Sunday, July 17, 2005


So...this is what my Bar studying looks like now. Condensing my outlines into "idea maps" - how are things connected? What are the elements? The tests?

I'm trying to step up the number of essays I outline - and well I should, a lot of the time, my "rule" is more like a lot of "umm....something something goes here."

My MBE stuff is slowly improving...or is it? Hard to tell. I outlined a performance test, and I found it fun. In Epstein-speak, I done lost my mind, I know.

Aside from trying to stick to my "regiment"*, I am trying to get my mental game in order. So, so much of this exam is about the ability to not take yourself out of the game. Things that are helping me (your mileage may vary):

Understanding failure. I told a "rising 2L" that the best reason to pass the Bar is to not have to study for it again. I firmly believe that. HOWEVER, I know that by thinking about the possible consequences if I fail, I can eliminate some of my anxiety. Yes, it would very much suck to have to take it again, and the pride thing, and let's not forget the job thing (they'll let me take it again - like domesticated animals, "first bite is free.") BUT, if I fail - no one dies, it's not what I want, but it is manageable.

Remembering success. I was, um, much less than a stellar student in undergrad. Much less. My expectations for myself coming into law school were very modest. First semester, I thought I was so behind everyone else, and I was intimidated. People had study groups, lending libraries of study aids (okay - that was one group), etc. I remember Dec. exams as being pretty fun. We've already established that I'm a geek and crazy - what I mean is that, divorced from the pressure of having to perform, I was able to just get in there and see it as a game. Issue spotting became like... "Duck Hunt." Multiple choice, yes please. And so on.

That's my goal: to get back to the point where it is fun again, to know that I have prepared, and that, with a clear head, I can see it as a game and give it my best shot.

* A friend keeps referring to my schedule/plan/etc as my "regiment." I kind of like it - I imagine a sea of stuffy British redcoats (maybe drinking tea?) waiting to do my bidding. My first order - get rid of Community Property - CHARGE!


shell said...

What an amusing & effective way of looking at this crazy period of your life.

Could you please remind me again of all this in about..erhmm..3 years?

Eve said...

Your flowcharts are so nice... I love your abbrev. for "ation"... I always use "axn" for action for -ation, which looks violent doesn't it? Axe-n? Oh well, too late to change now. :)

maisnon said...

The funny thing, eve, is that I picked up the abbrev'n from my very first class in undergrad (Bio 101.) I remember thinking that it made sense, I also abbreviate by using "bar" (i.e. the line on top), so individual is "i bar", organizatin "o bar", etc.

Wow - that was over 10 years ago!

jm said...

"My MBE stuff is slowly improving...or is it?"

That's how I'm feeling about my MBE studies too. Some days I can knock it out, other days it knocks me out. Here's to hoping that future interest RP questions are few and far between. :)

Chai said...

my notes remind me of math and science. When I chart things out, like O to A, A to B, O to C, it looks like the molecule diagrams we did in Bio.

then the elements look like math problems. its quite amusing since i am great in either subjects yet i find the logic behind the law similar to the logic of math/science.

and geeks rock!

Firefly said...

I came across your blog as I'm studying (or should be) for the CA bar now (eeeek!). Thanks for the distraction :)

P.S. Your comparison to wild animals is priceless -- made me laugh out loud for the first time in awhile!