Sunday, July 31, 2005


I said I was going to read as slowly as I could to try to savor it, didn't I?

I tried really hard to read slowly, but finished Harry Potter 6 at 1:15 this morning.

Oh well.

It was great. I think it was everything that needed to be in the penultimate book, and it connected so many threads from previous books. I only wish that I had had the time over the summer to read 1-5 before reading 6, but I put off reading 6 as long as I could because of the bar exam and it couldn't go any longer.

This also explains why, with the exception of the Tuesday of the bar exam when I had no laptop or internet connection, yesterday was the first day in months and months and months when I didn't even turn my laptop on. (And also explains why I still have not recapped the bar exam. Getting less and less timely...)

I love Harry Potter books. I think I might read 1-6 again soon, all in a row. But first, I'm going to re-read the entire Chronicles of Narnia. :)

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Bar Days

A quick summary of the past 3 days (the "bar days"):

Temperatures outside (approximate): 95, 100, 80 degrees. Add the humidity, and who knows how high the heat index was.

Climate control inside: Really hot & stuffy & sticking to the table, Even hotter & stuck to the table, Freezing cold and sweatshirt pulled over my ears.

Breakfast consumed: 2 feet of Subway turkey & cheese sandwiches, 1 Healthy Choice microwave meal.

Lunch consumed: 6 inch Subway tuna sandwich, hot dog, Burger King chicken tenders & onion rings.

Exam consumption: 3 bags Haribo gummy bears, 3 rolls of Sweet Tarts, 1/2 Nestle Crunch bar, 1 Pria bar, 8 Fig Newtons, 5-16.9 oz. bottles of water.

Hours studied: Definitely not more than 2 or 3. Too exhausted to concentrate. Except the layout of my first-year civil procedure outlines was kind of amusing, all those boxes with curved corners.

Essays written: 13

Multiple choice questions answered: 250

Multiple choice questions guessed on (%): Over 50% (hopefully we'll get to that wonderful story during the Wed. recap)

Number of fellow test takers I talked to each day after the exam about what was on it: None!

Number of conversations of other test takers I (inadvertently) eavesdropped on each day after the exam about what was on it: Let's not count.

Hours of actual exam time
: 17.5 (I think)

Amount of time until I find out whether or not I have to do this again: Uncertain, but at least mid-November.

There will be more detailed summaries later. I've been so bad at recording parts of my life that this is something I really need to do, even if I'm the only one who reads it!

Friday, July 29, 2005


Despite an afternoon of depressing myself about the low vacancy rate in apartment buildings, the rest of the day didn't turn out too badly at all.

Sushi dinner. (Even though I took my camera and forgot the battery at home!)

Wandering the aisles of the DVD section at Best Buy.

A trip to Stop and Shop. (I know I'm weird that I love it, but I haven't been able to go to a real big supermarket in a long time.)

A couple of hours of Stargate.

Triple chocolate ice cream with 3 kinds of chocolate sprinkles.

And later, more Harry Potter. (I'm trying to be good and not read it all in one day. Have to savor it because who knows how long until the next installment.)

It feels so good to be done with the bar exam. Even though I'm still going to go back over it in my mind to write about it.

First full day of freedom!


And now, the recovery phase post-bar begins.

I knew I'd be exhausted, but I could barely pull myself out of bed this morning after about 8 hours of sleep. I'm giving myself a few days to completely relax and recover (and read Harry Potter), and then I have to get back to the gym to get rid of this bar belly. (Although I suspect the absence of the exam is going to make it a whole lot easier, because that stress is gone!)

I still need to find an apartment and plan out stuff for the upcoming trip. The trip thing is nothing compared to what we just went through, but the apartment thing could be difficult. I was originally going to go out there today, but with my exhaustion and no advance planning, probably not the best plan for a targeted apartment search. Next week, that will be my full-time job.

I also need to write up posts on the exam (as much as it feels way in the past), if even just for my own records of what happened. It just feels like it's not a timely topic anymore, since it's over, but I didn't have my laptop/internet access during the whole process, so if I'm going to say anything, it has to be now, after the process. But I'm trying to figure out how I want to arrange it and how to make sense of all the jumbledness in my mind.

But to start off the first day as a normal person (or a recovering person), why not take an online quiz?

How You Life Your Life

You seem to be straight forward, but you keep a lot inside.

You say whatever is on your mind. Other people's reactions don't phase you.

You tend to have one best friend you hang with, as opposed to many aquaintences.

You tend to dream big, but you worry that your dreams aren't attainable.

Thursday, July 28, 2005


So that's what it feels like to take a bar exam.

Exams, rather.

I promise I'll have more to say later (even though that phrase is always the kiss of death for a post), but right now, I'm still unwinding. Got home, watched an hour of Charmed, and then Harry Potter was delivered from its special hiding place.

Since my laptop didn't accompany me on this bar journey, I haven't been able to update about anything exam-related, so I definitely have things to post. But right now... I've got to crack open this book!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Wednesday Recap

[Warning: Bar recap means long entry. But like I've always said, part of the reason I'm recording it is for myself. Here's the quick summary: no sleep, mostly asleep through the first half of morning & afternoon sessions, guessed on over half the questions because of lack of time, 100 degrees outside and test location is not much cooler, travel to NJ for the exam and end up lost in the pouring rain with no cell phone, bummed over the fact that the MBE sucked.]

Wednesday was not a good day. Perhaps I should have tried to be extra cautious once I had a lot of trouble getting a taxi, but I don't know that it would have made much difference, seeing as how the MBE was already printed. But flowing seamlessly from Tuesday, here was my Wednesday. (Note: All times are approximate.)

2:20 am
Bolted up awake in bed. No idea why. Had trouble getting back to sleep. Tossed and turned all night. Two nights in a row that I can't sleep through the night! I wonder if it's the bed. Finally get back to sleep, but toss and turn until the alarms go off.

6:00 am
Alarms go off. Drag self out of bed, bleary eyed and foggy mind. Much more tired than yesterday and feel like I'm going to fall back asleep the entire time I'm getting ready. Eat my footlong Subway sandwich, and try to force my eyes to stay open. This is not a good sign - my eyes are closing and I just woke up!

Extremely mad at myself for not taking a sleeping pill the night before and not being able to sleep, because I just screwed myself over for being alert during the MBE. ARGH! Should have taken a sleeping pill!

7:45 am
Leave the apartment and head over to Madison to get a cab, just like yesterday. Only this time, instead of getting a cab within a minute, it took over 10 minutes and I had to cross three blocks just to get someone to notice me. I had started getting worried - what if I was standing out there for 20 minutes and there were still no cabs? I knew it was still early, but I didn't want to be running into the bar exam at the last second, all rushed and not focused.

8:15 am
Finally get to the Pier. My cab driver was really nice, even though we were racing all over the west 50s because we were stuck in traffic. At one point on 55th & 11th, we looked over to the other side of 11th Avenue and saw an entire block stopped full of taxis. We went around, because obviously everyone else trying to get to the bar exam was still waiting. His way ended up being better than getting stuck on 55th, but the cab ride cost $2 more than yesterday (42nd seems to be the best way to go).

My driver (who had already made 2 trips to the Pier that morning) asked me, "What's going on at the pier? Is there some sort of fashion show?" I explained to him about the bar exam, but it was pretty amusing to me, because I don't know what those other people were wearing, but me, in my gray t-shirt and gym shorts - I was definitely not dressed for a fashion show.

And there was no way, once I arrived still in my green wristband, that I was going to wait on the 30 person line for the bathroom! Bathroom lines are seriously one of the worst parts of the bar exam.

8:30 am
I passed through security (which was really just checking for green wristbands, nothing more, no scrutiny of your plastic bags), and lucked out, because even though I had gone past security later than a lot of people, I was part of the group that they ushered toward the front of the line to alleviate some of the congestion. That put me right in the first group to enter the room! (which was sometime around 8:30, but I really don't know when exactly)

What was good about that... is that first into the room, is first to run to the bathroom. And not having to wait on line for the bathroom makes all the rushing through the room worth it.

Got back to my seat and the taped instructions started repeating. Today's instructions were even more annoying than yesterday's, because they were longer and had all the stuff about how the MBE was a protected test, blah blah blah, don't repeat it to anyone, blah blah blah, fill in the circles, blah blah blah. After the 3rd time it went around, I wanted to break the machine.

I was also falling asleep with my head down on my arms. Not a good sign.

9:00 am
Test begins! This doesn't seem so bad.

9:07 am
Crap. Question 6 sucks. 1-5 weren't bad though! Skip it, move on to 7. Or 8. Or 9. Or 10. Or 11... and crap, I cannot stay awake!

9:07 am - 10:30 am
Skipped around all over the 100 questions. I could not stay awake!! I know it's my own fault because I got no sleep, but this is ridiculous. These long fact patterns, I'm reading every sentence 4 times. I'm reading shorter questions and hearing in my head certain phrases in the question on the first reading that aren't there when I look back at the question. (For example, I thought one question had the words "on the internet" in it. It didn't. This happened way too often.)

