Sunday, July 27, 2008
On another semi-related note. I ended up studying with a small group of people just by virtue of proximity than I had planned. It just sort of happened, and it was honestly the best part about doing this whole horror that is bar study. I knew them all before but was only close friends with a couple of them. I don't know why this turning out this way pleased me so much, but I found as I got ready to leave that in some twisted way, I was going to miss them. After all, I've seen them much more than I've seen my own fam for almost 10 weeks.
10 weeks. I hope it was worth it.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
I've been worried before. I've been freaked out. But they were momentary break downs. This is all-encompassing fear. And I'm entertained at how distracting that is. I have a study list a mile long of "things to do before the bar" that is very clearly not going to happen. And I've embraced that. But I do have to get at least some of it done. Sigh. And that is why I'm chanting to myself: you've done this for 2 months, you can do another hour, another 30 minutes, another 5 minutes. My life is being measured from accomplishment of mini-goal to mini-goal.
I need this to be over.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Earlier this week, I took last summer's PMBR simulated MBE, and I feel comfortable with my score. Not ecstatic, but it could ahve been worse. And it was a a good exercise because now I feel free to do one mixed set a day and other wise pick 3-4 subjects, take my reduced outline and reduce it to a page... then take that and put it on one note card. Then take at least 5 essays (just outlining at this point, who has time to write them out?). And then I get instant feedback on whether i need to add something to my cards. One card per topic.
Beginning sunday, all of my topics should be reduced to cards and then it will be all about remembering mnemonics and doing a million essays until I can't stand it Monday afternoon. And then, I'll stop. Nothing after Monday at 6 pm. I'll take my cards with me in the car to the bar exam, and i might sift through them because I'll need something in my hands, but that's it.
That's it. And that's why I say almost beyond worry... there isn't a whole lot that I can do about the big picture now, except keep to my plan.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
And the more that I focus on nothing working and acknowledging that I have the attention span of a 2 year old, the more depressed I get. i don't want to be here. i don't want to study. I called the fam to see what they were up too, and woke the spouse. They're having a nap. Doesn't that sound lovely. I just want to be doing something other than what I am doing. And I know that big picture, I only have to do this 9.5-ish more days (the study part... not the test part). But that doesn't change the way that I feel. It's getting to me. The monotony. The extreme boredom. The sheer level of difficulty that is prepping for the bar.
I'm not trying to have a whine here, although that's probably how it's coming out. I'm trying to express the blackness that has become my soul. Ok maybe that's overly dramatic. Just a tidge?? But this is the one thing that no one prepped me for with bar study: the total emotional upheaval that is my life hour to hour. That part is exhausting too.
End whine. (I know I said it wasn't one, but let's all be realistic, shall we?)
I've worked MPTs. I'm starting in earnest to essay a lot. (That was never a verb until the bar.) I've perused the stats from the simulated national Barbri MBE exam... where i was entertained and unsurprised to see that I was in the 10th perentile for evidence impeachment questions and in the 96th percentile overall for torts (are you kidding me?). It seems that my freak out and subsequent intense study of the 8.5 x 14 book for torts was not a waste of time.
I've got my day broken up into equal segments for studying. I'm carefully reducing my caffeine consumption so that the days of the test (where we are not permitted to bring anything at all to eat or drink into the test), I won't crash hard without my usual 10 am, 2pm caffeine fixes.
I'm sleeping, less or more or badly or not at all. I'm not seeing my family. My daughter is missing me. And I've lost count of how many times I've said "in August, we can do that sweetie."
And of course the most interesting number in my life at the moment: days left until the bar=10. It's a nice round number, isn't it?
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Today begins "the rest" of all that I can do. I've often thought that if I do all that I can do, I will pass the bar. I'm not sure if I'm doing "all" I can do, but dammit, I'm trying pretty hard.
So here is the plan for phase "the last." Memorize. Practice. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. I've been goign through by subject to figure out what bits 'o law I won't be able to just regurgitate unless I do some hard core memorization of the 4 (or 5?, see why i need to do this) elements of an express trust. So I'm making a list of those and then handwriting them onto stuff that is going to decorate my house. Then I'm going to make a list of "order of review" to make sure that when I'm driving or working out or having another bout of insomnia, I can run through everything.
And when my brain feels squishy and sore, I'll stop input and take a few practice tests. Everyday. Some fully written, some just for the delightful experience. And then, well then, it'll be game time
(Is anyone else having issue with blogger this morning? It's playing mind games with me on links!!??)
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Two weeks. I'm really torn now that I'm facing that. On the one hand, I'm tired, I'm cranky, I miss my family, and I'm sick to death of doing this all day, everyday. On the other, two weeks so does not seems like enough time to get everything into my head that I need to. There is too much. I'm acknowledging as I write outlines now that I'm not putting in as much detail about some of the smaller issues as I was a week ago. It's a nod to the shortness of time and the finiteness of my memory. And it's scary. Because I have to accept that if that issue comes up on the test (I'm really thinking essays here), I will forego those points. And I'm not sure how many points I'm going to be able to forego and still get the job done.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Sunday was an exceptionally good study day. Lots of learning. Lots of accomplishment. Yesterday was less so. Harder to focus, less accomplishment, less motivation. Today has been basically a joke. No focus, almost no accomplishment, and totally devoid of motivation. The one bright spot in my day was watching a particularly anal classmate of mine suck usually reasonable people into his "essay guess fest." My favorite thing about this particular anal idiot is that he's so certain that he's right. About everything. Sigh. But especially about the bar stuff. He's actually foregoing studying certain subjects that he is, and I quote, "sure will NOT be on the bar, because there's just no possible mathematical way."
