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npinii)n@siilew!i>.ii;ilbertci.ai • Ihursduy.august 27.2(H)!) 


OPINION 


The silver lining of 
the Green and Gold 

FIVE YEARS AGO THIS WEEK. 1 SET FOOT INTO 
my very first lecture as a bright-eyed blank slate 
ofan Arts student. I was eager to escape the cold, 
industrial grasp of my small-town upbringing and 
enter a world of progressive, metropolitan ideals. 
“The world really is different in the big city.” I 
would tell myself, certain there was more to life 
than picking up cougars at the local watering 
hole and ostracizing those who didn’t fit into the 
cookie-cutter form of a truck-driving WASP male 
so common to rural Alberta. And now. with my 
undergrad a year past expiry, with plenty of time 
left to go, nothing has really changed; in fact. I'm 
more terrified and confused by the world around 
me than ever before. 

If I wanted to lie to you. as my profession has 
trained me so amply to do. I could tell you that in 
the time that I ’ve taken at the U of A. I've seen it 
all and done more body shots than most Dekes can 
stomach for breakfast. Rut the truth is that even a 
grizzled old man like me. who revels in the chance 
to sow the seeds of wisdom among fert ile neo¬ 
phytes, is still but a greenhorn in the grand scheme 
of the world. 

I foolishly thought that a liberal arts degree 
would bless me with the critical thinking skills 
necessary to peel back the complexity of society 
and see it clearly for what it is beneath the layers 
of bullshit. But as it turns out. the deeper I dug. 1 
only found more layers of befuddlement, and more 
questions than explanations. Where I expected to 
find sanctuary from the masses of ignorance. 1 was 
only met with more cretins, or worse, elitists who 
looked down their noses at me and my hopelessly 
naive quest for self-discovery. As it turns out. 
mismanagement, corruption, and outright stupidity 
have less to do with regional differences and more 
to do with the fact that you can’t pigeonhole every 
person into the same ideological manifesto that you 
yourself subscribe to, no matter how ironclad or 
bulletproof the structure. 

And that realization, my friends, is the key to a 
happy university career. It didn't happen overnight, 
but eventually, I traded in my provocation for ambiva¬ 
lence, and my demagogy for... well, for using smaller 
words. I've stopped countering the opinions that I dis¬ 
agree with so fervently, accepting that I'm not always 
right; instead orietting myself get enraged. I just tune 
out, and I’m better for it. 

I've stopped scoffing at the causes that I find 
pointless, I've stopped raging against the machine, 
and most importantly, I've indulged in more col¬ 
lege vice and debauchery in the past four months 
than in my five years prior, all in the name of keep¬ 
ing ii real. After trying to fight back and speak out 
against every perceived instance of the downfall of 
society. I finally accepted that 1 need to let go — 

I’m much happier to shut out the things that piss 
me off and partake in the thrills in life that make 
me truly happy. 

In your tenure at the University, you're likely 
going to find yourself caught between trying to 
define your own emerging self while keeping 
from slipping into the toil of every other dron¬ 
ing student around you. You need to stop, and 
just let it happen. The harder you try to grow up 
and force yourself into an idealized self-image, 
the higher you'll build your own ivory tower, 
wondering how and when your youth slipped out 
f rom beneath you. Don't lose yourself to blank 
stares at blank pages, and find the silver lining 
on the edge of what could be dull and featureless 
otherwise. 

Take the advice of the wiser men and women 
who’ve come before me and spend your next four, 
six, or nine years at the U of A studying, party¬ 
ing, and discovering exactly what kind of person 
you want to be. You can't expect to grind your 
way through experiences, hoping they'll make you 
a better person — the best you ca n manage is to 
sit back, enjoy the ride, and let yourself develop 
organically in the ideal environment that university 
has to offer. 

mike kfi\drk:k 

Editor-In-Chief 



letters. 

TH eas 


The pop stops here 


researched I see a bright inure for 
this young man in journalism. 

