EXTRA! SO VERY EXTRA!

Archive for the ‘Bar Prep Problems’ Category

Lord of the Rings: The Writing of the Bar Exam Essay

In Bar Prep Problems, Law School Problems on July 31, 2013 at 2:32 am

Using the glorious and varied facial expressions of Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn, I will show you what it feels like to write an essay for the bar exam. Currently, I am trying to squeeze an extra 30 minutes out of my day so that I don’t have a repeat of the I went to sleep too early and thus woke up at 3 am debacle of this morning.

Without further ado….

1. Focused.

2. Oh, hell. I’m NOT supposed to touch the essays yet?

3. Ok. Ok. Gotta listen more carefully.

4. WOOT! There it is! Begin!

5. Reading. Reading. Yeeeeeah. I know this issue. I’m all about this issue.

6. Wait. Hold on. What? What is that? What…? I don’t…! How am I….?!

7. C’mon. C’mon. Get it together. Enough drafting. Enough reading. WRITE! WRITE!

8. TEN MINUTES?!

9. ONE MINUTE????!!!!!

10. Glad that’s over. I feel…actually…LIKE A BOSS.

11. Oh, hell. What? What were the instructions? Do I leave the paper clips?

Flashcard Rant

In Bar Prep Problems, Somewhat disjointed rant..., Uncategorized on July 27, 2013 at 12:07 am

I have attempted to refrain from an angry woman studying for the bar rant.

But, I can’t.

The straw that drank that last of my milkshake: FLASHCARDS. So, studying for the bar exam is an industry. There are companies that offer bar prep packages. There are live classes, online lectures, online practice tests, practice essays, workbooks, tip sheets, outlines, and (ta-da) pre-made flash cards all ready for one to study.

Except–except for one point. Now, I’m putting myself out on a limb. This statement could be

(a) Slanderous

(b) Tortious

(c) Defamatory

(d) Testamentary

But, who ever programmed the flashcard maker has not quite yet mastered that ancient art of flashcardery. You see, the concept of the flashcard is wreathed is mysticism. But, I will try my best to explain it (spoiler: I’m being a douchebag). Here it is: on one side of the flashcard is a word or incomplete statement. On the opposite side of the flashcard, there appears the definition of the word or the completion of the statement.

Let’s take for instance CATS.

Therefore, one side of the flash card should say

CAT

As a result, the opposite side might say

A FELINE THAT IS THE SUBJECT OF ABOUT HALF OF THE INTERNET.

However, the opposite side should not say

A CAT IS A FELINE THAT IS THE SUBJECT OF ABOUT HALF OF THE INTERNET. (Saying CAT on both sides is pointless)

neither should the opposite side say

DOG. (How does that help me remember what a cat is?)

nor should the opposite side say

FELINUS RETICATUS E PLURIBUS UNUM WHENCE THE TESTAMENTARY INCAPACITY OF THE BENEFICIARY TWENTY ONE YEARS FROM SOME LIFE IN BEING, BUT ONLY IF THE INTEREST IN THE DEFAMATION IS PERFECTED BY A REASONABLY PRUDENT PERSON. CANINUS DEFICIENCY JUDGMENT MAY BE A LIEN HOWEVER THE CROPS MUST BE ASCERTAINABLE FROM A DISTANCE THAT DOES NOT POSE A NUISANCE TO THE ADVERSE POSSESSOR. INTENT CAN BE NEITHER MORE THAN OR LESS THAN DEPRAVED HEART MURDER.

The above does not make sense. Putting something on a flashcard that is several sentences long and fills up the whole flashcard and does not make sense and is silly.

That is all. It may seem insignificant, but when one has just graduated from law school (with a bill of at least $10,000 rolled up inside your JD) and has shelled out another grand to take the bar exam and has further shelled out a couple of thousand for the bar prep course: THE FLASHCARDS. ALL THE FLASHCARDS should be helpful.

