Bar exam number four has come and gone. What an adventure!!! The first month of studying was superb! But figuring out how to juggle part-time work, leaving my baby with a babysitter all week, while preparing for the exam was .... stressful, to say the least. The second month brought lots of illnesses to our family that really made studying difficult. But, on a plane I went.
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Of course, traveling delays occurred and I ended up getting into Seattle at 6am my time, 3am local, my shuttle service had stopped running so I had to take a taxi to Tacoma. Adventures later (witnessing three car accident directly in front of the taxi, hearing Trina brag about her prowess to her employer for the evening at the hotel as they checked in ..... you know, all normal stuff. By the way, on one of my flights this trips, they made the announcement that there would be no working lavatory on our flight - even for me, that was a new one!) Traveling Saturday I started getting my fifth illness in four weeks - a cold.
By the time I got checked in to the hotel and settled, the cold was pretty full blown misery. I was in bed most of Sunday trying to recover from no sleep the day before, and hopefully get feeling better. Monday I was able to do some studying, and the cold remained. The other wrench in the works was that, one week before I had to leave for the bar, I had to start a new medication that started causing insomnia problems. The result was that the night before my first day of the bar, I got around 4 hours of sleep. I woke up still with a cold and a fever. My poor proctor allowed me to have the air on because I felt so crummy. It was not the ideal way to start the exam.
Each day was three sessions - most of the first two sessions of day #1 were not great. Some of my weakest areas of law were tested right away and I could tell I was performing on par with last year. There was a time, during that second session, where I thought: 'Ok, this summer when I have to retake this exam, I am going to have to cut down work hours, and increase babysitting hours and just focus on getting this done right.' (Because this round, i ended up studying three days a week, just during school hours, and then some Saturdays towards the end.) And then I thought, "hey, I'm in the middle of the bar right now," and I got back to my questions.
At this point, I have to mention that I have the best ward of all time. I really do. I am so blessed. Monday when I was studying, I got an email. Our compassionate service leader had passed around a 'go get 'em' card signed by my loving sisters. I found out there were several who were fasting, and many who were praying for me. It was so humbling and made me feel so grateful - I can't even explain it. So when I was going through a rough patch in the exam, I remembered all of these great men and women who were praying and intervening on my behalf, and I was given strength. I also remembered the significance of the necklace I was wearing with the names of all my children on it, and I decided I was not going to give up. I feel so blessed by the power of prayer.
Things started going better and I got some questions that I know I absolutely nailed. Is that presumptuous to say? I guess I figure by four bar exams, I can kind of tell how things are going. And that night, I got two hours of sleep. But my cold was so much better that I went into that day of testing much more clear headed. Despite my lack of sleep the days leading up to and including the exam, when I was writing the exam I did not feel tired. Day #2 of the exam was the opposite of day #1, for the most part, I felt like my answers were very strong, with just a couple that were average.
When I got back to my hotel room, I felt like a massive burden had been lifted. So I guess we'll just have to wait a couple of months and find out what the results are. I am so deeply grateful for everyone who has helped me and my family through my studies and exams - what a group continuing effort!
After the exam, I packed up and made my way to the airport then flew in to stay with my parents for a day and a half - it was awesome! Do you know the tiredest day of your life? I do. February 29, 2012. I got into my parents' home at midnight. I had been so sleep-deprived leading up to and taking the bar, plus the exhaustion from such a massive effort of taking the exam, that I literally began to hallucinate. I was in my parents' basement, and I saw a couch start to float off the ground =). I was so confused, I called my dad down to see if he could see what I saw. He kindly patted me on the shoulder and said, "Janell, I think it is time you went to bed." I went to charge my phone up, and woke up on my bed, phone in hand, shoes and clothes all on, five hours later. Crazy.
And this is the story of bar exam number four. I hope hope hope it is my last bar exam ever. I am not so confident that I have thrown away my notes yet, but should I get happy results, I will burn them. Burn baby burn.
Posted by Janell at 8:14 PM