Saturday, July 23, 2005

Scrubs & Subway

[thinking to himself]
Do not under any circumstance say what you are thinking.
[says what he is thinking]
Why don't I ever listen to me...
More Scrubs goodness there.

Earlier this afternoon I ran into a former classmate of mine while at Subway procuring lunch. The two of us being law students and sitting for the bar next week, of course we briefly talked about it.
Me: I haven't studied enough for it.

Him: You'll do fine.
And there's the rub. See, whenever anyone asks how it's going or some such and I respond with a negative comment, as I did, they automatically reply much as my classmate did, with something positive that's meant to reassure me.

And that's the thing. The only person in the world who knows how ill-prepared I am for the upcoming bars is myself. No one else knows how little I've done, how much I don't know, how bad I've been. It doesn't bother me that they don't know. What bothers me is that they automatically assume the best, that I've been working hard, that I've been preparing for these exams for the past 2-3 months, that I'll pass them.

About a week ago I thought to myself that if I really worked hard from then to the exams, really studied and applied myself, I'd have about a 50% chance of passing. 2-3 days ago I gave myself a revised estimate of 29%. Today I'm thinking it's more like 20-25%, optimistically. (I refuse to revise lower. That would hurt.)

For some reason, for the past 3 years (at least), I've been pretty lazy. I haven't done my reading, I haven't done my studying, I haven't worked very hard if at all. At the end of my final semester of law school, I had 4 papers overdue. I spent the majority of this Summer agonizing over them, not even working on them. Eventually I did finish them, turn them in and get grades. But it was in the barest nick of time to sit for the bar exams next week. And I certainly haven't been studying for the bars all Summer, let alone for the past few weeks, since I turned in the last of my papers.

When my classmate asked me in Subway, I eventually let the truth out, or at least a lesser version thereof. I was almost brutally honest. I didn't say "I've barely done any studying at all," rather I said "I haven't done much studying." And there's really nothing someone can say to that. They can't respond with "I'm sure you'll be fine!" or "You can do this." Not in the face of self-purported, strong evidence to the contrary. Not when there are facts to back up my assertion of "These exams are going to kick my ass next week."

Of course, as J.D. (aka Zach Braff) expressed in his thoughts in Scrubs so quoted above, my mind races around in circles while I calmly ignore it. When my classmate inquired why I hadn't been studying for the exam, my response - "I've been a lazy bastard this Summer." (No kidding, that's what I said.) And I have. And I'm not sure how to break that cycle. I think I've been living that cycle for over 3 years now. It's not so bad, I get to read a lot, watch TV, see a lot of movies, play my video games, but it sucks in the end. Especially when I hit a streak of self-loathing over it, thinking to myself that the reason I am where I am, as ill-prepared as I am, is because of who I am and what I haven't done or made myself do. It bothers me at times. And then I put on another episode of Scrubs, play more video games, get back to reading my book, watch a movie, and I go on.

And that my friends is brutally honest. That's the truth, that's what I do and that's where I am. So next week, I'll go to Albany, then I'll come back to Hartford. I'll sit for 3 days in six 3-hour blocks (roughly), taking 2 exams that I really doubt I'll pass. And I don't think I should pass them, not with the non-preparation I've done and the non-knowledge I possess. And come next February, I'll likely be sitting for the same exams though, at that time, adequately prepared for them and finally ready to pass them.
Sam: If you can't laugh at yourself, life's gonna seem a whole lot longer than you like.

Andrew Largeman: All right, so what are we laughing at you about?

Sam: I lied again... I have epilepsy.

Andrew Largeman: Which part are we laughing about?

Sam: had a seizure at the law office where I work, and they told me their insurance wouldn't cover me unless I wore preventative covering.

Andrew Largeman: What's preventative covering?

Sam: The helmet I was wearing... Oh come on, that's funny. That's really funny, I mean I'm the only person who wears a helmet to work who isn't putting out fires or racing for NASCAR. But what do you do, I can't quit... their insurance is amazing, what do you do? You laugh. I'm not saying I don't cry but in between I laugh and I realize how silly it is to take anything too seriously. Plus, I look forward to a good cry. It feels pretty good.
From Garden State. (I guess I'm in a Zach Braff mood.)

Oh one more from the same:
Sam: How's your head?

Andrew Largeman: I shall live through the day.

Sam: Cool.
'Cause I certainly shall live through these days (and many more.. I hope).

ADDENDUM: Though I gotta say, this JDJive post makes me feel A LOT better. I still think I'm going to fail, but I feel better. (Thanks go to GG for the link from a post on her blog. Cheers!) [5:08 PM]