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May 12, 2008 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Geniuses in our midst

Media 144 – Lecturer David Young – Set text Media by David Young
Law 123 – Lecturer Jane Smith – Set text Law by Jane Smith
Intp 113 – Lecturer Christopher Lamonica – Set text International Politics – The Classic Texts (second edition) by Christopher Lamonica…

Why does this trend of lecturers setting their own published works as set texts for the papers they are teaching go unnoticed? Or if it is noticed, why is it ridiculed by students? Why do we not all feel incredibly honoured, humbled and giddy every time we go to our lectures? We are obviously being taught by the highest grade of academics New Zealand has to offer.

To know that you are being taught your budding craft by a true master can only be looked at as a great privilege. Your lecturer’s mastery is clear by their choice of set text. Your lecturer is a well read scholar with great judgment. Out of all the possible text books on the subject they have objectively decided that theirs is going to inform you the best. There is no need to consider alternative schools of thought on the issue because your lecturer’s view must be unsurpassed, considering and concluding all areas. You are accessing priceless insight and are going to have a leg up on all rival undergraduates taking similar courses elsewhere – places with less authoritative lecturers.

Money is always a concern for students and buying expensive textbooks is rough. But when you consider the calibre of the information in your book all concern of the money spent on it should melt away. Moaning about fee rises should be silenced by the same argument. If I as an academic had worked so hard to now be at the highest level I would expect some monetary recognition too – and it is clearly deserved. Yeah, $150.00 for your lecturer’s text book seems a little steep (and the royalties they get when you multiply that by the 300 people in your lecture) but can you really put a price on the opportunity for your mind to be moulded by the best of the best?


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