Friday, September 3, 2010

Student Journal - LSAT Prep Respect

The following post is part of a series from one of our LSAT tutoring clients. You can read about their experiences by clicking on the "Zen Journal" label above.
I commend those of you out there who are studying for the LSAT while working full time or in school full time. I, for one, have taken a few months off to study for the LSAT.

As I’ve mentioned before, I finished a two year commitment to Teach for America back in June and now I’m doing some lighter, odds-and-ends jobs. I’m coaching soccer, writing for the paper, and working for my grandparents on various projects they’re involved in. Most importantly, in an attempt to seclude myself and focus, I’ve moved home to North Carolina so that I may be better able to prepare for the LSAT.

For the past few years, teaching special education in the South Bronx and earning my MS in Education, I’ve been inordinately busy. I basically worked all day, six days a week (sometimes six and a half) to get everything finished that I needed to. I’m not complaining – or bragging – I bring it up because I’d like to point out (for myself more than anyone else really) that I’m capable of focusing my energy and working hard.

And yet, despite the attempt to provide myself with an atmosphere free of distractions and commitments in which to study, my LSAT preparation – other than the tutoring I receive from Mr. Bennett on a weekly basis – has disappointed me.

Why?

So far I’ve lacked the necessary drive. It’s not because I don’t want to do well on the test, because I do. It’s not that I don’t want to get into the best law school I possibly can, because I certainly do. Honestly, I think the problem is that I’m finding it difficult to completely pour myself into something that, beyond its weight on law school admissions, is unrelated to anything in the world outside of itself.

At least that’s the way I see it.

It’s not every day that I can bring myself to be locked away, in total silence and isolation, to operate in the LSAT vacuum. Answering logical reasoning queries with question stems that all say “if true” as qualifiers for the information therein. “If true” is a sore reminder for me, every time I read it, that the reality I find myself in at each moment of LSAT prep is, indeed, not reality at all. It is, in fact, a netherworld of enigmatic logic games, hazy verbal reasoning, and obscure reading passages.

Which, bringing me back to my opening statement, is exactly why I hold those of you preparing for the LSAT while at the same time holding down a full time gig in such high regard. I don’t know how one works all day or all week and then spends hours of free time, nestled away in the uncomforting, untrue LSAT land. I’m not even spending my free time studying for the LSAT, I’m trying to treat it as a job, and I can’t bring myself to be enthused about it.
At the end of the day, though, I know that it is true: the LSAT matters (for law school admissions). So I’m going to have to find a way to push through. For those of you out there who are pushing through despite your many real world commitments, I leave you with this: press on. It cannot, and will not, last forever.