This just in: My Federal Courts textbook is very large, and rectum jokes are funny.
But back to the textbook. Any lingering doubts about the overwhelming lawgeek factor of my Federal Courts course were thoroughly dashed on Monday, when the Honorable Professor/Judge William Fletcher spent an entire class period talking about how great the textbook is. When I bought this thing for 95 damn dollars last week I was immediately dismayed, partly by its sheer girth but also by its publisher. The cover bears the telltale blue-and-red markings of the dreaded Foundation Press, purveyors of shitty law school textbooks from coast to coast.
FP's chief competitor is Aspen Publishers, a company who, unlike their blue-jacketed rivals, actually know how to put together a sensible and coherent textbook. Foundation subscribes to a more pure Langdellian method of legal instruction. They throw cases at you and follow the opinions with disjointed and unhelpful notes that inevitably deteriorate into strings of unanswered rhetorical questions. Aspen, on the other hand, presents the various topics as well-formulated narratives, inserting cases where appropriate (but generally part of the narratives themselves). Given the apparently laudable history of the Hart & Wechseler book it's a damn shame that it was picked up by Foundation and shoehorned into its current unreadable form.
In case you think I'm imagining things, I've found that I've quite consistently done better in courses using Aspen books than in courses using Foundation crap, meaning this semester I'll probably do better in Estates & Trusts than in Federal Courts.
Speaking of Estates & Trusts, here's a great story that I heard in lecture a few hours ago. Apparently a couple in Holland went to get themselves artificially inseminated. The process was successful and the woman had twins. Much to everyone's surprise, one of the twins was Black. It turns out that the lab technician at the clinic didn't wash the petri dish before combining the egg and sperms, and a leftover sperm from an African Ambassador had made its way into one of the ova. Fortunately no one involved got too upset and everyone lived happily ever after. But still.
My deepest apologies to anyone who read through all that.