I must be certifiably insane. To some this may not be a revelation; in fact, admitting it has been a long time coming. How do I know I’m insane? There have been signs in the past: attachment issues, light compulsiveness, depression, self-abuse”¦ But in the end, it took three years of law school to sober me up to the truth: “Hi, my name is Bocephus Chigger, and I am a lunatic.”
To put it simply, no sane person would go to law school. My daily workload went from nothing to 60 hours-a-week. I mean, I like to read and write, but that shit is ridiculous. Add to that the anxiety of getting called on in class to explain one of the 10 cases you read last night. Now, multiply that by 100 for each person in class adding to the mix and feeding off it and, voilÃƒÂ : Law school! Sure, it gets a little easier as you go, but it’s just a tease. They just need time to finish the barrel you are about to be bent over, more commonly known as the California Bar Exam.
Ah, the Bar Exam”¦ The legal community’s way of saying, “This isn’t over yet.” The party starts right after law school actually finishes. By this point, you have already paid around $5,000 for BarBri courses and administrative fees. Thankfully, you can take a loan out to cover it and make the rest of your $150,000-plus debt just a little cozier. In exchange, you get to wake up early to go park your ass in the most uncomfortable chair in the world, all while listening to someone try to reteach you everything you have forgotten over the last three years. This is your life for the next 10 weeks.
When Day 1 of the exam hits, you are ready to pop. Thankfully, the examiners make this situation easier on you by having more arbitrary rules than the FAA. I don’t know what I was thinking trying to bring a plastic Safeway bag in there. I guess I will have to wait until after the test to suffocate myself (thanks, Bar Association!). I was also glad to see the only source of drinking water allowed in the room was a half-mile walk away. There is no better way to pass a timed test than by wasting five minutes to have a glass of water.
Day 2 features 200 multiple choice questions that you have six hours to complete. Not only is this mind-numbingly boring, but reading 200 fact patterns in six hours melts your brain. After exam day ends, exhaustion, hunger and inability to hold a conversation all kick in. Enjoy the night off in your semi-retarded state, because tomorrow you get to wake up early and do it all over again”¦only this time, you get to write essays all day!
At 5 p.m. on the third day, the proctor calls time. Huzzah! We are finished! As if by magic, alcohol appears in your hand. In one smooth motion it makes its way into your blood stream and up to your brain. Let the drunken wandering begin! If you are like me, you may end up hollering at a lovely woman named Erin while she is on a date with a guy she met on Match.com. After giving up on that one, you have your favorite bi-weekly free magazine hook you up with some tickets to the Ghostface Killah show so you can see the God bless the mic in person. Of course after the show, it’s time to start drinking again. Before you know it, it’s 4 a.m. and you have been up since 6 a.m. the day before.
Now do you see? Only an insane person would voluntarily do this to themselves. And yet, somehow, I survived. Pushing yourself to the limit can be a valuable learning experience, but I don’t recommend the Bar Exam as your vehicle of choice. You don’t want to catch the same crazy I did. Now, if you need me, I will be on a corner in downtown Sac begging for change to pay off my loans.
– Bocephus Chigger