I did my first set of practice questions today, and I only did about 10 of them because, oh my God, I don’t know ANYTHING. I have been hearing people talk about flash cards and only now do I understand the utility of making such things. I may actually have to go to the office supply store across the street and buy some index cards tomorrow, so I can not only start making cards for the various prima facie cases of various torts and the elements of various crimes but also make some cards that will help me freaking memorize what torts and crimes there are. Because after spending two and a half hours summarizing my notes on torts, I STILL could only get 2 out of 10 questions right on the “testing drills” questions (read: probably even easier than the actual practice questions).
The bar is going to Kick My Ass.
Chicken Magazine posted this (as did E. McPan) and I thought I’d jump in. These are the top 106 books tagged “unread” at LibraryThing. The idea is to bold the ones you’ve read, underline the ones you read for school, and italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish. I did all of that and also bold-underlined the books I originally read for school but have since reread for my own pleasure.
I started out pretty hot, but got more lukewarm towards the bottom. Not sure what that signifies, since I’m not sure how this list was ordered. Jump in yourself if you want!
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Crime and Punishment
The Brothers Karamazov
War and Peace
A Tale of Two Cities
The Name of the Rose
Love in the Time of Cholera
The Blind Assassin
Pride and Prejudice
The Historian: A Novel
The Canterbury Tales
The Kite Runner
Life of Pi
The Time Traveler’s Wife
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
The Grapes of Wrath
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Sense and Sensibility
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books
The Count of Monte Cristo
The Sound and The Fury
Memoirs of a Geisha
Brave New World
The Poisonwood Bible
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
The Picture of Dorian Gray
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
The Satanic Verses
The Three Musketeers
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
To the Lighthouse
A Clockwork Orange
The Scarlet Letter
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
The Once and Future King
The God of Small Things
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Oryx and Crake
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
In Cold Blood
Lady Chatterley’s Lover
A Confederacy of Dunces
The Amber Spyglass
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
Beowulf: A New Verse Translation
A Farewell to Arms
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Sons and Lovers
The Book Thief
The History of Tom Jones
Tender is the Night
The War of the Worlds
Bar/Bri sucks the life out of me. It’s bad enough that I have ANOTHER sinus infection; do I have to sit through videotaped lectures for four hours a day, too? But they tell me that this is the way to pass the bar, so I do it.
Because of the aforementioned sinus infection, though, I have not felt up to jumping into the Paced Program. (Oops, Paced Program™.) I haven’t summarized any of my notes; I haven’t done any of the recommended testing drills, and I am not currently working on the essays I’m supposed to work on today. Maybe tomorrow. Or maybe not. If I could get a solid night’s sleep, I’d definitely feel more up to doing actual work, but I haven’t accomplished such a thing in days. I slept better last night than since Saturday night, but I was propped up on pillows so I could breathe, and I don’t sleep well when I can’t roll around and flop onto my stomach, so I still don’t feel really rested.
Tomorrow, my afternoon class gets lucky and gets a live lecture (whoo-hoo!) but that means it’ll be packed, since the morning kids have to come to our class, too. And we have class on SATURDAY, which is vile—another live lecture, and that one with the morning kids AND the evening kids. I am dreading trying to find a seat—and save enough seats for my Bar/Bri pals.
Because, after all, while law school is like high school, Bar/Bri is like middle school. People save seats for each other, pass notes in class, and generally act like they’re in the early throes of puberty. (For instance, today, some skeezy guy sitting next to a married friend of mine decided her wedding ring was a challenge to be overcome. I mean, ew. Not appropriate.)
So, basically, Bar/Bri sucks, especially when you’re sick, and I can’t believe I have another eleventy-million of these lectures to attend—not to mention actually doing some self study and then TAKING THE BAR EXAM. And somewhere in the next few weeks of figuring out this whole Bar/Bri Paced Program self study stuff, I need to put together my clerkship applications and send them—and that includes doing some additional work on The Task since I’m going to send it out as a writing sample for at least some of my applications, and I doubt any judges will be impressed by the handful of citations I have that read “String cite to all those articles on Google.” Granted, that’s work I’m going to have to do that anyway, if I’m sending it out for publication in August, but I’ll have to do it EARLIER rather than later for clerkship applications.
