PMBR tells you to shoot for if you'd like a chance at passing. I'm paranoid and probably won't feel comfortable until I'm getting about 80% correct on practice questions. I'm very well aware that this may not happen, but I feel compelled to try. So, for the MBE alone, I have a ton of work to do for the 4 topics in which I suck. Not to mention the additional work I should do for the topics for which I'm somewhat prepared.

I've got the luxury of focusing entirely on the MBE right now. I was hoping to have a relaxing weekend out of town, hanging out with friends and reading my pleasure book before I started the big push. But, now, after seeing just how much work is in front of me for the MBE, I think I'm going to have to do a bit of studying this weekend. Not too much, mind you. But definitely not the weekend of bliss away from it all that I'd envisioned.

I'm thinking some substantive review and 25-50 questions on each of my weak subjects before Tuesday AM.

Off to run before I study...
Bar: Disclaimer

Okay, here's the disclaimer -- I've decided to blog HEAVILY about the bar. To help you avoid the annoying posts, I've decided to title them all "Bar: [insert random topic]." You will probably want to avoid anything titled thusly if you are:

a) currently studying for the bar and annoyed by or freaked out about what other bar-studiers are doing

b) a non-law student who thinks the bar-mania is boring and stupid

c) pretty much everyone else

So, why would I write about something that pretty much no one wants to read about? (Indeed, why blog at all? But I digress.) The reason I'm going to blog with more than my usual detail and fervency about the bar is two-fold: 1) it may actually be helpful to someone to know what I'm doing, did, going through, etc. (misery loves company); and 2) I think I'm going to need to vent about this bar thing and I don't think it's a good idea to vent to my fellow recent JD friends. I don't want to be the one who triggers a freak-out, makes them more stressed, or causes them to question their approach. Similarly, I don't think it's a good idea to vent to my non-JD peeps. They don't understand and probably find it very boring. So the blog wins.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

May 24, 2006

Dear Professor Property

In case you were wondering, I've finally gotten your joke.

Despite the time and effort studying "property" and the fact that I got an acceptable grade, I didn't actually learn anything that is traditionally referred to as "property." Good one!

I commend you on the effort it must have taken to prepare a syllabus of 1 week on rights to your body, 4 weeks on takings, 4 weeks on the lost/mislaid doctrine, and 6 weeks on other things, all of which *looked* like property. You had us all fooled for at least a year.

It was only when I took wills & trusts and community property that I began to understand your humor. While everyone around me was using terms like Rule Against Perpetuities, quitclaim deed, and Joint Tenancy, I looked to my 1L section mates and we shrugged our shoulders in confusion.

How funny you are. And how fun it's going to be to learn all about mortgages, liens, title documents, ways of holding property, rights of owners, and whatever else I couldn't pick up from context while taking the PMBR practice exam.

So, in case you were wondering, yes, the joke is on me, and I get it. I would have done better on the practice exam had I just selected bubbles at random. The required course of property for 1Ls, that's not *really* a requirement. It's merely there to encourage creative professors to teach us what they find interesting.

Again, Good One!

May 21, 2006

Big Wheels Keep on Turnin'

It's been a long 4.5 years (from LSAT to graduation). I enjoyed it. I expected to, and I did. Which was good. I'm sad to say that I spent many hours alongside people who didn't. My heart went out to them. Law school is too much work to do if you don't want to do it.

Today was graduation. I enjoyed it, too. I didn't expect to, but I did. So that was a nice surprise. The student speaker was *hilarious* -- Crossed the line quite a bit, but the most offensive things were done in such a way as to ensure that only those who wouldn't be offended would get the joke -- I was impressed. I hope those who didn't totally enjoy law school at least enjoyed the day that it symbolically ended.

Now, I'm exhausted from a weekend full of family, food, & fun. I can't believe I start PMBR tomorrow.

May 18, 2006

Bubble bookends

It all started with a scantron in February 2002. The pesky LSAT. I recovered by taking a 2 month trip to Italy.

Then there were applications and the working and waiting for school to start. Finally, 1L began. I did a semester. There was the overpreparation and unknown of the first set of finals. I did another semester, and then the end of 1L. When all was said and done, I agreed with most of my peers that the grading and ranking system is arbitrary. But it lives.

