Good Things

Things are looking up. I thought the essay workshop today was actually really good. I'm actually a bit excited to get to work on the homework which includes outlining two more Con Law essays. I feel I had this 'duh' moment of 'oh, that's how I should organize an essay'. So that's one good thing.

Then, on the way home my husband called to tell me he had gotten off work early and was psyched at the prospect of spending the day perfecting a few songs on Guitar Hero. I got more than a little bitchy about how I needed to study, didn't want to go to the library, and couldn't concentrate with him playing Guitar Hero. How did husband respond? He greeted me at home with a dozen red roses, a kiss, and the news that he would be going to see a movie with a friend. Wow, I'm a lucky lucky girl.

Off to work...

Seriously? Seriously?!?!

Classic... Mr. TB is a lawyer... a personal injury nonetheless. Remarkable.


Depraved <3 in the News

In the midst of trying to keep up with the Paced Program, is anyone else following the TB case in Atlanta? I'm wondering if his decision to get on a plane, knowing about his highly infectious and possibly fatal disease rises to the level of Depraved Heart Murder should anyone aboard his flight catch it and die from it. What does the jury say? (that means you, loyal readers)

1 is the loneliest number

3 hard things happened today:

1. We had to endure 3.5 more hours of Chemerinsky humor. Thank God that is over.

2. I realized that a scheduling change at our location to accomodate for the local law school graduation is going to make for a seriously shitty week and weekend, paced program-wise if I want to do the work in a way that will still make sense.

3. It really started to hit me how much I have to isolate myself from the outside world. Last night was Tuesday- also known as Starbucks gab night with my best friend. No Starbucks last night though cuz there just wasn't time. Today, I had a quick lunch after class with my little sister who lives right near my class location. I quickly ate and had about 25 minutes of conversation and then said "Ok, gotta go." The look on her little face was pitiful: "But I miss you. Just stay a little longer," she pleaded. Back in the day B.B. (before barbri) I saw her a lot more often. And then the hardest thing- my mom is having knee surgery today. Ordinarily, I would be there along with the rest of my obnoxiously close and ever-present extended family. But today, I had to rely purely on the text messages of my older sister. It just sucks. I miss my friends. I miss my family. And then there's that laughing voice in my head that says "Ha... you think this is bad- it's not even June yet!"

Back to studying with me, myself, and I. 1 is definitely the loneliest number.


The Pace is Picking Up

I can feel it. The pace (the paced program that is) is picking up. Studying at home went well, but I just feel like regardless of where I am, it's never ending. Even when I finish everything on the schedule, I wonder if I should do more. Should I go through my flashcards again? Review Torts since I'm not really sure I mastered it before moving on to con law? Maybe do those torts questions I mistakenly skipped last week? But alas, it is a marathon, not a race.

My husband got home when I was watching the DVD that goes over the introductory drills. "Tim Allen!" he exclaimed... "Your teacher is Tim Allen?" Now I can't look at that guy without picturing him making that weird grunting sound that my dad used to imitate. But no, he is not Tim Allen. And worse, he kind of sucks. Does anyone else feel like watching him go over the questions is a little pointless? I can read the explanations in the back of the book much faster! And I see enough of those fake Barbri trees in the morning.

But I digress. Off to bed, then up to do it all over again. Is it August yet?

A Change of Scenery

Since I've been sick this last week, I've been studying at home so as not to die a painful death in the public library. Now, I have always referred to studying at home as the end of productivity because of the readily available distractions. But in my old age, I think I'm changing my mind. I think I disciplined enough now to study at home. The benefits are great: more comfortable, no annoying children, snacks are allowed, I can go to the bathroom without worrying about my laptop getting stolen, and we probably have less germs here than in the public library. Plus, instead of eating a quick lunch on the car ride from class to the library, I can take a quick lunch break before I delve into studying. If my husband is at home and making noise, I may have to create a contingency plan, but for now I think I'm opting for this change of scenery.

On an unrelated side note... Chemerinsky really needs to lay off the jokes. I generally like puns, but his are HORRIBLE!! Can we have Mr. Torts back?

