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Archive for July, 2006

Greetings

Well, Leon and I just got back from the ATL, which was quite traumatic.  I can safely say that I will have nightmares for years involving the Georgia International Convention Center. 

Last night was fun.  I made some new friends and got to act stupid with some old friends.  But of course we were still all pretty stressed out – it takes a little while to decompress. 

So that is what Leon and I are doing now.  Laying on the couch.  Decompressing.  I’m sleepy.  I went to borders this afternoon, which was a great way to decompress for me.  I love bookstores.  love love love. 
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Have you ever met Leon before?  His full name is Napoleon, but he likes to be called Leon.  The hateful bar examiners wouldn’t let him accompany me into the exam.  But he was there with me in spirit.  And y’all were there with me in spirit.  Which meant a lot.  YAWN.

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Final Thoughts

I don’t rightly know if I am capable of learning anything else.  So I’m going to the ATL tonight for some much needed human interact with my favorite Terrace people. 

Last night I had a good thought.  When I was in high school, I guess I was either a sophomore or a junior – I think it was in between my sophomore and junior year actually – I spent a couple of days up at Athens Y Camp.  My mom was the camp nurse up at Y camp when I was younger and I spent at least two weeks at camp every summer from when I was 8 till I was 13.  It is honestly one of my most favorite places on earth.  LOVE IT.  My dad went to camp from when he was 7 or 8 until summer after his second year of law school.  He spent all summer there – even when he was little.  My grandparents would put him on a bus in Valdosta (at least 6 hours away) and send him to Tallulah Falls.  Okay – I’m getting off topic – you get the picture – very important place – love it. 

So, I guess I was 16 at the time of this story.  Oh, and Y camp is an all boys camp, there is a girls camp next door now, but there wasn’t then.    Okay, this one particular day, when I was 16, I was hanging around the new ropes course, and my friend Mcginnis, who was running the course, let me participate.  Having been asked if I wanted to participate in a high ropes course, I never would have said no.  Because it would have appeared as though I was afraid.  And they would have teased me and given me a hard time.  I knew all of this ahead of time, so I didn’t even have a chance to be afraid.  The "challenge" I guess you would call it – was the telephone pole that you climb to the top of, then stand up on top of the pole, and jump off and grab the trapeze. 

I start climbing the telephone pole.  I’m halfway up the pole before I even have a chance to realize that this might not be something I really want to do.  Down at the bottom are a dozen 12 and 13 year old boys and a handful of leaders my age and older.   So I’m pretty committed.  But my knees are starting to shake and my palms are sweating.  I stare at the rope of the belay that Mcginnis is taking care of on the ground, and I think about the fact that I’m not actually going to fall, and I keep climbing. 

Before I know it – I’m at the very top of the pole.  And I don’t know what to do.  The spikes have stopped, and I can’t get from the last spike to the top of the pole.  I yell down – "What am I suppose to hold on to?"

Mcginnis:  "NOTHING!  DON’T HOLD ON TO THE ROPE!"

Me:  "Okay, then I don’t think I can do this."

Mcginnis: "Yes you can!"

Me:  "Nope, no I can’t – I can’t pull myself up and stand straight on this last set of spikes and then step to the top of this telephone pole if I have nothing to hold onto.  I’ve already looked down.  The pole isn’t big enough.  My feet are too big.  I’m too high in the air.  The pole isn’t steady enough.  I can feel it swaying.  I can’t do it."

Mcginnis:  "Charlsie, this is a ropes course.  It is designed to be challenging, but it is also designed so that you will be able to do it.  I promise you that it is doable.  It was especially made in a way that would allow you to succeed."

Me:  "Are you sure?"  (because, he really did have a point.  Obviously I’m not the first person to have ever tried to climb to the top of this pole and stand on top of it and jump off.  And if other people could do it, why was I so paralyzed?  I trusted my belay, now I just needed to learn to trust the system, and myself.)

Mcginnis:  "Yes, I promise, now stand on top of that telephone pole.  And don’t hold the rope."

And I’m happy to say that I did just that.  I resisted the strong temptation to hold on to the belay rope, I placed one foot on top of the pole, and then the other and, with the confidence that I was suppose to be able to, I stood up straight, jumped off, and caught the trapeze.  Of course, I hyper extended my recently healed broken elbow when I grabbed the trapeze, but that is neither here nor there. 

So that is my bar analogy.  I was half way up the pole before I even thought hard enough to be scared.  I panicked.  I kept going.  I panicked again at the very end when I was much higher in the air and the last step of the process seemed to be the scariest.  So much higher to fall, so much more invested.  That is where I am right now.  But I’m going to rely on the fact that I’m not the first person to take the bar.  I’m not the first person to feel unprepared, inadequate, ill suited, or overwhelmed.  90% of first time bar testers that go to Georgia schools pass the Georgia bar.  And granted, I don’t want to be in the other 10%, I’ve been studying all summer, I took the courses, and I’ve tried.  My try might be a lot different than everyone else’s try, but I can’t help that.  I have taken it seriously.  And now I just want it to be over. 

