Saturday, August 28, 2010

Advice is Free. Spiral Bound Notebooks Aren't. [Saturday Steals]

I told you guys earlier this week that I was going back to school.  For one course.  Well, it was an interesting first day.  Let me tell you.  Besides being late and having my phone ring in class, I also had to parallel park with traffic coming behind me - so quickly and correctly on the first try - it wasn't the perfect parking job, but it worked.  I hoofed it to class and finally found the room because of all of the construction they're doing there was no easy way to get to it.  I was about fifteen minutes late.  I walked in about two minutes before the professor handed out syllabuses (syllabi?).  He proceeded to tell us that the only difference between our course at the community college and the same course at the university would be that we weren't paying all of the tuition.  In fact we were "paying 27% of our total tuition bill and the county was footing the other 4/5ths of it."

I was instantly more forgiving of Suzanne Collins and her train that took for. ev. er. to get from Appalachia to the Rockies going 250mph.  I mean, this college professor of creative writing just blew basic fractions.  I mean, c'mon.  27% is more like 3/4ths (which is really 25%) than 4/5ths (which is really 20%).  Writers are writers, not rocket scientists, right? They can make up math as they go.  But it made me infinitely more appreciative of the free-to-me education I got in elementary school where I learned how to convert fractions into percentages.  What a freakin' steal.  I didn't even have to get myself a college education to learn or remember how to do these conversions.  Lucky me!

I also found out during that very fun day in class that I needed to purchase/borrow/steal a collection of short stories to write a review for by the end of classes.  I was thiking in my brain, "Ha.  Got tons of 'em on my shelf already.  Score."  Then came the qualification, " one author."  Dang it.  I didn't have one of those on my shelf. Mine are all anthologies! And off the top of my head, I couldn't even think of a collection of YA short stories by one author. So, I got internet as soon as I could after my class and googled.  Cynthia Leitich Smith had an amazingly long list of short story collections she recommended.  Taking my lead from her, I found a collection: All Hallows' Eve: 13 Stories by Vivian Vande Velde.  Knowing I'm not going to be asking the author to sign it so I can give it away, I ordered it used from Amazon.  For $2.55 in hardcover, eligible for Prime and hence free shipping.  It was a total steal since the regular price for the hardcover is $17 and the paperback is even $8.99.

Then I found out - through completing assigned reading in the text - that I needed a spiral notebook to complete exercises and journal with.  I was all kinds of frustrated with myself for not anticipating this need.  I mean, all of the back to school office supply sales are completely over in my neck of the woods.  The kids have been back in school for weeks.  So I looked online at all of the ads and found nothing.  Then, Monster and I went to Target.  They had a stack of spiral notebooks sitting there with a 30% off sign attached.  I was anticipating 30% off of 1.79 which I had come to find out is the regular price for a one-subject spiral-bound notebook these days.  When I scanned it to see how much it was going to be at the register, it was 10¢.  Steal!  So I got a few more, just in case, and I also, per Natasha A.'s suggestion, snagged up a student agenda that was on clearance for $2.08.  Since we can't use phones in class (oh! the horror!) I can't use my trusty Droid calendar app, and this tip was a complete lifesaver.  Thanks Natasha!  All of the other advice was really great as well and really helped to calm my nerves.  You guys are amazing.  Thanks so much for taking the time to leave some tips!  They were my best steal of all this week!

That is my week of school-related and hence sorta bookish steals.  If you want to see what other people have stolen this week, head over to Archives of Our Lives.  Chelsie at The Mind of A Gus posted her bookish steal this week so check hers out too.  C'mon guys!  Add in your steals - you have all weekend to participate.  I wanna read about 'em.
Picture of books taken by me on Motorola Droid.
Android 2.2. Retro Camera App.  Little Orange Box Setting
Download it for free... it's awesome (and a steal)


Suzanne said...

Wow, I didn't know going back to school could be so much fun! ;-) I haven't been in school for even longer than you, and I could put myself right in your shoes this first day! Love the attitude of the teacher! Hope the rest of the year gets easier... And thanks so much for sharing the short story collection you chose. I'm always looking for a good collection- I did join a short story challenge this year and am always on the lookout.

Have a great weekend!

Camille said...

I'm so happy for you for going back to school. And your class sounds like so much fun! For the first time in four semesters, I'm finally signed up for a few classes that sound like I might enjoy them (but I mustn't get my hopes up).

Thanks for participating!