by Earl J. Liffey
Bernie Stelsky, Professor of Western European History at Blanton College, has come up with a truly revolutionary way to go green. Instead of asking students to buy books or print texts from a computer, Bernie is encouraging students to utilize the local resource of booksellers to read.
“One day I was sitting in Barnes & Noble catching up on this month’s Cat Fancy and it just hit me. I’d been there six hours, read MAD Magazine, Fish and Stream and The Source and hadn’t spent a penny or had any environmental cost other than the electricity to run the 4,000 square foot Barnes & Noble and the gas I’d used to drive the 27 miles from my house,” Bernie explained. He added, “I guess I’d count the whole impact of the coffee I made – I brought my own mug from home since their Starbucks is so expensive.”
Bernie realized that he could easily extend the opportunity to save the earth and save money to his students. For his fall semester Western Civilization class, he only assigned books that would be available in quantity at the Barnes & Noble and encouraged his students to go green by reading their books in the store.
Unfortunately, reaction to the project has been mixed. Steven Terry, sophomore Biology major, approved. “I love it. Last week, I grabbed People’s History of the United States and a hardcover book of nude photos and spent four hours reading in the bean bag chairs in the kids’ section. Awesome!”
Chrissy Shook, freshman Pre-Law major, was less than thrilled. “I spilled my cherry Fanta all over the Western Civilization textbook while I was reading about the French Revolution. One of the cashiers saw me and I had to buy the book. That thing costs $127 and it’s boring!”
Asked about the long-term impacts of his changes, Bernie sighed. “Back in the old days, we used to encourage students to buy and keep their books, but who the hell does that anymore? These kids all sell them back the second they get done with the class. And seriously, who reads this crap anyway?”