What i really love about that statement is that 1) i'm going to score better than him on those essays if they do show up, 2) if enough of them show up, he won't pass, and 3) how can you say that, especially this year considering that the MEE is, for the first time, offering the MBE subjects. My state has historically rarely tested MBE subjects on the essays. But if you talk to folks who took the february bar, THREE of the MBE subjects were essays. So, I get that I'm mocking him for trying to predict the essays by essentially predicting that we will have more MBE subjects than in the past, but I'm also no dumb bunny, and I'm going to know at least enough about all of the areas to answer and get some points.
End rant. End detour from studying. And now, back to the oh-so-fascinating realm of admin law (some one get me a razor!).
Sunday, July 13, 2008
I'm to the point now too where I realize how much I am missing out on. And my daughter is NOT thrilled. I've played up a lot of the "in august, we will do: x, y, z special mommy/daughter stuff." But that only puts a bandaid on for so much.
I took last night off to be with the fam and with some close friends of ours. Even in myhaze, I still kicked can playing Settlers of Catan. I love that game... especially when I win.
I was above the "average" threshold on the simulated MBE, which made me take one step away from the cliff I feel like I am perpetually standing on these days. My evidence score was absolute puke though. God help me, but I am NEVER going to figure out exactly when extrinsic evidence can and cannot come in. Oddly, but happily, my best score was in torts, so it is good to know those few days I spent really hammering it and reading the huge honking outline really helped.
I've also got about half a dozen friends who are now aware of how sucky Barbri's state materials are. We are each taking the ones we think are more likely than not to show up and checking the statutes... it's a pain, but it's turning out to be very very worth it, and it sucks a little bit less since we have divided it up. I'm still astounded at how wrong they are on major points of law in every subject. Truly amazing.
Now, I'm ducking my head back into my studying: this evening's dish: wills. Mmm mmm good.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
So fast forward to today, when we began our simulated exam. My first complaint is, really, I have to grade them? And I get the infeasibility of grading so many essays in any kind of a timely manner. Fine. But then, if you don't, Barbri, you owe me a point break down of the answers, and failing that, you owe me model answers actually written in the blasted format that you keep harping on about being so damn important. It is lame and excessively insufficient to merely give me what amounts to a bulleted list of issue-spotting with an occasional rule thrown in. All I can see is that I did worse than I thought, but I'm not sure how necessarily to make it better. So thanks for nothing on that end. Oh, and by the way, it would be nice if you updated the answers that claim to be specific to my state like on my ethics essay. It was half-assed at best and completely WRONG on two of the three points. So thanks again. Glad I've been studying that and that the lecturer you sent for the ethics stuff had done his homework for 2008 and could tell me what the law is now.
And how is it even imaginable that it will take you 9 days to return my "graded" scantron? It's a scantron for crying out loud. Me taking it 3 weeks before the test so that you can give me my score 1.5 weeks before the test seems like a total waste of everyone's time. Of course, I can and will mark my answers in my book so that I can grade it the next day.
But what is it that I paid you so much money for?
I don't get it. I'm sure the lecturers don't come cheap, at least not the really big ones that give you cred. But you dupe them a million times, so the recurring cost there has got to be pretty minimal. And the many forests killed in the printing of the books, yeah, that's probably not cheap either. Room rentals. Graders (who are worthless... it's a joke when everyone in my class gets the same number grade each week with a note that says: "good writing, but check the law.") The "local" attorney who is supposed to . . . yeah, I've still got no idea what he was supposed to actually do for us.
When I sit back and look at what I thought the real value would be in your course, it was for the state law stuff. Which is usually horribly inadequate, disjointed, and evidently wrong because at least some of it hasn't been updated in a while. The rest of the stuff you provide, meh. I could buy your books off ebay or a classmate. I could poke myself with a stick to make sure that I didn't fall asleep reading the big outlines which would more than compensate for not hearing most of the lectures. It's the state law stuff that I don't have time to google and westlaw for the myriad subjects that my state tests.
It's a good thing that courts generally don't second guess the value of consideration because I'd be on that like peanut butter on a kid.
Monday, July 07, 2008
1. Pulp Fiction (1994)
2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-03)
3. Titanic (1997)
4. Blue Velvet (1986)
5. Toy Story (1995)
6. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
7. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
8. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
9. Die Hard (1988)
10. Moulin Rouge (2001)
11. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
12. The Matrix (1999)
13. GoodFellas (1990)
14. Crumb (1995)
15. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
16. Boogie Nights (1997)
17. Jerry Maguire (1996)
18. Do the Right Thing (1989)
19. Casino Royale (2006)
20. The Lion King (1994)
21. Schindler's List (1993)
22. Rushmore (1998)
23. Memento (2001)
24. A Room With a View (1986)
25. Shrek (2001)
26. Hoop Dreams (1994)
27. Aliens (1986)
28. Wings of Desire (1988)
29. The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
30. When Harry Met Sally... (1989)
31. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
32. Fight Club (1999)
33. The Breakfast Club (1985)
34. Fargo (1996)
35. The Incredibles (2004)
36. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
37. Pretty Woman (1990)
38. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
39. The Sixth Sense (1999)
40. Speed (1994)
41. Dazed and Confused (1993)
42. Clueless (1995)
43. Gladiator (2000)
44. The Player (1992)
45. Rain Man (1988)
46. Children of Men (2006)
47. Men in Black (1997)
48. Scarface (1983)
49. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
50. The Piano (1993)
51. There Will Be Blood (2007)
52. The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad (1988)
53. The Truman Show (1998)
54. Fatal Attraction (1987)
55. Risky Business (1983)
56. The Lives of Others (2006)
57. There’s Something About Mary (1998)
58. Ghostbusters (1984)
59. L.A. Confidential (1997)
60. Scream (1996)
61. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
62. sex, lies and videotape (1989)
63. Big (1988)
64. No Country For Old Men (2007)
65. Dirty Dancing (1987)
66. Natural Born Killers (1994)
67. Donnie Brasco (1997)
68. Witness (1985)
69. All About My Mother (1999)
70. Broadcast News (1987)
71. Unforgiven (1992)
72. Thelma & Louise (1991)
73. Office Space (1999)
74. Drugstore Cowboy (1989)
75. Out of Africa (1985)
76. The Departed (2006)
77. Sid and Nancy (1986)
78. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
79. Waiting for Guffman (1996)
80. Michael Clayton (2007)
81. Moonstruck (1987)
82. Lost in Translation (2003)
83. Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)
84. Sideways (2004)
85. The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005)
86. Y Tu Mamá También (2002)
87. Swingers (1996)
88. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
89. Breaking the Waves (1996)
90. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
91. Back to the Future (1985)
92. Menace II Society (1993)
93. Ed Wood (1994)
94. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
95. In the Mood for Love (2001)
96. Far From Heaven (2002)
97. Glory (1989)
98. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
99. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
100. South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999)
I'm surprised. I'm such a classics Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn kind of girl. Half is pretty respectible. And of the ones that I haven't seen, I'd say I actually only want to see a handful. And now, back to negligence. Damn.
Saturday, July 05, 2008
So i decided, after discussing it hypothetically with a friend at school, that I would pull it. I just didn't have the extra mental energy to worry about it. In hindsight, it was probably ok, but still, i don't need any extra crap turning in my head these days. So I'm glad that I pulled it.
Fast forward a few days though where I sit down with my best law school friend who wanted to smack me upside the head because the other friend I had my "blog hypo" with told the other that I had a blog. She hadn't previously known about it. That's right folks. I was outted. By my own sloppiness. I mean, I know that you can never do the "I have a friend" kind of hypo and get away with it. But I'm still entertained that after keeping this blog for 3 years, I never once told anyone anything about it. And as far as I know, none of my law school compadres read it or connected it with me. Which is how I had wanted it. So now, the cat is out of the bag, and those two are sworn to secrecy.
I know that blogs are not anonymous, no matter how much you try to make them so. it's relatively easy to figure out at least the exact location of a blogger. But you still hide behind the anonymity wall you construct. I've often thought of the irony of how much freedom anonymity gives you to tell it like it is... while nearly crippling you into being "content free" in order to maintain that anonymity. It's what made me decide for once and for all that yayarolly's doors will close August 1. I'll leave the blog up in case there is anything remotely useful to someone else later on. And I'll probably get it printed into a keepsake book for myself at blurb. But with law school on the shelf, it will be time to move on.
I'm still undecided as to whether I will start a new blog that looks at me as a whole picture: professional, mommy, wife, hobbies etc. But I'm struggling with the whole anonymity thing still. I certainly don't want to get fired, or worse. But I also don't want to write so that I end up being content free. It's tricky. But I love to write. The year that I didn't write on this blog, I was actually writing fiction. So see, I can't just stop writing. :)
Friday, July 04, 2008
Happily my family had time for a group snuggle and then took me out to a late dinner and a chocolate milkshake. nothing is ever as bad when thought of over a chocolate milkshake. So I picked myself up, and dusted myself off, and started all over again (Name that Rogers/Astaire movie). I had actually also spent a lot of time reducing property (and am now the proud owner of a 1 page property outline :)) so before despairing altogether, i decided to take another property test. I was concerned that my entire method of studying wasn't working and if it wasn't, I was out of ideas of what to do differently. And I'm glad that I took that rational, double-check approach because my property score went up a lot. Then i took a mixed subject test and laughed out loud at the results:
- All K and property questions right
- 1 evidence question wrong
- 3 crim and 3 con law questions wrong each
- and all torts questions wrong but 1
That's about all that I have to report. Studying for the bar blows.