written by owen on 2005-Dec-04.
I had an assignment last week, and I tried to pay off a UWI Economics/Politics double major to "do it" slash "help me with it". Critical Thinking Assignment - opinion writing. She refused. She said it was against her principles or maybe she didn't like my attitude or maybe I was being too needy about it. I asked her number - she refused - mine as well. She kept asking me "you don't watch the news? you no see how the country stay bad? you no have no opinion on the situation?". Well, actually no, I don't. She did not realize that our "realities" were totally different. I offered her my services but still nothing. I never asked her name which was surprisingly impolite of me. She gave me some pointers though, and I scraped my way through another paragraph of a critical analysis of Delroy Chuck's article on "Poverty, Economic model causing hardship..." (I forgot the exact title). Still waiting for the grades. I wished her good luck on her student loans and she ran off like I was a deranged-psychopath or she was late for something.
After all, I had just met her on the bus, 2 minutes ago - homework on the first date was out of the question - even if I was paying. And she looked like the type who would be good at - that sorta thing - writing. Later that day I went on the internet at work to get an "opinion". Because obviously I didn't have one and she must have gotten hers from somewhere. About the Jamaican economy - because the internet knows everything but I couldn't find it. It was a point of luck for me to meet someone who actually was good at the 2 areas which I needed to finish the assignment. But I had nothing to use as leverage. Without leverage you simply can't get anywhere (or into anything) is this country.
In my present course there are points where I end up with modules carried over from the business degree for the sole purpose of torturing the more technocratic among us. Leveling the playing field for the lesser capable "business types". The school refers to it as "wanting to produce more well-rounded individuals". Crap. Leveling is good but don't throw it in my face. Saying that is akin to saying comparing a BMW to a Volkswagen. Or better yet Beyonce to Britney Spears. A BMW is not a well-rounded car. Being well rounded is like being Volkswagen Beetle not a M6. Of course you cannot have a straight IT course in Jamaica because you don't have that many candidate students to enroll. That is a much better reason for cheapening the whole whole future IT sector. You don't go around giving doctors hand writing lessons because you want them to be well rounded? of course not! Because they are professionals. Professionals don't need to be well rounded.
Well rounded individuals do better on Survivor? Saying that you producing "well rounded individuals" into the work force is a cover for the fact that you can't teach anybody to be good at anything in particular and risk them not being able to get work in an unstable economy. If this is the case then the whole course should be renamed "Jack Of All Trades Info Tech". I do what they tell me, hopefully I get a "C" beside my number on the grade sheet at the end of the semester. Maybe she did teach me something after all.