[by Dane Miller. Dane took the July 2017 Arizona Bar Exam]
It was 5:30 AM, test day. D-Day finally arrived, and my alarm was letting me know it was time to get ready for war. As I lay in bed waking up, I thought about everything it took to get here: the practice tests, hours of studying, and the constant message from peers, family, and friends saying, “you will be fine, I know you will pass, you got this” (eye roll).
Then I thought about all the tests I took and studying I did in undergrad–all the philosophy books I read, all the history lessons I attended, and all the public policy classes I loved. Then I remembered Descartes saying, “I think, therefore I am.”
Yes, I think therefore I am. I will pass this stupid, flawed test law students around the country seem to be failing at increasing rates. After all, Arizona’s latest bar pass rate was only 41% in February 2017. That means more than half the students who took the test fail. It is almost as if the powers that be intentionally are making the exam more difficult to limit the competition in the field (but that’s a public policy subject for a later post).
Then I thought about all the work I put in during high school: all the classmates who doubted I would do anything in life, all the AP classes I took, all the times I spent in math class playing Papi Jump instead of learning basic algebra, and all my favorite teachers who knew I would go far in life.
All the work it took to get right here, right now. A two-day, twelve-hour exam that determines your entire future. It all hangs in the balance. Can you remember that special rule, those relevant exceptions? Literally, the entire test is one big memory test; can you remember?
So, as I got dressed and ready to take this exam I kept thinking to myself, “today is the day.” Today is the day I achieve my goals and prove everyone who ever doubted me wrong. Today is the day I pass the bar exam.
And now, one week later, we wait for the results. Specifically, eleven weeks of waiting. Not eleven days. Eleven WEEKS. I guess I will just have to rely on my philosophy background: patience is a virtue, good things come to those who wait. So wait I will. Until then, I will just keep reminding myself of the same three words Dory made famous—just keep swimming.
Please email or comment with questions/advice!