Thursday, March 31, 2011

Science Textbooks are Bullshit

Let me tell you a little story about my time at Wooster. I've taken three science classes, which were indisputably the sort of watered-down stuff that's suitable for liberal-arts majors, so let it be clear that I'm not speaking of textbooks for the people who're actually majoring in it. These are the sort of overview textbooks that you're supposed to get for 100- and 120-level classes, and they are worthless.

The story goes like this. My freshman year, I took Geology of Natural Hazards, which is a 105 class. The textbook cost $128. I used it about a dozen times in the first week. After that? Not at all. We didn't refer to it in class and we didn't need it for the class. I ended up selling it back for $55, which at a loss of $73 was still the best price I could get, and getting a B+ in the class.

Next year's class, History of Life (Geo-100) wasn't as bad, but I still shelled out $40 for the Encyclopedia of Earth and used it only a handful of times. Grade: A.

This year, I decided I'd had enough of this shit, and declined to purchase the textbook for my Astronomy of Stars & Galaxies course. That would've set me back anywhere between $60 and $80. I initially planned to make it up by periodically pilfering my friend Tadd's book, but after the first week I didn't even bother with that.

Results? The final grade isn't in yet, but I'm sitting pretty with two test scores of 92.8% and 103.3%.

My empirical study with limited sample size has shown me...


Thank you and good night.

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