Ok, lunch break over- time to study.


Damn those Damages.

Just finished up with the rest of the assigned Torts MBEs and practice essays for this weekend. I didn't get much done yesterday because I was on the verge of death (aka the common cold). Couple of frustrations though...

1. I did pitifully on the Advanced Torts MBEs- 54% to be exact. But... I did feel like I learned a lot by diligently reading all the explanations.

2. Looking through the Paced Program, I realized that 'MPQ-IQ' means intermediate questions- not introductory questions. So... I basically did the wrong assignment on both Thursday and Friday. That explains my astonishing 88%... I'm thinking I should do the Intermediate questions now, but ugh... What are the introductory questions there for anyways then??

3. The last essay assigned sort of pissed me off. It was a torts crossover with a lot of remedies and a little contracts. The contract issue was pretty easy to deal with, but the remedies stuff was a big part of the fact pattern and I felt like I was sort of blindly making stuff up to deal with it. Now, I don't really want to say Barbri shouldn't give us crossover essays to start, but maybe they should deal with Remedies sooner since it does show up as a crossover issue a lot. I was also mildly frustrated that the video lecture didn't even mention wrongful death or survival; the conviser gave it about 5 lines, and yet this essay relied very heavily on that cursory review they gave us. I guess Barbri really isn't holding our hands as much as we think they are...

Now all I have left is reading the Conviser Mini Review section on Con Law and then I might actually be able to take tomorrow off!

On an unrelated sidenote, I went to a reunion last night for my college honors program, and for the first time experienced that difficult task of explaining my limbo... Yes, I have graduated from law school. No, I am not a lawyer yet. Yes, the bar exam is not until July. No, that does not mean I have the summer off. Yes, that does mean that my official occupation right now is "bar exam studier." No, I am not just overdoing it. The bar exam really is that hard. Ugh.


No blind squirrel here.

On intro day, Barbriman told us to make sure to review all the MBE explanations because we would often get questions right but for the wrong reason.... as he so eloquently put it, "Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every now and then." I did the 40 assigned torts questions and got 88% right- I was especially proud, because reading through the explanations I generally was not that blind squirrel. woo hoo!

Then I went ahead and outlined the first two essays, which isn't technically assigned until tomorrow, but my husband wasn't home yet, and I figured the more I got done when he wasn't here, meant more time I could spend with him when he was. That was probably a bad idea, since they killed my confidence a bit. Like Biff noted earlier, doing the essays makes you realize that you actually have to be able to recite this stuff, not just know it well enough to guess best out of 4.

So I whipped out the flashcards I made while going through the conviser and spent a solid two hours memorizing them. I actually like memorizing stuff, and when I was in college, I developed quite a system... memorize 5 cards at a time, review after you make it to 20, then 5 more at a time, then review at 40, etc. etc. Just reviewed the thick stack of all 100 or so and I'm feeling pretty confident again. Don't worry... I actually understood the concepts that I was memorizing, and if I didn't I made myself look it up in the conviser or the 'big book' if need be.

On the agenda for tomorrow: 50 advanced MBEs, and 2 more essays, but this time full out simulated. If I can also squeeze in getting through the Con Law material in the conviser and making flashcards, I would be done with the paced program until Tuesday, and I might reward myself on Sunday with a trip up to Bass Lake to see my grandparents and go out on their party boat. My grandpa called me about an hour ago asking if I would come (they're only about 45 minutes away) but saying that he understood because he knew I was really busy studying, emphasizing again how proud of me he is. He must have read that handout I sent with my graduation thank you notes...


Dear Barbri classmates,

Yes, I am sick. Yes, I am coughing, sneezing, feverish and have watery eyes. Yes, I understand that you do not want to catch my infectious disease because doing so in the first week of Barbri would most certainly resulting in failing the exam. But please, please don't treat me like I have the plague. I hate being sick too. And if I knew the f*cker who gave it to me, I would kill them and attempt to argue Battered Barstudier's Syndrome. Please appreciate that I am acting like the Reasonably Prudent Person- I am using hand sanitizer religiously and covering my mouth when I sneeze or cough. I am even sitting a reasonable distance away from other studiers. I promise to do everything in my power to get better by our next class session on Tuesday. Until then, stop giving me dirty looks every time I sneeze- I can't help it!



