Books are good

I’m feeling really stupid right now. For a while I’ve been taking notes in my SOC 181a class (“Quantitative Methods of Social Inquiry”) but not really understanding what I’m doing. It all seems fairly clear on the board when he explains it, but I never quite know why we’re doing various things, or where they are useful. I’m getting flashbacks to, oh, every match class after geometry.

Tonight I realized that the reason I’m so lost is because I don’t have a textbook. The book didn’t come in at the bookstore and the professor has been posting it chapter by chapter as these evil image PDF thingies, and I found them almost impossible to read so I skimmed them but didn’t get anything out of them.

Tonight I just printed everything out (after having to adjust is a bunch to get it to print in a readable format) and now I have something somewhat equivalent to a “textbook” that I can flip through and highlight and actually read, and now I have just a bit of an idea of what I’m supposed to be doing.

If I can spend most of tomorrow reading the darn thing, maybe I can catch up in this class before it’s too late.

Here’s hoping.

One reply on “Books are good”

  1. As much as I like this whole ‘digital’ thing, I completely understand where you’re coming from. My SOC146a (“Mass Communication Theory” with Miller — a wonderful class) had a lot of readings in PDF format up on WebCT, but I just couldn’t comprehend what was going on. The act of physically holding the paper, taking notes in the margins, highlighting it, and just being able to take it places you can’t take a computer (I like to do my readings in bed) convinced me to just print everything out. It cost me a good deal of paper, and about $20 in ink, but it was a lot cheaper than purchasing books…

    The whole phenomenon of e-books and the like, while a fantasitc idea, just doesn’t appeal to me. There was a slashdot article a while back about a roll-up screen, which you could roll up and put in a briefcase. The idea was that it would receive news via a wireless system so that it would always be available to you. Until the day tis display can go anywhere, and I can write on it (without destroying the screen), I’m going to stick to my standard printed books.


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