I tried everything and anything to stay awake: pinched myself, rotated my ankles, tried to stay in motion as much as possible without disrupting the people around me, drank water, tried to stay awake by eating, had gummy bears, had Sweet Tarts, ate chocolate. NOTHING WORKED. I was getting so frustrated, because I kept trying to stay awake, and I kept feeling my head doing the drop and jerk upwards... and no matter what I did, nothing would stop it.

Time kept ticking by... and I kept falling asleep.

Since I was getting lost in the longer questions, I just picked any question that could hold my attention (meaning I only had to read it 3 or 4 times, instead of 10) and any short questions. The words were still blurry and going all over the page, but I picked some answers. By 10:30, I had maybe 30 answers filled in out of 100?

Oh goodness. 30% finished and halfway through the time period? This is never going to work. I had glanced at most of the fact patterns in the first third of the test, but after that, I just kept skipping the long ones without even knowing what they were about. No idea how I'm going to finish. And I finished the Barbri and PMBR tests both with at least half an hour to spare in each session. This can't be happening!

10:30 am - Noon
Flew through all the remaining questions, as the adrenaline seems to have kicked in from pure fear of not finishing. I knew I had the ability to do it, because I finished Barbri and PMBR's tests so quickly, and I just felt so dumb for not being able to stay awake while everyone else was diligently doing their questions and for not being able to do the test to the best of my ability. I answered the questions the best I could, but that was under impaired circumstances.

Thing is, unlike the way I normally did MBE questions, there wasn't much thought involved. With barely over a minute per question, my answering process basically went: read question - read answer choices - pick one. There was no thinking about rules, no analyzing the call of the question, no analyzing answer choices, no looking for clues in the question to tip me off to the answer. Frankly, there was no time to even try to do that. I tried it for some questions, but for the most part, it was just guessing.

It was all about, "what sounds like the best answer?" Which is a totally bad way to do the MBE, but when you're that short on time, it's hard to do anything else. When the session ended, all I could think was, "I really, really hope I have good instincts." Because that's basically how most of the session went - guessing on what my instincts thought was the right answer. (And having never taken con law except 1st Amendment, I have no con law instincts.) This is not at all how I imagined the MBE would go. One week before the exam, I was comfortable (but not complacent) about the MBE, and terrified of the essays. Who would have known it would be flip in a week's time?

Noon - 1:30 pm
Lunch break at the Pier. There was a food cart outside selling hot dogs, but I walked down to the neighboring pier to see if there were any carts with food other than hot dogs - maybe falafel or chicken pitas or something. Nope. Ended up getting a hot dog, because I wasn't really hungry enough to walk all the way to Subway again. And the temperature was in the high 90s, so I really didn't want to leave the air conditioned lobby of the Pier. Somehow the bathroom lines were long throughout the whole lunch period too. Ridiculous.

There were people studying during lunch again. I just don't get it. It's one thing if you have a hotel room nearby (although there aren't really any that close to the Pier) and you go back there for lunch and just to scan over some notes. But to figure out some way to get notes during lunch, from your car or hiding them somewhere in the lobby, so you can study over the hour lunch break? Is it really worth it? At that point, still really tired, I couldn't imagine seeing anything in my notes that would help me in the afternoon. What I really needed was to stay awake!

1:00 pm
Allowed back into the room, the whole run to the bathroom thing again, repeating of the instructions, this whole thing is becoming kind of routine.

I wasn't overly full, since all I had was a hot dog, and I always feel a little more refreshed in the afternoon, so I had much higher hopes about my performance in the afternoon. I tried to get myself ready for the task at hand: "you have got to do better than the morning! You guessed on over half the questions in the morning! Concentrate and just get this done!" I felt ready to take it on.

1:30 pm
Test starts, and I think my reaction to Q1 was "what the heck is this?"

And then I started falling asleep again.

1:30 pm - 3 pm
Just like the first session, I spent the first half basically asleep. It wasn't only because I was so sleepy from the night before, not having gotten any real rest, but it was so damn hot in the Pier. I was already in a short sleeved shirt and shorts, and I was sticking to the table worse than the day before and started to feel like I was dripping with sweat. Totally unpleasant.

The Pier has walls of windows. It was 100 degrees outside. There was no ventilation. There was barely any air conditioning. Taking a test in those conditions is inhumane.

The problem with taking a multiple choice test (as opposed to essays where it's more active) in a hot room is that you get lazy, you get sluggish, you read more slowly, you start to fall asleep (especially in the post-lunch hours!). Add to the heat and the post-lunch hours not sleeping all night and you have a recipe for disaster.

Ended up doing the same thing as the morning, skipping through and only doing the questions I could handle at the moment based on length and subject matter. But it was worse. Instead of steadily working through page by page doing the ones I knew, I completely skipped around. Just opened the booklet to random pages and did what I could. I felt so disjointed because I was skipping around, but even that didn't hold my attention.

3 pm
I've done even less questions than the morning, and I'm in even worse shape.

Repeat the morning's procedure for the last 90 minutes, but for more questions - read, read answer choices, pick an answer. No reasoning involved, just pick what sounds the best!

This is not at all how the MBE would go. I didn't take PMBR and Barbri so that I would fly through the MBE questions without any thought involved. Time was never an issue, so I wasn't used to dealing with the time pressure the way I did here. They called 15 minutes, and I still had plenty more questions to go. I finished just in time.

4:30 pm
The NY Bar Exam is over! It's really over. And it ended on such a downer.

I don't talk to people about questions when the exam ends, but I don't block out the conversations of those around me. Some people seemed to think it wasn't that hard, some people discussed some con law questions that I couldn't even remember being on the test, a lot of people lit cigarettes as soon as they got outside, and a fair number of people were talking about the next day's Jersey exam. I just felt so numb that even if I were in private and wanted to cry, I don't think I could. But it felt that horrible walking out of the Pier into the humid 100 degree heat.

The entire walk to the subway station... 11th Ave, 10th Ave, 9th Ave, 8th Ave... all I could think about was how I really genuinely felt like I was going to have to sign up for the Feb exam. People who know me know that I usually take a pessimistic view of how I've done on an exam because I don't want to get my hopes up, but this wasn't an exaggeration. I mean, I guessed on over half the questions! And when this section is worth the same amount on the exam as the state essays... well, it's a little worrisome. I tried the entire time never to let the test get the best of me, but I just felt so defeated. I tried valiantly during my awake periods to do the best that I could, but I just felt so stupid and so down.

I couldn't wait to rip my green wristband off in an attempt to purge the exam from my memory, but I knew that I couldn't get it off and it wasn't going to erase the bad memories of the MBE. (Someone did tear it off though, as I saw one on the sidewalk on 50th.) I figured, if people could just stay awake for the 6 hours, they already had an edge over me! There was no way I could eke out a decent performance under the time constraints I ended up facing. Disastrous. And now, in the midst of my resignedness, I had to gear up for the Jersey test. What fun.

Oh, and PMBR and Barbri? Your practice tests felt easier than the real thing, even though you claim that the real thing should be easier. I am aware that part of this may be due to the fact that we knew those were practice tests, but I really think it's about the questions. They were harder and less straight-forward. So, don't tell that fib anymore.

5:00 pm
E train arrives at Port Authority. I've never taken NJ Transit buses before, and as much as I usually like the Amazing Race-ness of figuring out public transportation, I wasn't feeling very into it at the moment. Finally got onto a bus to Secaucus, got a seat, took a pen to my wristband as we headed for the tunnel and finally freed myself (temporarily, at least) from the NY Bar Exam.

5:30 pm
Bus arrives in Secaucus at the stop where I was supposed to get off to go to the hotel. I am lost. I'm outside the Home Depot where I'm supposed to be, but the hotel looks quite far away.

I go into Home Depot, and they tell me that the hotel is over the bridge and a really long walk, if it's even walk-able. And the sky looked like it was about to open up and pour. Great. Since the bar examiners don't let you carry in a cell phone, I am stranded at Home Depot and have no idea how to get to the hotel. Luckily, Home Depot lets me call my mom, who is at the hotel, and since the hotel claimed Home Depot was so close to the hotel, I asked her if she could pick me up there, thinking that, even with rush hour traffic, it couldn't take more than 10 minutes.

5:50 pm
Okay, it's getting a little late. I am standing on the edge of the Home Depot parking lot, literally watching every car go by to make sure I don't miss my mom. I hate not having a cell phone. And I have already seen hundreds of cars, but not one of the same make and model and color!

6:10 pm
Lots of cars driving through the parking lot have stared at me, probably wondering, "what is that little girl doing, standing at the edge of the parking lot, clutching a plastic bag and staring out at the road?" Yeah... that was me. Hundreds and hundreds of cars whizzing by, and none of them is the one I wanted to see.

Two heavy shower spells, no car, I'm starting to get a little depressed. First, the MBE was horrible. And now, I'm stranded in Home Depot. Of all places, Home Depot! Why?!? Something must be wrong. There's no reason why, if the hotel were so close, I should be standing 40 minutes later in the Home Depot parking lot, just barely sheltered from the pouring rain. No cell phone, no connection to the rest of the world, in the middle of nowhere ... I guess it wasn't so bad that crying coincided with the rain.

