Here is A Non-Exhaustive List of Stupid Things I Bought While Studying for the Bar:

Well, the Bar Exam is over [!!!]. Not going to lie, it was grueling. The first day [the essay portion] I honestly felt great.  I’m comfortable with my answers – at the very least, I answered every question and I feel some of them were on point. The second day, however, is another story. I’m not really sure what went down [apparently, 6 hours of multiple choice]. I couldn’t remember any rules, I felt unfocused and out of sorts. I walked out of the convention center not really sure what I had done. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit nervous about my performance. It’s such a fine line between “pass” and “don’t pass,” which kills me.

But I guess I’ll cross that bridge in October. Currently, I have to do Getting Married Things and take care of my ill puppy. Grady was sent home from doggie day care yesterday during the bar because he has stopped eating [again] and apparently was in pain and couldn’t walk. We raced home from Philly to pick him up from my maid of honor’s parents, who graciously cared for him and waited until after the test to contact us. For those of you who remember March, it’s safe to say Shaun and I are not in the best spirits given his symptoms. Cross your fingers.

While we wait for Grady to get his groove back, let’s inventory my shopping habits. If you’ve ever wondered what someone buys over ten weeks when they’re sitting at their computer all day and stressing over a test, THIS LIST IS FOR YOU. I give you: Courtney’s Stress Shopping Habits.

  • This Thing: It’s some sort of beaded eye mask that you can put in the freezer and then put on your face. It was featured in Real Simple, which I get for free because we spent a bazillion dollars on their wedding magazine, so obviously I needed it. It relieved some squinting tension but is mostly awkward because it just sucks not to be able to see. I proceeded to call it my iFace until Shaun started [half]joking that we were going to get a Cease and Desist order from Apple.


  • Two Containers of Whole Foods’ Protein Powder: I’ve eaten nothing but smoothies basically since July. My blender and I are getting along great these days.


  • The Great Gatsby: Because obviously bar exam time is the time to go back and read old books you were force-fed in high school. But really, I devoured this in a little over a day, and it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. If you’re like me and haven’t picked it up since ninth grade English, give it another go. It’s phenomenal.

  • A Wrist Brace: I thought bar prep was giving me carpal tunnel. No joke. This thing made it worse.
  • Running Shorts: Partly because I made it a point to make sure I worked out every day while studying, partly because I didn’t want to ever have to get dressed [or do laundry.]


  • The Loudest Dog Toy on the Planet: Grady turned a year old on June 17th, and we celebrated by giving him this giant, rubber, neon-blue elephant. HE LOVES IT. If you want to know how much he loves it, come over around 5:30-6AM and stand outside our house. You can hear him squeaking the crap out of it across the street.
  • A New Dog Harness: Because Grady ate the old one. This was actually probably my most practical purchase, or would have been had we actually taken Grady for walks rather than forcing him to run around the yard alone. I think he hated the bar as much as we did.
  • Foot Petals: For new flats that I never wore because I never got dressed [see the section re: “Running Shorts”.] For the two seconds I had the shoes on, they definitely felt more comfortable!!!! What’s a foot petal, you ask? Keeps your shoes from sliding. Huzzah.


  • New Shoes: I actually bought three pairs of shoes over the course of the summer without leaving the comfort of my home [thanks, Zappos], and then one pair in Philly at Ubiq the night before the bar [and proceeded to wear them to the bar]. Do not. Go in there. If you are obsessed with shoes.*
  • A $1.95 iPhone Case [x4]: It’s a tiny plastic case that fits over the back of your phone and is designed to blend in [it’s called a “Replicase,” after all], which is perfect since I shattered the back of my phone on a walk where Grady saw a squirrel. What I DIDN’T need was the tiny plastic $1.95 phone case in four colors, but they were all cool and I was probably sad because I didn’t understand property and mortgages at the time [still don’t]. Pro-tip: no one needs the same case in that many colors, no matter how many feelings you have at the time.


  • A Raw Foods Cookbook: I’m on a raw foods/whole foods kick right now. In the last month, I eliminated gluten, dairy, animal proteins, fermented/processed foods, foods that come in a box, sugar, artificial sweetener and alcohol, and let me tell you: it feels amazing. I’ve lost inches in places and gained strength at CrossFit. It [unfortunately] proves that weight is 90% diet, 10% exercise,** which sucks for those of us who LOVE CARBS. I will say though, I don’t miss eating bad foods. I bought a cookbook at Reading Terminal Market [“cook” book] after the Tuesday session of the bar that gets into the nitty gritty of raw foods and how to make awesome meals sans bad things. I’ll dig into it once we’re settled in Philadelphia.

So there you have it – a sneak peek into What I Bought. I’m sure I’m missing lots of things [like the time I freaked out and convinced myself I needed more vitamin C and then bought C tablets, even though my multi-vitamin has 100% DV], but I can’t remember anything right now and I would like to go back to bed. Pro-tip #2: hide credit cards when studying for the bar.

Side note, did any other bar takers notice people who seem to be oblivious to simple rules? PA said: “No flip flops, and please wear soft-soled shoes so you don’t sound like a horse trotting to the bathroom.” Ask me how many people wore flip-flops and spiky heels.

** This is not a real statistic.


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Courtney grew up in Reading, PA, and has lived in New York City (where she earned a bachelor's degree at NYU), Prague, Philadelphia, and Charlottesville (where she received a J.D. from UVa Law). Courtney and her new husband will settle in Philadelphia following a six-week Euro-trip extravaganza in September of 2012. Courtney's interests include music, writing, criticism, fitness, travel, cooking, and sports. Please enjoy the blog. LinkedIn: Tumblr:


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One Comment on “Here is A Non-Exhaustive List of Stupid Things I Bought While Studying for the Bar:”

  1. July 29, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    How about a short exhaustive list of stuff done done in the past week after the bar exam with and one week left til wedding day? Hehe. Love you

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