I spent a summer working as a patent agent (what I did briefly before law school). Then it was back to 2L, where I did the typical 2L shuffle. Some more finals. I got engaged, did some more law school stuff, ran my first half marathon, externed for a judge, and what do you know, I was 2/3 done with law school.

I split the next summer between two law firms and finally decided to go with one of them after graduation.

Then, 3L hit. It was a completely different experience. First of all, E and I got married, so I spent much more time planning the ceremony than doing school stuff. I took some classes. But, I was fairly checked out of the whole school thing. I managed to check in just in time for the first sent of finals, just in time to deal with my grandfather's passing. Then, my father became ill, so I chose to spend more time with family and replaced several days of my second semester of class with days in the hospital. Again, I did my best to check back in to school just in time for finals, but only time will tell how successful I was at that attempt...

And now, today, it all ended just like it began. I sat down with some #2 pencils, read some questions, paid extra attention to words like NOT, LEAST, and MOST, and filled in bubbles in a room full of my peers doing the same.

It's all done.

Graduation is merely a ceremonial recognition of the truth: I don't ever have to do another piece of work for law school, ever again (assuming I passed all of my classes).


May 15, 2006

And then there was one...

Well, folks, it's almost over.

Another 2 units down, and only 4 to go. I celebrated by taking the night off. First, a trip to the spa for a much-needed facial. Then, phone calls to far-away friends and home-made tahini-caeser dressing on salad, panini, and now, a chocolate concoction in the oven.

Sure, it's 1/2 a milk-chocolate easter rabbit + cocoa powder substituted for dark chocolate and all the other necessary last-minute alterations to make it work. But, I bastardized the dense chocolate loaf cake recipe from How to Be a Domestic Goddess, and regardless of how it tastes, it smells good. Dinner just wasn't enough.

E laughs every time I crave sweets. Chocolate. Any of that stuff.

See, when we met, I swore I didn't like it. Didn't need it. Didn't want it, even. Apparently, as time has passed, I've either changed or become more honest with myself.

Regardless, I'm desperately hoping that dessert turns out well. Then I can enjoy it both tonight and tomorrow AM, after my run and before I buckle down for the last push.

I can see the end. And it smells like chocolate.

May 14, 2006

Note to self

If I ever throw a party and someone has to cancel last minute and stay home to work, please, please, please let me remember to send their spouse home with dessert.

Last night, E came home from the party with 3 super-delicious ultra-chocolatey, perfectly crumbly chocolate-chip brownies in a ziplock bag. For me! His friend's wife sent them as a consolation because I had to stay home and study instead of hanging out at the party.

I have an unfortunate tendency to be annoyed at people who RSVP as attending and then bail at the last minute. I'd rather they say "maybe" and then confirm. Why? Cause I'm lame and a control freak like that. Despite this, for some reason, I decided I was going to have time to attend last night's party a few weeks ago and replied as attending -- comedy! When it became apparent that I was an idiot, I had E change my response. That was the day before.

Instead of silently being annoyed, this woman, this saint, she sent me one of the nicest gifts I've received during finals. The difference between E arriving home from a party I couldn't attend while I'm sitting in the same position that I was in when he left, and the same scenario plus unexpected brownies is gigantic. So much pleasure from such a tiny gesture.

Life really is about the little things. I can't wait to be the unexpected giver of dessert to someone else.

May 13, 2006

My old friend

The fear has finally come to visit.

Thank goodness.

I've got 6 days and two finals to go. And I'm not nearly as prepared for these last two as I was for any of the others I've already taken.

I wouldn't know what to write if tested on about half of the community property issues right now. But hey, I've got 43.5 hours to learn that stuff. As a bonus, I know even less about corporations, which is unfortunate given that there's 4 units worth of information I'm supposed to be tested on come Thursday.

It's going to be a difficult few days.

May 12, 2006

Big Fat Light Bulb

I like(d) law school. But I LOVED engineering school.

Today, I finally figured out why. Maybe it was the leftover korean lamb chop and spicy okra from last night. Or maybe this is a truly brilliant insight. Or, most likely, it's so obvious that I just couldn't see it.

Engineering is all about using whatever tools work to get to the goal. Figure out a new use for an old tool? If it works, you're a good engineer. If it doesn't but it helps you figure out another possible tool for the job, you're still a good engineer.

