Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Big Pants

The big day came and I felt mighty fine. The Advocacy 3 exam was upon me and I was well prepared, confident and ready to go. Got an early train so that I'd have plenty of time for delays and coffee and a final glance at the brief. So, 30 minutes before the oral exam I'm called into a room, given my last minute instructions, which were fairly predictable and everything was going exactly to plan. That is until 10 minutes before the oral exam when the nerves kicked in good and proper. I just couldn't get my breath and my mind blanked. I shuffled and re-shuffled my papers, looked at my notes, tried to do the deep breathing thing, but nothing worked.

Examiner came to collect me and I went into the room where I was to do the exam. Had a bit of a chat with the actor and the examiner before starting and luckily I calmed down a bit and managed to find my voice. I'm certain that it wasn't my best performance, but it wasn't my worst either. Time will tell?

Now it is a matter of waiting for the results.

On Saturday I had the Advanced Crime classes and although I hate to admit it, the module just isn't floating my boat at the moment. The first class covered abuse of process applications and the second class covered proceeds of crime and confiscation orders.

So, I just have 2 study weekends remaining, plus the final study weekend when I have the 2 options exams.

This week I intended to have a break from BVC, but brain thinks otherwise! On Sunday night I couldn't sleep and re-runs of the exam kept going through my head - then when I did finally get to sleep, I kept waking up in a panic because I was dreaming about sodding BVC. Yesterday I was really busy with my day job, so my mind was distracted from studies, but last night the dreams returned. I don't think I've ever dreamt about BVC before, but for the last 2 nights I've sat countless exams, encountered every random problem that could ever arise (as they do in dreams), had arguments with the witness, the examiner, other students, you name it, I dreamt about it.

I think that there is a bottle of single malt in the kitchen with my name on it for this evening's bedtime beverage. Strictly for medicinal purposes of course.

I suppose I ought to be thinking about OLPAS, but I'm not. Haven't done anything towards preparing for applications. Maybe tomorrow...

Monday, 22 March 2010

Some people! And exams

I'm not one for hoarding stuff, so do like to have a good clear out of 'junk' when Barman isn't looking.

A few years ago I found a really useful website for offloading excess 'junk'. The thing is, it's meant to be taken in the spirit of give and take, a point which seems to have been completely overlooked by a recent visitor to the site. Their offering was an empty Quality Street tin. Oh, and they also posted a wanted ad for a few bits and bobs that they required:

a) A ride-on mower (in good working order);

b) 2 x 3 seater leather sofas (only the really comfy squishy kind), brown and in excellent condition.

And if that wasn't cheeky enough, they also asked for them to be delivered:-) All completely free of charge of course.

Back to school this weekend and the final compulsory BVC exam - the third Advocacy exam. It's been a bit like pulling teeth trying to raise any enthusiasm at all for the work and given that it's only just over a week ago that I had the Negotiation and Advocacy 2 exams, I'm still fretting over them and the likely grade that I am to receive.

Although most of the exams are completed, there's still the small matter of results. Most are out at the end of April, just one in June and the 2 Options exams results are out in July. So, even though most exams are done and dusted, I haven't much idea at this point what result I shall get. To date I have just 5 results under my belt, with a further 8 results in total to follow. There are delays with some of the results and I hope for the sake of my sanity that those delays don't stretch too far into the future. Something tells me that I shall be a jelly fish at the end of April if/when the results are released.

I did think at the time that I commenced BVC, that it was a good idea to have continual exams throughout the course; little did I know what stress those continual exams would cause. Maybe after this weekend I shall feel a little more relaxed about it all?

Oh well, onwards and upwards, and good luck to everyone in the same boat as me this weekend.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

I'm not one to gossip, but...

It's a strange phenomenon, but whenever I get a bit stressed the electrical appliances in the house tend to go a bit haywire. Usually it's just the odd bulb or two blowing. Last week was particularly stressful, mostly due to impending exams. I'm not really one for talking things over and tend to bottle things up a bit, so I guess all the energy has to dissipate through some channel?

Anyway, best friend called round for a cuppa just before the weekend and I had a particularly salacious piece of gossip to impart. BF is quite loud and there was much "No, you're kidding, when was that?" etc. The gossip entailed the extra marital goings on of a neighbour, who I'd espied with my own eyes, up to no good. So, that was the end of that gossip session, BF went home and Barman arrived home in the evening. All perfectly normal village life. 

