Sunday, December 11, 2005

Finals' Eve

Here we are . . . the eve before the most irritating week of the semester begins.

The week of finals.

I remember this week last year, when I was a wee 1L. I remember being incredibly nervous before the first exam, which was a Contracts test for arguably the most notoriously intimidating first-year professor in the school. I had started studying for that sucker probably towards the end of October and crammed like mad, non-stop, for days before it actually happened.

Now I'm a 2L. What's different?

Well, first of all, there's a matter of quantity. At UT Law you only have three substantive finals to prepare for during your first semester, and the administration spaces them out pretty generously for you (I guess they don't want their 1L drop-out/suicide rates to be too high. Just kidding. Seriously: don't sue me, UT Law!). This semester I have 4 substantive finals, all spaced about 2 days apart. An extra test probably doesn't sound like a lot, but it really is, especially when your entire grade for the semester is hanging on this one showing.

Second of all . . . I'm definitely not as well prepared as I was last year. That may be for lack of trying, although I also think that there's just a lot more information that I have to remember this year. More information to remember means less information (proportionally) that I do.

Third of all . . . I think that maybe I've lost a little bit of my ambition. When you're a 1L, you have no idea how you're going to stack up against everyone else, so you bust your butt to make a super showing. I went all-out crazy studying for finals. This year, though . . . it's pretty clear (to me, at least) who's at the top of the class and who's not. It's similarly clear (again, to me) that I'm nowhere near the top. So I think that, subconsciously while I've been studying for this semester, I've resigned myself to being probably good--probably better than average--but not great. That's probably not the attitude to have, I know; I see some people who clearly study not to do the best they can, but to get the A+s in the class. There's a difference between the two, and perhaps I should study harder to lock in those A+s for myself . . . but even when I was a 1L I only studied to do the best I could--not to guarantee myself an A+. I think it takes a certain kind of person with a certain kind of personality who can study for the A+s so as to guarantee it, no questions asked. And I am not that kind of person.

But, the plan for this week is the same plan as always: do the best I can (and try to take over the world). I had planned to reward myself with something nice and scrumptious to knit after finals are over, but I think I'll probably try to stick with my yarn diet (stash gone by graduation is the goal). I'll have to think of something else to celebrate being halfway done with my law school career.


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