Law is all about learning which tools are the allowable weapons when fighting a civilized fight. There is no common goal. There is no answer. There is no, "oh, that works!" against which you can measure the value of the tools you select. The tools are valuable only because people recognize them as familiar and understand the points you are trying to make.

Hence why I've been so confused about grades and the ranking system throughout all of law school. New creative uses of tools are not the stuff of law. Law is a discipline of old, well-structured tools. The people who use the tools in the manner most approximating those that come before them are rewarded the most.

Nice timing, brain. Thanks.
The black hole exam event

I have a new theory. Every day you have a final -- it's like a black hole. Sort of. Just work with me here.

Say you've got an afternoon exam. Then the morning before is a long and boring time sink. You sleep in. You shower. You work out. And then, you trudge through notes, outlines, supplement, and the book, simultaneously hoping that you'll see something you need to know and, of course, hoping that you are so prepared that you won't. You don't want to tire out your brain before the exam, so this ends up being a half-hearted attempt at learning, resulting in more papercuts than anything. You wish you were so confident that you could just say, "fuck it" and go out to brunch with friends (which is probably what you should do.) Because you know you are just going to get a B anyways, no matter how well you know this shit. So the morning slowly ticks by and you'll never get that time back.

If, on the other hand, you have a morning exam, you enter a world of pain upon awakening. It's as if there's a certain amount of annoyance and anguish you must experience before the exam phase, and the only question is whether it will be agonizingly stretched out over several hours or piercing in its quick and dirty attack. Early, after a long night of studying and fitful sleep--the day star, it burns. Not enough sleep and you're groggy, but it doesn't dull the insult of the early exam morning. Bumbling, you rush to shower, drink caffeine and set up your computer for the exam.

Regardless of the start of your day, the exam is basically the same: Long and furious typing, a need to pee that is too long ignored, a feeling that you got stuff wrong upon exit, a realization that you just typed 3 paragraphs on the wrong stuff during and the in-the-moment decision of whether to delete that "work" or leave it as evidence of something, anything. Time flies while your brain fatigues from the herculean effort to convey information you've learned while NOT conveying what you haven't learned. Time, it's just gone.

And then, there's recovery. You can't talk straight for the first hour or so post exam. It's convenient that this is the time period where you are expected to operate a motor vehicle to return home. Then, you enter the blissful post-finals stratum. A time of indulgence. For me, that's wine or beer and food plus laughter and stories. But I know people who skip the food. I know people who go to the movies. I know people who shop. Regardless, this stratum is identified because it is a time of forgetting. You won't get those hours back either. They are, in some ways the mirror image of the morning hours. But they seem so much better spent.

The next thing you know, it's the day after. You vaguely remember the pain and annoyance of the morning. You know you took an exam. And you're fairly certain you ate, relaxed and hung out because you feel better and slept better than you had in days.

Sometimes I think law school is really just a trick to get you to approach 20 or so of these time, body, and brain smashing events to help you build up stamina for the big one, where you stretch it out over a full two or three days. Some people, by the end, they've found shortcuts through the morning layer. But not me. I'm still going through all the motions, just like a 1L, I've just got tougher skin and I know what to expect. Mamma Mia the bar is gonna suck.

May 11, 2006

Serenity Now

I've had the most lax attitude towards today's Intellectual Property exam of all exams in my law career thus far.

Last night, I went to a dinner party 'til 10 PM. When I got home I gave E the practice Exam questions to see how much of this IP survey stuff the above average engineer knows. He got all of the questions correct. He missed some nuances here and there, but he knew the fundamentals. He would have gotten a B. Maybe a B+.

I knew this stuff much better than him when I was an engineer (it is, after all, the reason I went to law school.) The great thing about law school grading is I'll probably get a B too. The great thing about being a 3rd year student is I don't care, so I went to the party.

Or, at least I think I don't care.

I woke up at 6:30 AM this morning after a night of fitful sleep to find my brain racing through theoretical IP problems. I have acid reflux. I seriously considered skipping my run to "study" before the afternooon exam.

What the hell?

May 8, 2006

Uphill, both ways, in aluminum shoes, in the snow

In my break between finals 2 and 3, I drove to my hometown. My dad is doing much better than I expected. He is tolerating his most recent rounds of chemo quite well and rearranged his next cycle so that if nothing goes wrong between now and then, he can attend my graduation. The sense of relief that I feel at seeing him do so well is indescribable. I breathe easier now. It's amazing.

