I hate buying textbooks for college. It is absolutely ridiculous the amount of money they charge for textbooks and, in my experience, we barely even open them. Over the years I have gotten to the point where I don’t buy the book until at least a few weeks in to class because I hate buying them ahead of time and then not needing them. I once bought a book ($147 used) and then on the first day of class the professor said, “If you have not yet purchased the book, don’t worry about it. We will barely use them anyway. If you have purchased the book, well it won’t make you any stupider.” I groaned. $147 for something I’m not going to need? I tried to return it but was only able to return it for $75 since it was used. I suppose it didn’t matter that it was used when I bought it for $147. I was pretty damn mad. I also almost never buy the textbooks for online classes. Why not? Google! That’s why not. I usually read the professor’s synopsis or view their PowerPoint then I just Google the topic and study the best I can. The quizzes and tests are all online too so I’ll Google the question, try to find the answer, and the submit. I’ve earned a lot of “A” grades that way, and YES, I still feel like I’ve learned a lot and I’ve saved money that us college students so desperately need.
Enter…Oceanography. I needed a science class to graduate this Spring and my advisor told me it would be the easiest of the science classes that were available for me to choose from. He lied. Oceanography is NOT easy! Nor is it a class I can do without buying a book. Damn it! Sort of. You see, the book “package” we are supposed to buy for this course is approximately $177 which I hate paying for a book I will use for 3 months so I didn’t buy it. I’ve learned a lot from Google and classmates and the professor’s online presentations and I’ve Googled my way through the quizzes and all was well…UNTIL…I tried to open the first Lab assignment online. There are no questions! It’s only answers. It’s a question like this…
1) a – Heat
b – Carbon
c – Heat and Carbon
What?!? How do I know without the questions? Damn it! (again)! I looked through the course instructions and of course it said I had to complete the labs in the manual and then copy the answers in to the online assignment and post. Since the questions are in the workbook, they don’t need to be online, right? Damn it! (again!) I have to buy the stupid book! Lucky for me though I know to check Amazon for used books and lo and behold…there was a used manual! Hurrah for me because I only want the manual, I don’t want the whole book. That’s insane. The guy selling the book said the manual is “heavily used” with a lot of notes, diagrams, and the correct answers are circled since he used it as a study guide. That’s fantastic! I’ll do the first lab using his circled answers and see if he’s really correct, if he is that saves me boatloads of time and I can focus on the classes I really need to retain knowledge from in order to be successful. Oceanography, while interesting, isn’t at the top of my OMG…I MUST LEARN THIS list.
Oh? And the best part. The manual is only $27. Eat dirt stupid overpriced college bookstore!