I started off awfully. I didn't get to the last game. I hate LSATs that start off with games. I was off my pace and read the clock wrong, thinking I had 10 minutes left when the 5 minute warning caught me by surprise. It was all up from there though. I finished every other section before the 5 minute warning and was able to go back and look at my unsure answers. The experimental section was reading, hardly surprising since they are getting started developing a pool of questions which have comparative reading in them. The writing sample was more one-sided than last time. That's about all I can disclose, unlike my fellow test takers. I for one took the warning seriously that we aren't to discuss the test until it has been disclosed by LSAC. Others began gabbing in the restrooms as soon as we hit the break. It was also interesting to me that out of the 13 people signed up to take the test at my location only 6 bothered to show up. That's a lot of money to take a test if you're not going to show up. If I get all the questions I answered right and missed only the ones in the games section that I didn't get to and assuming that I get none of them right purely by bubbling in a D to fill the space that leaves me with a maximum score of 172 using the conversion table from the December 2006 administration. Of course people keep getting better at the test so that conversion may not be reliable. I really doubt that I got all of the questions that I got to correct. I average -4 on those sections. That would put me at a total of -9/-4/-4/-4=-21 or 163, a mere 3 point gain. Anything can happen of course, for all I know the final 9 questions of logic games could all have had a correct answer of D and I could have rocked the test, doubt it. Oh well, sigh, no 180 for me, wasn't expecting it anyways.

LSAT isn't everything though. I need to do my personal statements, get my recommendations and request my transcripts. This is my to do list for the next 2 weeks. So until October 20th at 10 am EST I get to live in blissful ignorance. Ack, no, did I get off on my bubble sheet by one, did I skip over an important point on the writing section, no, no, must not think about the stupid test. I have a 160, I can't do worse than that.


Top 15 or Don't Bother?

The news for law schools lately has been bleak. Seems to be the message is, Top 15 school or don't bother.

Law School Personal Statement Tips

Once all this LSAT business is over I'll be turning my attention to applications. I saw this link on Ann Levine's blog linking over to the University of Chicago's tips and tricks page. It's a good set of tips to keep in mind when writing a personal statement.



LSAT Angst (2)

Less than a week to go before the LSAT. I spent most of this past week in bed sick and chiding myself for not studying. Today, in celebration of the fact that I can string a multi-syllabic sentences together again I took a practice test. I first chalked the 162 up to the fact that I'm still recuperating and require Cold Tylenol just to get off of the sofa. Now that excuse isn't working and I'm starting to freak out. My dedicated studying was paying off, I finished all the game questions with time to spare and only missed 3 questions. My reading is staying at a steady -5 questions, but my pace has improved so I'm getting through it all on time. If I had maintained my average -4 each on the logic reasoning I would have actually improved my score by several questions, instead I had a -3/-7 split. This is frustrating. Where is this -7 suddenly coming from? Stress, stress. I need to miss less questions, stay on time and keep track of what row I'm bubbling in. This is all too much!


What to do with old LSAT tests

Once I'm done with all of this LSAT prep, I'll be guilty of killing more than a few pieces of paper. I started out trying to take the tests based on PDFs of the tests, but decided that wasn't really authentic and switched to printing them out. My printer doesn't do double sided so I've really been going through a lot of paper lately. I stumbled across this fact today: Recycling a 3-foot-high stack of newspapers can save one whole tree. I'll have saved a tree or two by the time this is over. Those of you with LSAT tests, law school notes or outlines, junk-mail, etc. should definitely consider recycling it all when it comes time to purge.

