Sunday 10 March 2013
I recently came across a status update on Facebook . . . okay, fine . . . I was creeping profiles and I read a status update that made me go ‘hmmmmmmm’ . . . okay, fine . . . it didn’t make me go ‘hmmmmmmm’, it was more like: ‘f*ckity f*ck f*cking f*ck off if you don’t want to do it the right way you f*cking f*cktard for f*ck’s sake you don’t even f*cking appreciate what you’ve f*cking got and you’re going to be a f*cking *insert name of job here* you f*cking ungrateful f*ck’. It continued on for a bit, but you get the general idea, I trust. And yes, there were absolutely no commas involved or harmed in the making of that f-bomb filled expression of annoyance.
So, I figured ‘hey, why not write a post about it?’ and here we are, all effed out within the first paragraph. But seriously . . .
I make no secret of the fact that I am one of the lucky glob of people who attended university. I also make no secret of the fact that when I was a teenager, I never actually wanted to go to uni, at least not until I was there. That’s when I appreciated the whole university experience and discovered that it was kinda cool to be one of those people who got an education beyond high school. And I’m proud of the fact that a) I went to uni, b) I graduated from uni, c) I never failed any of the units I studied at uni, and d) I left uni with two degrees. Now, let me just say that what I got two uni degrees for, people now only receive one . . . but still, I have two parchments that state that I have two degrees, and it’s the numbers that count in the end, right? 😉
Anyway, this update that I happened to stumble across deliberately read because I was creeping profiles, mentioned something (I won’t hit up the specifics of it) about university being boring. Again, I’ll reiterate that I’m not going into the exact details of the update and therefore, I’ve chosen to paraphrase it. University. Is. Boring. Hmmmmm, where to start with this?
The elitist side of me wants to pound on the writer of the update with a dictionary in the hope that, let’s call the person X, in the hope that X might find that their vocabulary is extended by the experience. And then the logical part of me says: don’t do it, you’ll hurt the dictionary! No, no, the logical part of me says: if you don’t like being at uni, then why the f*ck did you apply to study at university?
Oh sure, we all moaned about uni when we were there, it’s natural to do so. I know when I was there, our moaning sessions went something like: ‘I can’t believe I have to be up that early for a lecture!’
‘I know, right? 9 a.m. and we have to be bright eyed and bushy tailed to listen to Evan talk about Elizabethan Theatre.’
‘Yeah, but Elizabethan Theatre and Evan aren’t the problems. The problem is that at that time of the morning there aren’t any giant choc chip muffins ready at the ref for morning tea!’
‘Holy shit, I didn’t think of that. How are we going to survive a morning lecture without choc chip muffins?’
‘Damn, we’re screwed.’
Alright, so maybe we had more than giant choc chip muffins to complain about, such as all of our assignments being due within the same week, getting our acts together to all be available for rehearsals at the same time, and what in God’s name were we going to wear for costuming in our Modern Theatre piece? And HECS. Yep, we all complained about having to pay HECS. Ain’t no getting around that one. N.B. HECS is the Higher Education Contribution Scheme that many uni students have to pay, either upfront prior to starting their course of study, or via the income tax option that requires you to pay it off through your personal income taxation.
The thing is, we never complained about the fact that we were at uni, that we were privileged enough to be able to afford to go to uni, or that we got high enough exam results to be accepted in the first place. Despite some of the ages of my fellow classmates, we were excited about studying and for us, it was, more than likely, going to be the first achievement we’d make in our adult lives. Sure, we’d been successful as kids and teenagers, but graduating from uni was the big time – it was adult school.
So, it disheartens me to see people whine about having to sit through lectures, tutorials, and presentations at university, because for me and many of my generation, it was a privilege to study at uni. These days, I think most people see uni education as a given – anyone can get in to any course of study, and they don’t necessarily care if they fail the units they’re required to take. Nope, they’ll just enrol in the unit again. And yes, it’s good that a university education is so widely accessible for all, and it’s great that there are generations of people who aren’t afraid of failure and quite like the fact that they can have a do-over. But at the same time, while part of my brain says ‘yay for them’, another part says ‘this is a stupid idea because these people who engage in the multiple do-over are the people who are going to be looking after your health care, your education, your legal affairs, your engineering, etc. Do you really want a do-over person for those things?’ A do-over attitude isn’t a lot of good for you if your lawyer can’t adequately argue your case in court and you end up in gaol as you wait for your do-over lawyer to lodge an appeal on your behalf. Or your do-over doctor has another go at diagnosing your now stage three cancer that s/he has had months to diagnose. Or your do-over structural engineer who sits in his/her office, trying to figure out why your house collapsed around you while you and your family slept. Or your do-over teacher happily passes your illiterate and innumerate child over to the next grade teacher to fix the problems that they have created, but is allowed to take on the education of another cohort of kids.
*Quickly inhales oxygen* Sorry, soapbox moment . . .
But my point, as long-winded as it is: if you’re not happy sitting in lectures, listening to people who know more than you (hey, I didn’t say that they were necessarily right) impart that knowledge unto you and others, or going to tutorials and discussing lectures, working with classmates, and doing a freakin’ truck load of assignments, then get the hell out of the uni environment. Remember, you applied to be there. You wanted to study a particular course. Now you do the time and shut the hell up about how hard done by you are because you’ve got to work, study, complete assignments, and you still want to have a life. People before you have done it, and people after you will also do it. University is a choice that you made.
If you don’t like it, you know what to do – defer your enrolment and don’t go back. Leave the spot open for someone who does appreciate higher education. Otherwise, your only option is: Live with it.
Okay. I’m good.
Here endeth the soapbox spiel.
P.S. Evan was a fantastic lecturer!! In fact, he was my favourite. 😉