Saturday, February 24, 2007

phase five: rapid cycling, labile, generally freaking out

Um. Yeah. I have two full days (not counting what's left of tonight) until I sit down in a big, crowded room at the airport Holiday Inn and start day one of the two day bar exam. I anticipated an eery calm. I didn't, for some reason, anticipate a full-scale mental health crisis.

Ok, I'm being dramatic. But I realized today that these last days are definitely different from all the other days. The stakes are so high. There's no time to make up for any errors in studying anymore. This is it. I barely have time to run through my outlines one last time and finish up the outlines for the sample essays. No time for any major re-dos. No time to realize I've left something out completely. No time to relearn everything if it happens to unlearn itself while I'm not looking.

Low level panic has been with me all day, like someone in my ear just sort of whispering "oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god" like that all day. All day. And when I was working on sample essays, usually a *great* way for me to study b/c it puts the info in context, all I could think was how much I still don't know, don't remember, and the whisper turned into an hysterical shriek more like "OH MY GOD YOUR LIFE IS ENDING YOU FUCKING HOPELESS IDIOT!!!"

Ok, yes, I'm being dramatic again, but this is a pretty dramatic event. One suggestion, dear readers: if you ever have someone in your life who has to take a bar exam, please send that person a card, and maybe some flowers. No matter how nice that person looks on the outside, she is having a rough time. I promise.

Today I started thinking unhelpful things like "why the hell did I go to law school? I don't even want to be a lawyer, I have NEVER wanted to be a lawyer, I will never be able to pay off my student loans, Oh my god I am six figures in debt now, is there a tall enough bridge in Portland to jump off of and not survive?"

I started wondering what it would be like to just close up my new diploma (which is open and leaning against the wall so I can see my strangely spelled middle name [that's a whole nother story] and the words Juris Doctor, which used to be a source of pride but has become today an ominous and mocking source of Poe-like oppression)... where was I? Oh, yeah, wondering what it would be like to just close it up and slip it into the red box in my closet with my undergraduate degree and my high school diploma and then just carry on with my life like nothing ever happened. Would that be possible?

I mean, SK's brother went to medical school but never practiced medicine. Think about it. Medical school, I'm guessing that's much harder than law school, and longer. And he never practiced. Now he's a stock broker, and in 2005 he won second place in a speed-eating contest. That sounds pretty good. If it worked for him, why not me?

Maybe my tune will change once this is all over. Who knows.

P.S. SK wanted me to write a blog about her speed-eating brother, but not like this. She wanted me to write about how she herself eats really fast and says it's because she grew up believing the next holocaust could easily be right around the corner and she never knew if she'd have time to finish her meal. She was surprised and pleased to see her brother shares this penchant for fast eating and guesses that he does it for the same reason. They do, after all, share a holocaust-survivor father. It only makes sense. Anyway, there you go sweetie, I hope that's good enough though I know it isn't exactly what you had in mind.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wandered into the room and saw your blog on the screen. I remember those ugly last days before the [dramatic pipe organ chords] BAR. Not only was waspy hearing OH MY GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE. She was screaming it. At the top of her voice. At two o'clock. In my ear. The pillows were soaked with tears. "I WISH I HAD NEVER DONE THIS! WHAT WAS I THINKING! HAVE YOU FED THE FISH? IS SHE GOING TO DIE? I FEEL SO SORRY FOR HER LIVING IN THE TANK LIKE THAT." Anxiety overload on super high test adrenaline avalanche (thank you, Dashboard thesaurus).

Hang in there! find a little spot on the wall and concentrate on it––you know, like when you have the spins. Count to one until you fall asleep. One. One. One. Or whatever mantra relaxes. Waspy survived, and, more suprisingly, so did I. I hid the steak knives. Believe it or not, wondering what you have forgotten sounds good. Waspy wondered what she remembered. I know you'll do great, or I might have to wish you good luck. You don't need luck––you've worked hard enough to earn it straight up. If you wonder how I know how fucking hard you've worked, I know waspy, and I know how much she likes to hang out with overachivers ;)

Mr. Waspy

9:26 PM  
Blogger reasonably prudent poet said...

mr. waspy, you are now my favorite commenter and i hope you come back again and again. :-) waspy is afraid to comment, some kind of weird technophobia i can't explain. i can only hope i'm the kind of overachiever that would make waspy proud. then maybe that means i'll pass the bar.

10:03 PM  
Blogger Dharma said...

Anonymous has wise words. I know the space you are in and suspect I will plummet that far down when I graduate and am facing 2800 hours of practicing before I sit for an exam for which I will have forgotten everything I ever studies because I won't be taking the damn test for at least two years after classes end.

6:21 PM  

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