Thursday, November 22, 2007

I just made my ...

... hotel reservations for the Feb exam. Maybe a change of venue will improve my luck. After all, the DoubleTree has a "Pass or Don't Pay" policy, don't they? I thought everyone did. I could be wrong though.

I asked for the "Lucky" room. They told me that "that type of behavior" was illegal. I wonder what they meant?

I also asked if I could register in the name of someone who passed in July. They looked at me suspiciously and told me that I could only register in my own name. "Of course, of course", I replied. "Of course I passed in July, but I stayed at the Sheraton across the street", "I'm only making this reservation because I want to relive the exhilarating experience in a truly high-class hotel!" After that comment they said I would have to take a breathalyzer test before they would confirm my reservation. Then after I blew a 0.0 they told me that the consumption of "recreational pharmaceuticals" was another activity that was frowned upon. They sure do have a nice German Shepard though. I was assured that he was only sniffing me for explosive residue. "Yeah, sure", I thought. "Like someone would have anything against a bunch of prospective lawyers." After the dog had his way with me I came to the conclusion that they must have broken out the Christmas Egg Nog a little early, so I suggested that they take the breathalyzer test. They told me to leave now or they really would cancel my reservation. Maybe I should be staying at the Motel 6. I'm sure that Tom Bodett would not have been so rude.

But I've got my room and that's the important thing.


biff said...

That was sort of the treatment I got when I visited the Oakland Mariott and asked for a tour of the Convention Center. And when I tried to take a few pictures of the place, they had a guy tail me.

Bar Daze said...

LOL, GP! I spent substantial time researching bar exam hotels for July and again post-bar, pre-results for February as well. I think it was time well-spent. I paid more $$ for the 'executive level' (i.e., they had a nice, often quiet, well-lit lounge with "free" coffee, juice, water, cookies, breakfast, evening snacks and continental breakfast). In other words, once I checked in on Sunday afternoon, I never had to leave other than to go straight to and from the exam site. I was technically within walking distance from the site, but also pre-arranged exam transportation that included LUNCH (and notes in the car) brought on days 2 and 3. I was most grateful on the last day as I was juggling an unstable laptop and was taken to a nearby wi-fi location to upload 6 extremely important essay answers and relax with a bite of food and my notes for the afternoon session. Those little details helped me squeak by, and I would have duplicated every one had I been returning in February. An in-room massage and a prescription for Lunesta wouldn't have been bad, either. A calm state of mind and focus on those last days is priceless.

Richard said...

LOL - ok so this is probably a stupid question but i get to ask it cus im english and dont know better - does all egg nog have alcohol innit? They do like an egg nogg latte which seems niice.. but they never ask for ID! lol

The Grand Poobah said...

Biff: Of course they did. Based on your photo id, you're the very definition of an illegal alien. I'm surprised they didn't also want a blood sample and your finger prints. You do have fingers, don't you?

BarDaze: The floor above mine was the Executive Suite floor. It occurred to me that perhaps I should have inquired about the cost of one of those rooms. It probably would have made little difference in my experience, however, because walking the halls of the floor I was on was like being in the old "Omega Man" movie and I was the last living person on earth. If I did meet someone in my short trip to and from the elevator, they were like zombies for all intents and purposes. The two attempts I made at conversation were met with mild hostility and annoyance, and a stare that told me that I was risking being the victim of an intentional tort if I didn't keep my casual banter to myself.

Richard: That's perzackly right! When egg nog is made, it has no alcoholic content so no ID check is required. But most holiday revelers, and many holiday non-revelers for that matter, waste no time in adding brandy in amounts that vary from slight to overwhelming.

But seriously, when I went down to the hotel to make my reservation on Thanksgiving Day morning, the girls behind the desk looked none too happy to be there and would likely have leapt at the chance to imbibe a little. I do, however, believe that they derived a little pleasure in advising me that I could certainly reserve a room on the required dates, and it would only cost me $240 per night. Yikes! When I asked about a Bar Exam Special, they smugly told me that there was probably someone they could ask but that there was no one working at the hotel on Thanksgiving Day with the information or the authority to make the deal. That's when I realized they could use some heavily fortified egg nog.

I only went down there in person to beg for a room because I suspected there was no way I could get a reservation on the phone at this late date. But when I went out to the parking lot and called the reservations desk on my cell phone, they were able to make the reservation and they even found the "State Bar Exam" discount rate.

Maybe the nice lady on the phone had been able to sneak some brandy into her coffee. (;-)>

biff said...

I only have one finger per hand; when I offered them the hotel staff got really mad.

So are you giving up on Barbri?

The Grand Poobah said...

Biff: Yeah, it's those small differences between cultures that get us every time. (;-)>

Re: BarBri, good question, that is. On the one hand, I didn't really immerse myself in their program the first time around so I suspect that I would benefit from doing it the correct way. But on the other hand, I'm working now and I might not be able to make the time for it. But on the other, other hand, I don't want to be making this decision again in June.

I think a big part of the reason why I fell short, and I was right there, is that I didn't commit myself to any one program. I couldn't get comfortable with the prospect of trusting my future to any one method, so I tried to implement what I thought were the best parts of each. And we all know how that worked out.

So the answer to your question is mrlphzmrts (holding my hand over my mouth.) Basically, I don't know yet. But probably not.

Good Idea?

biff said...

Yah I remember you had a good MBE score so you probably know the law pretty well. It may just be an issue of examsmanship, or you were just unlucky. I think Barbri is good at teaching you the law, but not so great at teaching you about the test. But you know best.

calbar blondie said...

GP: You were really lucky to get a room at the Doubletree at this late date. I know students who book bar exam hotel a year away from the exam date, especially in Ontario.
BTW, I know of at least three of my classmates who stayed at the Doubletree/Ontario and passed when they took the exam last July.

The Grand Poobah said...

Blondie: I agree. That's why I went down in person to get a room. I think I mentioned that one of my friends tried unsuccessfully to make a phone reservation in the months immediately prior to his exam, but when he went to the hotel in person they found a room for him.

I was pleasantly surprised when my experience was exactly the opposite.

Anonymous said...

GP - I'm a February 2007 bar passer who stayed across the street from Ontario Convention Center at the Residence Inn. If you believe in good Karma, maybe good vibes are still oscillating there. Had a nice kitchenette, too. Also, I see in an earlier post that this time you'll be working while prepping. Take heart. I worked full time while studying, and took off from work starting in Feb. 5, a mere 3-weeks before the exams. This February will be magic for you too. jr

Zeb said...

For those who failed this July, I've made a list of the courses and tutors and books that are most recommended (for California at least):