Last week, E & I sent him Lance Armstrong's book: It's not about the bike. He is 2/3 of the way through it and has a very different attitude than he did the last time I saw him. He is still determined to fight this disease, but he's also much more educated on the realities of what he is facing. One of the hardest things about watching my father go through this has been knowing what is coming and realizing that he does not know. And that it's ugly. And that, much as I may not like it, it is my silent cross to bear the knowledge of the ugly possible realities that he does not yet know about because it would serve no good purpose for me to tell him of my fears.

I sent him the book to inspire him. But I hadn't considered that it would serve another purpose. The book is simultaneously educating him about the long difficult road ahead and yet helping him to build and maintain his hope and strength. I think I may put the book on my reading list for post-finals.

So, I'm in a house of struggle. I harness it while I'm here. I can't believe how much easier it is to focus and study while my dad is sleeping in the next room as opposed to when I'm home alone. My dad HAS to sleep. I have the luxury of being awake. The least I can do is use my time to overcome the mild boredom, annoyance, and frustration that face me while I'm studying for finals. (Intellectual Property? Yeah, I'm talking about you!)

Similarly, while studying for the bar will also be nothing like fighting cancer, it will be a struggle. There will be personal doubts to fight, hope to maintain, motivation to keep up, and all of the other difficulties that humans must face on the more difficult portions of their journeys. So yeah, I think my next pleasure book will be Mr. Armstrong's book.

And with that, yet another thing on the list of "things to look forward to," BT will now return to diligently studying.

May 6, 2006

Back in the saddle

2 down. 3 to go. The last 10 units of my law school education will be earned in afternoon exams. (Yes, I did take 5 classes with exams for a grade my last semester of law school. I believe the word you are looking for is "chump.") Off to run, and then, my friends, it's me and corporations 'til dinner.

Oh, and I picked up my graduation tickets yesterday, which was cool. Then I picked up my barbri books, which were heavy and ridiculous. Given everything I'd heard, I was just happy that it was possible to carry the books to the car in one trip. But, truly, this whole graduate on Sunday and start to study for the bar on Monday thing is kinda lame. Shouldn't they space it out, just a little bit?

May 5, 2006

Connect the dots? Doubt it.

Post-final, I'm useless. I can't speak very well, can't think, can't function really. And that's normally, after doing what I can to soften the blows. Today's experiment, where I woke at 5:50 AM to drive to school the morning of a final did not succeed. I'm very happy that I knew myself well enough to insist that I reserve a hotel room before every morning final until now.

Today? Yeah, it was just reassurance that the money wasn't wasted all those other morning finals and money spent for rooms at the 3-star with the mostest. It's funny how much I'm going to associate Ramada with my law school experience. I'm also going to associate the tenderloin and the Renoir, but I think, when I think back, I'll remember faded glory, gorgeous redwood accent molding and support structures, crystal chandeliers dying to be polished and, in general, waiting to cross 21st century rights of passage in a 20th century environment (only with electricity and plumbing with hot water and more recently, free wireless, and all of that).

Back to Focus. This AM, at the end of the exam, BT was thanking the gods that this was a 2 unit final because come the 3rd hour, BT would have been asleep. I can't get up that early and function for long periods of time on end. This almost falling asleep on the way home was AFTER the emergency coffee I ran down and purchased just 5 minutes before the exam began. Mind you, I am NOT a coffee addict. I'd had my 2 diet cokes and I should have been fine. But I could tell, the old brain and body, they were *pissed* that I'd decided to go cheap and sleep at home with only a short yoga workout to put me to sleep at 11:30 PM. Sorry... Geez. I won't do it again. Seriously. I have no more AM finals. I've spent my last night at the Ramada for law school, and that, my friends, is something to celebrate.

In the comedy category, given how I'm useless after finals, I figured it would be a good idea to schedule a lunch with a partner I worked for in the past after my Venture Capital Law final today. I had a glass of wine and was opening my 2nd piece of mail when he arrived. It was an odd lunch. Sometimes I think I have an odd effect on people. If you ask me what's going on in my life, I'm going to tell you. You're going to hear about my dad, how school doesn't seem that important and how I'm not super concerned about the bar, because really, I'd rather spend time with my dad than study, which means, in this state, I'll probably fail.

