Arlington is a strange little place. While I assume people actually live in Arlington and work in Arlington, most people in Dallas tend to think of Arlington as just a place to play . . . and as the city that keeps stealing the stadiums.
This week, Arlington was a different sort of place as a massive load of people from around the state collected at the Arlington Convention Center for the Texas Bar Exam. I wish I could estimate the number of people taking the test, but I really can't begin to guess . . . and most readers probably don't want to learn how many new lawyers will be joining the world this year alone.
My mornings in the City o' Fun are now a hazy memory. I'd pull in to the parking lot, my mind racing with various tidbits of legal minutiae. I'd park, glance over the flashcards relevant to that day's exam, and grab my pens and laptop and slowly walk toward the center. On the way I saw that my routine was pretty normal. Several cars were filled with people studying up to the last second, others collected on a concrete platform over a storm drain to smoke that last cigarette for the morning. Being tired was a non-issue, the nervous energy filling the space was infectious.
And then some testing would happen. It kind of felt like blacking out for three hours and coming to, realizing that I had vomitted a massive load of jargon onto the paper.
At lunch, I could observe my surroundings and realize that the Texas Board of Law Examiners likely had a great laugh when they selected the Arlington Convention Center as a test site. To the north of the center, I could see the famed "Black Hole," a water ride at Hurricane Harbor (formerly Wet 'n Wild). To the east, I could see the top of the best rides as Six Flags. To the west, I watched the construction at the gargantuan new stadium being built for the Cowboys. And to the south, separated from the Convention Center by a beautifully landscaped park and pond, stood the Ballpark. Yes, literally everyone in Arlington was having fun except us.
The test ended yesterday afternoon. I expected to conclude the test with a late night of partying, but I soon realized that I was just genuinely tired. Of course, the margarita, flank steak, and beers magnified this exhaustion, and I was pleasantly unconscious before 10 pm. And, yes, I think that turned out to be a fantastic way to celebrate.