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!