I love you all for being so supportive, it means the world to me.   I can’t wait for my summer to actually start – right when everyone else’s summer is winding down.  YAY!

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Libby just sent me this fun game.  It is more fun for girls than boys.  http://www.davidandgoliathtees.com/games/boygame5.swf

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I’m real excited for next week.  I’m fairly certain that when I wake up on Wednesday morning I’m going to be bouncing off the walls.  Because I hate essay exams.  And I don’t really mind multiple choice.  I am most successful with multiple choice exams if I get into a rhythm and don’t think too hard but stay focused.   And when I’m in a rhythm like that the time flies by.  The more adrenaline I have, the more focused I will stay.   So I’m planning on allowing myself to be as excited as I want to be on Wednesday morning. 

Because excitement and fear are the same sort of feeling.  I’m not scared.  But I know that if I let myself – when I finally received the bar exam and was holding it in my hot little hands that I could very well panic with fear . But I won’t.  Know why?  Cause I am planning on being so excited about that fact that it is Wednesday, July 26th, 2006, that any momentary fear will be swallowed up in my excitement and I won’t even notice it. 

I know you think I’m crazy.  I’m not.  I’ve been dealing with fear my whole life this way.  It is really a great trick.  When I am excited – I’m alert, awake, and ready for the task at hand.  Excitement is a very useful mental state.  So get excited.  All this studying is almost over. 

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is the kind of day where you MUST wash your feet before you go to sleep – even if you don’t have  to tak e a shower.  Even better if you don’t have to take a shower.  It just means your last couple of hours awake were good ones.   But then again – I think shoes are optional from may to september.  Even in walmart. 

I know – what ev.  Kill me.  As mama would say – I’ll lay down and you can kick me.  As Travers would say – I’ll go up the road.  Feet are good for getting dirty in my world.  They wash well. 

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See – Lawsuits CAN be entertaining!

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My dad told me last night that I should probably just be relaxing at this point – because if I don’t know it by now I’m probably not going to learn it, and I’ve already done the whole bar course, so I should try not to freak myself out.  While seemingly supportive advice – probably not what I needed to hear. 

For a quick update – I have been studying, and it is frustrating.  Seriously – sometimes the multistate just gets the better of me and makes me feel really stupid and that it is helpless and I’m going to fail.  Then at other times I don’t let it get to me. 

Last night my mom and I sat outside after walking the dogs at midnight and tried to whistle until we both almost passed out.  Mama is really good at whistling with her fingers in her mouth – I have a hard time with this – I’m better at whistling through my fist.  So we were both trying to whistle the way that we couldn’t do.  We looked like idiots. 

I didn’t sleep well last night.  I’m not sure why.  Part of it might have been because I started reading Treasure Island.  Treasure Island is one of my favorite novels, but it has probably been five years since I’ve read it – which is a long time because I love to re-read my favorite novels.  Well, let me just tell you – this book will frighten you to death.  Seriously. I loved this story as a child.  The book, the movie, all of it.  I loved it.  But reading the story last night coupled with the old mental images I have of the old black and white movie – I could be looking at a lot more sleepless nights.  Let me give you a taste of the beginning –

Chapter One – The Old Sea Dog at the "Admiral Benbow"

…I take up my pen in the year of grace 17–, and go back to the time when my father kept the "Admiral Benbow" inn, and the brown old seaman, with the sabre cut, first took up lodging under our roof.
    I remember him as if it were yesterday, as he came plodding to the inn door, his sea-chest following behind him in a handbarrow; a tall, strong, heavy, nut-brown man; his tarry pigtail falling over the shoulders of his soiled blue coat; his hands ragged and scarred, with black, broken nails; and the sabre cut across one cheek, a dirty livid white.  I remember him looking round the cove and whistling to himself as his did so, and then breaking out in that old sea-song that he sang so often afterwards:
                              "Fifteen men on a dead man’s chest –
                                 Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!"

in a high, old tottering voice that seemed to have been tuned and broken at the capstan bars.  Then he rapped on the door with a bit of stick like a handspike that he carried, and when my father appeared, called roughly for a glass of rum.  This, when it was brought to him, he drank slowly, like a connoisseur, lingering on the taste, and still looking about him at the cliffs and up at our signboard. 

I know y’all want me to keep going – but I have super important things to do – like commit assault and battery against the workers who are using heavy machinery at our next door neighbor’s house and disturbing my peace and quiet.  NOISE POLLUTION! MAKE IT STOP! 

Oh yeah – and the high is 97 today – tomorrow the high is 99.  Sweet. 

AAGGGGHHH – and I almost forgot – today is my precious friend Libby’s 25th birthday!!  And today is also my sweet friend and brother’s girlfriend Elizabeth’s 24th birthday!  YAYAYAYAYA.  Happy Birthday!

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I’ve decided that every time I start to beat myself up about the bar – which is normally in the late afternoon, I’m going to try to remember all the positive thoughts I’ve had throughout the day to remind myself that I haven’t been acting like a drama queen all day.  There will be no more wallowing. 

