Rants and Raves: Scholarly edition

Do you have something on your mind that you absolutely need to talk about? Then write it out! If you have a quick rant or rave that you’d like to submit for publication, contact the Opinions Editor at opinions@theotherpress.ca—we want to hear from you!

I think it’s about time that the Future Teacher’s program, as well as SFU’s Professional Development Program, underwent a massive restructuring. For those unfamiliar with the exhaustingly bloated program, a student is required to complete 76 credits before they can enter the actual teaching part of their degree, which is another 12 months. Of those 76 credits, about 21 are required courses (geography, history, math, and so on), which means that roughly 55 credits are up for grabs. As long as the course is transferable to SFU, a student can enrol in anything. While some people see this as flexibility, I can only interpret it as filler. Sure, I’ve managed to throw in a few education and kinesiology courses that apply to me, but the majority of my classes were taken out of convenience or availability. I’m already going to be in considerable debt by the time I finish school, so why do I have to spend more on completely irrelevant courses that basically amount to academic fluffing of my transcript? I’ve taken all of the required courses, I’m passionate about working with kids, so quit wasting my time and let me fucking teach. -School’s for fools

I like to start debates in class. I’ll take the unpopular side of an argument with no qualms and no hesitation, just to stir up some interesting conversations, rather than the usual nodding of zombie heads. Some might call me a troll, or a rebel rouser, or a nuisance, but I think it makes class more bearable. Who comes to college looking to memorize facts, figures, and feelings? I pay tuition because I hope I’ll become a more critical thinker, and I don’t think that’s possible with unilateral, superficial discussions. While I want to hear the professor and their expertise—they have degrees and teaching positions for a reason, after all—I also want to hear how opinions vary in the class. Sometimes the only way to get people fired up and argumentative is to adopt the unpopular or unappealing view and defend it like your life depends on it. Let me just say, I volunteer as tribute. -No debating around the bush

On personal time, I don’t care what sort of diet you subscribe to: carnivore, omnivore, veg-ivore, carb-ivore, only-foods-that-smell-ivore, whatever. But when you come to class, your snack had better be quiet and it had better be either unscented or lemony fresh. I make a point of eating before or after class. If I’m in dire straits, I bring some inoffensive snack to quickly down during the mid-class break. I do this because I know how frustrating it is to be distracted by someone else chomping away. I do this because I’ve been in classes where students brought onion-laden burgers to class at nine in the morning. I do this because I’m very much aware that a classroom is not a cafeteria or a junkyard, and it makes a difference if you bring stinky, loud food to class. No one’s saying you have to starve for two to three hours, or that you can never eat a burger that’s more onion than meat ever again. When you’re surrounded by people who paid to listen to a professor and not the smacking of your lips, tone down the smell and volume. Stick to a banana. -Smell you later

I love the school in the summer. The rest of the year, the hallways and concourse are crowded full of people rushing around and running into each other, and it’s loud with chatter. In the summer, there’s a slower pace and a quieter feel to the entire semester. No one wants to be there—including the professors—and there’s a unity in that fact. Most people don’t want to be sitting in a classroom the rest of the year either, but there’s a lazier feel in the summer. Everything’s kind of a shrug; an “I guess let’s sweat this class out for two hours and then head to the beach.” That’s my kind of semester. One where I’m hating every second of class time because I’m not out in the sun, but then I walk through a quiet, air-conditioned college, out the doors, and go straight to the beach for tanning and “studying.” – Summertime and the livin’ is easy