Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bar Exam, Peaks, and Working on Goals

First, apologies for not posting for a few weeks. I know it's been hard, especially since there is no cure for TWS (Tennyson Withdrawal Syndrome) yet. Fear not--we're back online.

Second, back in May I set two goals: pass the Bar and bag some peaks. Two months later, it's time to report in on my progress toward achieving these goals.

Goal #1: Pass the Bar

Well, I don't know if I passed the Bar, but I took it. I finished last Wednesday. Two months straight of 16-hour days studying, followed by two full days of examination, and it's over. A few thoughts on the Bar (for those who are interested, or who may be planning to take it):
  • Please bless I never have to do that again.
  • Fraternal initiatory hazing rituals should be illegal.
  • The worst part of the Bar is that it eliminates everything of meaning from your life for two months--no family, no friends, no entertainment, no downtime--nothing but memorizing book after book full of law.
  • The second worst part of the Bar is that it is a huge waste of time. It's like spending every waking moment for two months memorizing book after book of classical piano sheet music, and then spending two days proving that you can transcribe it on demand, but you still aren't any closer to knowing how to actually play the piano.
  • The funniest moment of the exam: before the exam, the proctor read detailed instructions on the rules and procedures for taking the exam. I remind you, every person taking the exam was a law school graduate. Nevertheless, this was an actual instruction (you can't make this up): "Place your applicant ID sticker in the top left corner of the exam booklet. The top left corner is the corner with the staple in it."
  • Enlightening moment: I spent the last month before the exam studying in a cinder block room in the church where my mom works. 16 hours a day pacing around, memorizing, cramming, taking practice exams. I stopped pacing late one night, looked around at the white concrete walls, and thought that this was a little like prison, only less food, no "tats," no recreation time, no TV, and no visiting hours. It occurred to me that I might be on the wrong side of the law.
  • The Utah Bar is a two day exam. The first day is eight half-hour essays that may test on any of 19 different subject areas, followed by two hour-and-a-half essay questions that supposedly test organization, writing and analytical skills. The second day is the "multistate" exam, a full day of multiple choice questions covering Contracts, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Torts and Property. Unpleasant. I really hope I passed.
  • When I walked out to my car after taking the Bar, I found a business card on my windshield that said "Earn $20,000 to $30,000 a year! Call xxx-xxx-xxxx to find out how!" I kept it, just in case.
Goal #2: Bag some peaks

We're getting closer on this goal. About a month ago, I took enough time off from studying to climb Ben Lomond Peak, which is part of the Wasatch Front, in the Rocky Mountains, and towers over Ogden, Utah. I've always wanted to stand on top of Ben Lomond Peak for sunrise, and since I couldn't lose a whole study day, Suzy, dad, Thomas Shupe and I attempted a sunrise summit. We started the climb at 3:30 am, but didn't quite make it to the summit for sunrise. Instead, we made it to the saddle before the final assent. It was still a gorgeous morning, and one of my favorite hikes on one of my favorite trails. A few shots for your viewing enjoyment:

Ben Lomond Peak, from North Ogden. The trail takes you up to the ridge from the right, then across the ridge to the peak on the left.

Suzy and Thomas near the summit.

On top (at about 7:30 am), looking north.

Lovers, looking south.

Posing on the descent.

The fields of flowers along the ridge were the best I've ever seen.

Our favorite flower, Columbine. Suzy calls them "wedding dresses on stems."

One of my favorite landmarks along the ridge trail--an old tree that has taken its fair share of lightning strikes.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Life on the farm is kinda laid back

Tennyson got to spend the day at the Bailey farm in Liberty, UT. It was the best day of his entire far.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Makes me smile

I keep this photo in front of me while I'm studying for the Bar. It makes me smile, and keeps me from going completely insane.