6:25 pm
My mom finally shows up. Apparently she's been driving all around Secaucus because the hotel's instructions are worthless. And since I have no cell phone, it was a whole big mess. Had it been 5 minutes later, I would have been begging strangers to use their cell phones to call my mom. We were both frazzled at this point, and it was already getting so late (and my lack of sleep was really catching up to me and I needed to study civil procedure since it wasn't on the NY exam).

Oh, and the hotel was around a curve about 3 buildings away. The Home Depot people were really nice... but totally wrong information. Sigh. Could have saved myself over 40 minutes of stress!

The rest of the evening was relatively mild, compared to the depressing and tumultuous events of the rest of the day. Scoped out the test site, which I had thought would look more like an arena than an office building. Found the Burger King where I planned to grab my quick lunch during the exam. Found our way around the area and had dinner at the food court. Went to Stop and Shop to pick up TV dinners for breakfast for the next day. Studied civil procedure, but my brain wasn't really focusing. It was more just re-recognition of key words, like "code pleading" and "notice pleading." I mean, I haven't heard those terms since December 2002.

And even though JDJive can make you crazy sometimes, I think I needed it that night (1st time online during the bar experience!) because of my lack of genuine human contact with other bar takers. It was good to hear that other people thought the MBE was hard. It was good to know that there were people who felt as clueless as I did. Not because it made me feel like things had suddenly gone well, but because it made me feel a whole lot less alone, and not as dumb and a failure as I had been feeling. Crazy how a message board like that can actually give you a sense of calm.

I also learned from my mistakes. Before taking a shower, I took allergy medicine that makes you drowsy. It started to work as I was scanning my property notes and watching Lost. I put it all away and headed to bed. I slept through the night. Whether this was due to the beds at the Hilton being about a hundred times more comfortable or the sleeping pill or both, it was much welcomed rest. If only I had that the night before the MBE, things might have gone a little bit better. But what's done is done. All we can do is hope that things aren't as bad as they seemed. Or that I have really, really good instincts.

So that was Wednesday. The day that I thought would be my strength on the bar exam, as opposed to the essays. The day for which I really had the most preparation from the bar courses and the most simulated testing. Just proves that you never really know what's going to happen.

(Entry completed 8/3/05, 12:23 am)

Monday, July 25, 2005

Monday Recap

Monday, Monday, Monday. The last day before I officially encountered the bar exam. I remember a lot less about what actually happened, but a lot about how it felt in the hours leading up to the Big Day.

I think I ended up staying up kind of late on Sunday trying to get some studying done, and woke up later than I planned on Monday. But I don't really remember. Anything on Monday before I left for the city is kind of hazy.

Got into the city around 4 and headed for the apartment where I was going to be staying for the duration. My mom came with me to make things easier as far as transporting all my stuff for the exam and getting me to Jersey, so thankfully those were details I didn't have to worry about. Walking with my backpack stuck to me, it was so hot and so humid outside, and all I wanted to do was jump into a swimming pool.

The late afternoon and evening went by really quickly. Picked up a footlong sandwich for breakfast the next morning. (One of my big dilemmas was what to eat so that I wouldn't be hungry during the exam, because I'm always hungry a couple of hours after breakfast. I had planned on microwave dinners, but the apartment didn't have a microwave, so ended up going with a sandwich. It worked.) Checked out the test site and scoped out some places for lunch. Had a turkey burger with side salad at ESPN Zone, and then headed back to get ready for the big day.

I know everyone says you're not supposed to review the day or night before the test, but since my exam style has always been to cram, I didn't think it would be too detrimental. I didn't do anything too intense, just scanned over some of the essay rules I had written and recited the NY Practice rules as if I were on the elliptical machine (how I memorized them). Took a nice relaxing shower and then tried to go to sleep.

Tried to fall asleep for awhile. I figured some of it was probably nervous jitters from the exam being the next day, but I was really exhausted so I didn't take a sleeping pill, thinking I could naturally fall asleep easily. I can usually fall asleep to the TV and with some lights on, but it wasn't working this time.

Once the lights were finally out and the TV was on really low, I think I finally fell asleep. But I woke up at about 2:30 in the morning, thinking that it was time to get up for the test. I was so sure that my alarm was going to go off any minute, until I grabbed my phone and realized that there were still over 3 hours to go. I think part of me really just wanted the whole thing over with right then and there. All this studying, let's just get it started already!

I was a whole mix of feelings the day before the exam. There was the part of me that was impatient, just wanting to take on the test already after all the days and days of studying. There was the part of me that was apprehensive, kind of nervous, about what I'd be facing the next day. And then there was the part of me that was saying, "It's here. It's really, really here," in sort of a state of disbelief. Even with whatever nervous energy I had, I was pretty calm with regards to the test. There was nothing more I could do on Monday as far as learning anything, and nothing I could do to change the past and how much I had studied in the past. I was just going to have to hope that the essay subjects clicked with me, because so much of the process is just pure luck.

And with that, my last (rather uneventful) day before officially becoming a bar taker ended. Not much actually happening, just sort of a bridge day between studying and test-taking. And I'm realizing this entry was pretty useless - why bother talking about Monday when nothing really happened? But since I actually started this entry about 4 days ago when I started writing about the bar, I figured I might as well finish what I started.

Wednesday was more exciting, I promise. Probably should have read that one instead. :)

(Entry completed 8/4/05, 12:51 am)

Sunday, July 24, 2005


Sitting in the kitchen packing up my candy into tiny ziploc snack bags (my "quiet snack"), it's finally hitting me that this is really happening. It's really here.

The whole experience has felt a little surreal. Working towards this big huge exam, everyone telling stories about it, preparing you as much as possible for something that really still is this big unknown. Sure, we know generally what it's like and how much time to spend doing certain things and the subjects that are on it, but really, it's still one big black box (at least to me). Just like you don't really know what going to law school or studying for the bar is like until you're doing it, I think the same is probably true for the bar. You can prepare as much as possible, but you can't really know.

So I just have to believe that I've done what I can, I'm putting my best efforts out there, and whatever happens is meant to happen. All you can do is your best, right? So I'm going to just believe and hope that my best is good enough to pass. And there's a lot to be said for moral support. Knowing that there's people out there who so strongly believe that you can do this, even not really knowing anything at all about how your studying has been going or even what exactly you need to study, is so encouraging. Because even when you feel like you're at your absolute lowest and know nothing, you're reminded of their faith in your abilities, your strength, your adaptability. I know it sounds cheesy, but after seeing a whole bunch of family this weekend, it's just really nice to be reminded that there's all these people who just believe in you. Especially in this last final push toward the Big Day.

That said, as difficult as this process has been, it's kind of nice to see it all come together in so many ways. First, on a personal level, it's kind of amazing to see how much law we've gone through in so short a time and just how it's all coming together. No, I don't know everything I could know, but I probably never will. But I've picked up things in Wills and Con Law (two classes I never took), and even Personal Property (a Barbri "garbage topic") that really make me feel like a more well-rounded person when it comes to the law. It's no secret that the bulk of my classes were business-related (although, outside of income tax, I avoided tax as much as I could), and filling in all the gaps in other areas just makes me feel more "educated" in a sense.

And then, there's this whole process. Everyone pretty much going through the same thing at the same time with the same fears and the same anxieties working toward the same goal. It's been said that it's sort of a hazing ritual before you're allowed to become a lawyer, and in a sense, that's true. And as painful as it may have been at times, there's really something fulfilling about it as a shared experience. (OK, maybe I'm alone in feeling this way.)

Some of my favorite moments throughout law school have been those shared experiences. 1L, with everyone tackling law school for the first time, taking the same classes, griping about the same things. There was sort of this feeling of solidarity among us as a class (helpful since we were under 200 people) that was just never the same once people disappeared into their separate paths in 2L and 3L, with some gravitating toward business, some toward civil rights, others wrapped up in their journals or clinics. There's some people I saw maybe once a year in passing that I used to see everyday in 1L. Another time was OCI, everyone in suits and trying to get a job. Stressful, yes, but the whole class was there over those 2 weeks in the same small building. Again, going through the same thing at the same time before dispersing to their separate cities. And then there was the final push toward graduation, everyone just ready to be done, counting the minutes until it was all over. And now there's this. Shared on a level that goes beyond any individual school, but nationwide. It's nice knowing you have company on the journey.

And with that - best of luck to everyone this week! It's been great being able to share in this whole process with others, feeling like you're not alone even though all this studying is so incredibly isolating. Thank you. Everyone's worked so hard and been through so much - we can all do this! And on Thursday night, we can have the best night's sleep in a long time. (And I can finally crack open Harry Potter!)

So, take care. Good luck. And see you on the other side. :)


I am so out of shape.

I exercised more frequently during bar studying than any other part of law school (crazy, right?) except for May 2004, when I was determined to make the most of my gym membership. I went to the gym at least a few times a week, did more cardio than usual, etc.

