>Its been awhile old friend.

>Well my last post was quite awhile ago. I’m not sure what happened. Oh yes actually I do. Facebook. 😛 But lets talk about the Facebook epidemic for a second. What exactly is so catchy about Facebook? It defintely makes it a lot easier to contact people you havent seen in awhile. Although there is a valid argument that its not really friendship and really just some online convenience to see people you dont have the time to personally go out of your way to meet, it also depends on how much you really are using Facebook.

A recent debate on CBC Radio One (yes it even made CBC news) was about the false “interpersonal interactions” people thought they were having online. But what is wrong about the way it was approached was just who they were arguing about. Really, the only people this applies to, are the creepy kids living in their parent’s basements who do not see the light of day. I see no wrong in just going online and talking to a few friends, sending messages, posting pictures…etc. Its like texting people on their cell phones. Whats wrong with that? It just seems stupid that CBC would actually make a panel of “experts” who would argue the validity of Facebook. Again, Facebook is just another means of communication.

Funnily this can be applied to Edmontononline.net. Its a means of communication, ie the classifieds are a great place to pick up whatever you need. There will be a seller or buyer for whatever means you need, almost like eBay but better, because its local. Yet people look down on EO, because its “so highschool”.

But really what difference is EO from Facebook? Its just another place to post stuff online. Kind of funny, cause in a few years, I bet people will find a new means online, and FB will be “so lame”. Just like how myspace is now.

Anyways, thats my two cents about online stuff. Lets talk about me.

What has happened in the past term? Lots of stuff. I suddenly was unable to balance my big three (school, friends/family and my physical health) Mostly it was the last one that recieved a big kick in the pants. I dont know what happened, my workload wasnt much worse than last term, and last term I was in pretty good shape, with a strict workout schedule. This term I worked out probably about half of what I did last term, and stayed up way too many nights cramming.

Maybe it was all the Entomology courses I took this term. They are sort of personal for me, and if I do nott achieve that A in them, then I feel failure. That might have taken up more of my time than usual. The otehr courses are of course important to me, but just not on the same level. Another thing I was happy about this term was meeting some great professors. I even Dr. Masuda’s wife and kids, and we are supposed to have coffee soemtime soon. Totally awesome.

I guess another thing that came out this year was rehased crap I would rather not be rehashed. Im talking about what exactly makes somebody successful in life. The problem here is that in every field you enter, there are different values about success in life. And in the undergrad circle at the University, there are only 5 options; Medicine, Dentistry, Law, Pharmacy and Engineering. If you go into any other field, people look at you as either lazy and lacking in ambition, or just plain stupid. So forget about Arts, Education..etc. Which is really sad, in how shallow this perspective views life. I’m not saying everybody thinks like this, but a large majority do. One of my professors once said “the only reason people major in Biological Sciences is to get into Med”. Which is sad, because Medicine is but a small part of the entire Biological component of this world. And should you look into other fields, you are immediately given two responses a) you were not capable of making the intellectual minimum of getting into Med or b) you make the grades, so now the question is why aren’t you in Med? or at least app;ying to Med?

Why am I writing about this? Because I have to let a little steam out here. I know it is shallow to condescend on other’s values, but it is equally shallow to actually care what others think of your values. However, It is also equally hard to ignore condescending commentaries about my life choices, when they happen on a a regular basis. This year I was asked by somebody about my GPA, which is sort of annoying, because it again shows how shallow this world is, in that we must judge people always, for what other reason would one suddenly ask the GPA status out of nowhere?

Upon saying my GPA, I was given this comment ” Are you sure you don’t want to apply to Medicine?”

Why in the flying eff would I want to apply to Medicine? I have never thought about Medicine, I have no interest in Medicine, and Medicine does not satisfy the values I want to follow with my life. Yet my goals of becoming a teacher, or becoming an entomologist are suddenly second rate to Medicine because our academic circles dictate that as the only way of being succesful with life choices. Actually its not even second rate. Its like rock bottom.

Medicine is a great field, but only great if thats what you want to do. Its not something I want, and I do not enjoy having it shoved into my throat in such a manner. But yet thats what happens on a regular basis. As soon as somebody has a good GPA, you must apply to the big five, no matter what your values are in life, and in this sense completely ignoring the fact that everybody has different values.

One “friend” actually told me “Isn’t Education mediocre?” Or I’ve heard Med students say “Oh she’s in Education? We’ll have to do soemthing about that won’t we?”

Even Graduate school gets ratted on. People look at me in utter disbelief and say ” why would you study insects?”. Its interesting that people would say that.

Malaria kills 2.7 million people every year.

I would find more interesting statistics about just how important insects are “i.e. Dengue fever, sleeping sickness, Black Plague or even the $1,000,000,000 that Diamondback moth does in damage to Canola crops each year” but lets just take the Malaria stats into account.

In 2006, Edmonton had a population of 730, 372 people. So each year, Malaria kills what is equivalent to 3.6967 times the number of Edmonton’s population. Can you imagine if everybody in this city died? Tehn multiple that by about 3.69 times, and thats the effect of Malaria.

So I find it highly stupid for people to think “why would you study insects?” in such a manner. The magnitude of the effect of insects on people is enormous and to think of them as some insigificant organism is both ignorant and stupid.

Yet I have found two Medical Doctors who have asked me the same question. If it was somebody with a non-scientific background, I would understand, as they wouldnt know much about the importance of each organism in the world ecosystem. But an MD? I don’t believe they can be that uninformed to not recognize the importance of the interactions of organisms, especially in Medicine, with so many pathogens causing death each year. It largely is based on “what the hell kind of a field of study is that?”

