Thursday, February 28, 2008

Free Time

Because I know you're all wondering what on earth I'm going to do with my spare time now that the bar is over, here's a glimpse. :) ("Better reach down and find some TOOLS...") Ha.

I promised myself that, upon completion of the bar, I was allowed to do something creative and non-legal. (Not ILLEGAL, mind you. Just something that doesn't involve remembering the elements of res ipsa loquitur.) Enter a few of my favorite things:

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I have plans to make a big, comfy, cotton blanket, for wrapping up at night while we wait for Spring to arrive. I'm imagining a bright, happy combination of colors. Something sunny.

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When Steven asked me what I wanted for Christmas back in 2006, I said "crayons...the big box."

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How anyone can function without ninety-six colors and a built-in sharpener is completely beyond me.

I tried out a few combos, to decide which colors of yarn to buy.

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(Okay, I tried out a LOT of combos.) I find this an ironic combination of the two sides of my brain -- coloring with crayons, but on GRAPH PAPER. I am nothing if not an enigma. :)

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I think I've decided on these three blues, with a white square in the middle:






Can you picture it? I think I like it -- summery, breezy, ocean-y. But I can't quite pull the trigger and order the yarn for some reason. I'm still mulling it over.

I have my "bar socks" to tide me over until I make a decision.

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I started working on these about a week before the bar -- I would do a few rows each night when my brain couldn't take any more studying. Tweedy, but cute.

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And tomorrow is court again. Yes, they are throwing me right back in the ringer on the-day-after-the-day-after-the-bar. That's fine, I can take it -- I'm Hammerin' Heather Steele. Bring it!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Haaaaaaaaaaalelujah!

It's over! (Again!) I made the mistake of mentioning to my fellow Maryland-Bar-Takers that this would be my second bar exam in nine months. They looked at me like I'd just told them I'd eaten my Scantron.

Clearly I should adjust the portion of my brain that evaluates the sanity level of a given situation. But wait! No need! Why?

Beeeeeeeecaaaaaaaaause its ooooooooooooover! At least until May 2, 2008, which is the Target Date provided by our Dear Bar Examiners for when they will attempt to have our exams graded-and-posted. Maryland posts its bar results with a little more modesty than Virginia -- Maryland results are posted by your seat number instead of by your name, so the entire world does not instantaneously know whether you have passed or failed upon that final, fateful click of the "refresh" button.

So! Who wants to see what taking a bar exam looks like? (I took a minimal amount of pictures, because something deep and superstitious tells me that if you walk around acting like a photog instead of a studious bar examinee, the universe will notice this and will not deal kindly with you.)

Here's the chair where I spent my final study moments on Monday night:
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It was comfy. (That is not my Newsweek. Michelle Obama can't hold a candle to the Conviser Review Book.)

Here's a husband, hard-at-work:

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He had originally planned to come with me to the bar exam, as he did for the Virginia exam, to make sure that I was properly fed and sheltered. (Believe me, you can forget to feed yourself during all of this, if someone's not there watching out for you.) But then his work realized that Wouldn't-This-Be-A-Perfect-Time-To-Send-Steven-To-Visit-The-Baltimore-Stores-And-Have-Meetings-About-Payroll-And-HR? So while I was bar examining, Steven was traveling all over Baltimore, meeting with people, handing out paperwork, and generally just being a brilliant multitasker. I wasn't allowed to bring my cell phone into the exam with me, so we were concerned about how we would find each other for lunch on the first day, and I made up my mind that I'd just have to call his cell phone somehow -- long distance payphone, collect call, whatever. When the first half of the essay day ended, I burst out the doors and headed straight for the bank of payphones, when I heard someone say, "Hey Heather!"

And there he was, with a lunch already bought from our hotel's little cafe - fruit, cranberry juice, a turkey pita... Seriously people. Steven totally rocks.

The hotel we stayed in was really nice, but right outside our window, things seemed a little skeevy. See the shady-looking people congregating outside the liquor store?

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Yes, we saw them too. Time for room service.

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(With tiny bottles of ketchup!)

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It was the best (and only) room service I've ever had.

So, I sat here on Monday night and studied till I was blue in the face:
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Then took the essay portion of the exam on Tuesday and the multiple choice portion today. And its over. Again. I feel just as numb as I did after the Virginia exam was over. It takes a week or so before you really start to realize that you can just SIT THERE after work is over and you don't have to pick up flashcards or make outlines or do anything other than watch Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell make weird fashion jokes to each other.

I have fantastic and fabulous plans for these new delicious eons of free time, which plans may or may not include crayons, graph paper, log cabins, and certainly a little yarn purchasing. I also have a big stack-o-non-legal-books to read. More on that later.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ten Thousand

I wrote 10,000 words today. (The bar exam software has a word counter.) Halfway done.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

World's Fastest Blog Post

And then immediately back to the studying. STAT.

