Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Text Books are Different than Real Books.

I've successfully completed one week of school.  76 more to go!  Piece of cake.  Piece of crumb cake.   Name that movie.
The first week was not hard.  Mostly posting an introduction of myself and answering questions like... "What's the first thing you think of when you hear the word "Psychology?"  I put "Dr. Melfi from The Sopranos."
According to the syllabi I've received...the semester will be reading text books and taking weekly ten point quizzes.  Open book.  Ground me if I don't get all As this go round.
I like to read. My big reading fault is I read what people give me to read even when it's bad read.  I've learned you have to find a "reader match" if you want to book swap.  For instance, I probably wouldn't take a recommendation from a Twilight fan.  Because those books are horrible.  Now would I read from one who suggested A Thousand Splendid Suns, Twelve Tribes of Hattie, Squirrel Meets Chipmunk, or Life of Pi.  I still read anything anyone hands me... yeah.  All talk there.
This past week I shelved my good reads and switched to.... Text Books!  Whether I like it or not I put on my glasses, pop open a Coke and some Doritos* and smudge up those pages.  Every night.   I'm liking the Doritos; not liking the text.
They're horrible!  Aside from zero excitement (love interests, funny lines, character epiphanies) they are incredibly hindering to read.  Text books don't use normal words to say... anything.  Instead of saying "People use their mouths to talk."  A text book might say, "Communicating homo sapiens utilize the movement of labium superius oris, lengua, and inferior maxillary bone for the articulation of speech."
Jigga what?
It reminds me of this Friends snippet:

I will recede and say after awhile the synonyms and wordi-ness become second hand.  After reading 375 pages last week, it just started to flow.  Or it would have if it weren't for all the misplaced asterisks.   In my experience you place an asterisk after a word when there will be a side note at the bottom of the text.  In my blog-o-sphere I use the asterisk to put one more extra jolt there at the bottom.  These cray cray text books though... PSHT!... They put them on the easy words.  Example (from the actual text):

"blah blah blah.... but not so open that they are gullible*.

*gullible:  easily fooled or cheated.

Yeah.  Got that one.  How bout throwing me a couple asterisk for a sentence like:

"Instead of an electrical charge, the vesicles at the end of the axon contain molecules of neurotransmitters, and the surface of the dendrite next to the axon (the postsynaptic membrane) contains ion channels..."

Oh!  Instead of an electrical charge.  I thought it was because of an electrical charge. I get it now.  I get now.
No I don't.  Eleven of the words in that sentence could benefit from an asterisk.

These issues may be enough to deter one from reading the text.  Perhaps cause one to just use the chapter summary.  Buuuuuut- the words there are just as hard.  Wert.    And if I used the chapter summary I would miss all the mid-sentence citing that occurs.  I suppose it's probably "copyright law" or what have you but these texts are a little obsessive about it.  It wants to credit each scientist or doctor that discovered these axons and dendrites and electroencephalograms. 

So with all these blunders the text might read:
"Communicating* homo sapiens (Bradley 1980) utilize the movement (Spirigo, Spirigo, Et al 1952, pp. 65-71) of labium superius oris (Bronowski, 1978a, p. 546), lengua (Bremmer, Lin, Yates, et al.b 1998), and inferior maxillary bone (Granger, Weasley 2007 pp.46-97) for the articulation (Philadelphia 76ers 2001) of speech*."

Communicating: Talking.
Speech: Talking.

It's exhausting... and it's making my brain hurt.  Growing pains I'm assuming.  *wink*
And!  It makes Kole's dumb Scamp Saves the Day book really really good.  I always hated it because it was such an easy read and the plot just fell out without any building or explanation.
I didn't know how good I had it.

*Running low on Doritos.  Will accept charitable, munchable donations of any salty snack.

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