Sj7g09's Blog

Posted on: January 11, 2011

Sometimes I actually want to be the sort of person who is positive and healthy and normal, just because it would make everything so much easier, if I could actually be  that instead of being this and wanting to be that. Doing things because they’re easier isn’t really a good reason to do things though, and with this I don’t really think it’s possible. Like, it’s easier to comply, do what you’re told, not make a fuss, and have all those sort of experiences at university prepare you for later life. You don’t have to conform in this way in order to live, but it makes it easier. You’ll have less problems if you behave in this way – society is set out to favour people who conform to social norms and values, and you’ll meet less resistance if you just bloody well behave, but you don’t have to. There’s incitement to, encouragement to, and aversion to not to, but you can try to behave differently if you really want to. I always had a theory that this university was intentionally bad in order to prepare you for how incredibly dickish everyone in your everyday life outside of education would be, but I never thought they’d actually advertise this themselves. Like being told that having staff say inappropriate, unacceptable, unprofessional things to me should make me stand up for myself more, and that will prepare me for life outside of university. Of course I think that’s meant as university teaching me to stand up for myself, but it more comes across that authority will bully you, and if you don’t stand up to them, then it’s your fault they’re bullying you. Even as they’re demanding someone stand up for themselves, they’re implying you’re a pushover because you didn’t realise that you’d been treated significantly badly enough to complain, because other authority denied it was a problem, and that made you think it was considered acceptable behaviour. So, the moral is, when authority tells you to stand up for yourself, you may stand up for yourself.

Part of the issue here is that I feel like I’ve been treated badly by a couple of different staff at my uni for different reasons, but that my principles on freedom of expression stretch so far as to think that it’s within their rights to behave like this. Even when it’s someone using personal insults, being aggressive in debating, and trying to impose personal morals on students, I feel that they should be able to act in that way, even though it made me feel terrible at the time. This is the difficult thing – I know that I am willing to put up with more of this sort of treatment because I dont want to silence anyone or get anyone into trouble for the things they think. That would be totally against everything I believe. And it makes it really complicated, because I’m really angry about how I’ve been treated, and I want it validated by the university, but at the same time, I dont want any change implemented through force. I filled in a feedback sheet today, and was obviously very negative because that’s how I feel. I also couldnt help writing how I felt about one particular lecturer, although I do feel that I was somewhat fair in saying that he was absolutely terrible in one-on-one sessions, but is a decent lecturer, because, on some level, he is. He’s not especially good – he repeats things, he’s very self-indulgent, he doesn’t allow anyone else an opportunity to think (edit: *talk*… interesting mistake there) and undermines people in discussions awfully, but, in comparison to the rest of the lecturing staff, his lectures are a dream because at least they have the potential of being indepth and interesting and about something. I wish I’d actually had more space to write proper comments, because I feel bad about writing such negative things and not having the relevant room to fully explain everything. I’d like to meet with someone just to talk about the issues I have with the course and the staff, but I feel like it’s my fault that I feel so badly about it. I feel as though there must be something inherently in my character that either provokes people to treat me like I’m worthless, or that I’m just too oversensitive. I realise that it’s not just me that is treated disrespectfully, but maybe other people dont care about it. I’m also not sure if there’d be any point in discussing any of this, because I’m not making a complaint. I hate how the course is run, I think it’s dull and unengaging and vague – there is no organisation, but then there’s nothing to organise because the course is just “do what you want”, which is great for someone like me because I really cant be bothered with working on things that I dont feel I have a strong engagement with, but it just means that there really isnt anything in the course for me to connect with. I like having discussions with staff or students about work or issues or whatever, but because it’s an art course, no one really has much understanding of what anyone else is doing because people are making work about things specific to what they’re interested in. And obviously the staff are often rude and overbearing. The ones that arent can be really nice, and I felt bad for still giving them negative reviews, but just because they’re nice people doesnt mean that they’re good lecturers. I think perhaps I’m overly critical – it’s welcome to find anyone at the school that isn’t a complete self-serving egomaniac, so nice but not good at lecturing is a definite improvement.

I think it’s probably fair to say that this isnt the right course for me. It was probably a mistake to take it, but I didnt realise it at the time, but at least it’s giving me a learning experience, and hopefully I’ll end up with a degree at the end of it. I think despite this not being the right choice of course for me, my reasons for seeing it negatively arent necessarily just because I’m not liking the course. I can see a lot of things that are really obviously wrong, and that a lot of people feel similarly about, but the uni seems so defensive about everything that it feels like there’s no point in pointing these sort of things out, seeing as the default position is “we’re not the problem, it must be you.”

1 Response to ""

I am a lecturer and I think you are being a negative and wilful young woman.
I think I should bend you over and spank you.

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