Bend Over University Students

How much would you pay for the book in this picture – $30?  $20?  Maybe even $10?  Nooooooo!  Has your university got a deal for you. 

You can have this deluxe book of a half inch of glossy paper for a mere $100!  That’s right, only $100 for this textbook.  What a steal… from the students.

A defining characteristic of a student is that they are broke.  They can’t work full time, take a full time class load and study.  Classes cost a bundle; here in Australia Mr. Smith can easily drop $1,100. 

If you paid that much to a resort, you’d get a fruit basket and a bottle of champagne.  If you spend that much on a university class, you’d hope you’d get a textbook.  Nope.

This ‘required’ textbook is literally a half inch thick, and chock full of large graphics.  The exercises in it for the student are things like, “Write your name ______________” and “How does job hunting make you feel?  Write your answer _____________”  There’s also a great section on dressing properly for an interview with tips like “stand up straight”.

Is this worth $100, and more importantly, should it be the textbook for a 4th year university business student?  It has the feel of a life skills publication that might be passed out free at a high school graduation.

This book will be used in this class one week.  By the next class, a new edition will probably be available making this one obsolete.  That also means it can’t be sold as a used textbook, and everyone in the new class must pay full price.

Why is this being allowed to continue?  This book is not worth more than $20, and that’s inflated.  The students paid $1,100 for the class already.  It’s not even a hardback, or full of good information.  It actually explains the difference between debt and expenses… to a 4th year business student.  If they don’t know that by now, it’s too late for them.

The saddest thing is how much waste this promotes.  It’s a waste of money, paper, and fuel for delivery, not to mention the heavy metals and dioxins going out as waste from production.  This is a squandering of our planet’s resources.  Shame on all involved.

There are other options.  With iPads, eReaders, the prevalence of laptops, iPhones… there is no more need for this waste.  Vooks are the new textbook.  They combine multi media with text to create well rounded, immersive educational experiences.  Students can share their experiences with others right from their digital reader.  When new information is available and a new edition is required, there’s no mountain of textbooks going into the landfill.

Australia, which is so progressive environmentally, needs to stand up and say no to this waste.  The university and textbook pairing is a terrible example of corporate greed.  It’s the classic tale of big business plundering the environment, only here the ugliness is disguised by an ivy league veil.

Time to get smarter, everybody!

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is a third generation Uchinanchu and an award-winning American poet, author, and publisher with over 20 years of experience in newspaper journalism. Publisher of Space & Time magazine (est. 1966), a Bram Stoker Awards® Finalist and HWA Mentor of the Year for 2020.
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5 Responses to Bend Over University Students

  1. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, IÕll try to get the hang of it!

  2. brendan stallard says:


    Ever since I retired, I’ve done various academic courses, and you’ve hit the nail right smack dab on the head.

    I can actually afford these things, but it is still galling. I recall one piano class, where the teacher came in on the first morning and gaily announced that ALL the sheet music we’d paid for upfront was out of date and that we’d be required to buy it all again that morning.

    I bought the flannery, and checked it, there were exactly six changes in the text and music. I should have smacked him in the gob.

    We need ropes and lamp-posts aplenty. Where is Mme Guillotine!

    brendan (atlanta)

    • :Dandi says:

      I agree with you Brendon! There is nothing wrong with making a living, but when it’s taking advantage of a group that typically struggles anyways it’s an outrage. A lot of these guys have to choose between their weekly ramen rations or textbooks. That’s beyond making a living… that’s making a killing. Thanks for the comment!

  3. I carry on listening to the rumor lecture about getting boundless online grant applications so I have been looking around for the top site to get one. Could you advise me please, where could i get some?

  4. I agree with your Bend Over University Students | :Dandilyon Fluff, fantastic post.

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