 

Monday Bar Review Blues and All That (Christian) Jazz

In Bar Prep Problems, Encouragement, First World Problems, Law School Problems, R[evol]ution, Somewhat disjointed rant... on July 23, 2013 at 4:55 am

Have I mentioned that I am taking the bar this summer? Have I mentioned that studying for the bar is miserable for me? It is. BUT, I am down to about 7 days before the end begins. And, let me tell you: this is a crawl to the finish. Quite frankly, I am feeling like a chip of pine bark. It has been a lonely and trying couple of months. I have experienced sadness, self-doubt, abandonment, isolation, confusion, and anger. It feels like I am being ripped to shreds–and there is no guarantee that I will pass. Like a flash of lightning, I realized that I needed some good Words.

Reading over my scripture cards (yes, I made scripture cards…type A personality! Hello!?), I experienced not my old reaction of feeling confirmation (and even pride), but rather a feeling that the words before me were goals. The words are measures of what I can achieve and reminders that God can take me to those places. These words are, for me right now, mirror and magnifying glass and window and telescope all at once. The big picture and the details feel a little clearer. I am God’s and no matter what happens, that is what really counts. In passing, I can learn more about Him. In failing, I can learn more about Him. The part of me that is closest to Him can never fail.

Here are some of the scriptures that grabbed me.

1. “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:25-26).

2. “Why should I be afraid of bad days?…” (Psalm 49:5)

3. “Nevertheless, His mind concerning me remains unchanged, and who can turn Him from His purposes? Whatever He wants to do, He does. So He will do for me all He has planned. He controls my destiny.” (Job 23:13-14)

4. “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? . . . No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8: 35-39)

5. “You know what I long for, Lord; you hear my every sigh.” (Psalm 38:9)

6. “[God] who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God.” (II Corinthians 1:4)

7. “. . . For he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:6)

8. “No one will succeed by strength alone.” (I Samuel 2:9b)

9. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phillipians 4:6-7)

10. “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed . . . ” (From II Corinthians 4:8-10)

11. “For God’s gifts and His call can never be withdrawn.” (Romans 11:29)

12. “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)

13. “Simon, Simon, Listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22: 31-32)

14. “For the Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been confounded. Therefore, I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame.” (Isaiah 50:7)

15. “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3)

16. “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. There is need of only one thing.” (Luke 10:41-42)

17. “Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (II Chronicles 20:15)

Novel: Pop Up characters?

In Bar Prep Problems, Novel on July 5, 2013 at 3:08 am

Here is a link to the novel that I am writing one page at a time.

I often write when I can’t sleep (and don’t feel like doing bar prep practice problems), so I have a notebook (with the perfect paper) that I use for draft writing. I don’t have much a plan for this story.  I just write in such a way that I can reflect on whatever negative emotions I am experiencing. This is quite cathartic.

But, as I was writing last night: a character “created” himself. I had no plans for him (Lawrence). He just kind of forced his way into the story. But, he is weird and a little creepy and I don’t really like him at the moment. Moreover, I am not sure why he is weird and creepy. I’m not sure if Lawrence will be in the whole story.

The funny thing is: I don’t care right now. It felt good to move another person into the story other than my protagonist. I have decided that I will deal with him when he needs to be dealt with.

Is this a unique occurrence? Do any other writers experience “pop-up” characters?

Friend Dumped & How I Cheer Myself Up

In Bar Prep Problems, Friendship, R[evol]ution, Somewhat disjointed rant... on June 27, 2013 at 2:48 pm

This one is long, and I’m sorry about that. But, it’s a shout out to all my fellow ex-friends. Warning: profanity can and does occur.

Tonight, I feel lonely and a little isolated. The worst part was that I had no one to reach out to. It’s like that at two o’clock in the morning. People, for some odd reason, want to sleep. Often, I’m told, this is because they have jobs to go to. What’s up with that? At any rate, I realize now that one of the major reasons that I am feeling lonely and isolated and overwhelmed is studying for the bar.

But, I came to this realization after an hour of crying. Relax, relax. I’m cool now.

You see the first thing I did–or mistake I made (depending on how you look at it)–was to think about times in my life during which I had people around me who I could call at unsophisticated hours. And, then I pulled the Go to Jail card of sadness: why is it that I do not have anyone I can call now?

Rather than calmly explain to myself: “Hey, freaking jerk. It’s one o’clock in the morning. People have lives…jobs…^%*^ to do tomorrow.” I went there–directly there. I did not pass go. I did not collect two hundred dollars (because if I had collected two hundred dollars, I assure you I would have succored my sorrows in the therapy of Amazon).

