Hail to the BHB

There are a lot of Big Honkin’ Binders on the Warwick MBA, but nothing seems to blunt the thrill of opening a new one. And I’ve just collected another one in prep for Term 3.

Creaking the fresh spine open for the first time offers near-orgasmic excitement. The immensity of readings and pre-readings, the case studies, the structure of tabs and sections and Assessment criteria. Term 3’s courses are shared with the part-time MBAs – taught in intensive one-week modules rather than spread over a term – but the binder metaphor thankfully remains as the guiding collective noun of each course, heavy and plasticky and beautiful.

These Big Honkin’ Binders are, of course, a major selling point for the Warwick MBA: they’re ‘giving us something’, weight and heft to the knowledge offered. Looking back at the BHBs from Terms 1 and 2, I’ve made each one mine: covered in Post-Its, notes in margins, filled-in boxes and printouts hole-punched and bound into context by my own hand. These binders are now part of me.

Just as a handwritten letter on 160g watermarked vellum means more than a text message, these binders are worthy containers for the riches of a top MBA, even if much of the course material and interaction happens in electronic form. And I’d bet that even when laptops have the same contrast, clarity, resolution and portability as a sheet of paper, these binders will still be around.

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