Here's what you've all been missing during my study-induced blog silence:

Torture, in the form of endless essay questions.
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Blessed, although brief, sunlight-driven silence.
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I packed a bag (last night, pre-flight... zero hour, 9 AM...).
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And I figure, if you have to fill in a billion little multiple-choice circles, you may as well have the best possible instrument with which to accomplish such a feat.
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(World's BEST, people. I spare no expense.)

Studies were interrupted for a lunar eclipse last night.
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And today, the world's-neediest-dog is at it again...
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"Don't do the studying, Mommy! Play with meeeeeeee!"
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Dear Lord.

Ok. No more posting. Back to studying. Right after I refill my coffee....

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Going Dark

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There it is. That's the schedule until D-Day. Don't be alarmed if there's radio silence from my end for these next two weeks. I'm here, and I'm fine. Just trying not to FREAK OUT COMPLETELY AND SCREAM ABOUT ALL THE LAW THAT I DONT KNOW AND DEAR GOD ALMIGHTY MUST THEY MAKE IT THIS HARD I MEAN COME ON I ALREADY DID THREE YEARS OF LAW SCHOOL AND ONE BAR EXAM FOR GOODNESS SAKE!

Ahem. As I was saying, I'll be here in the psych ward for the next two weeks. Don't be alarmed.

Also, don't make any sudden movements. I'm highly caffeinated and surrounded by sharp ball point pens.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

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Whoever made up that saying must have owned small dogs. It is a blissful moment when they both decide to sleep simultaneously. Pictureworthy, even.

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But it doesn't last long.

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(Especially when mommy keeps taking flash pictures of the sleeping dogs. Oops.)


As for me, I've been making some check marks (and even more x's) in my practice question book.

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If you feel like you've seen this picture before, you have.

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But believe me, no one hates the sight of these books more than me right now. (Just thought I'd share a little of the pain with you and keep showing you the same obnoxious pictures of bar review books.)

Clearly, I am about to crack. Want to see what desperation looks like?

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Luckily, I have Captain Cool-Calm-And-Under-Control at the wheel.

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I make him promise me impossible things to keep studying -- like a lifetime supply of Ben & Jerry's, or more yarn than we could fit in our apartment, or a month's vacation in Italy.

Oooh, or my favorite one -- never having to take another bar exam. Ever ever ever.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Primarieeees!

Kudos to my very sweet (if a wee bit cheesy) hubby for the last entry. He sure does love me. I am a lucky girl. :)

So here's what's going on with us tonight -- SUPER TUESDAY!

Both of our home states made appearances on the Fabulous News Network.

Here's the ATL:
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And here's Minnesooota (don't read the words below, just look at the picture. Oh, and try not to be blinded by the enormous crazy that is Bill Hemmer):
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Here's our Super Tuesday correspondent, crunching the political numbers:

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And here's my pick for the GOP ticket. Except reverse it.

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Although I may research Romney a bit more, since my family seems to be giving him more credit than I've given him. I think its his suits. He's too coiffed.



Maybe if I could see him in a sweatshirt or something.... yeah.... maybe standing by a station wagon or something....



Oh. Yeah.

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And now a favorite line from American Idol from tonight:

Singer: "Was I really that bad?"
Simon: "My pen has more charisma. It's a no."

Monday, February 4, 2008

Early Valentine's - Giving Credit Where Credit is Due.

I once heard a male coworker of mine say something like this: "My Wife says that Valentine's Day this year is no big deal, because we celebrate our love for each other every day."

Trust me gentlemen.

This is not true.

Even IF your significant other makes this type of statement to you - It does not excuse a gift, card, hand-written love note, or chocolate candies on the big V Day.

Now saying this, I should tell you that my beautiful wife has never demanded anything for Valentines Day. I attribute this fine quality to the fact that for the past 7 years of our relationship, Heather has always been filling her schedule to the brim - with undergrad schooling, working at the television station, serving tables, law school, bar exams, knitting, etc - so that the minor details of Valentines Day has really no significance - because she has so much more stuff going on.

This year is no change.

Heather continues to be the hardest working person I have ever met. Even though I get up way before her (I had to throw that in - sorry :-) )

Her day goes something like this -
7:00am Wake up - take the dogs out for a walk/go to the gym, prep food for dinner, shower, start a load of laundry, clean the kitchen, leave for work.

8:30a - 6:45/7pm - Work all day at the law firm, travel to different courts, prep documents, talk to clients, answer emails, pick up lunch for the firm, answer countless legal questions from spouse about employment law, direct the law clerks as to what they SHOULD be doing, help any family members who have questions about legal issues,...etc

7:30pm - Arrive back at our apartment, and serve the dinner that she prepared 12 hours prior.

