[I wrote this a few days ago but am only posting this now.] About five minutes ago, I was so angry that I could spit fire. Today is my first "crunch" day in studying for the bar. I loaded up my schedule to the brim giving myself tasks to do from 7am until 11pm -- things Barbri say I need to complete to be prepared for the bar. Since I'm one that believes in following the system to get predicted results, I almost passed out trying to keep up with the things I assigned to myself. I concluded that I couldn't finish everything, but I'll do my best and circle the tasks I didn't get to. As I get more efficient in the coming days, I'll pick up what I couldn't do today.
So my wife took the kids out to her parents all day -- this was wonderful in that she was making time for me to study and to stick to my new schedule. A few minutes before 7am, she kicked me out of bed and reminded me that I needed to get going and I did. From then until around 6:30pm, I was going full force. Then at 6:30pm, she came home and I was in the middle of my recorded lecture online.
Barbri has this funky thing that you're only allowed to listen to six make-up videos, and if you lose a connection or shut your window and listen to the same one again, that counts as if you've listened to another video, even though it's the same video your counter was already dinged for. I was listening on my broken laptop which can't be unplugged to move into another room or else it goes into hibernation mode and I lose my internet connection (and I get dinged again when I start the video back up). My wife knew I was scheduled tonight to listen to a makeup class video from 6pm - 9pm and I was under the impression that she would put the kids to bed at her parents house and watch the superbowl with them since they're all into that kind of stuff. Nope. 6:30pm she came home, and I was 1 hour into the video (I started early because I wanted to end early). I had to keep the video on pause (and I actually lost the connection costing me an extra makeup class ding) and I didn't get to return to the video until after 8:30pm when the kids finally fell asleep.
I was fuming mad, so mad that my face made angry grimaces and I couldn't control my fuming. I was so angry that my blood boiled, so much so that I am sure that I knocked at least a few months off of my life from the bodily damage I caused through the burning flames of my anger. I want to use a stronger word for flames, but I can't think of any -- plumes, flumes, fumes, whatever. Substitute it for flames in that last sentence and you'll get an idea of how angry I was. I am sure I even popped a few blood vessels in my face from being angry.
I won't go into how ironic it is that I'm able to hold back my anger even though at one point my right hand started shaking and I made a fist and let out a large breath of air that could have burned a hole in the wall eight feet across from me.
All in all, this is just one of the many experiences I had where my wife worked hard to accommodate my studying needs, but fell short which screwed me over because I lost some piece of studying that would have gotten done if she didn't interrupt me by coming home early or by some other distraction BUT WAIT! I don't fault her for this because she HAS been trying really hard to help me have time to study, and there are certain things that are simply out of her control. If she's at her parents and its getting late and the kids are screaming, she HAS TO COME HOME and if I'm there, tough luck on me.
The advice I give to other fathers taking the bar is... get as far away from your home as possible. When you are physically in your home, be 100% present, be at home, and don't think about or do any studying for the bar. If you need to study, pack up and leave for however many hours you need to study. It's not your wife's fault if you can't focus at home because she has no control over the kids, and if she's helping you out by watching them many hours a day to help you study, then she may physically not be able to go all the way to meet your study expectations.
The week before the bar, I'll be going alone to one of those cheapo hotels that have a bed, a desk, and internet access, and I'll be staying there until after the exam. It's a tough prospect to separate myself from my wife for that long, but really, I need the separation to focus and learn as much as I need to. Since my exam is at the Javits Center, I found a place right outside the city that is able to accommodate my needs.