Then, it really started. How did I lose friends? What are the reasons? I consider that I am 31 years old, living at home with my parents, slightly overweight, and not technically a lawyer at all. I don’t have kids. I have never owned a new car. I am in debt to your favorite uncle and mine (Sam). My passport has one stamp in it. I don’t have a church home. I have about 30 days to wade through a lot of information for the bar.

Jumanji cookies. Who in the Mordor would want to be friends with such a loser? [Insert adequate description of the woe-is-me-Edith-Crawley melt down moment here]. I mean, I did all types of stuff that would never make me feel better.

Presently, however, I am watching The Wedding Singer. Why? How?

Because I realized that in my bar prep-addled mind that I am actually missing have a circle of close female friends. This has nothing to do with me being 31 (even with a rat pack of compadres, I’d still be 31). This has nothing to do with me having little experience abroad (even though I am sure I would make a TON of friends abroad in Eat, Pray, Love style). This has nothing to do with me owning a new car (although, the bff of my dreams might be a car sales woman). This has nothing to do with me being child-less (although, I am sure that having to support another human being would be just what I need during my current meltdown).

I was mourning being an ex-friend. I know that sounds weird. But, I have had friendships with other women that were severed in the fashion of a break up.  And, it hurts like a break up. Apparently, I should have dealt with those situations they way I deal with a break up. Therefore, I present a rant for your consideration. Was I completely innocent in the situations? No. Definitely not. If, however, you are thinking about breaking up with a friend: here is some food for thought.

You know, what? I realize that I didn’t deserve to be friend-dumped. That is a truly shitty way to end a friendship. We end romantic relationships that way because, for those who practice and believe in monogamy, we intend to have another romantic relationship and need to start afresh. But, last time I checked: one can have as many friends as one wants.

I mean, yeah. I’m dramatic. I’m emotional. I have a crippling temper. I have a *slight* potty mouth issue. I’m annoyingly liberal and annoyingly Christian at the same time. I’m a pack rat. I’m pretty sarcastic, too. And, that can be hard to deal with in a friendship. But, I’m also funny as hell. And, I’m always down for an adventure. I also like to listen. You know those days when you wake up and wish you could have a makeover? Hunty, I never met that moment and failed to deliver. Hallelooooo!

In short, there is nothing wrong with me.

Obviously, it’s now the next morning. And, what’s left is me being angry. Angry that not one of them truly knows the amount of emotional turmoil I went through and how much I still care and how very much I blamed myself and how much my ability to make and keep and enjoy friends has been affected.

Here’s the thing: when one breaks off a romantic relationship, there are generally those moments. Those arguments. That ending statement that lets one know that the relationship is ending and, sometimes, even why. Not so much with the friend break-ups I’ve experienced. There is no way to reduce the issue down to something between me and that person. Then, there are the subsequent friend losses after the friend break-up. Mutual friends have to choose. Usually, I make the choice pretty easy. I withdraw. I shut down. My attitude can be very much like a huge middle finger.

HUGE.

Did I mention my temper? My temper is awesome. I can go from first world problems meme girl to General Patton in an hour or less. I can drill sergeant myself back up onto my feet and get ready for hours of bar prep. Remember that scene in Forrest Gump?

What’s your sole purpose in life?

To do whatever is best for me, drill sergeant?

What an outstanding answer! You must have a scooby-dooed IQ of a 160! Now, get about your day.

Novel

In Bar Prep Problems, Law School Problems, Novel, Somewhat disjointed rant... on June 17, 2013 at 12:33 am

I’m starting a novel in what I thought was an original way. But, as there is nothing new under the sun, it turns out that other authors are also writing their stories online and doing the meta-cognitive task of revealing the back story in an accompanying blog.

I’ve never attempted writing a novel before. But, while I am studying for the bar, I want to give myself an outlet that does not require rules or form or strictures–and mostly: doesn’t require listening or memorization. Sigh. I need a left brain activity.

So, I’m turning to the paper. I have a new, crisp, and overly expensive composition book. I have some awesome pens. And, I have an idea.