Sunday, March 18, 2012

The most spoiled, rotten, brattiest youth of all time

We're officially doomed as a civilization. The generation of my parents utterly failed to properly educate mine, and say no when it's time to say no. As a result, we're stuck with bratty young adults who think the world owes them everything.

Why am I saying that? Well, I'm pissed and I need to vent. Today's newspaper (Le Journal de Québec) asked a few students their point of view on the ongoing student strikes in Quebec (you read that right, STUDENT STRIKES) to protest against a raise of our stupendously, stupidly low scholarship fees that were frozen two decades ago to buy an election. And as if the repeated protest marches that degenerate into roadblocks and carnage every single time weren't enough to prove that they're probably not even intelligent enough to go to university to begin with, the newspaper gives their reasoning behind why they oppose the fee raise. I'm going to spare you a full translation, because it's going to anger you as much as it angers me, but still, let's see a little sample of their complaints.

One particularly rotten student complains that he needs to work in order to pay for his education. You idiot, that's normal and standard and what's expected out of anyone who pursues any form of education higher than high school! When I was this lazy bastard's age, I had a summer job every year, and that combined with my student loans allowed me to pay everything with ease. So much so that said loans were repaid in record time. I want to see what this loser is going to be saying in a few years. Oh noes! I have to work to pay for food and a roof to stay under! How dare the government not provide everything for me!

Another of these Einsteins complains that she eats too many peanut butter sandwiches and spaghetti and not enough filet mignon. Welcome to real life, enjoy your stay! Having been raised in your average middle class family, I can tell you that I never once ate filet mignon, and ate spaghetti and sandwiches often. I don't know what these people expect life will be once they get out of school, but unless they find a job that sends them into upper class territory, it's going to be more sandwiches and spaghetti. And they won't have the balls to stop working for their employer until they get enough of a pay raise to adopt a diet of filet mignon and caviar.

Some students claim that they don't have their own car. You know what? I didn't either when I went to university. Public transportation took me everywhere I needed to. Sure, it's not as flexible as using your own car, but with proper planning it wasn't nearly enough of a hindrance to be worth complaining about.

And finally, the icing on the cake, the textbook definition of hypocrisy: someone who complains about the students' reputation of being spoiled brats - two paragraphs after explaining why they cut into food and lodging in order to afford a cell phone. Said cell phone is allegedly "a tool for work". Sorry, but I was in university only a few years ago, and I don't recall cell phones being useful for studying in any way. Admit it, you're just using it for texting random crap.

These students clearly never heard of Maslow's pyramid, which is shocking because as far as I remember, it's taught in high school! Food and a home are at the very bottom of the pyramid, you need these two to even live. I don't see high-end education or, God forbid,  a cell phone in there. And then they say education is a right (and it is to an extent), and the more radical students think it should be free (ergo, the working class pays for it, just like everything else, while they stuff caviar down their throats and buy every new Apple gizmo at launch). And the price of food and housing is already taking a worrying hike up, and we all have to endure it.

So if these super-fundamental needs get more and more expensive, is it normal that high-end education can still be obtained for a song? Asking the question is answering it. And having studied in a domain that requires extremely expensive equipment, I think I'm qualified enough to say that universities can't pay for all that stuff by themselves (no wonder science faculties are always the most anti-strike, they get a real taste of what it costs to maintain them). Other than scholarship fees, their main source of income is government funding, which equals OUR TAXES. And obviously, our taxes make up a higher and higher percentage of the universities' income every year. That is not healthy, and not normal. So if these brats can shut up for a second and think of something else than their own ego, they'll realize it's only normal that they help pay their share.

Of course, there's the issue of the fee raises being pretty darn big, and while it really sucks to have to take that in all at once (over five years), there are still two decades worth of catching up to do. And regular taxpayers know this, which is why public opinion is massively behind one of the most unpopular governments the province of Quebec has ever seen. And that's saying a lot.