Breakfast of LSAT Champions

We just had a coffee run at my office. I asked for the largest soy mocha possible. All the other folks in my office are traditional engineering types who think that coffee comes in two types, caf and decaf and that decaf is really like white chocolate, not really chocolate at all. When the designated coffee fetcher came back with the order he told me with amazement, "Did you know there are 4 shots of espresso in that?!" Yeah, why do you think I ordered it. So now I'm sitting here enjoying the goodness that is a combo cranberry scone and soy mocha breakfast and contemplating why I'm so tired as to require said nourishment. Well, it probably has something to do with the fact that I stayed up until 11:30 last night doing LSAT games. I got so frustrated that I enlisted hubby's help. He had never seen an LSAT game before and threw up his hands with disgust claiming them to be impossible. But, after I showed him my way of diagramming rules and breaking it down he turned out to be pretty helpful. Basically I discovered that I need to figure out what rules can be derived from the rules in the question and not forget to apply everything that I know. I also need to make sure what the question is asking me. For instance, I got two wrong because I answered "Which of the following can be true?" instead of "Which of the following cannot be true?" Simple mistake, but it makes all the difference.

I also went to my school's law school forum. We aren't a big destination for law school recruiters. There were a dozen or so schools there though and I got to personally talk to all of the recruiters at schools I was interested in, all 1 of them. Sorry, you're not getting me to apply to Golden Gate University. They are on probation aren't they? Also, hubby would never survive in California, too many people. If that is what the LSAC Forum is going to be like, I'll pass. I don't need to fly to New York to collect brochures. I'm still looking for advice on whether these are worthwhile. I've received no comments yet.


iPhone Software Unlock

It was only a matter of time before a software unlock for the iPhone was available. I'm just glad that in the spirit of community based application development, they've decided to release the unlock for free.

Rough Day for Prime Ministers

Russia tests 'dad of all bombs' - similar to a nuke without harming the environment...great

Putin, in a surprise dissolves Russian government

Ok, so after seeing these headlines I had to did a bit deeper. U.S. news tends to like sensationalist headlines. This necessitated a forray with my Russian dictionary and a search of non-US/UK sources, but in the end did provide a slightly different spin on things.

Putin didn't just dissolve the Russian government. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov resigned ‘due to upcoming political events,’ he wasn't dismissed. While we cannot know if Putin asked him to resign in order to prevent him from being seen as Putin's choice to succeed him next spring, it's not like Putin just dissolved the government. In Russia, whenever the PM steps down the government is automatically dissolved. The real surprise to me was that Russian President Vladimir Putin nominated the head of the country's financial regulator, Viktor Zubkov, for the post of prime minister. This guy is a political nobody and is not really a clear choice for succession to the presidency. Well, that is unless Putin intends to put a puppet in place for a term and then return to office, effectively becoming a rotational president for life. If that is the intention then this appointment makes total sense. Putin is wildly popular among Russians, having brought stability and relative prosperity after his predecessor, Boris Yeltsin. As a result, many Russian's don't want him to leave office, despite what the constitution says. With former colleagues describing Zubkov with words like, "He did not generate ideas. He was someone who carried out instructions.", if Putin is looking for a yes man to succeed him for a few years, maintain the current status of things, etc. his announcement might not be so surprising after all.

And now the Japanese Prime Minister is gone too? Wow! Rough day for prime minsters world wide. We'll see if Gordon Brown lasts the night.
Japan's prime minister in shock resignation


Mini Clubman Cooper S

If this car came to the U.S., I might just have to learn how to drive stick.

Are LSAC Forums Useful?

I have a business trip coming up the week after the New York LSAC forum. It turns out that its only $20.00 more expensive to leave the Friday before my Monday meeting and spend Saturday and Sunday in New York attending the LSAC forum. This would still necessitate cab fees and of course a hotel for two nights. Are these worth it? Also, would going to the one in New York, even though I'm primarily interested in West Coast +DC schools be worth it, or would the LA forum be better, even though I'd have to pay for the whole trip?


Weekend LSAT Results

Results of weekend of LSAT taking, improvement of score by 4 points to 164. Still not where I want to be. I did miss 4 less questions in the reading based on suggestions by my helpful readers so that is good. I did however still miss 8 games questions, mostly due to being rushed and stupid on the last game. I need to get faster at these! I think I'll start doing a bunch of really old LSAT games sections, rather than just whole tests until I see some improvement in this area.


