Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

one more day left

almost there! :) Thanks for all of the support!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Recurring Shopping Dream

I've always had an active imagination and a hyperactive subconscious. When I was a child, most of my dreams were peppered with flying and fighting bad guys. In the last two months, I've been struck by a recurring nightmare. I call it "The Recurring Shopping Dream."

I have a recurring nightmare in which I found myself wandering a mall in a state of panic and helplessness.

I know this sounds hilarious and it's a silly thing to have nightmares about. For most women I know, spending a lazy afternoon skimming through a clothes rack would be more enjoyable than not. My sister and I are probably the only people in the whole world who harbor secret shopping fears. I'm sure this is all tied into our upbringing. That's good old-fashioned Catholic + Chinese mother guilt for ya!

The Recurring Shopping Dream is my only indication that I'm nervous about the upcoming test. Many of my classmates have commented about how calm I appear. I assure you it's just a sham. Deep down inside, I'm just a quivering mass of nerves. The trick is not to admit to it. The trick is to push it so deep down that it only manifests itself in silly shopping dreams. Haha. Ok, just kidding. The trick is to keep your eyes on the prize, to stay away from nervous people, and to enjoy the experience for what it is.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I wish I was at Comic-Con! :( Sigh.

One of my classmates is there right now. His excuse is that he needs to "check out the test site" ahead of time. Liarface!

Sunday, July 12, 2009


This morning, I woke up and wandered sleepily into the living room. I noticed a towel tacked onto the wall. Curious, I removed it…

and found myself face to face with a GIANT GAPING HOLE.

Apparently, my roommate’s brilliant boyfriend and friend accidentally “fell” into the wall while they horsing around, drunk, last night.

As you can imagine, I was quite pissed. I yelled for awhile at my roommate, she expressed remorse, and then I stormed away to the library. I was fuming, I am still fuming. I probably shouldn’t even be blogging right now because it’s time for me to buckle down and study, but I need to get this off my chest.

I’m not fuming just because there is a hole in the wall. Holes can be fixed and what is done is done. I’m not just mad at myself for yelling at her and probably doing the irreparable damage to our friendship.

I am mad because she is beautiful and smart and sweet, and she is dating a douche. Her love life has all the makings of the next hit country music song.

I know that I’ve already overstepped my bounds by writing about her like this, so I’ll segue into the real meat of this entry. How many of us have friends like this? Friends who find themselves trapped in toxic relationships. Friends who are hoping and waiting around for their significant others to “change” while their friends and family watch them, nervously.

I write this as someone who used to be the one that someone else hoped would someday “change.” I truly believe that people can change, but there’s a caveat. People will only change when they decide to change. You can’t wish understanding and wisdom onto someone. You can’t force your values on someone else. You can’t force someone to care. Most of all, you can’t wait around for the Maturity Magic Wand to hit them. Sometimes it’s better to cut your losses, heal, and hope that the person will get there, someday.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Rocky time!

The bar is like a hazing ritual - ask any lawyer about it and he or she will offer sympathy, advice, and horror stories. The California Bar is a three day exam that consists of 6 hours of multiple choice, 6 hours of exam writing, and 6 hours of performance tests. General opinion in the legal community is that California is the toughest bar exam in the United States.

Everyone has been asking how I'm doing, so I wanted to let you all know that I'm doing great. Really! :)

I think it all boils down to cultivating a good mentality and knowing what works for me. Unlike most people, I actually looked forward to studying for the bar. Sure, I groaned like the rest, but I was ready for it. When is there any other time in my life that I'll be able to drop everything, study like a madwoman, and ignore all distractions?

Quite a few of my classmates have begun to succumb to nerves and freak outs. I can understand how they feel. I had my minor freak out moment in early June while I was watching the Pixar movie Up. The feeling lasted less than a minute but reminded me of how I felt, four years ago, when I took the LSAT. Taking the LSAT was one of the worst experiences of my life. As soon as the proctor placed the test on my desk, I succumbed to nerves and almost ran screaming out of the room. The only reason I stayed was because my friend happened to be taking the test in the same room and I was too proud to show her that I was scared shitless. I don't even remember answering the questions. It's a miracle that I got into University of San Diego.

Anyway, the LSAT incident taught me the power of perseverance and the importance of learning from past mistakes. I was too wound up from studying and from everyone else's advice. To prepare for the LSAT, I was eating fish every day (to boost my brain power), gulping down vitamins (to keep me from getting sick), exercising like a lunatic (to ward off stress), constantly listening to Yo Yo Ma (to calm myself down with classical music), and going to church (to pray, just in case). It was too much.

Anyway, I got home from watching Up and realized that if I wasn't careful, I'd experience an LSAT-type of freak out again. And here's the thing... I've gone through three years of law school. I've gone through much worse in life and I will endure much more in the future. I realized that my problem was that I had to accept that I couldn't control everything.

Ok, I admit it - I am a control freak. But now I accept that I can't control whether or not the guy sitting next to me will shake the desk when he fills in multiple choice bubbles. I can't control the amount of omega-3 fatty oils that my brain and heart will absorb. I can't control how sunny it will be on the day of the test.

Of course, don't get me wrong. I control what I can control. There's no substitute for putting in the hours and the effort. I haven't gone to the gym in a month. I had class on July 4th. I study 7 days a week because even taking a day off feels wrong. I do get frustrated from time to time. The library is a boring place. I haven't seen some friends in months. But I enjoy studying because there is something refreshing about tackling each subject systematically and seeing how they are all intertwined.

Sometimes when I'm in a good studying groove, I picture that I'm in a movie, having a Rocky moment. The camera is rolling behind my shoulder and there's upbeat music playing in the background and I'm pumping my arms up into the air because YES YES YES! I AM A CHAMPION! And I'm in control of my imagination.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

a time to sew

Almost a year ago, when I was in Mongolia, my coworker Bolormaa asked me to do an impromptu book exchange. I gave her The Twenty-Seventh City by Jonathan Franzen (of The Corrections fame); she handed me The Zahir by Paulo Coehlo.

I think Bolormaa got the book exchange idea because while she was studying for her advanced law degree in an Indian university, she lived in a hostel where students frequently swapped books. I liked the idea that her copy of The Zahir had traveled from far away, falling into different hands and minds along the way.

Anyway, I read the book in my little room in Ulanbataar and reread it again while camping near Khusvgal Lake, near the Russian border. For me, it was the right book at the right time. The book is about a writer who becomes obsessed with the disappearance of his wife and who eventually travels to Kazakhstan, a country that barely grazes western Mongolia. I drew more than a few parallels from the novel - I myself had traveled to Mongolia because I was consumed by a recent failed relationship.

There's a passage where the lovelorn writer in The Zahir makes a speech about relationships. He says,

"... I had lunch with a friend who had just got divorced and she said to me: 'Now I can enjoy the freedom I've always dreamed of having.' But that's a lie. No one wants that kind of freedom: we all want commitment, we all want someone to be beside us to enjoy the beauties of Geneva, to discuss books, interviews, films, or even to share a sandwich with because there isn't enough money to buy one each. Better to eat half a sandwich than a whole one...

I'm telling you all this because, although in Ecclesiastes it says there is a time to rend and a time to sew, sometimes the time to rend leaves deep scars. Being with someone else and making that person feel as if they were of no importance in our life is far worse than feeling alone and miserable in the streets of Geneva."