Open your eyes, students. You're not the overlords of your own little universes. You have to cohabitate with many, many other people. So start acting like it.

Edit: Just to make myself more clear, because I didn't make it obvious at first glance, 75% over five years is really steep. But I think the real problem is the "five years" part. Making the same increase over a longer period of time would be more beneficial for all parties involved. But the insane requests of keeping fees frozen, or even abolishing them, are absolutely impossible to justify as far as I'm concerned.


  1. The saddest part is this: If Canadian university is anything like American university, there really are things worth protesting and fighting for in the education system. A greater emphasis on higher education for one, and learning skills rather than trivia, textbook prices, etc. Having to work to learn is NOT one of those things, and it's really a shame that their efforts are being wasted by their own spoiled behavior.

    I'm mid-university right now with a newborn son, and I'm going to be accepting a second job soon just to keep up, but I don't think it's unfair in any way when I'm taking on school, shelter, food and raising a child. If you make the choice to do something with your life, you have to be prepared to pay for it with your blood, sweat and tears.

    I'm not sure how scholarship fees work, because it's not implemented in American scholarships very much (and certainly not to any degree worth protesting against). But why complain about this? You're paying money for the chance to EARN money for school!

    1. Yeah, America comes across to me as a place where the idea of work ethic is more highly valued than in Canada. Maybe it's because we're a social-democracy, and we're brought up with the expectation that the government will do everything for us. And I'm saying this as a self-labeled liberal, for the record.

      As for textbook prices - yes, I had to buy a few of them, and god were they expensive, especially when I study a tiny fraction of most of these monstrous bricks. What most of my teachers did, though, is that they printed out their own lecture notes, usually as the PowerPoint presentations they use in class, and gave them to us at very reasonable prices.

  2. Apparently the raise of the tuition fees is supposed to be 75% over five years. Most universities will charge up to 9000£ a year after the raise in England takes place. A bit of perspective helps doesn't it.

    1. As I said, 75% IS high. Not arguing about that. But I'm thinking this is where the fees would be had they never been frozen in the first place.

  3. Meme si ils augmentent le prix des Cegep, ont a toujours l'education collegiale la moins chere.

    1. À l'échelle canadienne? Ça ne me surprendrait même pas. C'est long, vingt ans.

    2. Ça sert à rien de chercher des arguments, aucun des 2 camps avait de bons arguments quand la décision a été prise. Durant le vote organisé par mon assiciation étudiante, ils ont laissés la chance aux 2 camps de s'exprimer et tout ce que j'ai entendu, ce sont des arguments exposant des valeurs morale vide de sens, pas de faits ni de statistiques.
      Tout ce que j'avais en tête m'opposant à la hausse, c'est le 75% de hausse en 5 ans qui était le seul chiffre concret que je connaissais.
      La manifestation est née de bonnes intentions, mais elle est devenue hors de contrôle vite à cause que ma génération est trop cave.
      Si la hausse était si justifiée que ça, pourquoi le gouvernement n'a pas essayé de rassurer les étudiants à ce sujet ? Avant le vote, c'était même pas clair si il y aurait une augmentation des prêts et bourses ou non.
      Oui, on peut faire des recherches, c'est vrai, mais apparemment, même ceux qui étaient POUR la hausse en avaient même pas fait parce qu'ils ne pouvaient pas répondre clairement à la question.
      Quand je l'ai posée, la seule réponse que j'ai reçu était : "Bin... Je sais pas si ça l'a été dit, mais ça serait logique."
      Wow, très convaiquant...
      Où je veux en venir, c'est que tout le monde devrait porter le blâme, c'est un fail pour le Québec au grand complet.

    3. Exactement. Notre système est pourri jusqu'à la moelle. Si les associations étudiantes militaient pour ralentir la hausse, le gouvernement serait peut-être plus enclin à écouter, et l'opinion publique serait derrière eux, garanti. Au lieu de ça, ils demandent le maintien du gel, et ça les fait passer pour des fanatiques qu'on est mieux de ne pas écouter. Le grabuge qu'ils ont fait dernièrement contribue à ne PAS faire passer le message. Mais ils sont trop nonos pour comprendre ça...

  4. ...
    Ok... F*ck this.
    I don't want to support this cause anymore.
    The only reason why I was against all of this was because of the only argument you agreed with. A 75% over 5 years raise is pretty darn high and I lack the confidence in myself being able to deal with it when I'll reach university because of the way students part-time jobs are. (I'll repeat myself, I can deal with any kind of intellectual work, but my physical side is just pitiful...)
    I never wanted to suppress it or whatever else, I just wanted it to slow down a little, making it more progressive and easier to manage.
    But if by supporting the cause I have to be associated with these idiots...
    Forget it, I prefer to deal with these harsh facts. My pride would never allow me to be supporting any of these pricks.
    I don't own a cellphone and I don't intend to do so unless I don't have any choices. I'm not interested in owning a car, I never go out with friends and I never go to any party involving unnecessary spending. I guess I'll suck it up like an honest citizen and watch those pricks burn in their own stupidity.

    1. It's really sad for you, because I know not everyone in this movement is like that (just like how not every Republican is a bible-thumping hate-mongerer). Being associated with self-entitled asshats like this AND those other twits who block bridges and highways would cause me to have the same reaction.

      But yeah, it's worth repeating, 75% over 5 years is pretty crazy. But it's not the 75% figure I have a problem with as much as the "five years" part. Maybe 10, even 15, would be more appropriate. Of course, at that point you start increasing the amount of years you have to play catch-up for...

  5. Wow, humanity really IS doomed. Here in the States, our work ethic is not the best either. Though there are some (like me) who, though lazy sometimes, know that hard work=well-earned reward. Yeah, here, many expect their government funding and stamps to be sufficient. Yeah, relying on those is basically saying, "Hi! I wasted my life as a teenager!"

    Please tell me when the morons with a God complex start listening to reason (sadly for us, Slow, there are a LOT of said morons in this world)...

    Yeah, in summary, I loathe what humanity has become, and is becoming, as well...

  6. I totally agree, though I feel like a bit of a hypocrite for it, because as a Scottish student going to a Scottish university, I have my fees paid by the state.

    Though I am taking advantage of this by not taking out a student loan in the first place, instead sinking my weekends into a part-time job which to be honest, is killing all my spare time. XD

  7. I must disagree on one thing - mobile phones capable of Internet access are necessities in the year 2012, not luxuries. On top of the telephony thing (everyone benefits from being able to contact and be contacted at a moment's notice) there's the utility of having a personal computing device which can be easily and quickly pulled from a pocket or bag. Laptops don't cut it - when all you need to do is consult a reference manual or look one thing up they're too slow to get going and the interface is (in general) more of a hindrance than a help.

    1. I can live without it. And a simple mobile phone with no unnecessary functions isn't expensive. (And I would only buy one if I need it for a job)

      Heck, I don't even own a laptop. I can live with doing researches only on my own computer at home and, you know, those places inside colleges and universities filled with those computers that were supplied for students with those needs ? Let's not forget also these huge places filled with books that are called libraries, which are also free for students to use.

      I'm sorry, but your argument isn't really persuasive. You can't deny that this strike got way too far from its good intentions.

    2. Yeah, in both faculties I studied at (as well as the campus' main building) we had rooms with tons of computers, so whenever I needed to look up something I could always go there.

    3. When I get to college, I will be more than prepared should I need a computer. Just go to the nearest tech lab. Also, I will be more prepared than most in my area of Ohio. In my school, we still do science fair, research papers, et cetera. Many complain about that, but everyone else will be complaining that they do not know how to set up a research paper. We have our fair share of lazy students here in America as well...