Yesterday was my 5th wedding anniversary!
Last weekend I went to visit my grandfather. My grandpa, or Pap as we call him (shortened from Papaw), is getting up there in age (he’s 90) but he’s still pretty feisty and gets around pretty well. He’s an apiarist and has a food garden.
And, as of last weekend, keeps chickens too. Now, there’s nothing wrong with any of that. In fact, I want to do ALL of that. Even the chickens. BUT, last weekend, I had to go chicken shopping
It all started when we were eating dinner and got a call from The Chicken Lady. She quouted Pap a price ($5 per chicken. I guess that’s a good deal?) and told him to come to her house to them out when he was ready. He was ready about 15 minutes later. So we piled into my mom’s car an drove to The Chicken Lady’s house. Really, my first indication that this was going to go poorly should have been that The Chicken Lady didn’t have an actual name.
When we pulled into The Chicken Lady’s driveway, I saw this idyllic scene:
When we turned toward her actual house, this was the scene:
And that’s when I got nervous. There were no less than 4 visible abandoned vehicles and, honestly, I was pretty sure that the house was abandoned. The only thing telling me that someone, probably a cannibalistic Chicken Lady, lived in this house were the two wiener dogs barking at me from the driveway and the sound of about 20 other dogs inside.
While I was taking these pictures, and telling Mom and Pap that I thought we should just leave and come back later preferably in the daytime and heavily armed, Mom and Pap disappeared. Yep. They just disappeared. It was like that scene in Jurrassic Park 2 where the group of people is walking through an open field at night and people keep getting pulled into the foliage by velociraptors.
I stood there for a couple of minutes wondering if I should follow the sound of chickens, assuming that’s where Mom and Pap went, or listen to my survival instinct telling me to not go toward the scary abandoned house filled with dogs and chickens. I was still trying to decide when suddenly, Pap reappeared. He was just walking away from the chicken sounds like going into a creepy seemingly abandoned house of horrors was an everyday thing for him.
I stood there gaping at him for a minute, regained my composure, and asked him if The Chicken Lady was at home. He said no and looked back toward the chickens thoughtfully.
About that time, Mom came back too and we quickly got back in the car and escaped. On the way back to Pap’s house, he told us that in the 3 minutes he and Mom were gone he had picked out some chickens and would go back the next day to get them.
I assume that happened, that he made it out alive, and now has several backyard chickens. Of course that assumption is based on the assumption that someone in my family would let me know if Pap was missing.
It’s been awhile since I wrote about The Bar. Honestly, after I found out I passed I thought I would never speak of those dark days ever again. That I would slowly, but surely, block the entire summer between graduation and The Bar out of my memory until it was like I went straight from graduation to lawyering.
Something happened this week that prompted me to revisit those terrible times. I’ve had a few people who are taking The Bar this year contact me
because they needed to be talked off the ledge for advice on how to spend the last few days before the bar. Those calls and texts broke open my carefully concealed memories, but I only decided to blog about The Bar again when I saw what people have been googling to find my blog in the last week. Take a look:
yoga bar exam, care package bar exam, day in the life of a law clerk, “extreme stress” “bar exam” “kill myself”
That last one is particularly concerning.
So, I’ve decided to offer some advice to those of you who may be taking The Bar in the next week or so. For those of you who aren’t taking the bar, go ahead and read this. You probably do or will at some time know someone
whose liberal arts degree forced them into law school in hopes of not living a life of poverty who is taking the bar. I’m not saying my tips below are the best ever, but they are things that would have made me feel better.
1. It’s okay to be crazy. The stress brought on by the bar exam is indescribable and does terrible things to you physically, psychologically, mentally, and emotionally.
2. Take a break. It doesn’t matter what you do, but don’t do it in your study cave. Get out and really take a break.You’ll feel taking a break will doom you to failure, but I promise taking a break will refresh you enough to make it through.
3. Study. Just keep doing what you’ve been doing. By way of comparison, the week before the bar is like the hour before a normal final. Cramming isn’t going to work; it’s only going to make you so stressed out that you’ll forget everything that you re-taught yourself over the summer. (Don’t worry. You actually did re-learn things this summer).
And that’s all for all you bar exam takers. Seriously. Take it easy and don’t beat yourself up too much.