I’ve already ranted about Education and how it has sucha bad rep. But I would like to add one more thing to Education. The reputation about Education is almost justified. At least a third of the people I know in Education are in it, because they didnt know what they wanted to do with their lives, or didn’t have the marks to get into the program they wanted. Which is why there are so many people doing their after degree in Education. I’m not saying all after degree Education students are in it for reasons of having no other options, but I would say a large amount of them are.

I was once told by somebody she was unable to complete Education because she didn’t make the GPA minimum. The GPA minimum is 2.8. I understand if you have learning disabilities or pressing issues, but I know this person was a bar star. And I’m thinking, the only way you couldnt make 2.8 with no other reasons, was simply because you don’t care. I find a lot of Education students I meet simply do not give a damn about achievement and have zero ambition for effort once they get into their program. I’ve seen somebody with a 1.3 GPA proudly post his decline of acceptance into Education to show how slack he was in university. Lets say this guy made it into Education. Would strive to achieve more in Education and try to become the best Education student? I doubt it.

It is for this reason why I dislike my faculty. It is too easy to get in, and too easy to get your degree. In consideration of just how much effect you have on people’s lives in their most vulnerable ages, it makes no sense that we should let some slacker who does not actually give a shit about children, actually stay in the faculty. And this is exactly what it does. There is no screening process to Education. There is no high GPA requirement for Education. Once you finish your degree, you are paid the same, regardless if you were a total idiot in university or the star student of Education.

Why?

It makes no sense. And it angers me that we let in idiots who do not give two shits about children, or who saw Education as their second/third/fourth/last option in life.

I was once told that I should just do graduate school and forget about Education, because there is no achievement in life in that field. That there is no intellectual achievement was their justification. What angers me is two fold.

First people who have no idea what they are talking about, and assume their points are valid. I hate people who assume. Never judge unless you actually know what the hell you are talking about.

Second- First year teachers often have “teacher burnout” and quit. Why? they find out whether they are material for teaching or not. But shouldn’t teaching be easy? Its only elementary to high school level education. How hard is that? I’ve done 400 level biochemistry courses Chemistry 10 is a joke. Thats what most people think about education.

Of course if Educaton woudl be simple if all it was was mastery of intellect. Who could argue against that? But its not

Education has a lot to do with interpersonal interaction and your ability to teach.

Not to recite. If it was to recite, we wouldn’t see so much teacher burnout, because reciting would be easy as pie.

So the next time you think about condescending about a field, think again.

Obe more thing. When that person (who asked twice in a span of a month) asked me “Why don’t you apply to Medicine?” they implied two things;

one- People with high academic achievement should apply to Medicine.

two- Only people with low academic achievement are in Education.

I can’t believe how shallow this question is.

Anyways, I’m done ranting. I’m sure it will come again at some point, and by that I mean within the next few weeks. But whatever.

The most important thing to me right now (just kidding) is that I’m finally looking into a serious camera. My photography has evolved from my first point and shoot, to my being serious of using photography as a means of expressing my creativity. Before, I was limited to the pencil, painbrush, paper and sculpting clay. But now I have a new medium, which is awesome. I’m pretty psyched about it.

Another thing I am psyched about is eating BBQ pork. I was enjoying my lunch the other day, when I suddenly saw a nipple on my pork. Seriously. A BBQ’d nipple. It was amazingly disgusting.

As well, there was a funny story I had about my stupidity, but I seemed to have lost that train of thought, so that’ll be for another blog.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Jia says:

    >Hey,While I’m not sure if you read your blog anymore, hopefully this comment will find you at some point:First of all, I’m very impressed by your dedication and commitment to education. Teaching fundamental academic, social, and moral precepts is incredibly important. Sadly, as you say, at least insofar as what we can see in Edmonton the teaching profession does not receive much adulation, and is often the subject of scorn. I do not think that teachers and the faculty of education has always been so under appreciated. Let’s look at your comparison between medicine and education. Both these can be very clearly seen as ‘noble’ professions, where the needs of others are of primary importance to the practitioner. And yet, society, at least ‘university society’, does consider medicine a ‘better’ profession. I think the reason that this is the case is fundamentally because doctors earn more than teachers. As a result, more people will want to enter medicine. As the field becomes increasingly competitive, only those with high GPAs will be able to get in. After this has occurred, society can do an ex post rationalization of the increased moral value of medicine and the increased academic rigor of medicine, leading to the situation that exists today. By this, I mean if you ‘want’ to get into medicine, you will rationalize that it is the morally correct, most academically challenging thing to do as a means of further substantiating your career choice. The ultimate societal driver is still monetary compensation. This is not to say that there are no noble doctors, since undoubtedly there are many; what I mean to say is that on average we can probably link the highly competitive nature of medicine to the amount of money and stability found in the profession. The question remains, why is it that doctors are paid so much more than teachers. The question remains, why fundamentally do doctors earn so much more than teachers. This is a difficult question to answer, and I’ll have to think about it for a while.On a slightly more uplifting note, even if you do feel that many of your classmates are not particularly committed to education, the fact is that after graduation your own commitment can still shine through. You can still positively affect the lives of those that you teach, regardless of what happens around you. I think that while in university, more attention is paid to more superficial assessors of success – namely GPA, since there simply has been no chance to see how people perform in the real world, the ultimate gauge of success and impact. With the degree of dedication you show, I am sure that you will excel. At that point, people will not be able to level the criticisms that they do now. Of course, I don’t think that you would let what people say/think about your career choice overly affect you, and so while success as a teacher will deflect such criticism, it will also (and more importantly) be an indicator of the effect you are having on the lives of the people you are educating. At any rate, stick to your guns, fight the good fight.

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