?

Log in

The University of Old Farts
View:Recent Entries.
View:Archive.
View:Friends.
View:Profile.
You're looking at the latest 10 entries.
Missed some entries? Then simply jump back 10 entries

Security:
Subject:Introduction
Time:07:00 am
Hello!  I went out looking for a site just like this, what a happy surprise!


So I realized I wanted to be in a community like this last Monday.  I walked into my first class, a freshmen level math class, and all of the people in the classroom got quiet and stared at me.  They thought I was the teacher.  To be fair as a sub I was the teacher to kids their age and a year older.  On a terrifying note I think a couple of the kids I really did sub for last year. 
comments: 2 comments or Leave a comment Share

Security:
Subject:Today: Representation
Time:01:38 pm
Again, i'm not sure how this works in any other part of the world. At my university we have a student-elected body of representatives called 'The Union'. It is a quasi political body, elected from the student body and meant to represent the student body as a whole. However, I have doubts about their ability to represent me, and any other mature student at that university.

Let me begin today's rant section by saying that this year's President likes to be called 'Gravy'. The behaviour of the Union on the whole reflects this level of maturity. This year I ran for office, I promised someone that I would run. A random meeting with next year's President and a rant about how ineffectual I thought the Union was brought this about, and I must say, much support. However, I did not make the effort to canvas, I did not want the position.

Yes, catch 22, if more mature and experienced people do not join, what hope is there of this body being more representative? I should feel worse than I do about my lax efforts, but there is no way in the world I could sit in an office with these people without ranting and raving at them. How can a body of 19 and 20 year olds represent a student body that ranges from 18 to 80 (literally)? In the UK, more and more mature students are returning to study every year. If the body that is meant to represent them discuss issues (at nauseating length) like the ethics of every single product in the Union shop, or whether not allowing Al-Qaeda to operate from the university is discrimination or not... they are simply not represented. How can I present problems specific to a mature student to someone with little or no life experience themselves?

It became evident in the limited time I did actually take any notice of the elections that these were not elections based on any kind of merit, other than how popular someone is, or how much attention they can draw to themselves during the elections by dressing as a ________ (insert topical 'wacky' costume here). When I see tax payer's money wasted on these things (and yes, it is that money that is used) it makes me see red. The Union has a very important job to do, and unfortunately it does not do it very well at all. The Union would be better off as a non-elected 'lay body' where people with experiences of issues and methods do the work, rather than young and inexperienced people who want nothing more than a jolly good time with their mates, and something to put on their CV.
comments: Leave a comment Share

Security:
Subject:Another thing that grinds my gears...
Time:01:09 pm
Is the perpetual conversation overheard from younger students. I would value your input as to whether this is just specific to the UK, or indeed what the international variations of this conversation are. It goes like this:

"Ohhhh.... you would not believe what happened last night. I mean, I was so drunk. I drank ten shots of x, fifteen bottles of y and twenty pints of z. I went out with £n and came back with £n-10x-15y-(20 pints*z). I don't know how I got home, when I woke up there was r in my hair and I was in bed with p. It was such a laugh."

I seriously hear this at least three or four times a week, sometimes several times a day, while waiting in queues at the cash point or at the shop, or even from some of my younger friends.

OK, I am not a killjoy, I remember doing stuff like that myself as a younger man, I am not criticising the behaviour per say, but I am criticising the automatic connection that many people make between further education and getting off your face on an unhealthily regular basis.

Now I don't get out much for one reason or another, and I have overheard people talking about this on occasion. It's unusual to them, if they miss one or two nights in a row without getting smashed they think there is something wrong with them. Me, never out, there's definitely something wrong there.

But I never thought that this was what university would be about. I am there for a reason, to learn. I sold my house to finance this degree, it is a pretty major commitment for me, so of course I am going to take it seriously. Why should that be thought of as unusual?
comments: 2 comments or Leave a comment Share

Security:
Subject:Something that I find annoying as a mature student...
Time:10:23 pm
... as a person pretty much too. I'm pretty fed up with a certain attitude. It's an attitude about undergrads. I am lucky enough not to have this attitude myself, and lucky enough that very few, if any of the people I meet every day, have this attitude. I know myself well enough to be sure that I will not develop this attitude myself when I finally get to my doctorate. It's the attitude that undergrads are not worthy of... whatever.

It's a small minded attitude. It's an attitude that does not take in to account the life history of a person, the experiences, the learning that a person has done outside official academia. It is an attitude that does not take in to account the different paths that people take through life, and how long it may take them to get where they want to go. I am lucky enough to be able to see the person behind these culturally imposed stages of life. I take the whole person in to account, and my life ends up being richer as a result. The ridiculous thing is that all people with a PhD were an undergrad once too. That makes me smile, makes me laugh in fact. This attitude in people shows an affected arrogance.

By all means be proud of your own achievements, you have worked hard for them. However, if those achievements cause you to close your mind and your soul to people who you for some reason regard as 'below you' then they have been in vain, you have nothing. This world is about more than how smart someone is on paper, it is about more than letters after your name. It is more than assuming that you are better than others. In fact, these are the wrong things to do, not just annoying things to have to see and hear. You never know what someone is capable of, until they do it, so... never assume.

