Sunday, March 22, 2009

Part 4 - FL Bar Day 2 - February 25th, 2009 - Morning Session:

Before I knew it, it was 6:00 a.m. and the alarm was sounding once again. I got up and went through the same morning ritual that I had gone through the day before – get ready, check email, read mom’s email, cry, review some, call dad, cry, pray and then walk to the convention center. Today’s walk to the convention center was much less like a foot dragging walk to the death chamber but more like a confident walk to finish what I started and hopefully take the last major test of my lifetime. Regardless of the result or how things were going thus far I was ready for it to be over and out of my life, at least until I check the results. When I walked up to the convention center front doors the usual suspect were out front again and after a few words we all headed in together. As we got upstairs our bar coaches and deans were there again to show their support for us in our 2nd day. We stood around and chatted for a while and then headed through the metal detectors once again to head into the room.

Entering the room today didn’t have nearly the shock or anxiety that it did the day before. I knew what the room looked like, how it was set up, how many people to expect to see and hear so to a certain extent, the bar exam had lost its intimidation factor as far as the testing environment was concerned. Once I was seated at my table I had a chance to talk with the student I was sharing the table with and he was a very nice guy from Akron, Ohio planning a move to Florida. It is funny how even if you really don’t know someone, if you go through something like this you feel kind of a bond and it was nice to chat with him some before Day 2 started. It was also nice to have someone to talk to instead of listening to the same test instructions being read over and over and over again. At around 8:50 it was time to settle in and they were asking for the doors to be closed and the tension/anxiety began to ramp up once again. Of course the test instructions ended before 9:00 so we were stuck sitting there waiting in stone silence again until exactly 9:00. I was definitely nervous the closer it got to 9:00 but I was not nearly as ramped up as yesterday and I was very thankful for that. The proctor got us started again and the bang of all of those test booklets opening was as loud as ever but this time the noise subsided fairly quickly since half the room wasn’t pounding away on their laptops during the essay portion.

After jumping into the multistate multiple choice questions the time began to fly by. I was actually surprised at the length of some of the questions. They were not any longer than the thousands I had done in practice but all of the discussions I had with former test takers made me think that if anything the MBE fact patterns/questions would be a little shorter than the practice questions I had done over the past 2 months. This surprise wasn’t too much to handle because they weren’t any longer than the practice questions I was used to being timed for so I just settled in and went with the flow. As with the FL multiple choice, all of my full 100 question practice runs I was consistently finishing 30-45 minutes before time was up but again around my first self imposed break at 33 questions I knew that I was going to have to take full advantage of all of the allotted time. Like with the FL section I hope that this was a sign that I was taking my time and thoroughly going through each question in order to make the best choices possible and not a matter of me being confused or not managing my time properly.
For the first break I just sat at my table and rested my eyes/brain for a bit by looking up or watching the clock for about 2 minutes. The problem with not actually getting up to go to the restroom during the break is figuring out where to look so it doesn’t look like you’re making any attempt to see anyone else’s answers. #1 I would never try to cheat on any test – even without the moral reasons not to cheat – after coming this far and hopefully getting through the bar’s character & fitness background checks why on earth would anyone take that kind of risk and #2 – its impossible to cheat – the test forms are split up into a number of different books and they’re perfectly spread around the tables and rows. Sadly though, many people have tried over the years or they wouldn’t have these policies in place. So fearful and absolutely paranoid of screwing anything up at this point after all I’ve been through, even trying to find somewhere to look and daydream causes stress.

Once the break was over I was right back to it and I was immersed in the questions. Before I knew it I was to question 66 and made my way to the restroom for another quick break. The walking/sign in process is a pain in the ass but at least I didn’t have to stress trying to figure out where to safely look! Once I got back to my seat I finished up the 100 and then went back over a few that I left blank because I had it narrowed down to two and then re-read each question and tried to make the best choice. I finished and then re-checked all of my answers and had about 2 extra minutes to just sit and relax.

Once time was up we had to wait at our tables again to turn in our answers and then we had the same amount of time for lunch. This time leaving for lunch was even more of a relief because I knew that there were only 3 hours and 100 more questions left of this test no matter what! That thought alone brings a smile and a lot of relaxation. For lunch I headed back to the FCSL catered lunch which was just as awesome and convenient as it was yesterday and was really a great time to get some lunch and relax with plenty of familiar faces. The mood of this lunch compared to yesterday was completely different. There was much less tension and the whole crowd was much more talkative and relaxed during the lunch – there were even a few laughs and jokes between the bar coaches and the students. That hour flew by and I backed off of the coffee this time and kept it to one cup so I didn’t have to make an early bathroom trip like I did during day 1 session 2.

As I walked in for the last time my mood had relaxed even more and it wasn’t this dumb confidence that I was doing amazingly well on the test, but more because I saw the light at the end of the tunnel, and at the worst there were only 100 questions and 3 hours standing between me and the end of this ordeal for now.

No comments: