The Riverside Chaucer

UofTGeoffrey Chaucer has a blog. I only mention that because it segues nicely into a little story from my third year at the University of Toronto.

In order to fulfill my obligations to the Department of English, I had to take a course on Chaucer. It was mandatory that we buy The Riverside Chaucer and bring it to each class. At the time, I was a very broke student working at a grocery store to pay my tuition, and this text book cost a small fortune. It cost so much I've refused to part with it. Here's a picture of it I took moments ago.

Not only was this thing expensive, but it was heavy. Hauling it on the TTC and around campus was a serious pain in the ass. The Riverside Chaucer came to represent to me everything that was wrong about university. Forcing a kid to buy a $100, 20 lb book for a bullshit class was typical.

Did I mention it was a bullshit class? I pulled every essay from my ass and still passed it with flying colours. If they didn't force you to attend by giving marks for tutorial participation, I'd have never learned who the prof was. It didn't matter. An essay or two on the significance of something or other in The Canterbury Tales and you're in like Flint.

I don't mean to sound bitter, but I didn't learn a thing from that class. It got me a nice piece of paper though which is hanging on the wall of the staircase leading to the basement right now. Thanks, Geoffrey.


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twins from bolton

Been there done that. In the late 70's we always had to buy certain books that were mandatory for class. After the second year at U of t I realized that these books were written by the Prof's themselves & they were hardly ever used as they would regergitate during class what was in their books. A nice way to make extra coin. I never bought another Prof authored book again.

March 18, 2006 @ 4:50 PM

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