Friday, June 27, 2008

Joining Barbri Society

Tomorrow I join the masses of barbri students for a 3-day practice MBE workshop. I am not excited. I know it will be good for me to see the practice questions (for the first time) and get properly freaked out about how little I know and how much there is to learn. Fear and looming deadlines have always been my big study motivators.

But I don't want to get scared yet. I'm enjoying my frequent pauses of the recorded lectures to play with Landon and JP. I am reveling in all our fun family giggle time. I am not ready to get serious about studying. The Firm has given me office space and I've promised myself I will start going there during the day in July to study the way I'm supposed to. It's only a few miles from the house and I'm not putting in 15 hour days or anything, but I think that impending "hunker down date" is leading to my loss of focus here at the end of June. I know July is going to suck and I want to squeeze as much fun out of June as possible. Right now the Bar (July 29-31) feels far away and I can pretend that I have plenty of time to learn all 10 million exceptions and caveats to every law in Texas. Today I even afforded myself the luxury of an unplanned 2.5 hour nap. I never take naps. Apparently I was really tired (Landon cried from 1:50-3:50 AM; I hate teeth) as I fell asleep on the couch, in daylight, while listening to a lecture. Even when I had a severe case of mono naps never came that easily, maybe I should have tried listening to constitutional law.

I don't start work until September 2nd, so I'll have the month of August to relax and enjoy my boys. And like I said, I'm not planning to go nuts and study every waking moment for four weeks. I just like where I am right now - nearly caught up, not feeling pressure, and safely before my July 1 deadline for actually learning the material. I don't want to have to face the reality of how much I need to do. But of course I will and I have a feeling staring at that practice exam tomorrow is going to give me a surge of panic-induced motivation. That panic, and a possibly undeserved talent for test taking, has gotten me through every other major exam in my life. Just one more...


  1. listening to recorded lectures is such a good idea! Good luck with Barbri! so close to being a "real" lawyer!

  2. Re your'possibly underserved talent for test taking'

    I, too, was born with this talent, which saw me through law school

    Even Torts: when I studied properly for one term (of 3) then gave up and did nothing at all (no lectures, nothing) until 3 weeks from the exam. I expected to fail, but a friend suggested I have a go at the exam anyway, so I spent a couple of weeks, in between studying for other things, working on it for my C+.

    Equity was the same, only worse. It was one term of studying properly, nothing for 2 terms, not even revision.

    I then had an evening after an afternoon exam and a morning before the equity exam to read the text book, take it in with me, and have a go at the questions using the index. B- result.

    Frankly, I assumed and hoped I would fail and then be able to give up law (a parent was more keen on me studying it than I was) but I passed despite myself.

    I wonder how much the competitive swimming helps? I swam competitively in my tweens - up to about age 15, and I always got up for the big event. I didn't have your success (5 feet 2 inches tall is always going to be a struggle) but I think the temperament is there.

    Swimming gives you a feeling of freedom and power, to move under your own steam though your vision be clouded by goggle-fog, and to survive and keep going when you're out of your depth.

    I also thinks it helps if you like tests.

    I'm like Monica in Friends : "There's a Quiz! Yay! A chance for me to find out once more how clever and good at Quizzes I am! " Years of positive reinforcement come into the exam room with me.

    I also learned to focus on what I did know (and run that over in my mind before an exam) rather than what I didn't.

    So I suspect years of work in the pool come into the exam room with you. Trust in your innate ability to do as good a job as possible on the day with what you've got, and you're half-way there.

  3. You probably don't have to go to the last two days of the MBE workshop. I took the practice test and went over it on my own, and it definitely did not take a full 2 days!

  4. July's going to suck for me too... just realized that I'm going to have to either finish my dissertation NOW or during the first month of the new baby's life. You're going to do great! You've been through much harder ordeals with strength and grace.

  5. That is so nice you have a break between the bar and starting work!

    You'll have to give a critique of the recorded lectures when you're done. I'm considering getting them, but I'm much more of a visual learner, so I'm not sure how much of it I would actually retain. I'll be interested to hear what you thought about the program.

    Good luck with the MBE!

  6. No worries - everybody studies during July. My Bar (7 years ago!) began on 7/24. I planned on "hunkering down" around July 4th, but due to my then boyfriend - now husband's father being sick, I didn't "hunker" down till July 10th. Two weeks - and I passed the Bar (2 actually - so was also 3 days) - no problem - even though it didn't feel that way at the time!

    Good luck - I think your July plan sounds good!

  7. law stuff is completely over my I'll just tell ya to work hard, don't make yourself completely crazy, and I'm sure you'll're one smart cookie! :)