Yet, I know I'm still so out of shape, and walking up and down the stairs in my house here has definitely proved it.

I should not be feeling it at all just going up and down these stairs. But I do. Now I know how I kept in shape in high school even though I didn't exercise much. I was walking up and down these stairs all day!

As far as the bar goes, last night I watched an hour of Stargate SG-1 and an hour of Stargate Atlantis (the ones from week 1 of the season). I did 8 Torts MBEs during that time (maybe I should have picked a subject I dislike more...). But that's fine, considering that's when the blaring party music was at its peak. Travel exhaustion + loud noises = not expecting to get much done.

Over the course of the evening, I had gone through about 1/3 of my Wills outline, mostly by deciding to teach my parents all about the law of NY wills. It worked though. If I can explain it without looking at the paper, I guess it means I know it? But the good thing about Wills and Trusts is that, after everyone freaking out from not knowing what the heck was going on after the lectures, Barbri put together these frequency lists that tell us how often each Wills topic has been tested and in what way. All I can say is that, I wish they had done this for every subject. It would have been really nice to just review those lists as opposed to my (non-)condensed outlines.

Going to go through some more past essays while my parents are out at the acupuncturist. I can actually get some work done. :)

Saturday, July 23, 2005


Sitting in the living room, I realize there's another reason why I can never study at home in NY. The neighbors here throw backyard parties every weekend. Right now, there's lots of nice bass streaming in through the wall. Luckily, I figured I wouldn't get much done once I got to NY so I'm not as frustrated as I could be. I guess I've sort of reached this calm stage. I know there's more I need to do, and I'm going to do it, but I'm sort of in a shoulder-shrugging que sera sera mode. I suppose that's good.

On the plane today, I had an experience that made me give evil glares at someone. I was getting out of my row and opened the overhead bin to take down my carry-on, and this man pushed past me. Now this wouldn't be a big deal if there were room in the aisle, but I had my backpack on, which was the width of the aisle. So he seriously pushed past me. As if I had no right to get out (even though I was in an earlier row), and how dare I waste his time by taking down my suitcase. Please.

Then he stood in front of me while I was still taking down my carry-on and tried to motion to the guy who had been behind him and traveling with him to try to get him to go around me too. (Keep in mind, I am in the process of taking down my suitcase at this point. Large heavy object. All I could think was, "I am not responsible if you get hit for pushing past me!") The guy hesitated, then decided to try, until I turned and shot him this look like, "don't even think about it." He didn't.

The other guy was waiting outside the plane for him, so impatient, bouncing up and down. I wondered if they had an urgent connection, but if they did, the flight attendants would have gotten them out first. Instead they were just pushy. I couldn't away from them either. I saw them everywhere. At the escalators when they stood in front of them, trying to figure out whether to go up or down. On the curb outside the baggage pick-up. And in such a rush... they were still standing there when I left. Ha.

You know, music bass really annoys me. But it's worse in the apartment. Here, at least I hear all the music and know I can't avoid it. In the apartment, all I hear and feel are the vibrations and the beat. That's more annoying. But still, this pounding music is probably going to give me a headache.

Okay, off to watch more SG-1 and do some random MBEs. Had some yummy chocolate ice cream. Nice. :)


Heading out for the airport now. Next time you hear from me, I'll be in NY. I'll still be posting. (Although after that last post, you may not want me to...)

I think I got everything off my old computer except anything in Outlook. Not bad for a couple of days transferring while working on the bar. And I got 3.5 hours of sleep! Nice. Although I went to sleep with the sun and woke up to the clouds and haze... somehow, that's always how it seems to happen.

While getting dressed this morning, I thought about all those posts about style and airport travel. I wonder what some of those commenters would think of me in my gym shorts, comfortable shirt and sneakers. If they don't like it, I don't really care. :)

Happy weekend!


Sigh. I'm back to my old undergrad habits of staying up to watch the sun rise.

I never realized that sunrises happened so quickly. One minute it was dark, the next it was bright, and now it's sort of a peachy glow on the nearby highrises. It's a pretty shade of orange.

Still sending files.
Still packing.
Still haven't printed out my letter to the stupid parking office.
Still no sleep.

As usual, it's my own fault. But maybe staying up isn't such a bad thing - most of tomorrow is pretty much lost to traveling (at least, there's no long sustained periods of work and it's more just "get in what you can" here and there) and maybe I can finally get to sleep really early and right my sleep schedule in the way I need to before the exam.

Yeah, I know, wishful thinking.

Not sure if I'm going to nap or not. Back to the old undergrad worry that usually hit most of my friends: "if I bother going to sleep, will I miss my flight?" In college, I never had to worry. My parents always knew I wasn't packed, and they would call me on the drive up to CT, so I had time to jump out of bed and hurriedly put stuff together. But yeah... I don't want to miss my flight. But I probably should get an hour or two of a nap in. But there's still so many files on my computer! Much more than I thought. And even though I'm transferring between two computers on the same network, it's as slow as 60 kb/sec. Something's not right about that.

Here's how I think the rest of today might go:

6:40-9: Nap (maybe)
9-10: Most likely try to get up if I nap; procrastinating if I never went to sleep (if you look at past posts, there was a time when I watched Mean Girls repeatedly, but that was a morning flight - this one's not till afternoon)
10-12: Get ready, pack, do last minute study things, etc.
12-1: Get to the airport in the midst of Lollapalooza traffic
1-2: Check my bag in (I rarely do this, but I figure I need to leave stuff at home, and how else am I going to carry all these big heavy books?), go through security, try not to fall asleep at the gate by eating a Potbelly sandwich (even if I've just had lunch)
2-3: Getting on the plane and hoping my carry-on is allowed on with me
3-6: Fly to NY
6-7: Get out of the airport and back to my parents' house
7-10: Assortment of dinner, unpacking, maybe a few MBEs, I'll probably bring some "short outline" sheet or something to dinner and try to convince my parents to let me explain concepts to them that I need to figure out :)
10-11: Get ready to sleep
11: Sleep

Ha. That's the goal. That's the ideal schedule. But we're talking about me. I tend to procrastinate. And umm, I tend to babble when I'm tired and zoning out. (Like... now. There's no need for me to put all this crap in a post, but I'm doing it anyway.)

The peachy glow is gone. Now it just looks hazy.

I just re-read what I wrote, and it sounds like I'm having a conversation with myself. I guess I'm craving human contact since this is the first time I've been on IM in a long time, and it's only to transfer files. And there's no one for me to talk to at 6 am. :( And, you know, with all this bar stuff, I'm sort of losing it. :)

My mom has hopefully hidden Harry Potter in the house and hopefully I will not find it before leaving for Manhattan on Monday. I've actively avoided anything HP on the internet, on TV, anything but the price of the book. It's too great a temptation and I totally don't trust myself. I've had the "hide it in the house" plan since May. I'm going to open it Thursday night after this whole mess is over.

I wanted to put all of my outline packets into my backpack, but clearly I did not condense enough, because the folder didn't fit. So I had to split it up, which was tough, because it was like trying to weigh which subjects were important. In the end, evidence, procedure and crim all ended up in the non-backpack bag, but that's mostly because I don't know anything about trusts, wills, corporations or domestic relations. When I was throwing out paper earlier today, I found some old property notes that had all this stuff on Trusts. I loved my property professor, but I really don't even remember hearing a thing about Trusts during either quarter.

I'm hungry. :( I was done with dinner before 9, and between now and then, I've only had one stick of string cheese. Of course, that's mostly because I wasn't planning to still be awake. If I had plenty of time and were packed (well, I'd probably sleep, but if I didn't), I'd go to the Korean restaurant and get bibimbop, even though it's 6 am. Yum.

It's all yellowish outside now. The peachy glow was much prettier.

And I think I need to stop talking about nothing, which is what I tend to do in the early morning hours. Most of my college papers were written between 2 and 6 am. They were my most productive hours. I wonder why.

Time to pull myself away from this stream of consciousness post. I'm going to sign out of Blogger so that I can't be tempted to write more about nothing. Then I'm going to finish sending files, put together my parking pass envelope to return, set an alarm, and force myself to take a nap. Shouldn't be too hard, considering that if I wanted to, I could probably sleep all day. (And there I go again, off on another tangent...)

No more nonsense. Good night!!


I don't know why, but I can never get myself to sleep early the night before I travel.

Part of it is the procrastination. I'm never packed. I pack way into the night. But even if I am mostly packed or don't have much to pack (my usual trips back to NY, but not this one - I can't even make a definitive packing list for this one), I'm strangely more wired than usual. Maybe it's anxiety. Who knows.

Tonight, it's more of a necessity. I'm not packed and have not yet even printed out my packing list. I'm not even studying. I'm backing up my old computer and transferring files, because sometime in the time span I'm in NY, Dell's supposed to do a swap and I don't want my files stuck on the computer.

Yes, this is definitely what I should be doing at 4:15 in the morning.

