Tuesday, November 22, 1988

Socialism in the Classroom

Ate breakfast, and then went to class. My first class was Literature in Context, which today had a substitute professor. His topic was "Socialist Economic Policies in Britain from the 1920's and 1930's."


His lecture had absolutely nothing to do with literature. He was making broad generalizations that all students were socialists, which annoyed me to no end. Although I did enjoy knowing that my presence here ruined his theory. During his lecture I quietly put my George Bush campaign pin on my shirt. I can't say for certain if he noticed it or not... but the socialist generalizations did end.

Next I had a Geography Seminar where we talked a bit about traffic and congestion (and watched a video called "Jam Today, Jam Tomorrow.") Interesting theory that came up: Widening roads does little to curb congestion. According to this theory, it doesn't matter how many lanes you make a road, because wider roads only attracts more vehicles to use that road. I see the point, but somewhat disagree with the premise. Theoretically, at some point you would reach a size that could handle the traffic, and it would likely be pulling vehicles away from other areas affected by congestion. According to that theory, we might as well reduce the size of our roads, if it doesn't matter anyway, right?

Then it was on to Social/Political Structures with Good Ol' Roz Billington at the lecturing helm. She was talking about inequality. (God, if ever there was someone who deserved to be inequal...)

Anyway, we found out that there's going to be a student rally in London on Thursday opposing student loans (as opposed to student grants, which would not have to be paid back. Nearly every British student I know here receives a partial or full grant.) Because of the rally, classes have been canceled for that day. It seems like they demonstrate way too much here, and as a result I have taken a firm stance in support of the student loan system. It's an unpopular but much more logical approach. I've been able to defend my position quite well, and have done so on a few occasions already. Basically, it holds people accountable for their education. If you do what you should, the end result should be a job that allows you to pay back the loan. If you fail to apply yourself or just view it as an extended party until you get kicked out of college... why should others pay for that?

So many people here are so dependent on the government that when the government attempts to loosen its controls and give people more responsibility, the get scared that they might have to actually start doing things on their own. Stupid gits!

Sorry. I'm off my soap box now. But on the plus side, my classes are canceled on Thursday AND Friday. Four day weekend... awesome!

After dinner, I wrote a few letter for friends and family back home, and later on Viv and I walked to Double Happiness... forgetting that it is always closed on Tuesdays. So we walked a little bit further to Shanghai House and got some chips and gravy. Not quite as good as Double Happiness - "the best chips 'n gravy in the world" - but good enough. We ate them back in my room. Great way to end the day.


Pictured: Page 1 of the 1988-89 Humberside College Student Union Handbook, which was issued to each student at the start of the term. It is on this page where the socialist propaganda very blatantly begins. My favorite line: "The Conservative government, spurred on my right-wing back-benchers is investigating the imposition of voluntary membership on Students Unions." Since when is "voluntary" an "imposition"? Click on the picture to see the full page. The book was filled with this stuff, interspersed with an occasional tip or two that actually helps a college student.

No comments: