Bar Exams, California, Women's Issues

Bar Exam Day One: No Right To Tampons Or Pencils, But Valets Are Okay

I could have gone with a picture of the other thing in the title.

Tuesday was the first day of the bar exam. That means now we get to share “stupid bar exam stories.” Yay!

Our first batch of bar exam adventures can be summed up by the student who hired a guy on TaskRabbit to sit in a café all morning and save her a seat for lunch near the Jacob Javits Center. It sounds extreme, but that bar exam is all about extremes.

Anyway, the girl was trying to get other students to go in with her on her bar exam “valet,” and she described TaskRabbit this way: “Task Rabbit is also available to run any emergency errands (if you need advil, tampons, or extra pencils from the store) during the lunch hour and while we are in the exam.”

As it turns out, at other testing centers, we had people who kind of needed emergency tampons and pencils….

Let’s start with probably the silliest thing I’ve heard this summer. Apparently the proctors hired by the New York State Board of Law Examiners for the Saratoga Springs testing center are the dumbest people on the planet. From a tipster:

[The proctors] thought that the “number two pencils” meant a limit of only two pencils per person. They had taken away hundreds of pencils before someone pointed out their mistake and had to make an embarrassing announcement that “ummm sorry we took all of your pencils. Please come claim them.” It was amazing.

My God. I figured that by the time we were at a point where people didn’t know what “number two pencils” were, we’d also be at a time where we take all of our exams on computing machines and be able to instantly recall nearly all world information with voice-activated commands.

Wait a minute… they still use pencils for the bar exam?

If exam proctors have a problem understanding what a number two pencil is, you can imagine the difficulty some of them will have with basic female biology. Our tipsters report that there are more than a few testing centers where tampons have to be declared:

The Pennsylvania bar examiners banned feminine hygiene products. According to their instructions, they’ll be providing such items in the bathrooms for us, so we won’t have to choose between skipping the bar or public hemorrhaging. How thoughtful.

Meanwhile the progressive folks at the California Bar required users to display all tampons in a clear plastic bag. Nothing like writing about gender discrimination while announcing to 1,000 of your future colleagues that you’re on the rag.

These tampon regulations are nothing new. Back in my day, we used to get so angry when girls where able to write down cheat sheets inside their tampons, then pull the little string and have all the answers sitting there between their legs. So a bunch of us fellas pushed for these tampon restrictions in the name of basic fairness.

‘Cause that’s how tampons work, right?

Somehow this brings us back to the TaskRabbit. In a bar exam world that seems like it was pulled out of the 1950s, with its pencil problems and gender discrimination, it’s kind of refreshing to see somebody bringing some modern drama to the proceedings. The group of students ended up chipping in a total of $150 to hire some dude to sit in a café, hold their belongings, and be on call for “emergency tasks.”

It’s dumb, but at least it’s new. And I guess you never know when these ridiculous proctors are going to steal your pencils and tampons.

(hidden for your protection)

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