By the way, if anyone... anyone feels like arguing this one, I would love to see it. I do not mind losing friends over this, if this is your attitude then you're not my friend.
comments: 3 comments or Leave a comment Share

Security:
Subject:amusing anecdote... badly told
Time:09:19 pm
My name is Roy... and I am a mature student. (Thank you for sharing with us Roy). I study Biological Anthropology at UKC, Canterbury (England). The background: on my course everyone else is about half my age (34) and so challenging the old guy is popular, especially as I appear to be fairly konwledgable about things. However, what they don't seem to realise is that a lot of this just comes from living for longer and having my eyes 'truly open'. There seems to be one young man in particular who is particularly challenging. Now I do not actually dislike him (that much) but there is something not right there. He is right wing Christian, and I suspect a covert IDist (in the style of Douglas Axe).

Anyway... One day during a seminar we were discussing... something or the other to do with evolution. The exact details escape me right now, but I made a statement that was probably based somewhere between observation and past reading. He immediately jumped on this statement. On this day I was feeling a little like I am today, not exactly 100%. The tutor, probably sensing this, joined in.

"I don't believe that, i'm not having it" said the lad to me. And then the tutor started up:

"You don't believe that because you don't know anything. You have not lived. You have not seen anything of the world, you have no experiences to base your opinions on. When you have lived a little, or when you have published something peer reviewed, only then can you make these kind of assumptions. Until then shut up and keep learning."

The lad was fairly quiet after that. This kind of thing needs to be said more. Test results schmest results, if you have no background to apply those smarts to it's like having a sports car on a desert island.
comments: Leave a comment Share

Security:
Time:04:54 pm
Current Mood:curiouscurious
Hi there,

I really wanted to recommend the book, How to Study by Allan Mundsack. You can buy it as an e-book from Amazon or Powell's website.

I'm looking for a really good book on organizing your time, plus a book on motivating yourself and defeating procrastination. Bonus points if it's directed at students. I really need it to be in e-book form since I'm studying in Sweden and shipping/customs fees are enormous.

Suggestions? Or suggestions for any other books for students?

Thanks bunches,
Layla
comments: 2 comments or Leave a comment Share

Security:
Subject:Bye bye
Time:08:36 pm
Hi, all (such as there are) -

Well, I finished my B.Ed. last Thursday! It ended with a whimper rather than a bang, but convocation is June 9 so I'll party then.

Just wanted to wish everyone else good luck with their studies and remind y'all that it's totally worth it. Keep studying and have fun!
Ciao.
Hannah
comments: 4 comments or Leave a comment Share

Security:
Time:09:50 pm
I went to university at more or less the normal age... I was actually 21 at the time... and did so miserably the university suggested that I not return. Since then I've been basically wasting my time. I was fiddling around the web one day, and happened across Athabasca University, a gawdsend to distance learning. Distance learning is fabulous if you're a wageslave that can't take the time out to go to people-ridden classes, especially with AU, because you can work it around your own schedule.

What I've noticed this time around university-wise, is that my ability to do my work is far better; things are just coming way more easily. While I still see doing some of the work as a chore, at least this time around I'm actually enjoying it. I think the fact that I'm doing the work in my own space and my own time, is really helping. I still have deadlines to meet, but they're not the same as the in-class sort. Handing things in doesn't depend on anyone else's office hours or class times, which is really handy. I only have to have contact with my tutors when I want or need it, or I'm required to do an oral quiz/exam.

AU also includes all your texts in the tuition fee, and they mail them out to you, so you don't have to worry about paying extra or arsing around going shopping for stuff that you might not be able to find. Also, at least within Canada (possibly even the US), if you need material from the AU library (like required videos for your courses or library books for research), they'll mail that out to you with pre-paid return postage. It's faboo. It's increased my level of laziness in the most gross ways. :>

comments: Leave a comment Share

Security:
Subject:Logic Makes Me Sleepy
Time:01:38 pm
Current Mood:lethargiclethargic
I've just put in 4.5 hours of studying for my logic class. See, we have a quiz every week at the end of the same class which reviews the material we're supposed to have read to be prepared for that class. Meantime, it's a beautiful, 76 degree day out. Studying logic leaves me lethargic and brain-burnt, however, so I'll probably just go to sleep now — despite three cups of coffee!

This class is definitely the most boring for me this semester in terms of subject matter. It's also the one I'll have to put the most work into (my other classes are Modern American History and Chemistry, both of which are mainly review for me).

I wish I'd gone to logic class back in teh 80's so I wouldn't have to be doing this now! Then again, I did go to chemistry, and I still had to retake the class because the credits from my old school didn't transfer to my current one.

Excuse me while I go slip into a syllogism-induced coma now...
comments: 1 comment or Leave a comment Share

Security:
Subject:Hello there
Time:01:40 pm
I'm sort of masquerading because I'm only a part-time student, but here I am anyway. (Saw the link from lonita's journal and thought this was a good idea for a community.)

I did two years of uni starting at age 17, took a year off, finished a degree (not the same one I started), and now I'm doing part time studies at Waterloo to get another BA, for no particular reason other than it's interesting and I can.

Anyway, thought I'd say hello, so, hi. :)
comments: 2 comments or Leave a comment Share

The University of Old Farts
View:Recent Entries.
View:Archive.
View:Friends.
View:Profile.
You're looking at the latest 10 entries.
Missed some entries? Then simply jump back 10 entries