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The York rant-part 1

Soon, assuming everything goes ok with my courses, my time as a university undergraduate student will be over. And it can’t come soon enough. For some reason this year has been really busy for me, with all my classes, work and writing and my minor stomach trouble as well. But that isn’t why I feel so much relief and joy over graduating from York. That’s because I’ve been in school so long and it’s time to begin a career, in the real world in some manner or form.

There’s also the um,mildly speaking, somewhat significant detail that I really, really dislike my York experience. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against my profs, most of my classmates, my job or the Excal, the latter two which have been great. I’ve just had a collectively lousy experience at York which has me feeling automatically sluggish as soon as I step foot on campus. In fact getting off campus is excruciating as well because of the sometimes weary and debilitating experience called waiting for the TTC bus.

However I should probably start with my program and courses. I’m doing political science but also taking some social science courses for International Development. While many of them do cover some interesting matter, the fact is that a main part of course material is theoretical studies whether it’s development, culture, liberalism or international political economy. Almost every course has assignments which are long essays and the topic is always to write about an issue and present it in some perspective. After a while, 3 years actually, this can get repetitive and really redundant. The profs and TAs always want you to write in a specific manner and perspective and use academic sources and formal language. I’ve had one thought coming to my mind over and over- “How exactly is this going to help me in the future?” Sure I want to write for a living, or at least for a career, but not these kinds of writing. Maybe some don’t think so, but academic essay writing and writing news or features articles for a newspaper or magazine are two different activities completely. I would even go so far as to say that writing essays for my courses actually numbs my mind, reduces my joy in writing and even retards my writing skill.

I really hate taking the TTC to school and back. I’m not some pampered guy who thinks he’s too good to take the bus and would rather drive. I have been taking public transportation regularly since high school and I’m pretty used to it. I have even thought about taking public transit for years after I graduate and delaying getting a car until way in the future. I’ve taken public buses, subways and trams in four countries. After all this, taking the TTC to York is a tremendous pain and if I was staying in Toronto, I would definitely consider buying a car as one of my first decisions. During this past year, I’ve had classes until as late as 5.30pm and 7pm and work on other days which finishes at 8. The last thing I want to experience at those times is to wait in extremely long lines for the bus which can sometimes take over 20 minutes. That is exactly what has happened many times. Furthermore the ordeal doesn’t stop there. After taking the bus to Finch station, I then face further waits for the Finch bus to go home, where the crowd is sometimes so large that it takes 3 or 4 buses before I can get aboard. And of course, the wait then is about 20 minutes also, or more. I have to admit that this isn’t the fault of York but more the TTC, but it is a significant problem with coming to York. It’s good to know the TTC is planning to build a subway station at York.

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