LSAT Countdown Week 1

Hubby has Army Reserve drill this weekend so I have the whole house to myself. On top of catching up with laundry and other household chores I have a big stack of LSAT tests to take. This weekend I will try and get through 3. I will then use the Logic Reasoning Bible and Logic Games Bibles to analyze the ones that I get wrong. We'll see if it improves my score. *sigh* Sounds like a stellar weekend is ahead of me, but it needs to get done.

Biodegradable laptop

Combining two of my favorite things, cool tech gear and environmentalism has historically been almost impossible. It has taken a lot of effort to make sure that every piece of technology my family casts off is reused or recycled and not taken to the landfill. We recycle our batteries and laptops, freecycle our monitors and printers and generally try not to upgrade as soon as we get the itch for something new. When it finally comes time to buy my *gasp* 2nd cell phone ever, we'll also take advantage of our ability to donate our old ones. But here is a product that won't force me into feeling guilt when it meets its inevitable doom of obsolescence, a biodegradable laptop made from plastic from cornstarch rather than petroleum. It will go away over the course of a few months in the landfill while real plastic will take decades. I'll still have to do something about it's guts, but at least the chassis will be gone. I really hope we start to see more items like this in the US. We throw away millions of tons of technology every year.


iPod Envy?

As a electrical engineer and a geek, I'm usually one of the first to know when something new is coming out technology wise. I was reading GeoHot's blog while he was still trying to unlock the iPhone, way before he was on the news or driving his new Nissan 350Z. Today was no different. When the new iPods were announced I got the news from someone live-blogging the announcement and had to wait for hours to see anything on the Apple website or CNN. That said, I'm also one of the last to jump on a technology bandwagon. I won't be upgrading to a N-class wireless router until my G-class dies, even if the N is newer and better. I held onto my last 3 laptops for 3 years apiece, resisting the annual upgrade urges and until last Christmas when hubby bought me my 80gb Video iPod, I was content with my 1GB shuffle.

Today's announcement changes nothing. AT&T doesn't have service in Alaska so I couldn't use an iPhone, the iTouch is just an iPhone sans phone and thats just stupid when I already have both an iPod and a laptop. The iPod classic is a cheaper and slightly redesigned Video iPod. Now instead of getting 80GB, I could get 160GB for the same price. Considering that my current iPod is still less than half full, I don't feel the need to upgrade. The nano, um, that thing is ugly, it looks like somebody sat on it. I'd also be terribly upset to send the current shuffle through the washing machine on accident if I left it clipped to my running clothes. I'd much rather have my current shuffle. It is the perfect size for exercising and I can use it as a USB key. One device, two uses. So while a whole bunch of people are probably upset that they just bought the iPhone and it has now dropped $200 in price or that their $349 80GB Video iPod from last year could have been 160GB if they'd waited a year, I for one am content. I have what I need and I refuse to subscribe to iPod envy.

Update: For those of you who have the iPod envy and are thinking about getting a new iPod try trading in your old iPod for cash towards your new one. You'll more easily justify switching from your 80GB Video to the iTouch if you have $210 in your pocket.

I'm a D List Blogger

D-List Blogger

To be an A-List Celebrity in Hollywood, it’s all about the amount of Vanity Fair, GQ, and People Magazine covers you can score. To be an A-List Bloglebrity on the Internet, it’s all about the amount of link love you can score. If it weren't for the show "My Life on the D List" I wouldn't worry about it. Perhaps I could shoot for C-list within the next year. Hmm...must come up with interesting content. But Legal Andrew has only been around a year and he's a B-List blogger, perhaps if I try harder? Dilbert the blog is an A-list blogger, but um yeah, he is probably popular for other reasons.