A little later on that evening, I nipped outside and was surprised that I could hear Barman's telephone conversation being transmitted to the village. I went back inside and told him what I could hear, so he hot footed it outside, whilst I stood in lounge talking. Yup, sure enough, what I was saying in the lounge was being heard loud and clear outside. Turns out that our security system had somehow gone into overdrive and was picking up sound from the lounge and transmitting it outside. So, bloggers, my salacious piece of top secret gossip had been transmitted not only to best friend, but also to all and sundry within a stone's throw of my house. Needless to say, I've kept a low profile in the village this week:-)

Since then, the kettle has blown up, the hob has fused and a radio that we never use was blasting out on Saturday morning when Barman got back from dropping me off at the train station. Today I avoided using the vacuum cleaner and the washing machine (no change there then:-)) Ooh er!

Monday, 15 March 2010

Same but Different

Well, that's another 2 exams ticked off the list.

There's a theme emerging here. The last 4 exams have all been quite different to the work that we have come across in the BVC classes. The Drafting and Opinion Writing were different. As was the Negotiation and the Advocacy. Come to think of it, the Civil MCT wasn't exactly familair territory either.

Something tells me that provider wants to see that we can 'think outside of the box' (I know, I hate the expression too but couldn't think of an alternative). The thing is and in a nutshell, we can't. We enjoy being comforted each month by the predictable nature of the classes; it makes us feel quite clever; almost like we know what we are doing. And then they go and spoil it all by saying something stupid like I love you giving us a different type of THING for the exam. It's not big and it's not clever, so stop it. Don't you know that the most important thing about being a barrister is being a pompous know it all (who knows nowt)?

As you may have guessed, today I feel both shaken AND stirred by recent events.

Not sure when the results are out; there are delays (and as far as I'm concerned, the longer the better).

Enjoyed my Options classes, but felt a bit of a space cadet because my mind was on the exams. It didn't go unnoticed by one tutor, who expects more next time. Don't we all:-)

So, just 1 more compulsory exam and 2 options exams and hey presto, that's it, unless of course there are any fails and subsequent re-takes. No rest for the wicked at the moment. There's quite a bit of work to do for the next classes in 2 weeks, and of course, the last of the compulsory exams - advocacy 3, which is cross-examination.

I definitely don't feel myself today, if only I were American I could seek therapy, but alas I shall have to make do with chatting things over with Bar-Os this evening.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Next Week

Next week, I have two important oral exams. Yesterday I felt a bit shivery. This morning I woke up feeling quite dodgy, my throat is very sore and I’ve got the snuffles. I thought I’d done really well to get through the Winter without a cold; suppose it was too good to last! I do have a habit of losing my voice when I’ve got lady flu. Oh well, it could be worse, my best friend has had a week of galloping sickness and the other, so I guess a croaky voice and red nose is better than projectile vomiting in the direction of the witness during examination-in-chief! BF called round for a coffee yesterday and I gave her ‘the mug that nobody likes’ just to make sure that the bug didn’t leap down my throat during subsequent coffee quaffing.

This afternoon is earmarked as Negotiation research/preparation time, but then so was yesterday afternoon and Sunday evening… Mmm, I think there is a problem with motivation.

My Inn has sent a confirmation for my call date. I’m really looking forward to it, not least because it will spell an end to 8 long years of studying. I’ve quite a bit of dining left to do before my qualifying sessions box is ticked. Living in the back of beyond makes dining a time consuming effort because of the associated travelling. I did consider asking the Inn if I could dine at a local hostelry instead and send pictures of proof that I ate all my vegetables, but thought better of it.

I prepared my notes for the Advocacy exam a while back, but haven’t had a practice run at it yet. Barman will have the dubious pleasure of, yet again, being a witness for me this weekend. My next door neighbour has also been coerced volunteered to assist, so that’s another bottle of wine to buy.

So, that just leaves the small matter of completing the next 3 compulsory exams + the 2 Options exams and… oh, what was it, er, I’m sure there’s something else, um, oh yes, I’ve remembered, a pupillage.