I also briefly went out and got two books: Photoshop CS2 Classroom in a Book, the one recommended by some other students at school. It's also the text for the Photoshop class I plan to take next quarter. Tuesday night we had another instructor sit in with us, and he and our regular instructor talked about "real world" digital photography -- the actual likelihood of getting paid work as a photographer. Slim, to put it mildly. They did give the impression, however, that there are openings for people with Photoshop skills, so that's what I'm going to work on for the next few months. In fact, the kind of job the instructors sounded horrified by is exactly the kind of job I tend to do well at: lots of little finicky things to do. The problem would be maintaining creative drive once (if) I get a job.
The other book I got was Photoshop CS2 Bible: Professional Edition. That's the one with the photomerge stuff in it.
Anyway, it's sunny, and I feel like hitting the road.