Saturday, May 10, 2008

Alrighty then ...

... and it is going to be “alrighty” very soon for many of us. Me included, I pray.

As I write this, according to my timer, there are 6 days, 3 hours, 34 minutes, and some seconds left until we either, 1) start living a normal life again, or 2) whip out our credit card, put our daily lives on hold (again), and retreat into that dark lonely place that I call Bar Prep Purgatory. It’s not quite Hell because there is a chance that, some day, our seemingly eternal sentence to this miserable existence will end.

I feel like Sisyphus; pushing the boulder up the mountain. Except this boulder is the California Bar Exam and, like an unstoppable force of nature, the State Bar keeps building up the mountain; making it higher and steeper as time passes.

This was me when I started this process more than a year ago.

This is me now after having spent a year and a half as a recluse in my study dungeon.


I’m hoping that I will be able to step aside soon and let that damned boulder roll to the bottom of the hill. It’s picked up quite a bit of extra weight during this process. My life, and the lives of those that depend on me, will be very different in 6 days, 3 hours, and … 11 minutes.

But things are not all doom and gloom. Thanks to Jonathan, there’s a full-time job waiting for me when I pass. And also thanks to him, I’m able to make a little money now as I wait for my sentence in Purgatory to be commuted. Appreciate that, I do.

The decision I made in March to purge my mind of all thoughts of next Friday has served me well so far. My anxiety level is way down compared to last November. And based on my experience in the weeks and months before the February exam, nothing good comes from all that stress. There are a few situations where a little pressure helps to motivate me. This is not one of those situations.

As you can see, I’ve also stayed away from this blog. As much as I appreciate all of my friends out here in the blogosphere, I just had to look away for a while. I’m sure you understand. But I read your comments because they’re all sent to my in-box. And I can’t tell you how much your encouragement and support mean to me. Thank you very much. Know that I am pulling for all of us to get past this thing.

For those of you who are taking it in July for the first time, heed this advice: Don’t underestimate the difficulty of this exam and, as well prepared as you may be right now, don’t get overconfident. Take it very seriously, as I know you will, because you don’t want to be sitting where I am right now. Trust me.

I’m trying to think of some positive and uplifting way to close this post …

Nothing comes to mind.

I can think of nothing optimistic. I guess you’ll have to tune in Friday evening to see if that changes.

But I remain hopeful. And if there is a bright side to this situation, it’s that I’ll soon know what to do with my summer! Yay!



Santosh Giri said...

Thanks a lot for the encouragement and reality check of our nerves.

Any advice or words of wisdom for us , the first time Feb 08 cal bar takers?

Me? I don't know exactly where I stand with possibly 50% MBEs, 55% from MEEs and 55% MPTs ( being really optimistic about myself) notwithstanding the screwed up PT-A, Messed up Essay (PR Issue) and 12 MBEs which I could NOT understand where they came from.

Another confession, for foreign lawyers like me, with no USA JD, but 9 months of LLM, I dont know where exactly I stand......

Good luck 6 days, our efforts shall show colors, either bright or dark.

Nick said...

Good Luck, I wish you.

The Grand Poobah said...

Santosh Giri: Oh yeah... advice ... I'll have to get back to you on that. I'm out of time tonight and my wife's got the whole day booked tomorrow. (;-)>

Nick: Much thanks!

Anonymous said...

Dear Poobah,

Nice to hear from you too. I wrote once a while back but have been merely reading from a distance. I am a Cal girl and have lived away from my beloved state now for some 12 + years. I practice in another jurisdiction and thought once I decided it was my time to make the pilgrmage back I like you with tons of studying could do so. Not so. I took it in July, studied probably 1000 hours while working full time and failed. I was so upset. This time around I used a different course, different approach, prayed a great deal and worked out a ton. I hope to make it like you. Life goes on but I know how you feel waiting and feeling like your life is on hold. Also congrats re: the job. That is great and will help make you feel better regardless of outcome. I think you made it however. For me, not sure. I hope so. Take care.

calbar blondie said...

Hi GP,
I think you've done rather well, especially netting the full-time job offer while in "Bar Exam Purgatory." Here's to many more of us clearing the hurdle by 6:01pm next Friday..
Calbar Blondie

Joaquin said...

I've stopped by this blog a number of times & have yet to leave a comment. Since this is the "week", I wanted to share a couple of thoughts. At least to get some of that last minute anxiety off my shoulders.

First, GP, you have some of the best insight on the bar & many of your comments have really hit home. Best wishes on this new beginning.

Overall, I have been good about forgetting the whole damn thing. That's all you can do. However, this is the week where it starts to consume me a little. Yet, like you said, all of the stress does nothing for you in the end. Either you pulled off a majority of the essays/PT's or you didn't. (MBE's rarely sink your ship).

Anyways, thinking back on those three herendous days in Feb, I felt great after day 1 & 2, but day 3 completely kicked my ass. But, if experience has taught me anything--it takes more than one miserable day.

Regardless, I did everything I could do. Countless hours & tons of effort (& resources) just to be ready & to feel ready. I have no regrets about it & left it all out there---a sentiment all of you probably share.

As someone much wiser has told me countless times: "this exam has nothing to do w/ how smart or intelligent you are or even who you are. Your family & real friends still love & respect you regardless of the outcome."

This is so true--b/c I've been here.

Good luck everyone! I'm looking forward to a great weekend w/ you all--in spirit at least.

RACHEL said...

GP, I wish I had your conviction for putting this whole mess out of your mind. It seems to be the focus of every breath I take these days.

I remember when the countdown clock on your blog had 77 days left on it and I wanted nothing more than to just fast forward to results day and get this over with once and for all. Now that we're down to four days, I'm suddenly thinking that time is passing too fast. One way or another, I feel like my life is going to change on Friday and I just don't know if I'm ready for whatever that screen is going to say.

We'll get through this though, right? The end is in sight! Here's hoping to the best for both of us!

thecalbaristhebaneofmyexistence said...


your blog provided a great deal of comfort and encouragement while I studied for the bar exam. i thank you with all sincerity for maintaining this blog. i'm sending you (and all of us) happy thoughts this friday!

Anonymous said...

The week the results are released is miserable. I sincerely beleive in my coping strategy: drink heavily and play Guitar Hero III. If that doesn't set your mind at ease, I just don't know what will.

Anonymous said...


All things mellow in the mind
A slight of hand or trick of time
And even this exam will fade
When dreams are broken, men are made.

(Full disclosure, those first two lines are from an anonymous poem I read back in D.C.) Hey, seeing as I am posting anonymously, maybe I wrote that....

Richard said...

God is Good. His timings are perfect. He is in control, and He will see US through. Is anything difficult for our Lord ?

Do not doubt or belittle Him !!

Weezy said...

Hi GP!

Thank you for everything.
I know your hard work will be rewarded!!

Anonymous said...


How have you been paying the bill AND traveling to Europe twice [since next post] AND failing the bar? Maybe it doesn't matter if you pass.

Other Dude.

The Grand Poobah said...


The European trips were 4 and 15 years ago. And my wife wants me to hurry up and pass and pay off the mountain of debt I've built up so we can go to Paris in the spring. Unlike me, she thinks that the crowds aren't so bad.

And the bills have been covered by the wife's job and the equity in my home. The SoCal real estate market peaked at the right time for me.

But the market's down again and my line is almost full. And if I don't pass this time, there's a good chance that I'll be moving. So it really does matter.

I guess you could say that I'm whistling past the graveyard.

But it's all good. I hope.