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So, today was the first day of the bar exam. Tomorrow is the second, and final day. The first part (3.5-hour "performance test") was completely do-able, and if I'm going to "ace" any part of it, that will be the part. Then we had lunch. I brought my own, chock-full of much healthiness, protein, fruits and veggies, and I slunk off to a private corner in the shade outside to eat and sulk about the upcoming essay portion.

About twenty minutes before we needed to be seated again for the essays, I re-joined a few friends sitting in the hall outside the testing room, both of them looking ashen and a little sick. (Almost everyone looked that way.) I sat there for a moment, but one guy couldn't stop talking about, "what are you guys thinking regarding minimum page-numbers for each essay?" and "as long as I remember the 12 steps for rule promulgation and all the UCC stuff, I'll be ok..."

About that time I spotted a young woman who I'd seen earlier, wandering the halls. She had a scarf on her head, and as I watched her walk by, I paid attention to see if it was just a "bad hair day" or if it was the other thing.

It was the other thing. I was pretty sure.

So, I excused myself from my group of friends, and went to talk to her. I have become bold about this kind of stuff.

I smiled as I approached her and I said, "Hi; I was just wondering, are you in chemo?" She brightened immediately, and said, "yeah!" I said, "I thought maybe you were; I went through it last year." Then I asked her what kind, and she said breast and I said, "me too!" - then I put out my hand and said, "I'm ClabberGirl [I didn't really say ClabberGirl]" and we talked for about ten minutes about treatment, what she's on (the same as my protocol), her surgery, my surgery, her gene testing, etc. etc. We talked a bit about law school, the bar, and work, but the real bond was the cancer.

We exchanged e-mail addresses and plan to stay in touch. She is only going into her third of eight total treatments. I told her to email me with any questions or fears.

Then we hugged, I wished her luck - on the exam and through treatment - and I went back and joined my friends. I will never forget, when I was in treatment, how good it made me feel for people to come up and talk to me, and offer words of encouragement. Strangers, with full heads of hair and big, happy smiles would do the same thing to me: "are you in chemo? Hi, I'm so-and-so and I am 2 years out," etc. It left me high as a kite every time. I have found that being on the other side feels pretty good too.

And today, on a day when everyone was feeling kind of sick about the stupid bar exam, that was just a great way to relieve stress and to remember that this dumb test is just that.

surviving, thriving, passing on good vibes
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