The Ridiculous Cost of Textbooks

Sunday, January 23, 2011 by Michelle

I recently decided to go back to college. I had budgeted for the tuition and incidental costs and, what I thought, reasonably budgeted for texts. Imagine my outrage when the text came in at a whopping $143+ taxes. As if to help make me feel better, a classmate even said, "that's nothing - the book last semester was over $180." I didn't feel better.

Textbooks, in my experience, are used once and usually rarely ever looked at again; even if you sell them, you get a minuscule amount that doesn't remotely cover the pain of the cost. I almost dropped out. No wonder students struggle to pay for university; it's not just the tuition, it's the absolutely outrageous cost of textbooks.

Where are professors protesting by telling publishers they won't use texts that cost nearly half the cost of the course? Where are students voicing their outrage? Going to university/college is already hard to access by working-class and low-income people, or students unable/unwilling to live at home with their parents. Textbook costs, especially texts destined to never be looked at again, put an education completely out of their reach.

How Sound Enters My Body

Sunday, January 9, 2011 by Michelle

I was at a 'sound and healing' event some time ago, and the person leading it asked, "Where and how do you experience sound in your body?" That's an odd question, I thought. Intrigued, I began to really pay attention to how and where sounds are felt in my body. I discovered that deeply resonant sounds, like when a large group of people chant "OM", are felt as a pleasant vibration deep in my chest. And the chime of a small gong, I wrote the haiku below to describe what it's like for me.

The little gong chimes
Small fish swim through my belly
Generating peace

Where do you experience sound in your body?