Friday, June 24, 2011

Another Friday night during bar prep

Dinner tonight is shells & alfredo sauce (aka mac 'n' cheese) with fried (fake) chicken cutlets. I am letting T nap while I prepare this half-baked (heh) dinner. Afterward, we are hitting the road, along with the dog. I decided that instead of staying home to study this weekend, while he's in Richmond, I'm going to go to my parents' house so the dog and I can have some open air and greenery around us. I'm packing up all my Kaplan books and my laptop, so I don't miss a lecture or a quiz or homework assignment, though I'd be lying to everyone involved if I said I was going to do everything I'm supposed to while I'm gone. I can't even keep up from home.

Oh well. I took a practice MBE earlier this week. Aside from the grueling tedium of sitting for six hours answering multiple choice questions, it wasn't that terrible. I managed to hit the supposed goal posts for this far along in the course. But we're half way through, which means it's getting closer to the Big Day. Errrr... scary!

One thing is for sure, though. I am lucky to have this wonderful man in my life who works hard every day to make sure we have money for groceries and gas and electricity and the occasional dinner out, so I don't have to totally freak about money while I study. It helps that he's handsome and has a good sense of humor too. Love ya, T!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Own Date

Took myself out on a very lovely date tonight.

T and the dog are gone for the weekend, down in Virginia visiting his parents with my brother in law. They drove off this afternoon, and I walked them to the car, wearing flip flops with socks and trying to ignore the fact that the sidewalks were crowded with summer Friday passersby. This is the second weekend in a row (and next weekend will be the third) that T has left town for at least part of the time. Last week, he was visiting friends in NYC and next week he will be down in VA again. I'm so glad he's taking advantage of the summer and getting out and about to see friends and reconnect. But I do miss him. Already. And with both him AND the dog gone, the house feels especially quiet and lonely.

But I've never been one to dislike solitude. So after reviewing contract formation for the trillionth time (I take back what I said about learning anything useful for the bar in Advanced Contracts), I grabbed my keys, wallet and the Summer Fiction edition of the New Yorker, and just walked out the house. No feeling guilty about leaving the dog. No rushing to be on time. I just went down the stairs, stepped out onto the sidewalk and walked the two and a half blocks to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants.

Yes, at first it felt awkward to be standing in a restaurant filled with groups of young people, downing margaritas while servers hustled and bustled around the room, and to not be noticed, and then mistaken for a member of another party. But once I settled in with my chips and coke (and once my spilled coke was mopped up and replaced...yikes! Good thing I don't need to impress myself!) I was able to Just. Chill. Out.

While eating my chicken mole enchiladas, I started reading this really awesome short story by Jeffrey Eugenides (author of the amazing Middlesex). The short story Asleep in the Lord, is about a 23-year old religious studies major and uncertain Christian who set off to travel around the world in search of spirituality and ends up volunteering in Calcutta at a hospice run by Mother Teresa. He is trying to figure out where he fits in in the world around him, wedged as he is between the strait-laced European Catholic volunteers and the hippie New Age backpackers. He is also trying to summon the courage to do the "dirty work" at the hospice, to figure out the relationship between works and faith. Oh, it's good.

I got hooked at the restaurant, and finished the story at the park by my house. On Fridays in the summertime, there is always a family-friendly musical act going on at the park. When I rolled in, still feeling weird about being there without the dog, kids were running everywhere, young parents chatting it up and band members packing up gear. I sat and read on a park bench.

Now I'm back here, and recounting my brief but pleasant date with myself, because it was lovely, and I wanted to capture this moment. I am content, even if I am missing my husband and my little fur family. And even if I am in the middle of bar prep. We found the apartment we want, and assuming we work out the details the way we would like (it is a little complicated), we'll be able to take it over come September. This makes me extremely happy. The decision was easy, too. T and I went to see it, looked at each other and as soon as we walked out, said, "Let's do it." The best part is that it's only a block down from where we are now, and two doors from T's best friend, and overlooking the park. So, I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Oh, summer.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bar classes: to take or not to take?

So bar prep is weird, and has me thinking back to all that conflicting advice about how I should - no shouldn't! - no, I really should enroll in bar classes my second year - AND third! - no, no, I should just take what I want and not worry about the bar. I'm just going to relearn it in bar prep class anyway. But if I know what's good for me I have to take tax - corporations - trusts and estates - crim pro because I'm going to need it for the bar.

Uh huh. Clear as mud.

I'm about three weeks into bar prep classes now, and what I've found is that I am profoundly glad, in a way that is quite shocking to me, that I took advanced contracts my last semester. I absolutely hated it by the end of April, and was convinced that would be part of my downfall in law school. But now that I've graduated, and I'm listening to long, boring lectures about promissory estoppel and third-party beneficiaries and firm offers, I am SO HAPPY that it's all so fresh in my memory. I find myself just knowing the law to some of this stuff, without really needing to rely on the gazillions of mnemonics and fill-in-the-blank worksheets that Kaplan throws at you. I'm surprising myself, and feel a deep sense of relief in this moment. This is because I only got 3 wrong out of 17 practice questions I just did. Tomorrow will be another day.

On the other hand, I am convinced I had one of the best evidence teachers ever, and I felt really confident about my ability to master hearsay exceptions. Yet, the more I pay attention in bar lectures, the more confused I get. It's almost like I want to just tune it all out and stick with what I know. But that's not working. I took evidence my fall semester of 2L year, and despite feeling on top of the world at the time, I'm quite rusty. I don't trust myself to just KNOW this stuff, and rightly so, because I'm doing just over 50% on my practice problems.

The one cliche about bar prep that I heard during law school that has turned out to be very true is this: Bar review is just that - a review. Don't plan to learn the material there for the first time. It's too much material in too little time.

So in the end, yeah, I guess I come out in favor of taking the bar prep classes, but maybe just the ones that interest you. Cause I sure as hell didn't take taxation. Ask me if my opinion has changed after we do that portion of the review.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Productive days

Some days feel more productive than others. I'm not talking about bar prep, although the sentiment certainly applies to my Kaplan studies. Yesterday, I replanted my little cilantro seedling, only realizing afterward that the seed packet said they don't replant well. I also knocked one of my seedling pots off the third story window, and had to run down two flights of stairs and scoop up my baby plants before a passerby squashed them or they dried out in the scorching sidewalk heat. Hopefully, they'll survive.

Yesterday I also made an appointment with a new lady doctor. Making a doctor's appointment always feels productive. It's a way to take control of one's life, and I've been doing a lot of that lately. Or trying.

So who knows: will today be a productive day, or a day that I sit around and do nothing? I guess it's up to me.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Computers are the new TV

So T and I have decided to commit to turning our computers off at 11:00 p.m. every night this week. It's been three days so far. I have to say, this little step toward being more intentional with our lives is quite refreshing. I made my lunch ahead of time last night, with a side of green beans. (Anyone?) I'm looking forward to 29 minutes from now!

Saturday, June 4, 2011


Ok, I take it back. Studying for the bar isn't all it's cracked up to be, whatsoever. Or should I say, it IS all it's cracked up to be...and that's not much.

But whatever, I'm not here to complain about bar review. I guess I'm just here to hold a place for the blog for whenever I can summon the energy, interest and self-awareness needed to continue posting. For now, I'm going to slink back into silence.