Sunday, September 05, 2004

How much are an arm and a leg worth in dollars, Mr.Publisher ?

The publishers of textbooks are highway robbers, plain and simple. To date, I've shelled out close to $400 for textbooks, and that's for only 2 classes. To wit:

"Biochemistry, Vol 1: Biomolecules, Mechanisms of Enzyme Action and Metabolism", by Donald Voet: $119.95
"Biochemistry, The Expression and Transmission of Genetic Information", by Donald Voet: $33.71
"Organic Chemistry", by JohnMcMurry: $155.00
"Receptors: Models for Binding, Trafficking and Signaling", by Doug Lauffenburger: $65.00

Grand total: ~$370, for 2 classes. That's just absurd.

The largest share of the insanity by far came from the textbooks for biochemistry [the first three]. My biochemistry class is going to require a delicate balancing act on my part: biochemistry requires a knowledge of organic chemistry, organic chemistry requires a knowledge of some basic general chemistry and the last time I took any chemistry was over 12 years ago. So, basically what I have to do is brush up on my basic chemistry so I can sit in on the organic chemistry class without being totally lost so that I can, in turn, take the biochemistry class and have a chance of passing it. Oh, and I'm going to try taking the graduate version of the biochemistry class and drop back down to the undergrad version if I'm totally out of my depth in the graduate version. [The downside of the undergrad class is that it doesn't count against my course requirements and I'd be taking it with all the grade-grubbing, super-eager-beaver premed students ...]

The combination of trying to handle the biochemistry class, another class I'm taking that's apparently going to require 20 hrs of homework a week, a third class [which is a paper-reading class and so will hopefully not be too much work] and my lab rotations is going to be, ahem, interesting.


4 Comments:

Blogger Affable said...

It's a well-known fact that high textbook prices are a conspiracy hatched by the illuminati in conjunction with professors, to get at least a symoblic cut of the grad student's stipend back where it belongs, in the professor's pockets. There's a formula relating your stipend to how much you have to shell out for textbooks, but I seem to have misplaced it...

4:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don Voet... I took his course at Penn. The lectures sucked more than the book. Good luck.

Phil

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