23 March 2007

Friday Cat Blogging with Pepper the Crazy Cat

See how much I like Mom's furniture? This is not actually a bureau; it's a sophisticated IKEA cat roost.


06 March 2007

And the Idiot Prize goes to...Bedford/St. Martin's

This week's mail, by the numbers:

1. 30 copies of America's History, Sixth Edition (Henretta, Brody, and Dumenil).
2. There are 22 members of the department.
3. 8 members of the department actually teach American history.
4. 6 of the books were sent to faculty who no longer work here or are retired.
5. 6 of the books were sent to faculty who do not teach American history at all.
6. 2 of the books were sent to our administrative assistants.

Let me run that by you again: Bedford/St. Martin's sent THIRTY copies of a textbook that will cost upwards of NINETY DOLLARS each (ed. note: my pricing based on Amazon's price for the fifth edition) to a department of TWENTY-TWO faculty, and of those THIRTY copies, FOURTEEN were addressed to retired or otherwise departed faculty, non-Americanist faculty, and administrative assistants, and in our department, only EIGHT faculty teach American history. In other words, Bedford/St. Martin's sent THIRTY copies when EIGHT would have sufficed.

Who is running the marketing department over there? No wonder textbooks cost so much...undergraduates have to bear the cost of blanket marketing techniques.

Which is why I will NOT be adopting America's History, Sixth Edition as my textbook in the American survey next fall. Come to think of it, maybe I won't use a textbook at all.

***UPDATE*** I just received an email from Amazon telling my that America's History, Sixth Edition is now available for purchase at the bargain price of $93.95.

02 March 2007

Friday Cat and Furniture Blogging

This morning I went to Crate and Barrel to pick up my new desk (a housewarming present from my parents). It was funny watching the C & B guys trying to get it into Hildegard. I love my hybrid car but she was really not built for cargo-in-a-big-box.

Nevertheless, we stuffed the desk in and I got it home, back out of the car, into my house, out of the box, and put together in under an hour. Now I have a solid work area at home!

Of course, it is unclear if I'll actually be allowed to use it, because Pepper has decided that the new desk is clearly a new piece of cat lounging furniture. He also decided my new bureau would be a good place to hang out too, and I can't keep the surface clear of cat fur. I suspect I'll have the same experience with my desk. Sigh.