Surprised there were only three tips? That’s because the bulk of the burden falls on the friends and family members of exam takers.
Friends/Family of Exam-takers:
1. Your friend/family member is going to be crazy. Accept it and don’t judge.
2. Back your bar-taker take a break. Take them out to the dinner or to a movie or to an actual bar. It doesn’t matter where, just make sure they take a break.
3. Do NOT, under any circumstances, EVER reassure your bar exam taker that they are going to pass. Depending on where they’re taking the exam, it might be that statistically they are more likely to pass than not to pass. BUT, do not say that to them. To the bar exam taker, the seemingly innocent “Oh, don’t worry. You’ll pass” just adds to the pressure. It lets them know that you think they’re smart and in the stress twisted mind of the bar exam taker that means they will let you down horribly when they fail. So. Never ever try to soothe by reassurance.
4. Soothe your bar-exam taker by taking care of them. Studying for the bar is like having a job where you work 20 hours a day. Make sure they eat real meals and shower everyday. Take over chores they normally do.
5. Care packages. Great idea. In theory. In practice, a lot of care packages are full of things that require effort to use. If you’re giving a car package, make sure the recipient doesn’t have to do anything to use the contents. So. No gift cards. No un-popped popcorn. Nothing that needs refrigeration or freezing.
I’m not going to pretend that these are the best tips ever, but they are things that I wish someone had told me or things that I wish people had done for me. If you have any other tips, feel free to live them in the comments.
Also. I will now returned to my regularly scheduled memory erasing for that period of my life. So. We will never speak of The Bar again.
I just saw that the 2011 Spotlight on Lexington Festival has been cancelled due to low funding! I’m so sad. This was such a fun event last year and I was really hoping that it would continue. I’m resigned to the fact that this isn’t going to happen, but I was really hoping that something fun, outdoors, and available to everyone would happen again.
From the number of readers and facebook comments on yesterday’s Open Letter to My Neighbors, I’m not the only person in town blessed with firework loving neighbors.The facebook comments made me feel actually blessed. Apparently, several of you have neighbors who have been shooting fireworks in the DAYLIGHT. I want to ask why anyone would even do this and explain that you can only see them at night, but something tell me logic is useless. And, if the “I feel your pain” facebook comments weren’t enough to reassure me that the problem is widespread, yesterday one of the City Councilmen asked the City’s law department to draft a noise ordinance limiting the hours fireworks can be set off.
I don’t know if any of my actual neighbors read the blog, but I’m going to assume they do. Because last night there were NO fireworks! It was awesome. I fell asleep to the sound of white noise and was never jolted awake sure that my house was being firebombed.
So, pyrotechnic genius neighbors, I thank you for the restful night’s sleep. And, so do the bear dogs. Another night of fireworks may have driven them over the edge.
In case you’re not familiar with my former open letters, check them out here and here. BTW, I still don’t really understand if I’m using open letters correctly. I feel like I’m Will Ferrel in Anchorman when he doesn’t understand how to use “when in Rome” and just says it in response to everything.
Dear Firework Loving Neighbors,
On Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday night, and, yes, even Monday night, the rest of us really really appreciated your zeal for using fire to light explosives and make them fly into and paint the night sky. It was truly magical and a showed a talent for matching store bought pyrotechnics with a bic lighter that the world has never seen before.
Now it’s Wednesday.
I understand that Kentucky changed it fireworks law this year. I understand that the fireworks stand on the corner is selling its remaining stock at 5 for 1 prices. I get it. The lure of previously illegal explosives at rock bottom prices is nearly irresistible.
Some of us have to be productive members of society. Some of us have jobs that require us to be awake and fully functioning well before noon.
So. On behalf of the rest of the neighborhood, STOP IT WITH THE DAMN FIREWORKS!
Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays. Parades. Fireworks. Barbecues. Festivals… what’s not to like?
If you’re in need of entertainment that has no chance of causing harm to any of your appendages, try this quiz.
It’s a sample of 10 questions from the US citizenship test. A test which thanks to the 14th amendment those of us born on American soil don’t have to take in order to be a citizen of the United States. That thing is HARD. I’m not ashamed to say I forgot the answer to one of the questions. How about you?