It’s simply unbelievable

by Janie Jones

On the 22nd of December I purchased my school books from the university book store. I managed to get two of five used. Even still, the chemistry text, which was one of the used books was $105. One. Hundred. Five. US dollars. It is a freakin paper back and apparently written by global-warming-theory-believing-hug-the-planet-greenie-whackos. I read the first chapter, 47 pages of drivel, approximately 5 of which actually had any hard core chemistry. The other 42 was painfully irritating containing, IMHO, a superfluity of exclamatory statements such as, “We begin by asking you to do something you do automatically and unconsciously thousands of times each day-to take a breath. You certainly do not need textbook authors to tell you to breathe!” and puns such as, “These figures [relating to a discussion of the benefits of reducing airborne soot] are nothing to sneeze (or wheeze) at.” If I had written a document in such a fashion my 11th grade English teacher would have written in gigantic letters such comments as “TRITE” or “EXCLAMATORY STATEMENTS NOT APPROPRIATE.”

But, personally, my favorite section of the first chapter is the discussion of risk assessment. The text book states such things as the fact that risk is inherent in life, some situations pose higher risks than others, and that often it is not really the risk it self that is the issue, but the public’s perception of the risk. The book uses the time honored example that statistically speaking it is riskier to drive your car than to fly an airplane, however due to media coverage of plane crashes more people have fear or anxiety regarding flying. So basically I interpret this to mean that if you bombard the public with a negative image, no matter statistically how risky, or even how true something is you can skew the public to act in what ever manner you choose.

Call me paranoid, but I think people are much more afraid of anything than they need to be because of all the insurance agencies, government agencies and schools deciding for them what is too risky. And, I am pretty sure all these entities are basing their risk assessment on finances and not on the actual best interests of the public.

*Ahem* I seem to have strayed somewhat from my original brief. In short, one cannot conclude that just because Elmer Kogan is dead that all dead persons are Elmer Kogan.

*Ahem* I seem to have had a Monty Python flash back. I digressed further than I thought.

I was going to point out that the higher education system is hardly about learning anything useful. I am convinced that one’s Bachelor’s Degree is necessary only inasmuch as it proves to potential future employers that you can take being abused and cheated without opening fire on a roomful of cramped cubicle zombie employees.

See, after spending $333 on two used and 3 new text books I found all but one of them online for $121 less. So what do you think? Back to campus and returned them all. And that used chemistry book I was carrying on about, which was in okay shape, but obviously well used for $105, I got what was sold on line as used, but is in absolutely brand new condition for $88. I don’t think the previous owner ever opened it, the spine has never been creased. I still think $88 is a lot of money for a book, but I need one, so I must submit. My biggest savings, however, was on the Health texts. This class required 2 books, and I saved $62 over the school price by picking those two up on line. And you can definitely take that to the bank.

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