A Toronto college art class is requiring students to buy an art textbook that has no pictures. The book has brought up the concern of college freshman not being able to afford the books their classes require, a viable concern when both textbooks and tuition are on the rise.
There's two things in this story that give pause for reflection. One is the viability of a college education for a liberal arts student. Unless you plan on teaching, college might not give you more education and experience in the Internet age for that painting and writing career you dream of. The best it can give you is a work ethic, the constant focus and drive to complete project after project under deadlines. Of course, if you do not have the desire to be as prolific with your art or the desire to seek out a mentor among the hundreds of online communities, this may be a key that you are not destined to make a living at that art and should not waste your (or, let's face it) your parent's money on a liberal arts degree.
The second is how the hell do you teach an art class with no representation of the art you are talking about? Even theory and history of art need a representation of the various mediums and styles to get the point across. This would be like a literature class learning The Great Gatsby by listening to instrumental jazz. I can only imagine the class is about writing about art which is often more pretentious than the art itself.