I can't believe it's supposed to be 102 degrees in Chicago on Sunday. I hope that is not the forecast for NY on Tuesday, because umm, I'm not sure it'll be fun to take the bar when it's over 100 degrees outside. I don't know if the facilities are any good, especially the air conditioning...

[I just went through old papers and sent files and pulled stuff off my desk to put into a large packing pile for awhile, totally forgetting that I had a post open. Oops.]

Almost 5 am and I'm still up and I still haven't printed out my packing list. I think I should do that and then attempt to take a short nap. It's no wonder that I'm going to be deeply sleeping during the flight (as usual) instead of doing PMBR.

Friday, July 22, 2005


To my inconsiderate (and apparently, illiterate) buildingmates:

I went downstairs to throw out my paper recycling because it de-clutters my mind. It makes me feel better and like I have gotten rid of unnecessary garbage. It's a very cleansing feeling, and I was looking forward to trashing all this unnecessary paper from an old seminar paper tonight, before I went back to my essays and studying.

And now, I have this to say to you:

You suck.

Because you can't even get a simple concept like recycling through your thick skulls.

What is the point of recycling? So that all the garbage doesn't get put together, so there's less waste. That's the point of separating clean plastics, glass, aluminum and paper. (Of course, most people don't clean glass and plastics, but at least they're separated right!)

Do you know what paper is? I don't think you do. Let me explain this to you:

Dunkin Donuts bags that are wet with the oils of donuts and have chocolate stains all over them go in the regular garbage, not the paper garbage.

The plastic wrap that comes around packs of toilet paper goes in the regular garbage, not the paper garbage.

Your cigarette boxes go in the regular garbage, not the paper garbage. That means the box and the plastic wrap that comes around it. They are both not really paper.

Your candy wrappers go in the regular garbage, not the paper garbage.

Your plastic wrappers for packs of inkjet paper go in the regular garbage, not the paper garbage.

I started going through it thinking I would take out all the plastic, until I realized you put all your dirty food wrappers into the paper garbage and that it was futile. If I put my paper garbage in there, all of it would just get thrown out as regular garbage, and that defeats the whole purpose of recycling. I suppose I should be proud of you, as you managed to not throw actual food in the recycling. But you did put everything else in the paper garbage, including cookie wrappers, so I guess your cookie crumbs might count for actual food.

How about this? If you don't have time to separate (and that's fine), just throw it all in the regular garbage. Don't ruin it for the rest of us who actually choose to recycle and would rather not be so wasteful (I've killed enough trees because of law school) by throwing all your crap in with the recycling.

Learn to read. And learn to throw out your garbage. I don't care what you do with your own garbage. Just don't mess up mine.

I think the only way I might feel better about your dirty food wrappers in the paper recycling garbage can is if you were studying for the bar exam.


(I think this would still have pissed me off, even if I were not studying for the bar right now. What's the point of recycling if it's just going to get thrown away because some people can't be bothered to follow instructions?)


Sitting here working on learning partnership rules, and out of nowhere, the entire song of "Once Upon a Dream" from Sleeping Beauty starts playing in my head. I haven't seen the movie or heard the song in many years; I haven't played it on piano for at least a few years. It's not in any commercials now, is it? Because that would definitely explain where it came from, but I don't think I've heard it anytime recently.


And it definitely has nothing to do with liabilities of incoming partners.

And before the song, my daydreaming was about how I was going to pack my "quiet snack" for the bar, what I should bring, and whether I should use the Barbri logo plastic bag for the exam or just a plain gallon bag. Nothing to do with Sleeping Beauty.

As if the use of a particular plastic bag is going to help me on the exam more than learning the partnership rules! Must write essays for one more hour, then take a break for TV + writing packing lists + typing out rules. Sounds like a plan.


I'm trying to work on essays (slowly - I've only gone through 5 and I'm not even writing them out completely), and someone in this building is hammering.

I don't know who, but for the past hour, it's been going almost non-stop. My earplugs are annoying my ears though, so I'm trying to use them sparingly so that I can stand them during the actual exam.

So, as I sit here working on wills, every time I hear the hammering start and stop, I start acting childish and replicate the exact sound. Not with a hammer or anything, but like smacking a book or a pillow or the couch or something. It's really dumb, but it's a quick way to get rid of the frustration from the stupid hammering.

I think I'm losing my mind.


Well, that feels a little bit better.

Pulled myself out of bed at 9:15. Big improvement. Not spectacular, but around when I was hoping to wake up. Of course, I then spent about 40 minutes in the shower, but at least I was awake.

Off to go bury myself in my yellow NY essays book for a little while with my jazz CDs playing. I'm glad they made the state book yellow. I was starting to get a little annoyed with all the green books, most of which I've now banished from my sight and returned to their Barbri boxes, and don't yet feel the same hostility for yellow. I don't understand why they couldn't make different colored covers. Not only would it help for distinguishing which book was which, but it would make us hate that shade of green a whole lot less.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


Apparently, my lack of productivity and my utter stupidity lasted through the night. I'm really starting to think that there's some part of me that has no desire to pass the bar (but I have no idea why that would be the case), because why else would I be getting up at 11:30? The morning session's almost over by 11:30, and on a day in which I told myself I had a LOT to get done (you know, the whole "not going to be able to study after Saturday morning" thing), it's completely unacceptable.

So now it's the afternoon, and I've done NOTHING. What a spectacular day this is turning out to be.

In an attempt to keep myself accountable, a list of what I'm going to attempt to do today (the things in parentheses are what I'm thinking might not be essential anymore, considering the limited time left and the fact that I haven't looked at an essay in over a week):
  • Go through 4 MPTs
  • Go through 20 (preferably more) NY essays
  • Review some subjects
  • (Eat lunch)
  • (Eat snack)
  • (Eat dinner)
  • (De-stress at yoga)
  • (50 MBEs)
  • (Call travel agent because it's the absolute deadline to book a land package)
  • (Return parking pass so that I don't get billed)
  • (Mail post-graduation cards that my parents told me to mail a month ago and think I did, and now I'm going home this weekend)
  • (Write packing list and pack)
  • (Pay bills)
  • (Find out about medical insurance)
  • (Save everything on old computer, since it has to be returned in the mail - at this point, I'm feeling spiteful and telling myself I deserve the punishment of missing pictures and music, although I will hate myself for it later)
Sigh. Sometimes my brain just feels so inadequate.


It just doesn't seem right that I can recognize fonts in newsletters, but that I can't remember the most basic rules of criminal procedure. For example, I'm on the Lost newsletter list (well, Oceanic Airlines, but basically the same) and I recognize the font as Georgia. But I seriously messed up a crim pro rule earlier today, and as a result, got many NY MC questions wrong. For some reason, I was convinced that a defendant had a right to counsel at all line-ups. I think it was because Whitebread had kept repeating something about line-ups, but not photographs, and that part stuck in my head. But no, no right to counsel at pre-accusatory, investigatory line-ups unless you request counsel or the police know you have a lawyer. I think now that I've made a big deal of this rule, I will remember it.

I've decided what I need to do in order to not go insane. I know that during the actual exam, there's really no breaks in the middle, but I'm not taking the exam right now. I'm trying to get things to sink in to my brain. So between every chunk of work (every couple sets of MC questions, every essay, etc.), I think I'm going to stop and clean out some paper. It works wonders to calm my mind, and whatever I "learned" in the "session" before is probably making its way into my memory. Or so I hope/believe.

I just threw out some expired supermarket coupons and brochures that I got from the Taste of Chicago. It felt good. Moving on to partnership now. :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


Ack. Having a little bit of a panic attack over the bar exam. First real one, actually, and I'm not doing a very good job of keeping it below the surface. I felt myself starting to panic in the kitchen making dinner, and managed to mostly suppress it, but having it sitting there beneath the surface isn't doing much for my focus and concentration. Sigh.

There is definitely not enough time left. I may have printed out outlines for all the subjects, but I don't know anything in them. Nothing! At all! I'm completely clueless. I haven't written an essay in over a week, I don't know any rules, I'm still getting a lot of MC questions wrong, and I don't know a thing. *breathe*

And now I'm just thinking about the fact that when I wake up tomorrow, it will already be Thursday, leaving only tomorrow and Friday before I have to get on a plane to go to NY, and when the heck am I supposed to pack? Or even figure out what to pack? I haven't even thought about what I need for the exam, and because I've had to put aside so much time (hours) to make the trip reservations because it's getting so close in time to the trip, I haven't had time to do much of anything. And today was such a freaking waste of my time, because I've gotten nothing done. Well, except for remind myself that my brain is empty. It's not full of bar rules; it's just empty.

And I know from experience that once I get to my parents' house, that's it. I can never get ANY studying done there, because I'm so distracted. By everything and everyone. There really is no place I can get away to study for any decent amount of time, and by the time I get there, it's already Saturday night, so it's not like there's much time left anyway. There's Sunday, which also happens to be my dad's birthday. And there's Monday, where we're not supposed to do anything at night but relax, and when during the day, I have to get from my parents' house to somewhere (don't know where yet) in the city. So basically, once I leave Chicago, that's it. Any studying after that won't be very effective.

