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Fighting Swans Ready for the Storm

A swan enters a bar…Okay, so I’m hoping that line is the summary of a really weird summer, and not the beginning of a really bad joke. Tomorrow, in a ballroom at the Red Lion on the Jantzen River in Portland, OR, myself and only one other fighting swan will battle our way through the Oregon Bar Exam. Nervous? Yup. Did I study enough? No. I swear I should plug my ears and nose because it seems that as soon as I shove something into my head, as soon as I switch to a different topic, the first subject falls out.

But what can I do at this point? If I fail, I will take it again. I am sore and tired from flying all day. At least being an east coaster gives me some advantage for it feeling later in the day right now. Sadly, if I was well-prepped and not so tired, I could enjoy the very nice amenities that this hotel has. I have my own balcony and access to a hot tub and pool overlooking the beautiful river scenery for goodness sake! Maybe tomorrow, after the first battle of this two day war.

Actually, I feel like there are four battles. Tomorrow morning I have three MEEs (essays created by the national writers), plus a 90 minute MPT (performance exam using mock law for a mock client). Then there’s lunch, and the same demons in the afternoon. Those are two separate battles, as I see it. I mean, I have to RETURN to the testing room after the morning’s torture. I’m sure there are all sorts of mental exercises my brain is going to be jumping through with that stress. For Day 2 I have three hours in the morning to answer 100 MBE multiple choice questions. Then lunch, rinse, and repeat. While studying this summer, I did one practice MBE on a Friday. Worst day of my young life. Glued to a seat for three hours, trying to answer every question within 1.5 minutes, switching mind sets from Contracts to Con Law to Evidence to Real Property to Crim Law/Pro to Torts, is tedious and honestly, it’s hard on the body. I’m not hyperactive by any means, but it is really difficult to sit and focus for that entire time. I squirm, switch sitting on one leg only to sit on the other, then cross them both, before deciding to stand and lean. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do that for the exam, but it’s going to be awful. Four battles to win this war. PLEASE universe, do NOT let me fail. I do NOT want to have to do this ever again.

I have subscribed to good luck charms in recent weeks. Besides my usual jewelry, which includes my famous Texas A&M class ring on my right hand and a silver band of sun faces (reminding me that radiance is a state of mind) on my left middle finger, I have taken up wearing a bracelet given to me before law school to remind me of my past. I also wear six silly bands given to me by other law school students: one VLSer who is a rising third year, and one alumni VLSer who graduated before me. I also carry two small jade Buddhas in my pocket to remind me that this too shall pass. To complete the ensemble is a silver locket that my best friend from childhood gave to me. She gave it to me when we were in middle school and told me to tell it my wishes and dreams. That locket is going to be heavy tonight! I don’t know that I think they are the source of any actual power, but they are consistent object reminding me of where I’ve been, where I am, and where I am going. Since those are the three sides of anyone’s character, I am just hoping that tomorrow’s middle self can practice some yoga and get with the present program and sit in her chair and focus. If my past self who studied over the summer could somehow combine with present self to give future self freedom, that’d be great.

Right now I am going to take a hot shower, have a small individual dance party because, hey, I’ve been on planes all day listening to awesome music. I decided dance partying on the plane was not in my best interests, so time for a release. Then some brief, calming reading over MEEs and notes before bed. Final preparations for the skirmish, just like a suit of armour. With malice aforethought (intent!), I will first degree murder this exam!

A fighting swan walks into a bar…


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