"Dude, they're nihilists."
I've been feeling a little nihilistic about the bar exam lately. Like it doesn't matter how smart or stupid I am, or how much or little I study, I'm going to fail this exam. I don't want to turn this into the blog of despair, so that's why I didn't blog all day yesterday, when I sat around paralyzed by how behind I am and yet, still found someway to avoid work nearly all day.
So, I'm going to break this down once, partly because I think I have a valid point, and then leave it alone. I feel this way about the bar exam, becaue its exactly what law school taught me about the results of my hard work - a large portion of the time, they will be completely arbitrary. Let's take an example (this will also be the last time I ever disclose my grades, since I usually hate that, but it works well here). Last semester I took Antitrust Law and Sales/Secured Transactions. I loved antitrust; I thought the material was interesting, I read every single page that was assigned and took copious margin notes whittling down the facts and synthesizing the cases so I could really understand the rule of law (there are no brightline laws in antitrust), and my outline kicked ass. I know with honesty that I knew enough to get one of the highest grades in the class, so what did I get? B. Not a B+, but a B.
Okay, so I took S/ST. I skipped at least a third of the classes (it was a 9am), I skimmed the cases if I read at all, since he only called on each person once a semester, and the material was so boring I wanted to die. I hated contracts my first year, and this was no better. I barely studied, didn't make an outline, and didn't do a single one of the hundreds of "problems" that were in the book. And that, apparently, adds up to "A" work. (My school doesn't give out A+, fyi, so an A's the ceiling). Well good for me, if I actually knew anything about sales or secured transactions.
Pretty much every single class I've taken in law school has been exactly like this. I don't think I've ever checked my grades where, for better or worse, my reaction wasn't "Huh?"
Just to really bring this home, I had an internship from May 2003-May 2004 with a really great organization. I really respect the work they do, and the professor who brought me into it. I worked for that entire year writing what amounted to a thesis (~85 pages) on a real-world topic, so that the big-guns could use it for consulting work. I worked in a group of 10 people who each had a different topic but for the same client. I worked my ass off on that thing, doing more research when needed, editing, reoganizing, whatever they needed to be done; not to mention letting my classes slide, staying up all night, and generally stressing out to my limit, because I was also waiting tables during this year, as well. But the real-world situation changed so much over that year, that my paper became completely irrelevant. Every single person in my group worked as hard as I did over that year, but to this day, mine is the only paper that hasn't been published, just because I happened to work on this particular topic. I worried that it was my research skills, so I went to the head honcho and said I would understand if he felt that way, but maybe he should tell me straight-out because he's one of my references. He assured me that had nothing to do with it, and that I just happened to be unlucky.
So, you can see how law school might have turned me in a nihilistic fool. I think the fates have been telling me for years that law school was not the right path for me, as if I didn't know, and the bar exam will just be the final straw, no matter how much I study for it. Maybe that explains to you why I'm so sure I'll fail, no matter how much I may know about any particular subject.
But, like everything else this past three years, I will put this behind me and continue to study my ass off, even though someone in the back of my head is yelling, "don't bother!"
And that's the end of my rant for today. I happen to like posting funny stories and random observations in this blog more than this ridiculous stuff, so hopefully we'll be back to normal tomorrow.