[insert expletives here]

This is all my own fault, really. Because it's not like anyone else taking the bar has had any less to do, yet everyone else seems to get it done, right? It's my own fault, because my studying has always been, "too little, too late." Except, unlike law school where everything was open book, this time it actually makes a difference.

Sigh. I am going to force myself to finish off all the NY MCs tonight (I just did abysmally on crim pro - we're talking like 30%, part of the reason why the suppression of the panic is starting not to work), and hope that there's some other subject that makes me feel a little bit better about myself.

What a horrible night.


Now that it's getting a little bit brighter outside, here's what it looked like before when I was captivated by the storm:

It got really dark...

And started to pour...

Those lines are the heavy rain as it moved across the sky. I have vague memories of years ago being at a park in Flushing where I literally watched the showers move like a wall across the lake. This reminded me of that.

And now, I'm going to get my microwaved chicken and call my travel agent. Reception should be a little better now that the bad part of the storm has passed. And then I have to do more NY subjects... as much as I don't want to...


Nevermind that whole storm thing I posted like a minute ago.

It's still crazy lightning & thunder outside, but the visibility is so bad that everything is just sort of gray. And I can see the storm from my couch, but there's nothing to take a picture of, really.

There's also a fly on the windowsill facing the window, watching the storm. I do not yet know if the fly is alive or dead, but I don't want to be near it and I don't want to touch it. Eww. And now, I'm worried that if I start making food (hungry!), it's going to come pester me, and that's something I don't want to deal with right now. Argh, flies! Why must you torment me so?

Trying to figure out what work is best to do with thunder like this. Although, maybe I should just try to work through it, because what happens if it's an insanely loud thunderstorm next week during the bar?


Well, this makes me not really want to study.

It's pouring outside. The dark ominous clouds are racing across the sky. The thunder and lightning hasn't stopped, and the thunder keeps echoing around all corners of the apartment. I love watching thunderstorms from inside. I always try to get photos of lightning (never happens), but there's just something about the power of the storm that makes it so intriguing to watch.

Needless to say, I've been stationed in front of my windows ever since it started to get dark. One minute, it was dark. The next, there were long gray lines extending from the clouds to the ground moving rapidly across the horizon. Those lines... that was the rain.

There was a brief respite from the thunder and lightning when I started typing this, but now visibility's pretty bad again and I can barely see across the river. The storm's red on the Weather Channel maps. It's a good one.

Luckily, I did about 50 MBEs this morning, so that if the storm lasts all day, the day won't entirely have gone to waste. But it should be gone pretty soon... and I have a lot of essay stuff to do, not to mention getting in touch with my travel agent.

Bellowing thunder is calling me back to my window perch. Maybe I'll have some pictures of dark clouds later. And it's not like I could work anyway, with the constant thunder...


I finished my outlines. Finally.

It took me until 7 pm, but I finally finished property. Alvin had come home only a few minutes before I was done, and there was a card from our yoga teacher who was out on maternity leave in the mail. It said she was coming back to teach, but we weren't sure if she meant today or next week. Took a chance and went down to the gym, and it was today! What a nice surprise. Although I hate that, with every yoga class or gym visit, I feel how much weaker I've gotten since the one before. All this bar studying is really taking a toll on my body, and the physical effects are quite noticeable to me while exercising. I wonder how long it will take after the bar to regain my strength.

So what else did I do besides the property outline? Not a whole lot. Didn't get home from yoga until close to 9, then had dinner and watched Empire, did the MCs for NY agency and commercial paper (horrible). I did do all the yellow box questions from the PMBR answer book (there were 44), so I guess that counts for something. I should have done better on those than I did, I think. Also amusing to me was how my highest percentage correct out of the yellow box questions was in property. Oh, and I did the conflicts of laws MCs after my shower. Those turned out much much much better than commercial paper.

I plan to actually get sleep tonight and to wake up at a decent hour. I was functioning quite well today, considering I was working on about 5.5 hours of sleep. But that's not a pattern I want to keep up for this final week. So tonight I will sleep before 4 am. :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


With all the bar studying going on, I completely forgot that yesterday was the one year anniversary of this blog! I had another one before it, but started this one last July 18th. I had even looked it up a couple of weeks ago, because I knew it was in July and was wondering if the anniversary would be during the bar exam, but still, I didn't remember.

At least I remembered that today is my parents' anniversary. Considering that one's more important than that of my blog. :)

(Property is taking so long. I am only up to land sale contracts. I don't think I'm going to make my preferred deadline of 4 pm.)


Not to keep dwelling on the flies, but it seems some of the small slit like ones that survived the rain and the window washing have become really big fat long-legged flies and they are flying around between the window and the screen. I have got to stay away from the window, because it's making me nauseous and is seriously impacting my studying.


Good morning!

I decided to get my phone errands done this morning. I called the travel agent. After multiple tries, I finally got through to the parking office (the first 3 calls were: "you have reached the university voicemail system; call back later" - disconnection) and they told me the school was wrong. But I wasn't being billed yet; rather, I would just get a ticket if I parked in the lot. Maybe someone should let the Law School know that the Parking Office thinks they're wrong.

My plan for the day is to get rid of property, at least by the time primetime in the daytime starts. The rest of the day I want to spend on the first half (or more) of the NY MCs (not so much for the MCs, but as a substantive review of some NY subjects), and doing the yellow questions in the PMBR 3 day answer book. That's not an outrageous goal, right? It's not even noon yet! I can do this, I can get this done, at least I think I can do this...

I noticed something interesting on my Statcounter yesterday. After my post about my late night service call, it seems that the company is actually interested in their own customer service. Because someone from said company googled their company name in connection with "bad customer service," and ended up at that post. What's amusing about that is that they were searching for bad customer service and ended up reading about a helpful representative. I had a fleeting thought when I first saw the referrer that maybe I should be more careful when posting about companies, but then realized that it's their job to know what customers really think about their service. And besides, I didn't really say anything bad in that post, so I don't think there's anything to be concerned about. And it's not work-related. So I think it's ok.

But judging from the last long paragraph, you can tell that I'm just procrastinating from property.

Time to get my food from the microwave (yum, Weber Grill leftovers) and then it's on to landlord-tenant law. Since I ended up staying up until 4 am last night, I was able to knock off both RAP and concurrent estates. At least the landlord-tenant stuff is interesting. But then I have to go on to easements and servitudes (sigh). But Mario is making a seafood antipasti on TV, so at least I'll have good visuals when I need my breaks.


It's not a good feeling to watch the moon cross the entire length of your windows while you're working on one bar subject.

I finished Wills. I made my way through Estate Tax, even if I didn't understand half of it. I get the basic idea of the marital deduction, but once it gets down to anything specific, my brain just puts up a wall. When it's a minute point about estate tax, it's just best to move on. So that outline is complete. And all that's left is property.

It's 3 am and I am supposed to be asleep now. But the problem is that instead of taking a shower at a decent hour, I didn't end up taking a shower until 1 am, which woke me up, and here I am, starting a horrible sleep schedule the week before the bar. Really bright. This whole stay up late into the night thing, combined with the time zone change, is really going to be great next Tuesday when I need to eat breakfast at 6 freaking AM. Sigh. Not to mention that waking up late means I'm getting less done during business hours, which makes me push off errands I need to do, and I really need to call the travel agent, seeing as how I plan to be returning from vacation a month from now. This procrastination on my part is truly unacceptable.

But instead of blogging, I should really be trying to make myself sleep. So I'm going to type up property stuff until I feel myself dozing off, which shouldn't be long since I'm typing about the Rule Against Perpetuities. Nothing like old useless English law to put you to sleep.

Monday, July 18, 2005



Thanks, Barbri. I would never have guessed that on my own.

I'm only 14% through the CMR stuff on Wills and then estate tax still remains. Must move faster! It would have helped if the handout were in the same order as the book. Oh well.


Secured transactions done. It took a little longer than I would have liked, and probably a little longer than it would have if I were working as productively as the early afternoon, but it's done. Of course, TNT's Primetime in the Daytime slowed me down a little bit. But I haven't gotten to see any Angel or Charmed in days (it was preempted for some golf thing last week, but I missed it anyway because of the Cubs game and the PMBR exam), so I watched them while working.

And now it's on to 2 last big things. Wills & estate tax, and property & mortgages. Once those are done, the outlines are done, and I can really start my final preparation.

Only 2 last things... but pretty huge.

Alvin made baked mostaccioli and it's yummy. Once dinner's done, it's on to Wills. Hopefully this won't take all night.


Mmm. Giada is making a cannellini bean salad right now, and it looks so good. It also reminds me of the white bean dip from Fresco by Scotto and now I really want some.

Must focus. Article 9. Not cannellini beans. Article 9.


I love how one of the rules we're supposed to know includes what happens to engagement rings if the marriage doesn't happen. It's in the CMR under personal property: "If the marriage does not occur, engagement gifts must be returned regardless of who is at fault for breaking off the engagement." (They earlier specified an engagement ring as an example of an engagement gift, which is made in comtemplation of marriage.)

