"Your biting sarcasm wounds me, Madam..."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I'm gonna be so smart, you won't even know who i am.

I took off Monday and Tuesday so that i could try to enjoy the last fleeting days of summer. Maybe go to the beach, take a long drive out east, shop at a farm stand, eat an ice cream cone from the wrong end, whatever. Summer. It's almost over - especially now that i'm starting school up again next Tuesday which i'm really not happy about.

Needless to say, i did none of those things and wound up laying around all day Monday until yoga class in the evening where i felt like my arms were just going to fall off from the freaking strain of holding them up. (Do you know how hard it is to just hold your arms up for 5 minutes? It's freaking hard. Try it now - just hold your arms out to the side like you're an airplane. Well, actually wait until you finish scrolling to the end of my post. You'll get distracted and not want to finish.)

Tuesday i decided i needed to go up to school and check on my textbooks at the famous college bookstore. You know, to see how much it's going to cost me for learnin' this fall.

Ah, college.

On my first attempt at college life right after high school, i went to a major State University of New York school. A great, big, giant university that chews up fresh-faced freshman biology majors and spits them out at a pretty fast clip. You can almost watch the self-esteem fade from people's faces - kids who thought they were so damn smart, aced AP Bio in high school and thought they'd become a doctor or some such nonsense, only to be washed away in the tidal wave of pain and suffering that is the bio department. Mmmm... memories.

My first semester at this large, stony university (ahem) was definitely a trial for me. It was awful. In fact, it's not even worth talking about. But i was so excited that first week of school and i remember going to the campus bookstore to go get my books. I didn't have a credit card then, at 17 years old (and I rightly shouldn't have - i mean come on. I remember getting phone calls at home from credit card companies telling me that they have these "great new cards just for college students!" and i actually sputtered out "are you kidding me??? I work PART TIME. I'm IN COLLEGE. How the hell could i possibly pay for a CREDIT CARD?? With 22%APR?? DON'T EVER CALL ME AGAIN." I was a fiscally responsible teenager) and was going to be paying for my books by check. As in.. Real Money, like straight from my 17 year old self's bank account.

I collected my 3 biology books (text, work book AND study guide), math book, English book and whatever the hell else i had to grab and went to the check out.

I wish i could remember what the number was, but then you would all probably tell me that it was nothing compared to what you paid for textbooks, so maybe i'm better off not remembering. But it went something like this:

Cashier: That'll be $25,000.
Me: I'm sorry?
Cashier: $25,000, please. Cash or credit?
Cashier: Credit? Cash? Hello?
Cashier: Security?

End scene.

Yesterday i was collecting textbook information on the 2 (TWOOO) classes i'm taking this semester. I walked proudly into the campus bookstore (obviously not a comfortable place for me to be in anymore), found my books and sat on the floor with them. I promptly wrote down all of my ISBNs, prices, editions (just in case) and took a mental picture of what the covers are supposed to look like. I got harrassed by the pimply campus bookstore clerk for writing down the numbers, but I barked back at him for even considering chiding me for purchasing my books elsewhere. And do you want to know why?

My two, three-credit classes require a melange (that's 5) of textbooks that would cost me $497 if i bought them new in the bookstore. That's three dollars shy of FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS. For TWOOOO 100-level classes.

I bought them all online this morning and paid $194.16.

YOUUU can go fuck yourself, pimply campus bookstore clerk. Holy Chist on a cracker.

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  • Jesus. Textbooks suck. If you can get the list of books beforehand, see what you can buy online at a discount or scope out the University Library.

    But more importantly! Holy crap you are back! YAY! (also, catching up here...registering sucks, see if you can get in with a Dean, they are usually more helpful; and wow yoga. Impressed.)

    By Blogger Christine, at 8/27/2008 5:00 PM  

  • Yay for you! I used to work in a college bookstore, but people gave us their list of classes and we had to get them and bring them up to the counter. I can't tell you how many times we had to return books to the shelves because people would hear the prices and decide to share with a friend.

    By Blogger Jess, at 8/27/2008 6:32 PM  

  • Damn... $500 is just an insane amount of cash. Good for you for daring to do a little comparison shopping -- and hey, pimply-faced bookstore clerk? You're not making commission on these sales. Lighten up.

    By Anonymous TwoBusy, at 8/28/2008 7:30 AM  

  • It's unbelievable how much textbooks cost. Seriously.

    On the credit card thing, though... I got my first credit card my freshman year of college, at age 18. It had a $300 limit. I didn't use it to replace money I didn't have--I used it to start building a credit history. I charged things to it and paid it off in full every month. As long as you can be trusted not to go crazy and max out your card every month with no way of paying it off, I think getting a credit card in college is a smart way to start building a credit history so that later if you do need credit or a loan at a decent rate, you're able to get it.

    By Blogger Jess, at 8/28/2008 12:53 PM  

  • Ahhh, I remember those days all too well. The intial excitement of new classes! new books! LEARNING! ...and then seeing how much the books cost. It really is rape.

    Excuse me while I go hold my arms up for 5 minutes.

    By Blogger Cassie, at 8/28/2008 3:20 PM  

  • christine- oh, don't be impressed with the yoga. i'm telling you, the corpse pose is where it's at.

    jess - i think that would bother me. i'd rather look at the books myself.. maybe because i wouldn't trust the shop people telling me that there aren't any used books left and make me buy a new one for 100 bucks more.

    twobusy - I wonder about that. Why would THEY care? They don't own the store, they couldn't POSSIBLY be making a commission. Pfff.

    Jess - You were way more forward-thinking and responsible than i was. I didn't even know that i had to build up credit; i had no idea that it worked that way when i was 17. NONE. You were a smart kid.

    Cassie - Yes! Tell me if you can keep your arms up without shaking, too. Cause that's terribly attractive in a room full of pretzel-people.

    By Blogger claire, at 8/28/2008 3:32 PM  

  • Good for you! I love when I am able to do that...sometimes I need the books faster than they can be shipped, but when the timing is right it is OH SO SWEET!

    By Anonymous Nikol, at 9/05/2008 3:09 PM  

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