Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Final exam mayhem: strategies, prayers, insanity

We're in the midst of "reading week," which to the average person might sound like a pleasant opportunity to casually flip the pages of one's favorite books while reclining on a sofa with a glass of iced tea in one hand. For law students, however, reading week is the mad dash toward final exams, the last mile of the marathon that will make or break you for the semester. Outlines must be condensed. Hornbooks consumed. Professors harangued for those last tidbits of knowledge before the big day.
My exam treat: mowing a lawn
I said goodbye to my wife and kids this afternoon. They're leaving Louisville to visit family for the Easter weekend, while I explore the finer points of federal income taxation, constitutional law, and estate planning. In the last week, for example, I've spent close to a dozen hours cramming 42 pages of notes from one of my courses onto a single sheet of paper -- in 6 point, Abadi MT Condensed Light font -- to use during the exam. That is a completely unreasonable thing to do. Such are the vagaries of law school. Today, for a treat, I allowed myself to mow the lawn of the apartment building that my wife and I own just south of campus (see photo, at right). Tomorrow, if I feel good about my studies, I'll let myself re-install a toilet in our downstairs bathroom as part of a renovation project. Oh, if I am only so lucky. Final exam preparation is not for the weak of heart. It's like wearing a horse hair sweater for days on end, like the self-flagellation of Martin Luther to atone for his sins. In short, life feels obsessive. In a few weeks, it'll all be over. For now, however, the grind is here. Burn, baby, burn.

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