Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I should be more flexible. First day of bar review and I already had a fight.

Today was my first day studying substantive law for the NY bar exam. Today we went over how to write an essay which I found to be quite helpful, since I've forgotten this skill from my law school days.

I tried writing in the Barbri workbook as they suggested, but when it came to writing more than a few words, I couldn't keep up and I kept missing things the lecturer said. This was frustrating and so I booted up my computer and started typing notes on my laptop (and taking only general notes in the notebook). I figured that since I'll be typing the exam, it's not that big of a deal that I can't write quickly.

I took around 30 minutes after class to get a head start on tomorrow's subject, Federal Debt Collection and Unfair Competition. I started on the summary notes thinking that in the afternoon I would read the actual NY workbook which contains all the detailed notes. On the way home, I conservatively estimated that I'll require 5-6 hours each day after class to study. I spoke with my wife about it, and she agreed that it sounds like a good plan.

My wife was kind enough to have lunch ready for me when I got home. I did some socializing and playing with the kids, and then I got to work. I was going to go to Starbucks to study, but my wife wanted the car so instead I stayed at home and she went out with the kids and some friends.

When she came home after four hours instead of six like she agreed, I was really upset. I was so upset that I felt that she was playing games -- and on the FIRST DAY of the bar review, no less! I thought of words like selfish, etc., but I kept my thoughts to myself. However, seeing that I was upset, she got defensive which really set me off. Still trying to keep my cool, I told her I was going to study elsewhere, and I left. Her interruption cost me around 1.5 hours in study time which I felt was unfair. I drove to the nearest location to study, around 25 minutes away from our apartment. To this minute including the 25 minutes I'll need to drive home, this interception will have cost me 1.5 hours today, time that I could have used in a better way, such as helping my wife with the kids, etc.

I finished my studying and it is 8pm, slightly after our childrens' bedtime. I feel a bit bad that I wasn't there to help her out with it, but I am still upset that she ruined our agreed-upon schedule and cost me so much wasted time and so I don't feel that bad about having her put the kids to bed. I totally know that I overreacted, but I am still feeling like she thinks my studying is a joke and she doesn't respect the importance of an hour or two when there are so few hours available to study during the day. I really want to do the minimum to do this right, and I am upset that I was thrown off schedule on the first real day of studying.

In sum, I don't know whether I am more hurt that what I am doing is not being taken seriously, or whether I feel that I was egged on when I was visibly upset after being wronged. I really don't think it is a big deal, but it was enough to upset me.

I guess I got scared that the speaker asked, "How many of you have spouses?" "How many of you want to keep your spouses by the end of bar review?" That question bothered me because I'm really doing this for us and I wish I felt that my wife was on my team rather than opposing me all the time.

No comments: