Nov 3, 2005


The words "The FEAR" mean a lot to different people. On Friends, "The FEAR" is defined as the motivator that you use to find another job. Chandler and Joey convinced Rachel to quit her secure (yet pointless) job at the coffee house to ensure that she got "The FEAR" in order to find a job that gave her a successful and meaningful career. I've heard "The FEAR" used in this context several times.

For law students, however, the phrase "The FEAR" has a whole different meaning. In law school, you have ONE shot to prove that you've been paying attention in class and not blogging or surfing the internet. Your one shot is the final. Your entire grade hinges on your performance on this ONE test. It's pretty intimidating. And you'll find, amongst law students, that "The FEAR" sets in about one month before finals. I have a few fellow law school bloggers, namely AA and Kitrah, who have been blogging about this very topic. AA goes to law school in the Bay Area and finals are three weeks away for him. Kitrah attends my law school.

Finals are in four weeks. Count 'em. One, two, three, FOUR weeks. I feel completely and utterly screwed. There is SO much information that I need to learn before the final and it seems like there's no way that I'm going to be able to get it done. I feel like I know absolutely nothing and the thought of taking a grueling 3 hour final when I know nothing is enough for me to break out into hives and stys. I'd claw at my face with my fingernails, but it would be pointless, as I've already chewed my fingernails down to pathetic little stubs that wouldn't hurt a fly. I don't know when this happened, but it's happened and I can't deny it.

My name is The BLS... and I have The FEAR.


At November 03, 2005 3:42 PM, Blogger AA said...

You know, the FEAR is amazingly hard to explain in its entirety. I bet people read this post and think that you probably bite your nails all the time, or this is like any other stressful time that makes your skin act up.
Sadly, we, unfortunate law students, know the truth. In undergrad, the biggest concern for me was figuring out where to go for the break after finals, or planning a party. But today I unplugged my TV, TIVO, hid the board games, told family and friends not to call me between 8am and 11pm unless its an emergency, and I even found a nice old man down the road that irons shirts (for work). I don't care about anything AFTER finals. I only care about finals.

Just like you said, it's all or nothing, one chance, do or die, you against the dreaded grading curve--> which really is you against your class, you against other law students, hoping a few get sick, hoping a few can't take it, but more likely, hoping that eveything under the sun goes right for you on that one little day, during those 3 hours, in that room, in that seat, in your head... and that's just ONE exam!

At November 04, 2005 5:01 AM, Blogger HMC said...

Not to be a smart ass but The FEAR is why I didn't go on to grad school. It seems like too much stress to waste on a test or a course. Of course, The FEAR did make me leave my home and all my friends to move six hours and two states from everything I knew to get a job but I think that was productive FEAR. But I think it's like childbirth; you remember how horrible it was in a sort of abstract way after it's done. My two cents. =)

At November 04, 2005 5:53 AM, Blogger LisaBinDaCity said...

Use the fear to inspire you to do your best work ever. Unfortunately you have to face the freaking fear and walk through it to emerge victorious on the other side...

Best of luck!!

At November 04, 2005 10:52 AM, Blogger TLG said...

You'll do great. I know it.

I, however, am doomed :)

At November 04, 2005 12:00 PM, Blogger Earl said...

I appreciate your fear BLS. It's the biggest fear you've faced to date. IT'S HUGE.
But think a minute. It's a fear of passing. You can get some wrong answers and pass. You don't have to be perfect. And what is the test format? Open book, multiple choice. The test format may give you the ability to not actually know each and every answer, just be able to conclude which answer is best, or know where to quickly locate the answer. I'm just saying that this plays into the evaluation of your fear, and looking at it objectively may help displace some of the fear. Or anxiety.

But let me tell you about my fear. I'm working right now on a $63 million contract. I this agreement in place by October '06. Believe it or not, it's almost impossible, given the complexity. Weird huh? 11 months is not enough time. What if I get it wrong? I have 60,000 people that could be affected. What if I do something that makes me liable? I could lose my job. Then what about my wife and kids?
That right there is a bigger fear than anything I faced in school, or post graduate certification/licensing.
Another huge fear: That your kid doesn't make the grade or pass the test, or worse yet, he/she makes choices that have long term negative consequences. You wouldn't believe how emotionally overwhelming fears like that can be.

I can relate to your fear. But BLS, it can even be worse!

At November 07, 2005 7:51 AM, Blogger Kitrah said...

The fear is more than just the fear of not passing though. It's a mix: fear of not actually being good enough to be in law school, the fear that you aren't meant to do what you are doing, the fear that all of this could actually be for nothing, and you spent thousands figuring it out.

The Fear is about a test, but it's not just the piece of paper or computer screen it's on. The Fear is about whether you're where you're supposed to be. It's not rational, and thankfully, most of the time it's even silly.

My fear of the upcoming exams is that somehow they'll all know soon that I'm a fraud. They'll know that I don't have any idea what's going on. My fear is about a lot of things, but I think it boils down to this: what if I'm really not good at this? What then?

At November 07, 2005 9:58 AM, Blogger Ranando said...

Got your email about Tha Ranando report.

It's up and running, were you talking about another site?


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