Anyway. My summer is shaping up to be just fantastic—and I haven’t even started my summer job yet! (To be fair my summer job should be the best part of my summer; it’s just that it will eat away another four hours of my day that I’m already not spending studying. Gah!) More updates to come.
Bar/Bri starts today.
I’ve been looking over all the materials they’ve given me—the class schedule, the Paced Program, a handout called “The Bar/Bri Method”—and I’m put in mind of that silly essay-writing-method class some of my classmates were fearmongered into taking our first year. Except Bar/Bri is less obvious about the fearmongering; it’s more subtle. So, instead of “If you don’t attend this whole-day lecture on how to write law school exams, you’ll FAIL!” it’s “If you keep up with this completely impossible schedule we’ve provided you so that you can internalize and memorize all of the information you’ll need for the bar exam, you should be fine. Oh, and while you’re spending eight hours a day in class or reading the hundreds of pounds of books we gave you, be sure to stay healthy and rested! The bar exam is FUN!”
I’m not scared of the bar yet, and I’m not sure if I should be or not. There’s a lot of information sitting piled up next to me in green, shiny books, but I’m not feeling any angst about getting through it all. (I am feeling angst about being able to stay awake in class, but I think once I get rid of the lingering allergies I brought back from the wedding I was in last weekend, I shouldn’t have that problem any more.) I guess I’ll start to feel more nervous once I start doing practice questions and essays. Since I haven’t actually taken a closed-book exam since college ((I did have one exam 1L year to which we could only bring the rule book and a single piece of paper, but that’s still not closed book; I had another with a closed-book multiple-choice portion, but the essays were open book, so, again, not really closed book.)) I think that might be the shock I need.
I guess right now I’m still basking in the glow of being done—of turning in The Task, of being done with my major journal duties (though I do have a few journal things to follow up on right now…), of being out of law school. The bar threatens to kill my buzz, and I guess I am just not quite willing to to let it, yet.
After a whirlwind few days, my family have all gone back home and I am officially a law school graduate. I’m looking around at the detritus from the commencement festivities—a kitchen full of dirty dishes from brunch, a broken china cup and a missing vertical blind ((The vertical blind fell and knocked the cup onto the floor. There may have been human assistance in its falling. It’s OK—turns out that, despite the pattern being discontinued, replacements.com had a replacement cup in stock. I’ll end up with an extra saucer, but that’s less of a big deal than missing a cup.)), a slightly wigged out dog, and an exhausted husband.
It still doesn’t feel quite real, and maybe that’s because I spent most of the graduation festivities trying to introduce my family to the law school (metaphorically speaking) instead of reveling in my accomplishment and celebrating with my friends. I’m not sure how that could have been any different, though. In a lot of ways, law school has been, for me, about the relationships I’ve formed at school, and I kind of feel like I haven’t gotten a chance to really say goodbye to a lot of my friends. (Luckily, I don’t really have to yet—most of my friends will be staying here this summer, even if they’re off to other cities and states this fall, so we’ll have plenty of time to hang out and enjoy being graduates.) But I still feel a bit cheated out of celebrating my graduation with my friends. The tradeoff—celebrating my graduation with my family—is a good one, but also sort of difficult. My family don’t really know what this experience has been like for me, though I’ve tried to share some of it with them (I haven’t, I admit, been terribly good about it). But I wanted them to enjoy the trip up here, and so I maybe spent more time stressed out about making their time here fun and enjoyable (and accessible, honestly) than relaxed and excited about graduating.
Moreover, this week is my week to finish catching up on the last few academic duties still on my plate—I have to finish revising The Task and complete the edits on the last few journal articles—so maybe I don’t feel graduated yet because I’m actually Not Done. So here I sit, sort of at a loss, knowing I should take the rest of the day to actually relax before I jump back into work tomorrow, but edgy and antsy enough to feel like I need to be working now.
I was planning to write a sort of lengthy post about the end of law school and all of the myriad emotions I’ve been feeling since taking my last exam, and about wandering around the city feeling unemployed, and how sort of strange I felt today, particularly.
But I’m not going to write about that because, today, after I got home, my graduation gift from Mr. Angst was waiting for me and I’ve spent most of this evening playing with it. Mr. Angst has even joined me.
We’ve formed a band.
So you’ll have to excuse me if I’m a little preoccupied for the next few weeks before Bar/Bri starts (and before my summer job starts)—what free time I’ll have away from revising The Task and from finishing up journal stuff may well be spend honing my guitar skills. (Yes, it’s ironic—I’m the guitarist and Mr. Angst is the singer. I am not really sure why or how that happened except that it’s my graduation present and, at least if I play by myself, it’s more fun to play the guitar than to sing. I actually think I’ll spend some time tomorrow starting a solo career.)
Excuse me—I have to run. Mr. Angst is singing Don’t Fear the Reaper, solo. I want to watch this.
I made pho Saturday night because I really wanted pho, but didn’t want to wait for delivery or go get it myself. Here’s the (relatively easy to make) recipe. ((Pho, for those who don’t know, is Vietnamese soup made with a fragrant broth and rice noodles. It usually contains some variety of meat, usually thinly sliced beef.))
6 cups beef broth
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
1 quarter-inch thick slice ginger root
Bring these to a boil in a large pot. Once it comes to a boil, reduce to a low simmer for 15 minutes.
While the broth is simmering, soak 3 to 6 oz. of flat rice noodles in hot water.
While the noodles soak, slice a half pound to a pound of trimmed sirloin into thin slices, against the grain. ((This is really important—if you don’t cut it across the grain, it will be impossibly tough when cooked.)) I actually couldn’t find any sirloin that looked decent, so I bought a London broil instead (it was a top round cut—London broil can be any variety of cuts). I didn’t do this because I was impatient, but one of the best ways to cut beef thin is to freeze it first. Next time I’ll do that—my slices were a little too thick to eat easily.
Once your beef is sliced, put a pot of salted water on to boil. Once it boils, drain the soaking noodles and throw them in the boiling water for about 45 seconds, then drain. Set aside.
Your broth should have been simmering for about 15 minutes now. If you feel like it, strain the broth into another pot; if you don’t, just fish the ginger, cinnamon, and star anise out. Put the broth, strained or not, over medium to low heat.
Time to add the last ingredients to the broth:
1/4 cup fish sauce
1 cup cleaned bean sprouts
The beef will cook in the hot broth. Don’t let it overcook, though! It’s ready to serve as soon as the beef changes color.
To serve, divide the noodles among your bowls (this recipe makes 4 smallish portions or 3 restaurant-sized portions), then ladle the broth (with the meat) over the noodles. Serve with basil, cilantro, sliced Asian chiles, sliced scallions, and more sprouts.
This turned out OK. Next time, I’ll use a different kind of beef broth—or I’ll make my own—since it was way too salty. (I used regular Swanson broth, since the store didn’t have the low-sodium variety. I also added some salt at the end of cooking, thinking the addition of the beef would dilute the flavor some; I won’t do that, again, either.) Also, since my local, walking-distance grocery store didn’t have star anise, I used anise seed instead. If you use anise seed, you might want to strain the broth; I did not, though, and just avoided scooping into the bottom of the pot when I served the soup to avoid getting any seed into the bowls. It was fine. I have leftovers; we’ll see if the anise seed makes the broth inedible after reheating, though.
Welcome to this week’s Law School Roundup! We all seem to be in the throes of exams, which explains the variety of non-law-school-related writing featured here…enjoy!
- Nerdery. Definitely ready for law school. Terra Nullius
- Holiday. Yet another day when lawyers still have to go to work. The Lay Judge
- Freak-out. Par for the course during exams, unfortunately. Butterflyfish
- Stretch. It’s a good thing. Starting to Melt
- Hypos. Stop it. Just because it’s exam time doesn’t mean everything is a legal question. The War of All Against All
- Online. Also a good thing. The Shark
- Training. Holistic and (maybe just a little) humorous. Frequent Citations
- Summer Vacation. For the last time? Lag Liv
- Gendered. Rings true for me, too. Magic Cookie
- Boo. I’ve seen this happen, and it does suck. Rambling Without Cause
And that’s it for this week! Look for next week’s Roundup at Evan Schaeffer’s Legal Underground.
And a reminder—if you’re interested in stepping into my shoes and taking over the biweekley student-authored part of the Law School Roundup, let me know!