Volume 95, Issue 16

Thursday, September 27, 2001
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Decision making 101

Duty to help

A horrible thing

No need to cry, we're being progressive

Western: land of VDs, essays and booze

A world full on conspiracies?

The little red watch that could

Western: land of VDs, essays and booze

To the Editor:

Now that many of the newer students at Western have had the opportunity to bear witness to the traditional format of indoctrination here – the lecture – it's about time someone helped them realize the underlying reality of this crude method of education.

To many students, lecture is simply the way a class is taught – the nominal and often boring manner by which a teacher or professor organizes and presents the allotted information on a particular subject.

The student is then responsible for the painstaking assimilation, interpretation and regurgitation of this information at some later date.

Quite soon thereafter, all the information amassed is quickly expunged with the aid of copious amounts of beer and hopefully malt liquor. It is all quite cut and dry.

There really isn't much to them at all, is there? However, a lecture is more than just pure transmission of information. Lecture is an uninterrupted forum for a teacher or professor. It is a period of time in which the lecturer knows the only voice heard is his/her own.

It is 50 minutes in which the rest of the world doesn't matter, a place where there is no democracy, no room for interpretation, no reality but the one created solely by the person talking.

Herein lies the problem.

Many professors see this time as not only an opportunity to feel like they've done something with their lives by droning on and on about their own research or master's thesis, but more frighteningly, uninterrupted hours as an opportunity to further their own ideological agendas.

This, my friends, is as evil as incest.

In first-year, students are often overwhelmed by their lifestyles. Students stress and strain to transcribe lecture notes, write essays, funnel three beers at once and get venereal diseases simply because that's what is expected of them.

However, in this mad frenzy of wasted paper, vomit and hypertension, they are willing to accept anything. Students will dye themselves purple, drink at one in the afternoon and bang anything that moves, simply because that's what they were told goes on here.

New students will not question and examine the concepts presented to them. They simply don't have the time to think about it.

Furthermore, they have neither the drive nor the inclination to question someone who is telling them the way it is.

First-year students are too timid to stand up and challenge a professor who's going too far. They are not secure enough in what they know to be right and just stand up for anything. Many are too busy trying to fit in and get laid.

This is the biggest travesty. University is supposed to be a place where people develop their own intellects.

In short, make sure you stay independent and question what you learn. Nothing bad can come from it.

The strongest and smartest people are the ones who don't need to be told what to think.

Jeffrey Wood

Science IV

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Copyright The Gazette 2001