When I arrived at Laurier, I thought that this was the best fit for what I wanted to do with my life. By the time I graduated this past October, I had come to the realization that I should have gone a different route. The way Laurier is run had a huge impact on that realization.
As a first year student, I picked up pretty quickly on how the classes were supposed to work at the beginning of university. They are treated like masses, with the professor standing giving a vigil to its congregation, preaching the studies of film and business and science, et al.
I was fine with this. That was what I understood first year was supposed to be. But, by the time that I had hit fourth year, this dynamic had not really evolved. Sure, the size of the masses had diminished, but there was still this figure at the head of the class, presiding over the rest of us with a holier-than-thou presence.
Even in a class of 40 students, we still couldn’t help but sit quietly and just listen to the “preaching” going on in front of us.
This isn’t what I imagined the senior years of my university life to consist of. I was anticipating being challenged with creative thought and original ideas of the areas I was interested in.
I was not expecting to churn out paper after paper, rehashing ideas that have already been published by both more established, and weaker academic minds than my own.
Why have the majority of university classes started to concede their original and interesting course outlines to narrow-minded professors more focused on dictating what they know about?
It seems that any creativity involved in university classes has been replaced by a gaggle of arrogant academics attempting to control a group of students with more readings and further academia. Now I must clarify that this was absolutely not my experience with every class that I took. There were a number of very intriguing professors that I did enjoy and one or two that were fantastic.
It was always so easy to distinguish the good ones from the bad by the way they went about the material. With the good professors, everything was not dependent on someone else’s theory.
They opened the floor for discussion and their opinion was not the only one that mattered. They did not put their own journal articles on the course syllabus. This is what I understand a university education has become: a professor teaching students to become professors. Is that what I dropped $20,000 for? To be trained to become a walking head with an inflated ego?
There is more to life than simply writing essays and reading textbooks. A few profs realize that, why not more? I wish that Laurier could understand that there is room for the right-brained here at the school.
I can’t speak for business or science students, but as an arts student, the most rewarding assignments that I completed throughout my academic career were projects with a creative element involved; assignments or papers that started anew, from my own original ideas.
The marks that I received may not have been the best, but at least I was trying something that no one else around me was doing. And it was also those profs who assigned those projects that I connected with the most.
It is pretty easy to lament about four and half year’s worth of disappointment, and for all I know, I’m the only one who feels this way, and everyone else expects this from their university experience. But I still can’t help but feel that I would have gained a lot more from my education if I wasn’t treated as just another member of the congregation.