Archive for the ‘Studying for the Bar’ Category

Today is a day every year that I feel thankful, no matter what happens today, that I’m not taking the bar exam. So happy I don’t even mind paying my bar dues. Heartfelt thoughts go out to all of the test takers out there. It will be over soon, and I’ll be pleased to welcome you all to this historic, frustrating, challenging, sometimes questionable, but never boring profession. You can look forward to a life time of bailing your friends and family out of jail.

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I passed the Bar!

Yay!  Sorry to leave y’all in suspense all weekend.  I passed, I can’t express how relieved I am, and I love you all for putting up with me during these difficult times. 

I’m so excited I can’t stand it.  I had an amazing weekend in New York. 

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I woke up in the middle of the night last night.  There were footsteps in the leaves outside my window.  They sounded like human footsteps.  I thought maybe it was just super early – like 5:30 and it was my professor neighbor going somewhere.  I laid real still.  I finally rolled over and obtained my cell phone so I could see what time it was and keep my finger on 911.  It was 4:35.  Dang it.  No one has any business wandering around at 4:35 on a Friday morning.  I was freaking out.  I kept imagining that someone was on my front porch.  Shortly there after the sprinklers turned on and although they initially scared me to death – I started thinking that maybe it was cat or something in the leaves and that maybe the sprinklers had also contributed to the sound of footsteps.  Who knows.  But maybe it wasn’t a person.  Just maybe I wasn’t going to get attacked in my own home.  Eventually I fell back asleep.  And as expected I had crazy dreams. 

In one dream I dreamed that we got a list of the bar exam results early here at the courthouse, and that Heather and I both passed.  In this dream, the courthouse had a law school attached to it, and the building had magical powers like Hogwarts.  And on this day that we were looking at the bar results, people kept randomly ending up in our offices from all the secret passage ways.  Did I ever tell you I have an overactive imagination?

My other dream was pretty humorous, and it involved one of my good friends from high school that I haven’t seen in a while, and a natural history museum that was also a library, and a boy trying to kiss me out of the blue in the museum.  Hilarious.  It also involved crowds of people and getting lost.  But it is more jumbled than the other dream. 

Enough about my dreams, let’s move on to real life.  Yesterday Elizabeth and were running on the trail, we ran 7 miles, and it was getting sort of dark at the end of our run.  So we were running really fast.  And we were singing to our respective ipods.  Out loud.  We were trying to ignore the fact that it was getting dark and we were really into our runs.  Well, these two guys on bikes come up behind us and basically ride along and listen to us sing for a while.  Gah.  I’m sure they thought we were really hot.  But they did make sure that we made it to our car safely which was sweet. 

I got to hang out with my precious friend Molly last night and make a new friend Lindsey.  It was really fun.  I ate enough mexican food to choke a small horse.  It was awesome.  I wish I had some right now.  There is nothing better than catching up with an old friend over cheese dip and huge draft beers. 

Did I mention that I find out whether or not I passed the bar exam today?  Cross your fingers.  I’ve never had so much invested in a test in my life and I’m not sure I’ve ever straight up failed something, so if I fail, I might need someone to scrap me up off the concrete.  But then again, it is only a test and I’ll get it next time if I don’t get it this time.  Geeze. 

Also, I’m going to the NYC tonight!  Get excited!  I can’t wait.  Libby, Jennifer, Maggie, Cristi and I are going to be the Deal or No Deal girls for halloween.  We are going to a party tomorrow night.  Libby mentioned this to her boss, and her boss mentioned it to someone that works at NBC (libby works for a media corporation), and yesterday NBC sent Libby over 5 Deal or No Deal Briefcases for us to use in our costumes!  HOW AWESOME IS THAT! Here is a picture –Deal_or_no_deal_001_1

If you are going to be in the City this weekend – hit me on the cell piece.  Kisses. 

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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?"


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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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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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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Maybe things aren’t as bad as I’m making them out to be – but this is what it feels like:

8:00  Hit snooze button.
9:00  Wake up and realize snooze button was not snooze. 
9: 20  Park car in parking deck. Get yelled at by parking attendant and made to move to different spot three spaces down from your current space for absolutely arbitrary reasons, but not before parking attendant threatens to have your car towed from the deck if you make a scene.  Grumble about parking pass your bought from convention center. 
9:30  Finally find Barbri lecture room in labyrinth of convention center, the staff of which has no regard for consistency about what room your lecture is  placed in or any regard for your personal convenience. 
9:32  Notice with happiness that you haven’t even missed two whole pages of the lecture, even though you were half an hour late.  Mental note to never stress about being late ever again. 
9:33  Deep sigh of resignment that if the lecturer has only made it through two pages in half an hour that the next 50 pages of your life are going to be slow, painful, boring, and harmful to the general psyche of you and your poor friends. 
9:40  Wince at string of bad jokes told by lecturer. 
9:50  Shutter at even worse joke.
9:59  Start biting nails in anticipation of first break.  Even though you’ve only been in the lecture for half an hour – everyone else has been there for a full hour and you feel bad for them. 
10:03  First break.  Exit dark room and rush outside for fresh air.  Emerge onto street blinded by the sunshine and suffocated by the humidity. 
10:13  Drag self back into dark room through great personal effort. 
10:19  Start counting the pages till the next possible break. 
10:22  Text message a friend you think might respond – maybe they are at work or in babri in another town. 
10:28  Start compulsively checking phone for texts.  Decide to text message a few more friends in the off chance they might be around. 
10:33  Begin daydreaming about upcoming weekend. 
10:40  Draw pictures on neighbor’s outline – indicating how tired and bored you are. 
10:46  Write song lyrics to entire American Pie song out on table cloth. 
10:55  Keep checking for returned text messages.  Take a moment to pause and think about how many text messages you have sent this month and how you have most definitely gone over your limit.  Try to figure out how many of your friends are IN. 
11:05  Make a list of things you should accomplish this afternoon.  Not that you are actually going to accomplish any of these tasks, but it is fun to write them down. 
11:15  Make a calender of the past month and the upcoming month.  Think about all the fun things you don’t get to do and dream of how fun August is going to be. 
11:20  Take second ten minute break.  Exactly the same as first ten minute break – except maybe you decide to walk the half mile to the bathroom and vending machines. 
11:30  Finally resign self to the fact that you will be in this prison until at least 12:30, and that you will be subjected to a whole other hour of bad jokes, stupid legal jargon, and excruciating boredom. 
11:45  Consider stabbing self in the eye with pen. 
11:50  Finally get text back from a friend.  YES!
12:00  Think very hard about what you might want to eat for lunch.  Decisions, Decisions. 
12:15  Start to shake in anticipation of actually getting to leave.  Start biting nails again. 
12:27  Pack up everything before lecturer has actually finished speaking and rush out the door at the first chance.  Taste sweet breath of freedom. 
12:37  Finally make it back to parking deck.  It takes longer to walk from parking deck to lecture room than it does to drive from house to parking deck. Get in car and speed home

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