7.28.2008

Good Luck!

Two to three days of this week are often two to three of the most dreaded days of the year for thousands of people around the country. This week, thousands of people around the nation will be taking the Bar Exam. Here in KY, the state and national essay sections fall on Tuesday, and the MBE (multiple choice) falls on Wednesday.

It's a horrible time that nobody but the most sadistic of sadists enjoy. Having experienced this, Puddin and I both know first-hand that it sucks - and I therefore want to wish my friends who are preparing to suffer through this hell GOOD LUCK. It will all be over in a couple days...well, until waiting for the results begins...and then it sucks all over again.

However, not wanting to leave you on a negative note, I'll attempt to entertain you with a story from my own Bar experience - one that, if you're lucky, won't happen to you. The story comes after the jump.



The Bar Examiners are nazis...so much so, that they restrict what items you can take into the exam room, and in what manner you may take them in. All personal possessions must be carried in a giant zip-lock bag that is inspected when participants walk in the room. There are limits on what one can take into the exam. The limits vary by state, but in Kentucky (and I'm fairly sure in most other states) cell phones cannot be brought into the exam room at all, and the proctors who watch people come in are supposed to check this sort of thing.

I feel compelled to state that I understand these are all precautions to prevent people from cheating and having an unfair advantage over other test-takers, but I do feel some of the restrictions are ridiculous (i.e. in Kentucky, when Puddin and I took the exam, you couldn't even take in a bottle of water....I guess because they were afraid somebody would sneak in lighter fluid and attempt to set everyone on on fire). However, in my opinion, if you're going to mandate these ridiculous restrictions, you must enforce them. And it was a lack of enforcement that caused me to fall prey to the person I like to refer to as "That stupid whore who was sitting right behind me whose fu**ing cell phone started ringing in the middle of the exam".

Let's set the scene - it was the last half of the last day of the exam, and I, like many of my fellow test-takers, am on edge. I'm tired, hungry, stressed out, and can (barely) see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I know I've got at least another 90 minutes before post-test freedom celebrations can begin. I'm doing my best to concentrate as hard as I can, trying to read the questions carefully and not get so distracted that I forget to answer the last 100 questions or so....then it happened.

Apparently the person who was on bag duty when this particular girl walked by wasn't paying enough attention because lo and behold, I heard a sound during the exam that I thought I'd never hear....a cellphone ringing. And it wasn't just a normal phone ring sound, it was a special ringtone. The sheer rage I experienced at that moment prevents me from remembering exactly what song the whore had chosen as her ringtone, but I do have the vague recollection that it was something to the effect of the polyphonic version of "Mambo No. 5".

I was stunned - I couldn't believe it. The person sitting across the table from me looked at me and we exchanged looks of disbelief....then I turned around to see if I could pinpoint this obvious rulebreaker so that I might kill him/her. I saw the perp, a girl, and at this point, she had multiple people looking at her, because they all knew what was going on. Now, she decides to play it off like it's not her cellphone that's ringing, so it just keeps ringing and ringing. Seriously. The person who was calling had to have hung up and immediately called back at least once.

Talking during the Bar Exam is a huge no-no for obvious reasons, but at this point I felt compelled to (not so) quietly whisper to her, "Are you going to turn that fu**ing thing off?" Then she whispers something back I don't hear - and this point, one of the proctors walking around notices the two of us talking, and can apparently see my rage because when she makes it over our way asks me if there's something wrong, to which I reply, "That girl has a cellphone and it just started ringing." The woman clearly does not believe me, as she assumed (as I did) that the bag checkers would not have let something like this happened. But then something like a voicemail or text message notification went off and the woman knew something was wrong.

She then asked the girl if she had a cellphone and if so, was it ringing, and the girl just kind of sat there...and finally answered, "Well, I guess so." You guess so? You guess so? Are you kidding me? You weren't sure that was your cellphone that was just ringing your idiotic ringtone in the middle of a quiet room that you then chose to ignore? Now, I was expecting a harsh response from this woman. Violations of the "bag policy" were rumored to have expulsion type consequences, and I was ready to see this girl go....but no, the woman just said, "Well, I'm going to have to take it from you, but you can get it back at the end of the exam."

