Thursday, January 7, 2010

Textbook Shopping

Yesterday I drove out to Liberty to use my book voucher to purchase all of my remaining textbooks. In total, for the THREE graduate classes I am taking, I have TWENTY-SEVEN books - plus the twenty to forty additional books that I will read for EACH class. Isn't it a good thing that I'm a fast reader? Each professor has said that I'll be reading a book per week for them, minimum. Yikes!

All total, my remaining textbooks, minus the two that are on back-order, came to $735. I cannot adequately describe the strange feeling that came over me as I spent that much money in less than fifteen minutes. I almost felt dizzy! Thank goodness it's not my money, but Uncle Sam's. I guess it's only fair, since I'll be quite possibly risking my neck overseas in a few years for dear old Uncle Sam. I am really grateful for how much financial stress the army is alleviating for me.

After getting my textbooks, I decided to pick up my parking permit. Since all the spots at LU require a permit, I parked about three quarters of a mile away from LUPD (in the area of parking spaces that I fondly call "no man's land") and left a note under the back wiper on my car begging that my car not be towed and explaining that I was there to pick up my parking decal. Then I hiked up to the correct building with the bitter wind slashing me like a whip. After my lengthy walk up to LUPD, I did not find it amusing to learn that I had left my vehicle registration in the car. So, back to car I tromped, collected my registration, and then b-a-c-k up the long road to LUPD. Naturally, I couldn't get the decal. Turns out Liberty has an online form that you have to fill out (of course they couldn't have told me that in advance). I think I'll try for the decal again on a warmer day.

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"