I would usually just write this off to the CMR having more rules than we need to know, except the lecturer during domestic relations mentioned the exact same rule. And was very specific about the need to return engagement rings.

Of course, what do I think of? SATC and the episode where Charlotte is trying to figure out what to do with her ring. It's different, because she was married and was getting divorced, so the rule doesn't apply. But it made me think of all those women on the show who had turned their diamond rings into earrings or necklaces or other jewelry. I wonder if any of them used engagement rings from marriages that never happened. But I should really stop wondering, because thinking about TV isn't going to help me pass the bar.

Finished personal property only about 10 minutes past my preferred deadline, and now moving on to secured transactions. Longer chapter than anything else I did today, so it will be hard to estimate when I should be done. But I'd like to be done by 6 at the latest. We'll see.


It's 3 pm. I have finished Fed Jur and Equity and am about halfway through Personal Property. I really expected to be further along by now, but at least I'm getting something done. I would like to be finished with personal property by 3:30, but I must be done with personal property by 4.

It's almost 5 on the East Coast. I guess I should leave calling the travel agent for tomorrow. Maybe I'll wake up earlier than 10:30 tomorrow. But it's okay - I was up late because of the Dell phone call, so I didn't expect to be up early. So I'm not mad at myself. And I got in 10 minutes of kickboxing earlier today, so that was good.

It's bad to laugh at the CMR. And I don't even know why I think it's funny that I'm reading about "fructus naturales" and "fructus industriales." But I guess if I can find little amusing things along the way, it will make studying that much easier.


I made it to the octagon page, but I think I'm finally tired enough to call it a night. Between a tiny power nap this afternoon and that rejuvenating phone call, I didn't feel tired. So I worked on Fed Jur, passing the "strawberry page" among others. It wasn't as horrible as it was all the other days I tried to work on it. And I'm almost to the end (page 21 of a 26 page handout), but I just can't go any further. I know I'll start falling asleep every 30 seconds if I go onto class actions, so I'll just leave it for tomorrow. (This is totally the opposite of my law school method: stay up until it's done.) At least, if all goes as planned, I should be able to finish off another outline soon after I get up for my first free day of studying! (Yeah, that sounds a little more excited than I actually am.) But for now, time to stop looking at the bubble letters all over the handout and go to sleep. :)


The doodles on my Fed Jur handout are quite amusing. I think I should refer to the page I'm up to not by the page number, but descriptively. For example, the "flower page" or the "vine page" or the "pagoda page" or the "cubes page" or the "yoga sun salutation poses page." Right now, I'm doing service of process and joinder, and I'm up to the "snowman page." Referring to the pages like this has all of a sudden made Fed Jur much more enjoyable! And yes... I was drawing snowmen in July. Complete with carrot noses and dead tree branch arms.


As I sit here listening to the hold music on the Dell support line (which is putting me to sleep because it is after 1 am), a few things have occurred to me:

I wasted a lot of paper during law school. And I have so much more paper to get through in the big box that it's kind of ridiculous.

I don't like throwing away paper if I can use it again. That's why I used to print doublesided in high school and sometimes in college. But since time was a little more crucial in law school, especially first year, I guess I just printed lots and used lots of paper. So wasteful. But now, for all my Barbri stuff, I've been using those sheets of paper and printing on the reverse sides.

So the first few outlines turned out to be on the back of Civ Pro II lectures & case briefs. Once the civ pro sheets were exhausted, everything was printed on the back of crim notes & briefs. Now that the amount of crim paper in the printer is winding down, it's time to go back to the big box and empty out some more paper. What better time to do it than when I'm on the phone with Dell?

Only problem is that this is one of those giant sized moving boxes. And honestly, I've gone through about 1/10 of the box and my back is starting to hurt. So I guess it's back to Fed Jur instead. Is anyone even there on the Dell support line? Or am I wasting my time? I would call during the day but I don't want to use my land line because there's a good chance that the battery will run out before anyone comes to rescue me from hold. Maybe I should start ranting and raving and cursing, since they apparently listen to you sometimes while you're on hold. Maybe if I start complaining about Dell...

Anyway, back to the paper. I've emptied the paper garbage can, completely full, about 3 or 4 times since my big paper purge the night of the Barbri simulated MBE. Clearly, as I am supposed to be adding things to my brain from Barbri, I want to get rid of paper from my surroundings. I guess it's necessary

[I have no idea how I was going to finish that sentence because Dell picked up. But I'm glad they did. I got a really nice rep, who is going to solve all my problems for me.]

Well, it seems I've gotten a good amount of non-bar essential stuff done today. Cleaned out some papers, de-cluttered the couch, called Dell & got results, etc. I can only hope tomorrow will be as productive!

But about the Dell thing, what I am sad about is that my cell phone cut out during my conversation with my rep. He was really nice, and I was going over my reference numbers and in the middle, my cell phone reception just cut out! I mean, I'm glad it didn't cut out in the middle of the call, but it was so close to the end of the call that I feel really bad that I couldn't thank the guy enough for all of his help. He really was more helpful than most people I've spoken to on the phone before for service, especially the one who sounded like she didn't want to replace my power cord after it went up in smoke. Good thing the transaction was almost done and he'd already sent out the email with the information about the order. It has his name and his rep #. If everything goes really well, I'll send Dell a nice letter about how helpful he was. It will be nice to write a nice letter to a company for once, instead of one about rotten customer service, which seems to have been the theme for many other letters I've had to write/draft. But part of me was wishing that he was going to call back and I could say a proper thanks for his help. I don't know why I'm obsessing over this, but it's like 2 am and I am. I guess this is what happens during bar studying.

And now I'm a little more awake. I was falling asleep with the hold music before, but now, having gotten this taken care of, I'm a little more rejuvenated. I guess my plans of sleeping and then waking up early are gone. I guess I'll work on Fed Jur a little more (blech). Or I could back up my old computer ...

Sunday, July 17, 2005


Since my last post, all I've done is finish my Torts outline. (Truly pathetic, considering how late in the game it is.) But now it's stapled and in the nice outline packet pile, and it's moved over on my message board from the "to do" column to the "done" column. A good feeling, even if not a huge accomplishment. (That would be saved for property.)

And then I went on a little bit of a clutter purge. I hate working when things are messy and cluttered, which isn't good, because whenever I'm caught up in something, things are always cluttered. Barbri, unopened mail and a lot of random crap took residence on the couch with me and my blanket. The coffee table on which my computer sits was also overrun by random bar papers, bar books, unopened mail, candy and moisturizer bottles. I had to get rid of all the stuff; it was driving me crazy.

I also started putting Barbri books back in the big boxes they gave us, because I'm getting sick of looking at their taunting green covers. MPQ? Don't need it, I've got Study Smart. Simulated MBE book? No, I haven't finished going over the answers, but I don't really want to see it anymore, and am not completely sure I have time to finish going over the answers, and in any event, just went over the 200 PMBR questions the past 2 days and didn't want to see the book. I also threw the PMBR simulated exam books in there with them. This will help for later in the week when I'm trying to figure out what to pack to bring back to NY with me. This also occurred to me yesterday: I don't have the time to think about what to pack and to actually pack! How am I supposed to plan now for packing stuff for the bar, family events, apartment hunting, etc.? I'm going back to NY for 2 weeks - comfortable test-taking clothes probably won't be appropriate for the entire time. Yet, right now, it's all I know. But back to the green books... trying to figure out what else I can stuff in the boxes. I can't wait until I'm done with the outlines. Then I'm throwing the CMR in there with as much force as I can!

It's by no means neat here now, but it will pass for the time being. I'd like to take a shower now, but remembered that I was supposed to call Dell tonight before my warranty expires soon (I don't have time for stupid crap like this!) and I feel guilty for just taking a break and don't want to take 3 consecutive breaks, so I guess maybe instead I'll suffer through a couple of pages of Fed Jur and then go for a shower. I'd really like to finish another outline tonight, because there's so much on the list for tomorrow (on top of all the friggin' errands - yes, I am feeling hostile towards them even if they're good like calling the travel agent), but we all know how productive I can be. Sigh.


Hmm. Barbri says that the standard of care for professionals is based on members of the profession in a similar community. Feinberg said today at PMBR that the locality rule no longer exists and in any event, only existed for doctors. I'm confused.


And so it all begins.

It finally hit me yesterday that this whole thing is a lot closer than it feels. I realized it was 10 days, and sort of had a minor freak out along the lines of, "oh sh*t, there's only 10 days left!" Because 10 days is not a lot of time! But the panic stopped as soon as it started, mostly because I yelled at myself that I just didn't have the time to freak out right now. I'd be better off just forcing myself to get something done rather than panicking. Especially since I tend to dwell on things.