8:00 - 10:00pm - Furiously studies for the Maryland Bar exam by taking a crazy amount of notes, reading books that killed half of the rain forest just to be printed, prepping for court the next day, and more than likely bathes the dogs or folds the laundry from the morning.

10:00 - 11:00pm - This is usually the time where Heather will post a blog, knit a sock, or surf the web. And after a good bit of this I always say "Heather! Time for bed!"

And then it all starts over again the next morning.

Its not that Heather is working any harder right now then she did 7 years ago - she just manages to always find activities that fill up 100% of her day. If you asked her about this crazy schedule, she would probably just laugh and tell you that its not that bad or give you some kind of rational to justify it (Its just temporary, things will slow down after the bar exam - etc).

What I'm getting to, is that all men should be extremely grateful for their wives and I am especially grateful for mine! Once married couple get in a set routine, it can be so easy to forget the many wonderful things that your spouse is doing for you. This year, I thought I would let everyone know how much I appreciate Heather, how much she does for our little family, and how much she means to me.

Even if she was still serving those tables back in Lynchburg and had decided not to go to law school - I would love her just the same. I know its early, but take some time to really think on everything your wife/husband does for you. I would bet that if you thought long enough - your list would be filled with things.

What a blessing it is to have such a fantastic friend and partner.

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I love you Heather! Keep up the good work - your hard work is surely paying off.

Steven

Sunday, February 3, 2008

But I got tickets to the Superbowl, Jesus!

My dogged persistence has finally paid off.

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Mark this down in the record books: Steven even asked for seconds.

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And no, we did not have tickets to the Superbowl. However, this is painfully funny. And strangely appropriate for tonight, given all the hilarious commercials and what-not.

Bar Exam update: I have finally done some multiple choice questions - 25 in each subject (which is 150 total - there are 6 subjects). Having done these questions, I learned the following: I am terrible at Constitutional Law and Real Property. However, I am not half bad at Evidence and Torts. Contracts and Crim Law remain steadfastly mediocre.

I think I'm done outlining. My time from here on out will be spent doing essays and more multiple choice questions. And possibly freaking out. On occasion.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Checking In and a Redux

I am pleased to report progress, albeit small. I have now completed all of the Agency/Partnership essay questions and 4 of the Maryland Civil Procedure essay questions. Next up will be some MBE practice Q's -- if I'm feeling lucky, I might even take a jab at one of the MPT writing assignments. Maybe.

In the Pork Roast Saga, Part Two, I have a freshly purchased and properly refrigerated roast now sizzling in the Crock Pot. I thought it best to make my second attempt on a day when I can keep an eye on it, instead of pushing my luck and trying another 10-hour stint on a work day. As of now, it smells delicious, and it should be ready in about 2.5 hours.

Here's a peek:
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Could the experts among you inform me as to whether this is what it's supposed to look like at t-minus one hour in?

Also, if the redux roast doesn't work out, at least I bought some snobby potato rolls to make up for it.

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(They're making me a little insecure... the nicest dinners? What about just an okay late lunch on a random Saturday? I fear I may not be measuring up...)

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Poor Steven is sick this weekend -- he came home from work early yesterday and had flu symptoms. I walked in the door last night and he had the heat cranked up to 75 degrees, wool socks and a sweatshirt on, and he was still shivering.

Remedies are being administered. These remedies are for Steven.

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And these remedies are for me, so I can survive having a sick husband.

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(Why, yes, the Surgeon General does recommend chocolate intake with almonds for all women studying for bar exams with husbands who have the flu, thank you for asking!)

He's sleeping now. We had a social event to attend tonight (his coworker's birthday party) but we might stay home, pending how he wakes up and feels.

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The pups are enjoying my studying a little too much, I think. It's difficult to get anything done while you are part of a Yorkie sandwich. Steven took this picture earlier in the week (before the flu):

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I guess this means I am truly loved. (Its either true love or my dogs are seriously co-dependant.)

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Although I had to reprimand Pringles earlier for incessant barking at people walking in the hallway, so now he's mad at me.

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I had to go to the courthouse TWICE yesterday - once to appear and nonsuit a single case (which is what you get to do when you are at the bottom of the totem pole), and once AGAIN to deliver some pleadings for filing. I figured I should probably make use of the second trip to the courthouse, and since I was there between 2 and 3 PM, guess what I finally got?

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That's right, folks, its a get-out-of-standing-in-the-security-line-free-card! (And that is one mighty unflattering picture, if I do say so myself. Enormo-forehead, anyone?)

And now back to my scribblings. (I believe this one was an essay question about a car wreck. The bar exam has made me a true artist. Extra points if you can tell where the wreck(s) occurred...)

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