Somebody get Sawyer a Lawyer

Did anyone else watch the Lost season finale last night? Could anyone else not help but to analyze the various torts and defenses presented? Here's a sampling...

* Dynamite in the tents- Certainly a battery committed against the Others. And yeah, I'm gonna go with not an acceptable defense of property- no deadly force in defense of property. They could possibly make an argument for defense of others since the Others were coming for the women... but deadly force may not have been reasonable because we don't really know what the Others were going to do with them. There were also some issues with immediacy.

* Desmond shooting the brunette Other in the underwater station... I'd go with a strong defense of others for Desmond if he is sued for battery.

* Hurley in the VW van.... he definitely committed battery on those unlucky Others, but probably has a valid defense of others.

* Sayed snapping the Other's neck... was deadly force warranted? I'd say possibly...

* As for Sawyer... as the title suggests, that guy needs a lawyer. Shooting Tom after he surrendered was completely not self-defense.

Too bad public necessity is only a defense to property torts.... otherwise Jack and the gang could obliterate the Others...

In other news... my day has been looking up. I finished the Barbri assignments by 6- improved to almost 60% on the torts MBEs. We made a good spaghetti dinner, went in the spa, and then husband went to get us some ice cream. Plus, I'm watching Keith Olberman and as it turns out I missed the best part of Dubya's press conference this morning- he got crapped on by a bird. : )

Terrible, horrible, no good very bad day

So far, that sums it up. The best part of my day thus far were the 4 hours I spent listening to the Torts lecture. That guy (Schecter) cracks me up. After two references to Borat, he had me hooked. On a sidenote though, when my non-law school friend asked me for a funny highlight from the lecture, none of them seemed that funny in a non-legal context. Oh wait, except for what he said about defibrilators never working on the first try on tv. But on to the whining...

So I started my day wrong. Dubya pre-empted Good Morning America for a press conference in which he actually said we really need to get other countries to eat American beef because "it's good for 'em". Please no political spamming here- this is a very unintelligent commentary on the deep hatred I have for that man, but my point is that listening to him this morning just got my day off to a bad start. Also, I am officially sick. I have had a sore throat for three days now, but it was slight so I could still remain in denial. Today, however, my right nostril is stuffed and all I want to do is sleep. So after lecture, I gave up on denial and went to Target to get kleenex and day-quil. On to the library where I prodded myself through 17 torts 'drills' and got a pitiful 8 right. Then I went to watch the DVD they handed out today. And alas, the DVD did not work on my laptop. I think these lectures are also available online, but I don't get wireless internet at the library I study at, so I went home. (This is a bad thing because in my world, home is where productivity goes to die. I have wireless internet, tivo, and guitar hero 2.) For whatever reason, the DVD worked in my husband's Xbox (so I can finally be grateful he bought it...) so I watched it while laying on the couch, alternating between making flashcards and blowing my nose. At some point I dozed off and woke up with my flashcards scattered on the floor and Mr. Duffy still rambling on about products liability. I rewound, sat up, and finally finished the video. Left on the paced program for today are 33 torts MBEs which should take about an hour to do and an hour to go over. I know you don't have the time to listen to me whine, so get back to your own work, and I'll get back to mine.


Do it once, Do it right, and Never Do It Again.

Here I am in Barbri, complete with my key around my neck. I feel like a college freshman wearing their dorm key all over again. What does everyone else think of the Paced Program? I'm a little concerned because I was really hoping for Sundays off... am I going to be able to cram all of the weekend assignments onto Saturday? especially when we have class?