The partner was honest: "you may want to think twice about taking it. People will always wonder if you say, 'I failed the first time because I was taking care of my dad.' But they'll never question it if you just say, 'I didn't take it in July because of my dad.'"

Damn. Sometimes I forget how competitive this field can be. I doubt it will change my behavior but who knows? My plan is to study when I feel like it, spend as much time with my dad as I can, and unless there's a really good reason, sit for the exam that I've already paid for. The way I see it, if I don't sit, I can't pass in November. If I sit, I might. Apparently, this gamble isn't viewed well in the field. Whatever. I'm over it. I'm just not buying into it. So shoot me.

In celebration of cinco de mayo, I made a cheese-chile-souflée. How could I avoid putting my Amazon Super Store Swag to work? I finished a final, and put myself on reprieve 'til tomorrow. 2.5 sticks of butter, milk, condensed milk, spices, 6 eggs, 1 pound of cheese, 2 jalapeños; (including a seed eating contest between E & L, you can imagine how well that went) and various other ingredients combined into deliciousness. Next time, I'll go lighter on the butter. But overall, delicious, if nothing close to nutritious. Did I metion that "next time" will be next cinco de mayo at the earliest?

Finally, a friend of my brother's recently ran into him and said he hadn't looked that happy in 10 years. The wife of the friend asked what had happened to him because she'd never seen him look so good. I knew he'd made some changes but didn't realize they were such a long time coming. I'm happy he's so happy. I'm sad it took him so long. I'm sad I didn't realize they were so necessary. I can't wait to see him this weekend and share the happiness with him.

Enough. Dots splattered. Sorry. Stream of consciousness was too much work, so you get this tripe. Apologies.

May 3, 2006


I'm done with the 24-hour take home that sucked all my brain power through my eyeballs. I'm hoping it returns before tomorrow when I commence studying for Friday's exam. I took a chance and made a gutsy argument that I thought was brilliant. It's the type of argument that law school has taught me not to make on exams. In the real world -- practitioners, they love these wacky arguments of mine. But on exams they are a gamble. If I'm at the bottom of the pile, you can guarantee the creativity will not be appreciated. Fuck it. I'm a 3L. I liked the creative argument better than the standard analysis. I made it. I'm going out with a bang (and probably a C, but whatever, I feel empowered).

After turning in the exam, I learned that a good friend had a very serious pregnancy-related health scare and is now recovering the hospital with her early-born, but healthy, baby girl. I cried. I wanted so badly to be there to comfort her and her family through what must have been a terribly scary ordeal. Instead, I was studying for and taking a 24-hour exam. She commented, "wow, that sounds hard." Right. Almost as hard as Preeclampsia and childbirth.

May 2, 2006

This is New

Today, I'm picking up my Con Law take home exam. 24 hours of driving to and from school, searching for the answer, and writing. In years past, the night before exams I've studied 'til I fell asleep or couldn't study out of frustration. Last night I stopped studying because I felt ready, and bored (which probably tricked me into feeling ready). I watched two episodes of the Simpsons, paid bills, and fell asleep.

This morning, I woke, went to the gym and showered like I used to do every Tuesday morning during the semester. I just spent at least 30 minutes trying to plan my next trip to visit my father (Do I take the train or drive? It takes more time on the train, but I can study. It takes less time in the car, but I can't study. I can, however, listen to PMBR CDs and don't have to rely on others for my transportation to and from the train station. Still debating.)

I'm leaving to drive to pick up the exam shortly. If the last 5 semesters had any predictive value I'd be nervous, or reviewing, or something. But no. Apparently, exams (or at least this one) have become common place. I think I've finally accepted that there's no real correlation between ridiculous preparedness and doing well (at least for me) so I may as well save the effort. I've gotten A's on as many exams for which I've been underprepared as exams for which I thought I was prepared. Similar story for Bs. The only C was for an exam for which I felt VERY prepared but misread the question. Perhaps if I'd had more sleep and been more relaxed I wouldn't have misread the question. Who knows.

Anyways, this last time around, it appears that exams are just another thing in life to check off, but nothing to stress about or cause to alter my ordinary life. I vaguely remember feeling this way about exams in undergrad. I wonder how this will affect my final transcript. I guess I'll find out.