Sunday, May 19, 2013

School Year in Review

            My stomach hasn’t quite completely untied itself after being hit by the stress of finals and the realization that this is my last summer as a teenager; my bags are as unpacked and stowed away as they will get, and the grades have been turned in. My summer is beginning, so it is time for my semesterly (I made that word up, but it should be real) update. I normally do this via Facebook because I usually only talk about boring personal details, but a year of college has caused some interesting and thought-provoking tweaks to my personal philosophy. QBA will be a wonderful platform to share them from. As usual, a warning: the following is the opinion of one who has only spent a year in college. What could I possibly know about how the world really works?
            I have been a very vocal proponent of extremely limited government and supporter of a gradual progression toward anarchy. Those are still my beliefs, but every class I’ve taken has shown me that the level of government control appears cyclical and that the acceptance of status quo ideology is so internalized that higher education needs to be rebuilt from the ground up to not just escape from the inefficient society we have now, but to ensure that it does not return. Government and Economics classes showed the benefit in lying to the public to minimize loss and casualty based on situations created by the current governmental and financial systems. An overview of conspiracy theories taught by a Sociology professor showed me how easy it is to and how often people lie to escape a world of uncertainty instead of facing and fixing it. Roman history has shown how similar our ideals and plans were to the Romans’ and how similar our faults are. We’re in a self-perpetuating machine of governance that fluctuates between bounds of oppressive (but not as oppressive as 1984) and liberating (but not anarchistic), and we’re all taught that there is no other viable option.
            Beyond this is the fact that people (myself included) can be blissfully unaware, immature, and simply feigning intelligence. The level of ethical reasoning one is expected to enter higher education with is appalling, and many of the readings I’ve had assigned use thousands of big words to state ideas that could be stated in a page and a half (the average length of a QBA essay in size 12 Times New Roman font… just sayin’), and our writing assignments are intended to teach us to replicate such behavior. Not only does this waste every student’s time, it doesn’t teach the material, and it makes it much more difficult for the armchair intellectual to learn anything worthwhile because he or she must wade through copious magnitudes of frivolous prodigalities.
            On a purely personal note, I’ve noticed how easy it is for me to be miserly. It’s worrying to end the school year with a surplus of funds ear-marked to be used for food since the only benefit that brought me was skipping several meals. Church, my friends, and my girlfriend especially enjoy pointed out the fact that money is for spending to increase one’s own enjoyment and that of those around him or her. I’m extremely curious on what my transformation in this area will look like if there is any, and it’s also interesting because this seems to be a unique problem. I know very few people who pinch as many pennies as I do, and I wonder what makes me so abnormal in this respect.
            The idea of limited government will be touched on again as well as revolution and the true power of the masses in my next essay unless something new and exciting pops up so be sure to watch V for Vendetta and read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Adarsh is planning to discuss The Great Gatsby, so read it. Most of you educated in America probably have a copy collecting dust somewhere anyway. I’ll have a less philosophical School Year in Review on Facebook for anyone who actually cares.
            For those of you still in school for the year, good luck!




-Jason Rossiter

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