Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bruce Cockburn Music as Bar Exam Study Aid

Twenty-five years ago, I was studying for the Missouri bar exam. Even after all this time, it remains a touchstone experience for me.

My base of operations, from the beginning of June until the middle of July, was Rockhurst College in Kansas City, which was hosting the BAR/BRI review course. The exam was scheduled for the end of July in the state capital, Jefferson City. My judicial clerkship, with the Hon. Charles Shangler of the Missouri Court of Appeals, would follow in due course.

I had graduated from Valparaiso University School of Law in May, and my parents had given me a Sony Walkman to celebrate the occasion. That's right - a Sony Walkman. Strange as it may seem, in this I-pod / I-pad world, the Walkman was once a state-of-the-art way to play recorded music.

During breaks from bar exam study, I would listen over and over on my Walkman to Bruce Cockburn's latest album, World of Wonders. I'd purchased the cassette tape at a mall in Merrillville, Ind. before leaving Indiana for Kansas City.

Today, opening up my e-mail again after an off-the-grid vacation week, there were two messages that reminded me of the Bruce Cockburn backdrop for my bar studies. One was an e-vite to a 25th anniversary reunion of my law school class.

The other was a notification on Facebook that a friend had tagged me in a post about the Bruce Cockburn postage stamp recently issued in Canada.

Thanks, Rick, for the heads-up about the stamp!

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