iPhone 3GS + Taxation = GRRRRRR.

Ok, first, I am going to save my rant on the ridiculousness of taxes in California in general until I have more time to actually read up on stuff so I’m not just ranting without being fully educated on the issue. 

But what concerns me at the moment is that I just ordered the new iPhone (I’ve actually been wanting one for a few months now, and luckily waited until the newest one came out).  The sales price was listed at $199, but what was I charged for “sales tax”?  $55.  I was totally confused.  California Sales Tax is high (9.25%).  But 25%? Seriously?  So I called AT&T totally expecting an error, and no.  There was no error.  According to AT&T, California has decided to tax people on the full retail price of the phone.  That makes NO sense to me.  When you go to the mall, and you buy something on sale, you don’t pay sales tax on the full price.  You pay tax on the sale price. 

Now, I’m sure CA is using some rationale along the lines of “AT&T is spreading the real cost over the terms of the 2-yr contract.”  But, we are also taxed out the wazoo with cell phone taxes on each month’s bill already.  I don’t know if I’m supposed to be mad at CA (for charging tax on the full price) or AT&T (for passing the extra amount on to customers).   But I do know that this seems incredibly unfair and just not right.

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A little bit lighter note.

A fellow recent graduate had this great idea of instituting the “love rule”  in order to combat the temptation to be short tempered during bar study due to conscious and subconscious stress.  Basically, each week you live out part of the Love Rule (1 Corinthians 13).  This week is “Love is Patient, Love is Kind.”  So, we’re supposed to try to live that out in whatever way we can.  I think I’m going to try to do this plan, as a partial answer to my previous post.

In related news.. .the bar exam.  It is so consuming!  I wake up, do multiple choice questions, go to class for 3-4 hours, come home, do more questions, review outlines, do essays… repeat.  So far we have only covered two subjects in depth: real property and torts.  Real property was my lowest grade first semester of 1L, and my second lowest grade second semester.  The lowest grade that semester? Torts!

There are certain types of multiple choice questions with property that I just ALWAYS get wrong.  I was so relieved to go on to a new subject because I thought “I can make up for sucking at property with succeeding in another area.”  My first two practice sets with torts I did extremely well on.  Then the next two… I’ve been missing close to half.  Again, like property, there are just certain questions I can’t seem to get right.  It’s not a matter of studying or not knowing the law.  I can’t figure it out.  It’s soooo frustrating! Is it barbri? Is it me?  Today, I proceeded to (I know, real mature Michelle) start crying after I got a bunch of the same type of torts questions wrong again, and fell asleep for a few hours.  I feel so retarded.  Usually I can figure out what I’m doing wrong and I can’t seem to do it here.  Very frustrating. 

A couple interesting notes: studying torts always makes me start seeing liability everywhere.  Think of visualing yellow signs popping up everywhere (liability!); or to use a sports analogy.. those playbacks where they draw circles on the screen.   That’s what I visualize as I go about my day .. lol.  Also, I have dreams filled with all kinds of unlawful activity, and the characters are always aptly named with names starting with Ps (plaintiffs) or Ds (defendants).

A Little Light in “Darkness”

I’ve never heard anyone say that studying for the Bar is easy, or even just anyone say it was not the worst experience of their lives… really encouraging, right?

Throughout lawschool, the only part I hated was finals time.  There is something about it, the 2-2.5 weeks where there is this pressure to just study, study, study all the time.  And even though you take breaks, when you do you just feel guilty deep down that you are not studying.  And I, being the morbid person that I am, always have thoughts like “what if I die tomorrow? That would really suck to have spent my last several days on earth studying all of the time!” 

Now, obviously, I can’t just live like I’m going to die tomorrow, because we also have to prepare for the possibility that we don’t die tomorrow.  Studying for finals, and studying for the Bar… is preparing for the future.  And yet, I still get those depressed, gloomy feelings.  I was actually coming on here to write about a few of the things I’m trying to do to make Bar study not miserable, but I had started to write “the sole purpose in life is studying”  above, and I got this check inside “why do you consider that your sole purpose during those times?”

Perhaps my misery is self-inflicted.  I tend to be guilty of having tunnel vision and only focusing on the task at hand, and I tend to miss the big picture on a regular basis.  Maybe it’s something I can finally grasp during Bar study.  Yes, this is a rough time.  It’s overwhelming, there is too much to learn, deep down I really struggle with finding the purpose in all this studying, BUT.  But that doesn’t mean my life is meaningless during these two months.  It doesn’t mean there aren’t other things for me to learn during this time that are BIGGER than the Bar Exam.  I DON’T have to stop living during the Bar.  My sole purpose during these two months is NOT studying for the Bar.  It’s a big purpose, because I do want and need to pass, but it is not my only purpose.   My purpose is to live the life I’ve been called to live, even in the midst of studying for the bar. 

“Commit your way to Lord,
Trust also in Him,
and He shall bring it to pass.”

– Psalm 37:5