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September 16, 2007

I Could’ve Totally Aced That Exam Had I Bought the Textbook

A Guest Editorial by Devin Briar
University of Toledo, Class of 2010

Briar: Crusading Against the Tyranny of Textbooks and Sobriety

I’m a sophomore this year, which means I’m not playing by any of those namby-pamby rules anymore. I’m a man about campus, a budding scholar, and most importantly, a free-thinker.

And had I bought the textbook for Professor Maguire’s economics course, I could have totally aced that first exam he gave last week.

Let me first say that I didn’t bomb the thing. I earned a respectable 62%, which is still a passing grade. And secondly, everyone knows that Maguire’s lectures are straight-up chapter outlines, so why the hell should I dish out $119 when I’m gonna have a PhD summarize the readings every time I walk into class?

See, the bigger issue is that college textbooks are a scam. Publishers charge exorbitant amounts of money because, as they claim, it’s pretty expensive to produce a 743-page book with lots of color charts and graphs. Well, that may be true—but there’s an added fee for the interactive CD, and then the college bookstore adds their markup. By the time you throw in sales tax, you might as well have bought a triple-chamber bong studded with emeralds.

So if I just take meticulous notes in all my classes this semester, I can maintain a respectable 1.5 GPA without buying a single book. And as I’ve already said—it’s about standing up for what I believe in. That, and making sure I have enough cash to score some Kind Bud every Friday.

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