Things I was thankful for today – sunshine, Zaxby’s, and my precious little car who needs a bath and a new set of speakers, sweet friends, and sweet tea. 

Encouraging Bible verse of the day –

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.  You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.  So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely.  Let it do its work so that you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.  If you don’t know what you are doing, pray to the Father.  He loves to help.  You’ll get his help and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it.  Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought.

James 1:2-6  (I think – I am looking at the message and sometimes it is hard to tell when one verse ends and the other begins). 

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Hey. This is going to be a list post.   I’m going to start by making a list of things that make me happy because I’m so positive. 

1.  It makes me happy that the bugs outside are deafeningly loud.  I LOVE loud summertime bugs.  I’m not sure much of anything makes me happier. 

2.  On that note, I’m happy about the fact that I’m going to Sky Valley this weekend and will get to hear even LOUDER bugs and will be able to sleep with my windows open to enhance the sound. 

3.  Being the stalker that I am, I’m happy that I realized today that one of the people I used to stalk – a boy I used to like to keep tabs on – hadn’t occurred to me in over a month.  I wish I could tell you I didn’t stalk – but really more than anything it is that I get bored and end up on facebook and myspace and I think – hmmmm, whose weekend plans would I be interested in knowing?  So I end up checking certain profiles and then I start to do it out of habit more than anything.  I have compulsive tendencies.  So it is always great when I realize that not only am I not interested in what certain people are doing anymore, I have even beat my compulsion.  If y’all didn’t think I was crazy before, I’m sure you do now so I’ll move on to #4.

4.  I am happy that my friends invited me over to eat dinner tonight.  Caleb cooked a fabulous meal that I got to share with him and Faris and I also got to spend a little quality time with my sweet friend Jamie. 

5.  I’m happy that it stopped raining so I could go run today.  I ran a touch too far and I know I’m going to be super sore tomorrow – but at least I’m guaranteed a great nights sleep – which is my #1 concern these days.  Robert says I need to get my sleep issues looked into.  I think the sleep problems stem more from my anxiety problems.  But then again, I’m a hypochondriac. 

6.  I’m happy for all my exciting August plans that I will have to tell you about later. 

7.  I’m happy for my sweet friends all over the place who check on me and send me picture and text messages.  And also for all my amazing friends who I get to see every day at the classic center.  If it wasn’t for you all I would have crumbled into a million pieces long ago.  If only I could gather all my favorite people and make them all live within a half mile of each other.  Hmmm.

Okay, all you sweet friends of mine – This next list is for you.  I’m going to need for you all to abide by it from now until the bar is over.  Two weeks, you can do it – I know you can.  This applies to my friends who are not taking the bar – and to my friends who are taking the bar. 

1.  Don’t ask me about the bar specifically.  If you want to know how I’m doing – that is fine, but don’t let me launch into a lament about the bar. 

2.  Don’t ask me about the bar. 

3.  Don’t stop calling me.  Just knowing that you are thinking about me means a lot.  I promise I will call you back if I can, if not I’ll call you back when it is all over. 

4.  Don’t let me talk about the bar. 

5.  Keep me and all the poor souls taking the bar in your prayers. 

6.  Don’t let me dwell on being stressed.  Remind me that lots of people pass, and try to distract me – maybe with shiny objects or treats, I don’t know.  Anything.

7.  Please, Please, Please, if you can at all help it – don’t ask my advice on anything for the next two weeks.  I mean – if something really serious happens, you know I want to give my two cents.  Any thing trivial – I hate to say it – but you are on your own.  I can barely decide what to eat for lunch.  This request pains me the most because I love to give advice – but I also know is stresses me out. 

8.  Try to talk to me about other things.  I know I can do this – I know I can, and the encouragement that you know I can is tremendously inspiring.  Encourage me.  Don’t say things like – gah – that must suck or I’m sure you can’t wait for it to be over.  Because – that is obvious.  Tell me things like – I’m proud of you – you’ve done the hard part – stick with it – we are going to have lots of fun when it is over.  Like I said – shiny things and treats maybe. 

I hate to have to make these requests – but I realized today that I was wallowing and that I was letting the panic in my friends voices as we repeated the same sentences over and over again about what we should have done or might still do or wish we had time to do in order to be ready weigh very heavily upon my broad shoulders.  I’m dusting my shoulders off.  Dirt is gone.   I wish I had the strength and energy to be a shoulder to lean on, but the best I can do right now is the positive part of the post above.  I promise I will try to keep posting – but I’m going to limit what I say about the bar.  I’m not keeping score with anyone else, and you shouldn’t be either.  We all have our own battle.

Sweet dreams. 

p.s. Any boy who thinks I might be on their potential future wives list – I just want to let you know that I’ve decided for sure that I’m going to need at least part of a marching band in my wedding.  Seven piece drum band at the very least.  Thought I should get that off my chest.  Might be a deal breaker for some. 

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IF


   

   
If you can keep your head when all about you
  Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
  But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
  Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
  And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
  If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
  And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
  Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
  And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
  And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
  And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
  To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
  Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
  Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
  If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
  With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
  And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
   
   

Rudyard Kipling

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