Thursday, July 07, 2005

Stressed? Hey, at least you're not starving in Africa.

I have two stories for you today:

Story #1 - Today's Trusts lecture.

The guy doing our Wills/Trusts lectures the past two days was so fucking awful I wanted to die. So, apparently, did the rest of our class, as there was a lot of loud yawning and chatter, which is usually kept to a minimum by the "shush"ers. Five minutes before every blessed break, he'd launch into some ridiculous story about staying calm during the exam. First of all, if I hear one more story about how a mental incompetant, a Vietnam Vet who can't read, a girl who dry-heaved for the first two hours of the exam, or some poor slob who only wrote "I am depressed" one on of the essays, all PASSED the exam - or how NO ONE fails the exam by more than a few points - or how none of the graders actually READ your essays - do you know what I'm going to do? I'M GOING TO THROW MYSELF OFF A BRIDGE. These stories are not helpful, or calming, or motivating me to study, since clearly being smart has very little to do with passing the bar exam. It also begs the question - who are these people who are failing?? If I fail, am I too stupid to live? Is that the point of these stories? I think it is.

Anyway, the lecturer started into a story today about how a boy got the dates mixed up and showed up for the second day, thinking it was the first day. When he realized he was fucked, he stayed anyway and figured it would be good practice when he retook the exam in February. I was really concerned this story was going to end with, "AND HE PASSED! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!? IF A GUY CAN SKIP THE ENTIRE FIRST DAY OF ESSAYS AND PASS, SURELY AN ASSHOLE LIKE YOU CAN PASS!" Thankfully, he did not pass.

As he finished the Trusts lecture he busted out with yet another soul-crushing story, so I grabbed my shit and high-tailed it out of there. Later I ran into a friend who couldn't pack up her gear fast enough to escape. She told me that he - honest to god - said that when you feel stressed out about the exam, you should think about the 99% of the world that isn't as lucky as you are. So, while you're trying to cram Community Property in your head and realize you're just not getting it, you should think about all the poor people starving in Africa. What? Listen, once I get my license and deal with my personal debt, I'd love to spend the rest of my life helping the sick, poor, and oppressed - but there is a time and place for guilt trips about the world's ills, and this summer is not one of them. All that's going to do is make me sad, and feel bad that I'm not doing anything but sitting on my ass learning law you can't even use in the real world. What an ass.

Story #2 - Welcome to D.C.

I'm sure you've heard about the London bombings this morning. So, obviously, DC was at high alert today. I don't really live in fear, because there's not much I can do except stay calm in the event something happens. But I've seen few things more terrifying than when I was getting off the metro at Farragut North today, and three policemen were just coming down the escalator. Not just any policemen, they were not in blues, but in full battle uniform, with huge kevlar vests and quite possibly THE BIGGEST FUCKING MACHINE GUNS I have ever seen in real life. I don't really get that. Is there going to be a small scale war on the metro platform? If they find a bomb, are they going to shoot it to death? If they actually find a terrorist, is the biggest machine gun in the world going to make more of a difference than any other gun? I mean, they all bank on dying anyway. All it really does is freak out the passengers.

The parking attendants at the IMF were even wearing kevlar, which I've never seen either. Obviously they got hot, or Bush decided with his all-knowing wisdom that we were no longer in danger, because they weren't wearing them at 5pm. I guess terrorists only strike in the mornings. As I entered the metro on my way back home, some transit employees were passing out little cards to everyone that told us to watch for arabs suspicious people, and to not cry and scream if the trains are running late a terrorist hits the metro.

Anyway, I just wonder what all the tourists think when stuff like this happens. Like do they go home to their red states and tell their neighbors about the "close-call" they had, then praise god they voted for Bush? Who knows.


At 8:07 PM, July 07, 2005, Blogger G. said...

"Anyway, the lecturer started into a story today about how a boy got the dates mixed up and showed up for the second day, thinking it was the first day. When he realized he was fucked, he stayed anyway and figured it would be good practice when he retook the exam in February."

So then what was the point of telling you that story? To remind you to double-check what day the exam starts? That's ridiculous. I guess he must be saving that story for us tomorrow. Because today he just told the one about how he broke out in hives.

At 11:07 PM, July 07, 2005, Blogger Heather said...

The point turned out to be the same as all his stories: stay calm.

The boy failed so he got his scores back, and it seemed he got 85's on all three essays on friday and kicked ass on the PT - why you ask? Because he wasn't stressed - he knew he had already failed!

I thought - well, good, that's probably how I'm going to feel by the third day anyway! PASS!

At 11:22 PM, July 07, 2005, Blogger Eve said...

I am soooo feeling you on the "look at this mental defective-slash-emotional wreck-slash semi-conscious jerk that passed - you can too!!" stories.

But I did like the 99% of the world has it worse story. I was definitely in the minority though. One person in my class laughed, and everyone else was packing up. But I liked it because it removed some of the ridiculous pressure I was putting on myself. Perspective is exactly what I was needing.

At 11:57 PM, July 07, 2005, Blogger Chai said...

Yeah, for some reason, the 99% story brought tears to my eyes. And I'm not even PMSing. So, in our BB evaluations today, I gave him an "average" because of that story.

I was thinking of all my DC friends, especially the metro totting ones today. I am so scared that Bush is going to get some pull out of this to spend more of our money, that should be going to education and other things, in the damn Iraq war.

At 12:25 AM, July 08, 2005, Blogger Glib Gurl said...

Great post - very funny and so, so true! Not to toot my own blog, You inspired me to write about this same topic here: If you don't feel like reading it, here's the main point: don't listen to other stories. People pass and people (like me) fail. Life continues. Although I have to admit that it took me a while to convince myself that I'm not some sort of mentally-defective degenerate . . . .

At 12:46 AM, July 08, 2005, Blogger Roonie said...

I agree. I wish that guy hadn't told us those stories. I'm also tired of hearing Ho..berg's stories, too. It almost seems like you *have* to be an idiot to pass the exam. Because you never hear the stories about the sane ones passing, do you?

At 2:37 PM, July 08, 2005, Blogger jm said...

I had the same experience with the machine guns in San Francisco when I interviewed last year. Turns out there was a bomb scare at one of the stations, so the police brought out the big guns and all their gear. Seriously, I don't know how they could even move, they had so much shit strapped to their legs.

And yes, those red staters are totally going home with their close-call stories, which will convince them that their 10 person town needs more anti-terror funding too. Argh.

At 4:13 PM, July 08, 2005, Blogger G. said...

I just got the "starving people in Africa" story. I couldn't resist:

Dear Wills & Trusts Guy...

At 1:06 AM, July 09, 2005, Blogger maisnon said...

Whoah. You're right - we did nearly the same rant, but you had the balls to go there re: the Bush Administration. ;)

I'm glad I missed the little cards, b/c I may have flipped out. (Or maybe they wouldn't have given me one since I'm brown.)


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