Affordable Graduate School: Profs can make a difference

Great picture of the cost of books from SimonCotter.com

I have just finished the first week of classes for Winter 2012.  The three courses I’m taking are very cool –  higher education as it relates to nationalism, migrants workers and neo-liberal agenda.  The topics of the course, however, I knew before I attended the first class. What suprised me rather, was that none of these classes (hosted by three different depts at OISE) has an expensive text – or any cost whatsoever associated with the readings.  The profs have arranged it so that we can read all the journals articles through the library (nothing new) but they have also intentionally used books that the library has digitally… in fact I think that they were instrumental in making sure the library had the book digitally.  So here I am at beginning of the semester, looking at the $300 I have budgeted for books and thinking how nice it will be to attend one more conference in April or take the subway instead of ride my bike during snowstorms. I should also add that none of these professors appeared to be dramatically tech-savvy in any way.  The first could not figure out how to eject a DVD from her computer and another did not totally understand the university login system for the library.  BUT – for the sake of their students, they have collaborated with the devils of digital technology and saved me a few hundred dollars. It can be done – and I want to see it done more often.