In one week from now, I will have written my first December exam. We have all had the chance to write a few other exams, which I think will have made things a bit easier and less stressful. We had a midterm in Regulatory State, which was not bad at all. One thing about law school marks is that some of them come back quickly, while others take much, much too long. I am speaking about the Law in Context exam, which we wrote online at the start of November, and whose mark we won’t see until some indefinite time in January. But, having just had a torts class about defamation, I feel that I had better move on.
I thought I would share a few items of interest about exams. I assumed that it would be easy to listen to senior students’ advice and not worry at all about them. But that is somewhat harder when you are one week away and have a lot of studying to do to get up to scratch. I have probably mentioned before that, having read some articles about law schools in which a common premise was that professors don’t care about students’ performance on exams, I am pleasantly surprised to see that many of my professors have devoted large amounts of class time to going over sample exam questions, suggesting strategies for doing well, and generally encouraging us.
In addition to that, I’ve met with some students, including the president of the Law Students Society, to discuss, inter alia (a judicial term meaning “among other things”), exam-related matters. It also helps to be on the Academic Issues Caucus because there are lots of senior students on the committee who first went through the exam routine only a year or two ago.
Even so, Rebecca’s suggestions of ways to distance oneself from thoughts of exams are most helpful. I have spent a lot of time with other people, not necessarily law students. I find that my studying can be a lot more focused if I have other things to do. If I know that I have nothing to do but study in a single day, it is harder to stay focused than it is if I have plans to have dinner or to go for a walk with someone.
I’m also workin on a computer programming project, which, though a lot of work, succeeds in distracting me plentifully when I need to stop thinking about law. That project is coming to the point where I need to start actually marketing it, so I really do need to give it some thought. And then every so often I have visions of myself developing a database for keeping track of case law that I have read and searching through it, and of designing a tool to generate documents according to the McGill Guide to Legal Citation, the standard used at UBC.
That said, I am currently doing quite well at getting enough sleep and healthy food. I try and maintain a consistent schedule for eating and sleeping so that I am alert when I need to be. I’ve been making a lot of food ahead of time so that I can have, for instance, a nice, warm bowl of homemade coconut curry chicken and vegetable soup in under five minutes.