Ecocentricity - August 1, 2015

What the heck is he doing writing about the Georgia Bar Exam?

I know what you are about to think. You’re going to read this blog post (or at least I hope you are, and thank you for doing so!), and about a quarter of the way through, you’re going to ask yourself a question. It will go something like this: “I thought this blog was about the environment…..what the heck is he doing writing about the Georgia Bar Exam?!?!”

That’s a fair question, but just bear with me here (pun fully intended for you repeat readers, as you might recall my recent experience with a few big and furry creatures).

No one likes to take the Georgia Bar Exam, or any state’s Bar Exam for that matter. A few readers may be lawyers, and I know you will recall the drudgery. For the rest of you, trust me when I say it is a mind-numbing process. The exam lasts two days, either at the end of February or the end of July each year. One day you write a total of six essays, and the next you take a 200 question multiple choice exam. You are responsible for knowing roughly 20 substantive areas of the law. Throughout the exam process, you’re in a persistent state of paranoia, knowing that the drafters of the exam are consistently trying to trick you. I’m sure they are nice people, but after the panic of reading a question that you have no idea how to answer, thoughts of egging their houses come easily to mind.

The worst part of the Bar Exam isn’t actually taking it though, but rather the months of preparation leading up to it. People dedicate hours every day to studying, and an unsettling feeling of guilt spoils the joy of any time spent doing something other than studying. By the time that your study regimen begins to feel routine and normal, it’s hard to remember how amazing life can really be.

As I write this, my wife is at T-minus one day. She sits for the Georgia Bar Exam tomorrow and the following day, and by the time you are reading this, she will be experiencing the bliss of Bar Exam freedom. I am so very proud of her. I’m proud of her day-in and day-out commitment to studying. I’m proud of her persistent hard work even when it was the last thing she wanted to do. I’m proud of the feeling of accomplishment she will have when she hears that last “pencils down” from the moderators. To me, she won’t just be an attorney, she’ll be a champion.

So what does this have to do with the environment you ask? Well, I see in my wife the virtues that I think environmentalists everywhere should cultivate. We need a day-in and day-out commitment to a healthier planet. We need the persistence, no matter how boring or challenging the task, to keep working to make the world a better place. We should celebrate the sense of accomplishment we feel when a project makes a lasting positive impact. And then we should take on that next project.

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