ART DAV ISON 

Chemical Engineering Class ol ~51 


It was with happiness I read in The 
Gateway that the SU had approved 
the “single source beverage" agree¬ 
ment. kike so many in our obese, 
corporation-loving worid. I like my 
bottled sugary dhnks, and I don't like 
to walk far to get them 
It was with less happiness that I 
noticed the next day that prices on 
SUB vending machines went jp by 
143 per cent. Vending machines 
across campus soon followed suit 
My question to the SU is this: 
does the scholarship money come 
directly (rom this 14 3 per cent tax 
on those of us with addictions to 
bottled beverages that are probably 
slowly killing us? Or is the price hike 
pure coincidence 7 

MIKE SUIT 

Computing Sciences 

Hooray for journalists 

I hate to admit that I haven't read the 
Gateway for the past 58 years, but 
when I picked up a copy recently. 
I was pleasantly surprised by the 
quality of the writing 
I was particularily impressed by 
Cody Civieros article "Creationism 
get the evolving door." (May 8) If is 
one of the best pieces I've ever read 
on the topic a nd very obviously well 


from™’ 

web 

He’s die man with a plan 

RE "(100) Days of Methewson gets 
a two-star review" (August 6) 

I feel most student initiatives 
suffer greatly from a lack ot planning 
which ultimately results in wasted 
resources and effects that actually 
increase student apathy r or once, 
it is great to see the SU Executive 
taking the time to thoroughly plan 
out how to go about their initiatives 
with bold vision 

Having vision and bringing 
it into fruition is a skill which is 
manifest in one's ability to plan 
It is time to stop piecemeal initia¬ 
tives and begin working from a 
holistic vision where Initiatives are 
complementary so as to unlock 
synergies that ultimately result 
in resources being used to their 
maximum potential. With this a 
true critical mass may form in the 
student body and effective strat¬ 
egy may at las: tackle the student 
selfishness and apathy to which 
this campus is swamped. 

But I agree with you Lucas. Once 
you have the vision mapped out. it 


often takes a true leader to make 
the. sacrifices needed to pursue 
it — and not |usi altruistic sacri¬ 
fices. but intelligent and thought¬ 
ful sacrifices. It is encouraging to 
see That Kory has vision, a good 
sign of a leader This is something 
worth celebrating. Hopefully we 
can celebrate again when he uses 
his strength to bring that vision 
into material existence. 

MARK MCCOKYlACk 

Via Internet 

Oilsands not yet a beach 

RE. "Oilsandsecosystem on the road 
to recovery-" (August 6) 

I find it a bit odd that the would 
conclude that the "oilsands eco¬ 
system" is "on the road to recov¬ 
ery" (as stated in the headline to 
this article) simply because one 
professor a: the University of 
Alberta spends his time research¬ 
ing how to engineer synthetic for¬ 
ests after they are clear-cut and 
pit mined I just came back from a 
triptotheoilsandsand Icanassure 
you that the "oilsands ecosystem' 
is anything but recovering! 

On the contrary — based on 
what I saw with my own two eyes, 
and on what I heard from local 
First Nations people and oilsands 
workers — I would posit the the 
"oilsands ecosystem" is being 
poisoned at an alarming rate (this 
would incljde the regional water¬ 
sheds. wildlife, forests, fauna, and 


□AVID JOHNSTON 

even people!). Perhaps, instead 
of celebrating the work of one U 
of A prof with a preposterously 
inaccurate headline, next time the 
Gateway will offer a more balanced 
approach (and a more appropriate 
headline) in its "News"section! 

"Organic intellectual' - 

Via Internet 

Unflinching populism 

RE' 'll a change is gonna come, I 
haven't seen it" (August 6) 

Esoteric, though, perhaps a 
little complacent? Some referrals 
and specifics would definitely 
help your cause and make rt less 
some post-Obama emotional¬ 
ism and more dedicated activist 
Though, I imagine that may be 
a little special interest and may 
compromise the piece's unflinch¬ 
ing populism. 

JOSEF CHECKEL 

Via Internet 

Er... flinching populism? 

RE "If a change is gonna come. I 
haven't seen it" (August 6) 

Err ... aren't esoteric and popu¬ 
listic antonyms? And I don’t see 
how deriding the voting public as 
"morons" is pandering. 


PLEASE SEE LETTERS ♦ PAGE 13