Saturday, August 01, 2009

The Other Side

The bar exam is over. Three years of law school followed by three months of intensive bar review, and for the first time in a long time, there is nothing law-related to make me anxious. I get two weeks off before I start a job I am actually excited to have. It's a blessing to have a job right out of school, and even more of a blessing to have a job I am excited to do.

So I have hundreds of flashcards and binders full of outlines that I would like to throw away, but I'll hang on to them for just a bit longer. Like until November when I find out whether I passed the bar exam. I feel confident that I did pass, but I'll hang on to my study materials nonetheless.

Honestly, the summer was not too bad until the last three weeks leading up to the test. I knew from previous takers that working furiously from day one was not necessary. I did a few hours of homework most days, and then, from July 10th or so forward, I studied almost all day every day. I knew I would pass, but failure would be such a burden that I had plenty of incentive to work. I don't think I would get fired if I failed once, but it wouldn't look good; and even worse, I'd have to study and take it again with seriously dented confidence. It was not intellectually difficult, but more of a grind. The volume of information one needs to be familiar with is great, even though one need not have great depth of knowledge, and even though a comparatively small amount is tested on each exam. I spent a whole lot of time learning about corporations, which I didn't take in law school, and it didn't show up on the exam at all.

Did it seem awful sometimes? Sure. But being in a position to take the bar exam is a privilege, and the work required is not so onerous compared to, say, working on a factory floor. I tried to remind myself each morning that I was lucky to be able to spend the day studying.

If I was lucky then, I am smack in the lap of luxury now.

Mrs. Beckett and I even got to see a movie yesterday: Funny People. It was only $15 for the two of us with a matinee price. Ah, small town living. In NYC, you can never get the matinee price on the day the movie premiers.

The movie is darker than the trailers would lead one to believe, and it's a little long (over two hours), but it's worth seeing. The NY Times review (written by the most pretentious of the Times' reviewers) is not kind to the film, but the review is misguided. For one, it claims that Adam Sandler is overmatched by the part. On the contrary, I'd say that Sandler lives the part. He is right on target throughout.

So far, Sandler has acquitted himself well as a "serious" actor. He is excellent in Punch Drunk Love (a movie many people think is a disaster, but that I love), and is just as compelling playing a very different character in Funny People. In both films, it is clear he is coming from a very true place in himself. He knows awkward and anxious, and he knows celebrity self-loathing, and he's not afraid to bare his shame and darkness onscreen. That is truth in acting.

Eric Bana is pitch-perfect as well.

Funny People
is not a great movie, but it's a very good movie, and the stand-up sequences are simply great (though there were a few too many dick jokes for Mrs. Beckett's taste). The plot keeps going places you don't expect, and doesn't settle for easy tie-ups, even as it also doesn't end as cruelly as it might.

. . .

La Misma, thank you for reminding me about this little blog. It's very nice to have a reader. I will get in touch with Glen. We have not communicated in some time, but I'll see how he's doing and if he'd like to contribute again.

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