Man alive - that's some crazy punishment - I was happy to know that violations of Bar Exam testing policies were met with such fervor and punitive measures as had been threatened. I don't know that my head has ever been as close to exploding as it was at that moment.

Then the proctor asked me if everything was okay. I didn't respond verbally, because I couldn't think of anything to say to someone who had quickly become the number 2 person on my "I'd love to punch you in the face" list. So, dumbfounded, I just looked at her with this perplexed, "Are you f'in kidding me" look on my face until she finally turned around and walked away. She clearly earned her money that day - taking away someone's cellphone....whew...that's a story for the grandkids. I hope she didn't have to go into therapy after that for her clear use of excessive force.

And then, after some deep breaths and visions of violence, I went back to the test.

So there it is, kids - PreView's Bar Exam nightmare - granted, looking back on it, it is kind of funny, but I know at the time I was just ready to kill somebody. So, having experienced that, I can only wish for you (1) bag checkers who are more on the ball, (2) fellow test-takers who have a little bit more respect for their colleagues....and oh yeah, (3) some general good luck so that you can kick the shit out of that damn test :)

-PreView

3 comments:

Puddin' said...

I'll relay one of my stories from that same bar exam.

One of our classmates was taking the bar at the same time. Let's call her "Chocolate Thunder." Well, when we were in the registration meeting on Monday night for taking the essays on our laptop, Chocolate Thunder was there.

So there were about 400 open seats. Chocolate Thunder comes barreling in the room with her laptop bag, her purse, a duffel bag, a suitcase, a carry-on and a rolling cooler. OK, maybe not all of that, but anyone other than Chocolate Thunder would have needed 3 arms to carry all the shit she brought with her.

So, with a king's array of seat choices, of course she decides she wants to sit right next to me. And instead of going the fuck around, she walks right past where I'm sitting. At that point she clubbed me on the side of the head with her purse/laptop bag/carry-on... whatever -- and she knocked my laptop (which was plugged in, booted up and ready to go because I was on time) over. But for my cat-like reflexes, I would have had to hand-write that fucking test and donate another grand to Dell for a new laptop.

Well, Chocolate Thunder must have felt her giant purse nearly crush my skull and shatter my laptop. Apparently my head and computer were ill-placed and caused her some annoyance. That's right, she turned around and looked at me, as if demanding an apology.

I could have told her to fuck off, to lose some weight, to carry less shit. I could have been VERY rude. After all, I was on edge like everyone else. Instead, I sarcastically said, "I'm fine, thanks."

She perceived my sarcasm (thankfully) and pissily sat down at the table right next to me, and she spread her shit all across the table.

I bet it took her 30 minutes to pack up when it was time to leave.

So that was really annoying. Not cell-phone-in-my-ear-while-I'm-taking-the-bar annoying, but annoying nonetheless.

PreView said...

Chocolate Thunder....love it. Puddin, I've got to say, you're killing the nicknames for our friends...first Wilson, now Chocolate Thunder. I am, quite frankly, in awe. I'm looking forward to seeing what else you come up with. Seriously.

And no, I don't think you were exaggerating about how much crap she was carrying - in fact, I think you might have missed the "chair in a bag" she was carrying, in addition to her hiker's backpack....and Army Ranger rucksack.

That was one f'd up couple days.

-PreView

the blogger formerly known as pv said...

my experience was just the opposite: my table buddy and i became such good friends he bought me a gift, some kind of pen/pencil holder for my desk that was full of pens and mini candy bars.

now that i think about it, i'm not sure what's worse: chocolate thunder or my ambiguously gay table buddy.

regardless, test takers, just remember one thing: the bar exam is nothing more than a measure of your worth as a human being. good luck!