Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Text Book Plight

Yesterday, the first day of postgraduate lectures; in early, planning upon sitting for customary dreadful student id photo and to get my textbooks, only the line for both the student centre and bookshop were each just about a mile long, the legions of slowly marching students stretching back and around corners, on the giant production line. Made me think twice.

Seeing that most of the other students already had their textbooks, I returned to the bookshop after first class, reading their rather strict returns policy before handing over my plastic for a few blocks of bound paper worth hundreds. I'd like to believe it's the valuable knowledge inside that we are handing over all that cash for, but I don't think that's so. We buy what they tell us and what everyone else gets.

It was what I was afraid of, what I hoped I wouldn't hear just after I'd rushed out to get all my books, but in my second class there it was, my lecturer saying that the prescribed text was not the greatest in the world, not absolutely essential, so don't rush out and get it if you've got something similar at home and want to save some money. Makes me wonder why he prescribed anything at all.

Rushing back after class, deciding I'd take a chance, make something up to put their returns policy to the test, I caught them seven minutes before closing. To my surprise, they accepted the book back and so now I have one hundred dollars worth of QUT bookstore gift vouchers I'll set aside for the next run-of-the-mill text prescribed.

In the plight of the textbook and others, survival often falls not on the fittest, but to the most convenient - most convenient for a few.

Moonrise over Gardens Point


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