It's Go Time

Barbri starts tomorrow, and I feel surprisingly ready. My book bag is packed... filled with a bazillion blank flashcards, and notebooks; brand new highlighters and ink pens; and an organizational system like no other. It's like the first day of school on steroids. I'm glad I took PMBR because I think it did a good job of getting me into the groove, so to speak. I already have 600 practice questions and quite a few hours at the library under my belt. Add to that a nice time at my graduation on Saturday that reminded me about what brought me here and how close I am to achieving my ultimate goal. And as icing on the cake, my amazing husband helped clean the house to my satisfaction so there are no more excuses... nothing left on the 'things to do list' except study. It's Go Time!


Why's it so quiet in here?

A twelve year old walked into the quiet room at the library today and said "Why's it so quiet in here?" and then giggled... while I was trying to figure out if Blackacre was springing, reverting, or just plain sitting there. If he does that around the middle of July, would I be justified to commit a battery against him? Could I defend that he assumed the risk of getting attacked when he crossed the path of a bar studier? I'll report back on my findings after our Crim Law lecture tomorrow. Oh, and I might not be back until Sunday... I have to go graduate on Saturday : )


Spread the Word

Mr. PMBR Contracts has a great idea. For any question that looks impossibly hard (i.e. any future interest question or this particularly long contracts question we're looking at right now), just guess A and move on. Why 'A' you say? Because if we all pick A then maybe the bar graders will say 'Hmm.. everybody got A, maybe A really is right...' Not sure if it's ever worked before, but it's worth a try. So spread the word. Just pick A.


Great Success.

Borat is not the only one who makes great success. After a pitiful 40% on the PMBR Torts 50 questions test this morning, I reviewed all the explanations, listened to the lecture and then did another 50 PMBR questions at the library... this time I got 72% improvement. Awesome. Now on to Contracts.


If one more bar review book or lecturer reminds me not to misnumber my answer sheet on the MBE I will kill them- or at least their visual image. Seriously, Mr. PMBR Torts has been rambling on about it for at least 4 minutes now. That 4 minutes just cost me $1.30 ($890/9 days of instruction/5 hours per day). He's not as good as Mr. PMBR Con Law because I feel like he's just going over the questions and the magical "approach" and not actually giving us a big picture of torts. Oh well, back to paying attention.


I'm in Day 2 of PMBR- Torts and the lecturer just said "Torts is the easiest subject tested on the bar." Hmm... that's what the Con Law guy said yesterday... By the way, I only got 40% right this morning so I'd better pay attention.


One day down.... a lot to go...

So day 1 of bar prep is officially in the history books. It actually feels good to get started. Today was Con Law day in the PMBR 'early bird' course. I got a little more than half right on the 50 question set that started the morning. I liked the lecture format, how it interspersed the question with a comprehensive outline of the subject. I went to the library after class to do more practice questions and see if I had learned anything. I did 25 con law questions from Adachi's "MBE Survival Kit" and got less than half right. Pitiful. Then I did 10 questions from one of the PMBR workbooks, and got 9 of them right. Hmm... Whatever- at this point I am studying the questions, not practicing them, right Mr. Talamo? And now for my favorite quote of the day: "Rational basis plaintiffs are losers." That's all folks- off to bed. Tomorrow is torts day.

Here goes nothing...

PMBR starts today. Crazy. Here goes nothing...


Back from the Living...

I know I haven't updated in a while, but that's because I've been trying to cram in every bit of living I could between the end of my externship and the start of PMBR on Monday. Can you believe it's one week from today?

In the time since I've posted last, I have almost finished the PMBR cds (only 2 torts cds to go), have read through a bit of the Conviser Mini Review (and by the way, isn't it cruel to call a 5 lb. book a 'mini-review'), and have spent more money on bar prep materials I probably won't have time to use. It's an addiction really- I would seek help, except for the fact that I think I've bought all the bar prep materials out there, so the temptation is gone : )

So on the agenda for this week: checking out the library that I will chain myself inside of this summer, finishing the PMBR CDs, continuing to read the Conviser and attempting to learn Community Property and Wills/Trusts to a decent level so that I'm not blown away when BarBri starts. Oh yeah, and I'd still like to do a little living in the mean time.