Monday, June 09, 2008

The Little Things

There's something about the Barbri books that's been driving me completely nuts: page numbers.

The In-Class Workbook is a prime example. The book is divided into multistate subjects and state subjects, and these subjects are divided alphabetically within the book (small comfort). There are page numbers within each subject, but no universal, book-wide page numbers. (I rationalized this by telling myself that Barbri wanted each professor to be able to refer to their "own" page numbers. Today, however, Epstein - contracts - informed us as an aside that he had no control over them.)

Without universal page numbers, the table of contents is useless for finding the subject each day. This book is approximately 2 and a half inches thick! Can you imagine how annoying it is thumbing through it to find the subjects? Yes, the subject is listed at the top of the page, but everything is in a different font and size because the materials are the professor's proprietary notes.

And there's not even a uniformity to adjust to:

The Essay Exam Workshop book: overall page numbers, but no subject headings at the top of the pages. Must use table of contents.

Conviser Mini Review book: Divided between multistate and state, with universal page numbers. No table of contents, therefore universal page numbers are useless. Must use subject headings at the top of the pages.

I also found their abbreviation system intolerable (CGAB, CICW, CEWB, etc.) until I realized I didn't have to figure out what they stood for: the abbreviations are on the upper-right side of the cover of the book. Positively sensible.


Maria M. said...

This has been driving me f'ing crazy too! And how about how Evidence is in two parts in the Conviser Mini-review? AHHHHH

PS you're not helping me stay internet free. Enabler!!

Jeff E said...

The abbreviations on the books don't bother me so much anymore...I'm starting to be able to recognize the books by their weight.

The mini review also has contracts separated from sales of goods while the lecture notes have the two integrated. Don't try to make a "bona fidy" attempt to follow one with the other.

greg said...

I think you could give Bar/Bri (or is it BarBri or barbri -- they can't seem to decide) a break. How could they invest in reasonable typesetting when dealing with the fast-paced work of contracts, torts, or sample bar exam essay questions from the 90s? How would they ever offset the cost of typesetting when only thousands of people take the California class each year at the price of nearly $4000?

Here's what I want to know: Why can't I (easily) rip out the pages from all of the books? Why just some?

Anonymous said...

When I took BarBri a few years ago, I cannibalized the in-class outline book and tore out each subject and put it in its own binder, so that depending on the particular class that day, I just had to grab the correct binder. This also cut down on having to haul a 20 lb. book with me everywhere.

Psychologically, it was easier for me to only have to concentrate on the information in that one binder in front of me... it was less traumatic than having all subjects before me all the time...

Good luck.


Sansserif said...

Re: page ripping, I decided not to pull out any pages. I know it's silly but I feel more comfortable with an intact book. It's related somehow to order in my little universe.

Also, another weird thing: the way some pages "stick" along the perforations when you turn them. I've been listening closely during class, and I swear it's the same pages sticking for everyone!