October 4, 2004

Weekend of the LSAT in Madrid - Oct 1-3

On Friday, October 1st, Burak and I hopped on a bus to Madrid. We arrived late at night and quickly found the last double room at a cheap hostel in Sol before 9pm. We wondered around trying to find some food because we were quite hungry. We eventually found a tapas-style place called the Museum of Ham. Yes, that is its name, no joke. :)

Afterwards, we walked down the small narrow streets almost getting lost. We popped into a grocery store, by the way most stores open past the normal Spanish hours of 9-2pm and 4pm-8/9pm are usually run by immigrants, but this might be another topic all together.

When we were in the store we were being watched as we searched for items to buy, I almost felt like a criminal even though I hadn´t done anything wrong. The store had an elaborate security system set up. They even had small cameras in the store and the screen showed 4 different views of the store at the cash register.

Well, either it breeds a stealing environment or the extreme security is needed in this area, because a man in line in front of us tried to steal 4 bananas. It was quite an ordeal. I was trying to stay calm with my LSAT just the very next day. In the end, he bought two of them and admitted to stealing them beforehand.

We went in early for the night so I would have a good rest.

Saturday AM I wake around 10am. The test is normally given at 9am in the US but in Spain we were being administered the test at 2pm for some reason. Maybe because at that same time people in the US would be in the test and no one can send answers or suggestions to anyone else in the world. Hmm..not sure.

I eat an omlet and have 2 cups of coffee, the 2nd coffee was a mistake, and try to stay calm and not get overly excited that today´s performance would determine the REST OF MY LIFE! :) Just kidding.

I arrive at the university an hour or so early which was all a great idea because they started registering folks 45 minutes ahead of the time they said they would. I meet other people, mostly Americans, arriving to the testing site.

It was a weird place to meet other Americans in Spain that all wanted to go to law school next year. We had this rendezvous point of Avenue de Valle, 28 in Madrid, Spain at 2pm on October 2nd. People flew in from Morocco and other parts of Spain from what I learned from those I spoke to. It was quite refreshing to be asked, ¨Wazzup?¨ I wasn´t quite sure how to answer.

I ask to go the bathroom one last time before I start 1.5 hours of testing and I was permitted to go - thank goodness! I take 3 sections of 35 min each then get a 15 min break to breathe, eat, and get some blood circulation. Then I go in for 2 more 35 sections. My 4th section was games which means answering questions about scenarios of hypothetical situations.

Like, Sally has to interview Alpha, Beta, Catrine, David, Emily, and Flo in three days. She can´t interview David and Emily on the same day. If Catrine is in the PM, then Flo is in the AM. When is Beta going to be interviewed if Alpha is interviewed on Friday PM? Well, they are a little more coherent than this but this is an example of how you have to set up a diagram and follow the logic of the situation.

I love those so I was happy to come back from the break with some fun stuff. After 5 sections of 35 min, they ask you to write a 30 min essay. By this time, your brain is fried. Good thing about the essay, there is no right answer.

After the test, I asked one of the girls I met during the breaks if she wanted to go celebrate and go out that night. She agreed and we met Burak in Plaza Mayor for some sangria.

After cleaning up and getting out of grubby LSAT clothes, we went out to 4 different tapas restraurants and ended up in a discoteca called Sweet. At this place, we breathed enough second hand smoke to have smoked about a packet of ciggerates that day. In the end, it was fun to let loose after the LSAT.

The next day, Emily (the girl we hung out with the day before) and I met for breakfast and then went to the Prado museum. The Prado has a great collection and is free on Sundays! After about an hour or so we had walked through most of it and the rest of the Spaniards had decided to wake up and take advantage of the free admission. We headed out, bought some postcards, and then met up with Burak at a cafe.

Burak got food posioning from something from the day before. Emily said goodbye and Burak and I searched for the closest 24 hour Pharmacy for some medicine.

We bought some medicine and food and sat out in a park reading about the Kerry-Bush debate and other news while watching other Spaniards sit out and watch other people and watch dogs on leashes try to attack each other. After a couple of hours, we were back on the bus to Barcelona.

During that ride, we crossed through the Greenich Time Meridan. Quite interesting!

I came home with the LSAT behind me and a cold overcoming me. Happy ending I´d say!

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