Saturday, January 23, 2010

Notebooks, folders, textbooks, and a computer

My classes begin Monday. This is my last weekend with nothing to do. I could spend it in a productive manner by sewing something, but I probably won’t. I plan to take advantage of these last few days free from obligations by sitting on my sofa watching movies and eating cheesy poofs.

Yesterday I picked up supplies for the semester: notebooks, folders, textbooks, and a new computer. Students at my school do not need to purchase their textbooks; the school has a textbook rental program. A $5.22 fee is added to the cost of each credit to cover the cost of books. Students pick up the books required for their classes at the start of the semester, and return them after the semester is over. Books a student wishes to keep can be purchased at reduced prices. I far prefer renting books to purchasing them. In the past I would spend a few hundred dollars each semester on books. The only thing I needed to buy this semester was the fabric swatch kit for my textiles class.

In addition to the textbook rental fee, a laptop rental fee is also added to tuition. Students get a new computer every two years. I already had a computer, so I am not sure what I will do with my new one. The fee is not optional, so now I have two computers. My music, photos, and other documents are on my old computer. The new computer has some good graphics programs that I will probably need in future semesters, but for now I plan to continue using my old one.

Click here for more information about UW-Stout’s textbook rental system or here for information about laptop rental.

Following is a list of the textbooks I received and my thoughts about them. I have not yet read the books, so these are not reviews, just my initial impressions.

APRL 145 – Interior Decorating/Design Textiles

- Kadolph, Sara J. Textiles. Upper Saddle Rivers, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc. 2007.

This looks like a good book. I need to memorize a lot for this class, and this book will make it easier. There are a lot of pictures and table. A list of key terms can be found at the end of every chapter along with some discussion questions. Furthermore every chapter ends with a suggested reading list that includes page numbers which will make any additional research I have to do a lot easier.

- Textile Fabric Consultants, Inc. Basic Swatch Kit. Smyrna, TN: 2008.

It is a swatch kit. I have never had a swatch kit before so I have nothing to compare it to. The swatches are bound together with a rubber band, and a warning label on the package warns me to not remove the rubber band lest I get the swatches out of their proper order. Without such a dire warning I probably would have removed it. The plastic bag already tore, but I was planning to make a snazzy new bag anyway. Sixty dollars seems a lot to pay for some scraps of fabric, but it is the only book I had to buy so I can’t complain.

APRL 166 – Apparel Construction

- Brackelsberg, Phyllis and Marshall, Ruth. Unit Method of Clothing Construction. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, Inc. 1999.

This book is intended to be used as a textbook. I think it will be a very useful tool, and I may purchase it at the end of the semester.

- Reader’s Digest. New Complete Guide to Sewing. Montreal: The Reader’s Digest Association. 2002.

I already owned a copy of this book. It was my textbook last semester at MCTC, and I was not surprised to learn I would be using it again. The book is intended for home sewers, but it is still quite useful as a textbook.

APRL 274 – Fashion Industry

- Johnson, Maurice J. and Moore, Evelyn C. Apparel Product Development. Upper Saddle Rivers, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc. 2001.

I was hoping to see The Teen Vogue Handbook on the required list for this class, but I suppose Apparel Product Development is more appropriate for use as a textbook. The first edition of this book was titled So You Want to Work in the Fashion Business: A Practical Look at Apparel Product Development and Global Manufacturing. This book seems to provide a detailed and impartial view of the fashion industry. Hopefully by the end of this class I will have a better idea of what exactly it is I wish to do in the industry.

PKG 100 – Packaging and Society

- Hine, Thomas. The Total Package. Toronto: Little, Brown & Company. 1995.

I do not know what this class will be about, so I started reading the book. The book seems to be about the way manufactures package their products for sale. The book is interesting, but I find it difficult to read. I feel it is poorly written, and I am not sure it is an appropriate textbook. The author states facts and refers to studies, but never cites the source of the information.

SOC110 - Introductory Sociology

- Ferris, Kerry and Stein, Jill. The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 2008.

The title says it all, this is an introductory sociology textbook. I am not too excited about sociology, but the book is filled with big colorful interesting pictures, so maybe the text will be interesting too.

- Goodwin, Jeff and Jasper, James M., ed. The Contexts Reader. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 2008.

This book is a collection of articles from Contexts, a magazine from the American Sociological Association intended to introduce sociological research and perspectives to non specialists. I think sociology articles written for non sociologists will be easier to read than ones written for sociologists.

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