Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, January 8, 2009

By Hitoishi Chakma

I never really felt even a tiny bit, inclined to watch The OC. But as it happens to almost everyone, while channel flicking you end up watching something you never really intended to. That is just what happened one fine afternoon when I ended up watching an episode of The OC where I saw some overgrown teenagers applying for their much awaited entry to university. I was instantly hooked.

This made me realize how very much important university is to our lives. It is seen somewhat as the place where you have fun, spread your wings and come close to flying off the ground. And so as to prove how very true that is, we always have someone older nod vigorously and provide a monologue on all the fun they had while they were at university themselves. Now as an uninformed citizen and above all as a student who might one day go to a university, I just had to ask, “How true is that?” Something that is so very much touted in the magnitude of 'blissful fun' and 'unforgettable moment in life' can definitely make anyone's enquiring mind go, “Something's fishy!” And fishy it is. What use would people have of the Bahamas if all the fun in the world could be had in the universities? And as it happens with almost every conspiracy, there must be an ulterior motive to it. But we'll go to it later on.

Due to the sensitive nature of this report we would not be disclosing all our sources in this investigation. (Translation: this reporter is obliged to protect the snitch's identity and will therefore refrain from mentioning any name) But we can disclose this: Universities are torture. All those pictures in the handbooks they have where we see students gleefully jumping off the ground in unison are only ill-paid good-looking models. The universities these days have come to know quite a lot of 'marketing'. And why not? It's a good way to put the professors in those business schools to work. Anyway the real students in universities are very far away from anything depicted in the handbooks. They frequently come close to starving and almost always they are kept on a very tight leash by their owners or should I say “professors”. They get tortured in the form of attending classes and being burdened with the responsibility of acing their exams. 'That is when all those stories about having fun at university come back to haunt you', disclosed one victim on the condition of anonymity. And forget all those stories about Coldplay concerts and DJ Tiesto parties. The only time you come close to having fun is during those 'Asian Week' and 'What is your National Dress? Night' where no matter what the occasion, the skinny and starved girls put on their lehengas and perform Indian masala movie dances.

And besides for those that are unfortunate enough to fail to secure a place at the university dorms, where they have linen service and weekly cleaning service, things turn worse. For them being able to peel and cut potatoes like crazy, make scrambled eggs in thirty seconds or run to a food court, 20 minutes jog through an obstacle course away, is a must. Or else frequent starvation rises as the only choice. And the only thing worse than the starvation must be the inhumane living conditions that they have to live in, in those shared apartments/condos 'with ocean view'. Study reveals that you will be viewed as a potential flatmate if you are blessed with the ability to tolerate or ignore filth. And if you are crazy enough to vacuum the whole apartment every week and pick up after everyone else you will be viewed as the ultimate flatmate and as a result worshipped! But I am told, these gems are hard to come by, and almost always they don't stay in one apartment for long since almost everyday they get lucrative 'package' offers from other apartment owners.

Now for the ulterior motive. You see, Universities want to keep their students on a short leash so they remain subservient to their employers after they graduate and get employed. Universities take donations from their alumnis and these alumnis are the prospective employers of all those graduating students. So it all makes sense. The only good thing about all these is that, all those students are part of a very big 'scheme', though as the victims.



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