Besides, you can get a lot done in 10 days. 10 days ago, I had only finished going through and outlining about 7 subjects. Since then, I've done 11 more and quite a few are over half finished. I haven't done very many essays or MBEs though, but I figure I'll do more in the upcoming week. And the upcoming span of days has no classes (finally), unlike the past 10 days which were occupied by either Barbri or PMBR for good portions of the day. So, while I may not finish everything as perfectly or completely as I would like, I have to believe that I have the ability to do a lot more than I have done so far. Because if I don't believe it... it won't happen.

PMBR is finally done. I just finished printing up my notes from the workshop (what I prefer to call it), so it's really complete. I thought it was helpful - there were some rules that I just didn't know, there were some tips that were good, and there were some clarifications that helped. While it was a little annoying the way he kept going on and on about how the "key to passing is the multistate!", I do think it was a good idea to go and I'm glad I did. After all, the MBE is worth the same amount as the essays, and I need it to count for 2 states, so it's pretty significant for me.

But I'm not really going to miss the PMBR locale. I took Barbri at Northwestern, which is a short 10 minute walk along the lake (gorgeous walk - I should have taken pictures!). PMBR was at Kent, west of the Loop. During the week, it's not hard to get there - there's a rush hour bus that is quick, takes uncongested roads, and gets there in about 10 minutes. But on the weekends, the (more local) bus doesn't even start running until 9, which is when the course started. So, if I didn't want to waste time for about an hour trying to take multiple buses to get there, I could do what I did yesterday (take a cab) or today (get a ride). Just inconvenient though. Because it's all about my convenience (ha).

Kent's not a bad facility though. The bathrooms are better than Northwestern, in the sense that they're newer and unlike one of the bathrooms at NW, the door locks don't unlatch whenever someone slams the door shut on a neighboring stall. But the auditorium was driving me crazy. The rows of seats are all connected, so when someone down the row is shifting in their seat or has a twitching leg, you all feel it. Which is so distracting.

And then today, I was reminded of just how important it is to have earplugs during the exam. While today was just a lecture, the guy next to me was writing so loudly. What took me 5 lines to write took him one page and the amount of force he was using to write... it was just so loud and kind of distracting. If I end up next to someone like that during the bar, I'm really going to need earplugs and a yoga-like concentration. Must not forget my "Xtreme" blue earplugs!

I'm kind of looking forward to having all this "free" time coming up now that Barbri and PMBR are finally over. Other than the gym and a brief errand or two, I don't have to leave my apartment between now and Saturday (when I fly to NY) if I don't want to or am busy doing stuff. But unfortunately, I do have a ton of errands that are trying to stop me from devoting all my time to the bar (calling Dell for maintenance, booking bar trip, calling for medical records, writing graduation thank you cards, and straightening things out with the parking office - I am NOT driving down there to drop off the pass - waste of time! - if anything, I will mail it to them). I really hate having to do these things in the middle of something important, but they have to get done. I wish I had a personal assistant, so I could just get studying done!

And now I need to stop procrastinating. I am determined to finish this Torts outline tonight before it's time to take a shower. Off I go. :)

Saturday, July 16, 2005


Having typed up my PMBR notes from today, I thought I'd go back to the Fed Jur outline I started yesterday. But I think my mind just can't handle it right now. I'm sitting at home on the couch typing, and I feel as restless and "get me out of here" as I did during the lecture. I know I have to get through it eventually (especially because of the NJ civ pro essay), but maybe now just isn't the time. Maybe I should do something else. Like torts, or something.

My head feels like it's in a daze. I can only take so many hours of this a day, and 6-7 hours of PMBR already knocks off quite a few. I might as well do something palatable like Torts if I'm going to make my way through anything at all.


It's too bad that they can't make the results a hybrid of 3 types, because I don't think I even fit these two put together. I'm kind of like Girl Next Door and I like food... but they still aren't that complete.

Anyway, back to PMBR notes.


Alvin just called from his ultimate tournament to say that his team might go to dinner at a Korean BBQ place. Even though my mouth was watering as I thought about yummy Korean food, I had to decline, since I only got home from PMBR within the hour and really need to study tonight. I want to go so badly, but I'm trying to do the responsible thing. (And I do appreciate him asking, because that makes me feel like I'm still a real person with some semblance of a life, even though it doesn't feel like it with this bar thing going on.) Sigh. I can't wait for this to be over, so I can stop turning down dinner options.


Got home from PMBR (which I thought was useful), and had a most unwelcome surprise in the mail.

Something from the university parking office. I opened it up, figuring that they were probably going to tell me that my parking permit had to be returned soon, but it was worse than that. Apparently, since I have not renewed my parking permit and have not returned my access card, I will "continue to be billed" until I return it. Notification was dated 7/15 and apparently the expiration date was 6/30.

Immediately, my blood pressure goes up. I remembered that the school's post-graduation info had said that we could validly park until August. But I'm too lazy to check my car's actual permit (that would require walking all the way to the garage and I just got home and I'm hot and I don't want to go back out there), so I don't know what it says. But I think about what I'm going to say when I call them up:

"I received your letter that my parking pass expired. However, in reliance upon information given to us by the Law School that our parking permits are valid until August 1, I have not returned the parking pass. You can't bill me for it! We were told specifically that we could use it over the summer! Don't you DARE!"

Yeah, it went from a rational message to shouting. Not good to think about these things this week.

But I'm going to wait until I figure out what the pass on the car actually says. If it doesn't say 6/30, then they're just idiots. And if I have to call them, they're not going to be there anyway this late on a summer Saturday afternoon. Stupid letter! I was planning on coming home and being productive. Don't they know I don't have time for this crap? (This is becoming a more and more commonly used refrain...)

Grr. Also in the mail was an ad from a cajun restaurant about their 3 course $12.99 specials. I want to go. :(

And there is nothing on TV. Saturdays have such bad TV when there are no movies on that are good. At least later on today, the L&O marathons will start up again so I have something to keep that part of my brain busy.


What I wish I were doing right now: Reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

What I am doing right now: Federal Jurisdiction, and going to sleep soon, because PMBR is bright and early tomorrow (and unfortunately for me in this whole experience, I don't do bright & early)

I'm torn between anxiously anticipating the end of all this and desperately needing more time. But I do know (or at least hope) that I will be a happier, more patient, more sane and more calm person on the other side of this.

But first, I've got to get these outlines done ASAP. But I really wish I were reading Harry Potter instead. Sigh. Hogwarts v. diversity of citizenship jurisdiction... that's really no contest.

Friday, July 15, 2005


Filling in the blanks from more searches to get here:

Swollen mosquito bites itch so much that you want to rip your skin off

Hot guy in Diet Pepsi commercial is some guy that I have never seen

MBE standards of review outline is not here, but try just memorizing this (I hope it's right!): rational - legitimate - plaintiff; intermediate - substantial - important - govt; strict - necessary - compelling - govt

Quarter system sucks

Jack & Bobby finale made me cry and I can't wait for the DVD

Barbri Paced Program is completely unrealistic and a way that Barbri tries to torture you with guilt before you realize it's unrealistic

Escape-A-Date involves lying or deception

Loudy Tourky's butt is her own business, not yours

Blog and PMBR and simulated exam are things that I talked about today

Study for the bar exam and break-up are two things that should not happen at the same time for sanity's sake, but might have been a cause-and-effect relationship

Restaurant crayon usually looks like all other crayons

Upcoming Pixar movies include Cars

Previous Superbowl locations are probably better found on a sports site

Noise revenge could be sweet

Yeah, okay, so that sounded like it would be more fun in my mind than it turned out. But since I'm not one for deleting, you're stuck with it. :)


PMBR exam done. Didn't feel that great during the exam, mostly because I was hungry, then cold, then a fly (just like the ones on my window) landed on my arm and then when I got the courage to flick it off, it went onto my book and wouldn't leave, and that was a mess. It was weird to recognize questions straight out of the Red Book, especially since I've only done 10-15 questions per subject from the Red Book. Maybe they were all repeats? Maybe that's why the girl next to me was done after an hour each session.

Apparently, I did the best in crim. On the Barbri exam, I did the worst in crim. The greatest part of this is that I have not studied crim at all between the Barbri exam and the PMBR exam, and didn't go to the Barbri simulated MBE crim review either. I have no idea how that happened.

But, let's just say that getting far below 50% on property has scared me enough that I might pick up property and go through it soon.

And another thing I learned from self-grading my PMBR test - I can't count. I counted the check marks when I first totaled it up, and then went back to do a subject breakdown. So I copied the check marks from the answer sheet onto the backs of the question booklets where they have the question breakdown by subject. And then I tried to tally up the number right in each subject.

Morning session first. The totals by subject didn't match the total for the session. Went back, re-tallied. Got different numbers. And also realized that I read the marks for 7 as 12 instead. Wishful thinking. (I did the same thing for the one below it. I read 8 as 13.) Afternoon session wasn't much better. Also got an incorrect total. And then when I recounted, almost all the numbers changed.

What is my problem? How hard is it to count the number of check marks per subject, especially when you're making marks on paper as you're going through it? This is pathetic. PMBR really should give us a scantron they can run through a machine, so we can get score reports like Barbri. Then I wouldn't have to worry about the fact that I can no longer count.