Good things about today:
- I received a postcard from Copenhagen today, sent by a beautiful woman whom I love and adore. This makes me very happy. :-)
- I had a surprisingly good conversation with a Chinese guy (a nephew of some guy who is a friend of dad's). I named him Jack, because he was in need of an English name. He was going to name himself Johnny, but I was like NO! He wanted a name that started with J so I named him Jack. Anyway, Jack was very cool to talk to. We talked about history and politics and revolution and religion and freedom and wealth distribution and gender inequality and homophobia (which he is surprisingly very cool about... I haven't met many Chinese guys like that) and how much John Howard and George Bush sucks. I think my parents were amused that I talked to him for so long, because I usually hide in my room when there are guests over.
- I skipped Karate again and sat in the Rowden White (recreational library) reading A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian
for two hours. That was fun. Although a little saddening too. I never knew that Soviet Russia confiscated the entire harvest from Ukraine during one year, deliberately creating a famine which killed like 20 million people in order to break the spirit of the Ukrainians. Seems like sad history is everywhere once you open your eyes to it. But anyway. Focus on the happy. Well written book = happy.
wrote that she is going to post Chapter 17 of tbsol_v2
next week. (Right? Right??) :-D TBSOL makes me squee. Loudly.
- It's raining. I don't generally like rain, but Melbourne needs it so badly. :-)Bad things about today:
- I found out from my Vikings Studies lecturer that ours will be the last class of Viking Studies at The University of Melbourne ever. Growing Esteem is going to kill pretty much all of the smaller, more obscure subjects when it comes into effect next year. I really hate what's happening to the university right now. Apparently the Classics department is being dismantled. The Gender Studies department will also be axed. (!!!!) O.O History and Philosophy of Science is going to be split between the Anthropology department and something else. And the History department is being trimmed down so that, as of next year, first year History students will only have four subjects to choose from. Four. The History Department at Melbourne is ranked 7th in the world. I seriously doubt that this will be the case after next year. This is all part of the university turning into an elitist job factory that funnels students along in their degree in the fastest, most economical way possible (i.e. reducing the number of subjects so that the ones that remain will be super-classes which have large student numbers of 500 or more taught by one lecturer and lots of tutors. This is obviously much cheaper than having a wide range of subjects, each with their individual lecturer and tutors) rather than giving them a broad, liberal education. *sigh*
Then there's Voluntary Student Unionism. I feel like a bit of a hypocrite to rant about it when I myself haven't paid the membership fee this year, but I think, because of that, I'm feeling the change even more keenly. The student computing centre, once free, now costs non members $5 per half hour to use. The recreational library no longer lets me borrow anything, and has a roped off area which I can't access (segregation much? O.O). Judging by the sudden sparseness of the student ads on the Union House noticeboards, I'm guessing that only student union members can put ads up there anymore. Sure I can access all of this by paying $400 a year, but it doesn't feel right to wrangle the money off my parents when it's no longer compulsory... and I'm not rich enough that I particularly want to pay for it myself for nice but non-essential services. What I'm getting at is that in the end, it's always going to be the less wealthy or privileged students who are going to look at their budget and forgo the luxury of being a member. And so the uni becomes a place of class segregation where the ones who are willing and able to pay get the full range of services, and the one's who can't pay or won't pay aren't allowed to even GO into certain areas of the university.
The entire experience of higher education in Melbourne is changing. I feel sorry for the ones who will only know the new system.
Hmm, that turned out to be quite the rant.
Shit, I haven't done any homework.