The Book

The Logic Games Bible I mentioned before has finally arrived, and three days earlier than they said it would! Oh boy, I am ever so excited.

I’ve read through the first two brief, introductory chapters, and I think I can do this. I think if I take it slowly and deliberately and sometimes ask for help, I can do this. It’s just going to be slow, painful work, at lots of it.

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First Preptest

I finally finished my first preptest last week and I was fairly pleased with the result.

I didn’t sit down and do it all at once or even do it all in one day. I did a section a day, taking as long as I needed for each section. I don’t remember where I saw that approach promoted as a good way to do a first, diagnostic stab at the LSAT, but it seemed to work for me.

My entire “prep” (if it could be called that) for this run-through was reading LSAT for Dummies, which didn’t really give me much of anything about methods or techniques for doing the problems as much as it gave me information about the test itself. It was a worthwhile read for some background and light pointers, but definitely not what anyone should mistake for a study aid or tutorial of any sort.

For that, I ordered The Logic Games Bible last night, as I plan to follow the LawSchooli.com approach to a good score. I chose them mostly because they show up a lot in light googling on how to improve scores, they were responsive when I commented on a blog post of theirs with a question, and, honestly, there comes a time to stop waffling around (which is what “research” becomes when it drags on too long out of indecision and an overwhelming volume of information available) and just choose something.

156. With no studying, I ended up with a 156, which, combined with my mediocre undergrad GPA (3.3) and the fact that I aced a master’s and have what could be called or framed as an “interesting” background (I used the time between undergrad and law school, which for many applicants is a mere three months, well), I could get into the bottom 100 so schools and some of the top 100, but not really get any scholarships. And not get into the very top schools I need to pursue the goals I have now. Too mediocre.

But the 156 is where I am starting, not where I’m finishing. I think with about ten months of studying, I can get my score up at least five points, probably more. The logical reasoning was pretty easy, I scored well on them, and I’m not too worried about them. The reading comprehension I didn’t do as well as I could, but I write that off to the fact that while I do read a lot, I don’t read in that way or for that purpose anymore and haven’t for years. It will take practice to get back into that frame of mind, but I think I can do it. Analytical reasoning, those so-called “logica games,” were a complete disaster. I got less than 50% correct on most of the set-ups and could barely guess on many of the questions. There were several where I couldn’t make a reasonable guess at the question, so I just picked a random answer. Even those were wrong. So that’s going to take a lot of work and studying, which is why I bought that book first.

I think I can. Wish me luck!

Hesitation

In the last couple days I’ve noticed an increasing sense of fear in my approach to my law school dreams.

Am I doing the right thing? There are a lot of things I could be doing with my life. Sure, most of my educational and career choices have led down this path for nearly ten years now, but have they been misguided? A lot of what I’ve done feeds just as well into other careers, and certainly ones that require far less arduous effort and sacrifice.

Is this worth it? I can only go if I get huge scholarships, so the odds are extremely against it even happening. The studying is a sacrifice of time and effort that could be spent with my family and friends or on other things I’d enjoy more, like reading for fun, crocheting, gardening, and other things. With such a slim chance of success, and the sacrifice only paying off in that slim chance, it’s sometimes difficult to proceed.

I don’t know. But I just have to try. Even if I fail, I will always have tried my best, and in failure I’ll learn a great deal, not least of which is that this is not the path for me. If I don’t even try, then I’m letting fear and competition dictate my choices and my life, and that’s not something I’m willing to let happen. I have to be bigger than my fears of failure and humiliation. Sure, I might fail, but there’s no greater failure than not trying.

I know this, and they’re big, impressive, poster-worthy words, but I still find myself stalling, afraid to even start. I’ve read part of the introduction to the one book I’ve bought, and I’m stalling on buying the book I really need because it’s “too expensive” right now (I have the cash on hand for it, but would feel more comfortable spending it after we get paid). I’m not even reading the parts of the book I have right now because I have another book I’d like to finish first for no reason other than stalling on digging into the really tough stuff of the other book. And then there are the preptests in the book I have, but I’m afraid to see just how much work I need to do, just how bad my initial untimed first try at a full lsat preptest goes, that I won’t even let myself attempt it until I’ve read the introduction and some cursory tutorial paragraphs. Which I won’t read until I finish the other book I’ve got, because, you know, read things in order. It’s arbitrary and totally chickenshit, I know.

I will do this. I will at least try. That’s the least I owe myself.