Scourge and Transparency

The Rise and Fall of Advanced Social Journalism during the Early Twenty-First Century

Archive for January 2008

My Idol

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Every once in a while there comes a man, and he defines not just a generation but many generations – he defines a people. Larry David is in every one of us – whether we like it or not. We are all nervous, awkward, socially confused and annoyed several times a day. The man who brought us Seinfeld is the true model for how to live out your day or at least accept some of the feelings you have. Also on his current sitcom, Curb Your Enthusiasm, he ironically gives many helpful tips to a healthy lifestyle.
Larry David is cynical and vainl, what we all don’t want to be, but many of us are closer to him than not. He is bald and unattractive – and unfortunately in today’s society these are not good traits to have. But nobody is perfect; we all possess physical features that we don’t like and sometimes obsess over them. No matter what, we can’t avoid the fact that we truly hate some things about ourselves.
Of course in a perfect world we would not worry about these sorts of things but we are not in a perfect world – looks are important, charm is important and these things effect the way we live our and essentially how successful we can be in life.
Larry David
Larry David knows that there are some stupid and ridiculous things that go on in life and he can’t let them go. Referring to recent episodes of Curb: would you want anyone to know how often you were going the washroom? Or what do you do when you get invited somewhere and you want to get out of it because you hate the people you’re going with?
Optimists would say you should tell people how you truly feel and be comfortable with who you are no matter what. But seriously my friends, come on…
Pretty guys that write books about living a “confident and fulfilling” life say you have to appreciate what you have in life and use that to give you the confidence to accomplish great feats. However, these people are always beautiful with perfect hair, a great jawbone and a flat stomach. Larry David is the opposite; he knows what he looks like and he has to deal with it. LD also knows that situations arise where we have to act cynical or selfish and a lot people in society are assholes and sometimes we should take vengeance.
On Curb Larry David said something to the affect of “when I want to have sex with my wife, I act very nice to her.” Now this might sound like a horrible thing, but honestly, most men reading this would act the same way.
The big difference between people like Larry David and the pretty boy motivational speaker is that the pretty boy probably had sex a lot in high school and LD most likely did not. Most of us are probably somewhere in the middle – our comparison to Larry David is just as relevant to that of someone like Tom Cruise. Not every moment of the day are we going to feel like grabbing the world by the balls. Every once in while we may feel nervous or insecure.
What it essentially comes down to is the old question of is the glass “half-full” or “half-empty?” Of course, I’d love to live every moment of my life truly believing the glass is half-full but let’s not kid ourselves. If you went to someone’s house on a boiling hot day and they offered you a half a glass of tap water, what the are you going to think? Larry David probably wouldn’t be satisfied and most us wouldn’t either.

Written by shanedantimo

January 23, 2008 at 9:24 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

How much is this laptop, Mohawk?

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In my program (Journalism Print and Broadcast) it is mandatory to lease laptops from the school. This hits the pocket hard – $2,729.24 a semester as a matter of fact. Most students in other programs find it shocking when I tell them that we, Journalism students, pay $5,458.40 a year here for tuition at Mohawk. I, like I’m sure other Journalism students had no idea we would be paying that much for college. I was aware there was a laptop lease involved with the program but I did not know that it would cost that much including tuition. The college staff likes to refer to this lease as an “Ancillary fee” but students could care less what it is classified as.
What’s even more disturbing than the cost to rent these computers (875$ a semester – a number that does not appear on any fee statement sent to any student) is the complete lack of transparency and mountains of red tape the college has sent up against students finding out how much money they’ve put into these computers and how much it would cost them to buy it out.
We, the graduating class of 08, will be the first students ever to be given the option to buy the computers that we’ve been leasing for up to four semesters. If you lease a car you’re always given the option to buy it when the lease runs out, but former journalism students were not given that right. The thousands of dollars my predecessors put towards these machines was practically flushed down the toilet. The college uses the word “lease” when referring to the enforcement of these learning tools – that is incorrect they were in fact “renting” them – because if it were a lease they would have been able to take them, for a cost, home after graduation.
At the beginning of the semester the communications department mentioned several times that we could finally purchase the MacBook Pro’s when we graduate. However, the college never gave us price until we rigorously approached them several times while voicing complaints about numerous other problems that were occurring with our “brand new computers.” College staff should be trained and civil enough not to dangle a Mac laptop in a student’s face like a farmer dangles a carrot in front of a mule.
I, for one will not be buying this laptop. For one reason, they have been nothing short of disasters and a great burden on me and my fellow pupils. They arrived several weeks late and have had countless bugs and system set ups that are complete annoyances (we were not able to set any preferences [background, bookmarks, savings to the desktop] until last week! and it took my computer about five minutes to wake up from its “sleep” before I could write this column). Secondly, the buyout cost is an earth-shattering $2,124.36 for ‘08 graduates. Future Shop has the identical computers listed at $2,199.99 brand new! Not to mention the fact that we’ve been using them for eight months and have put down an incredible $1,750 on them through leases.
All these numbers were incredibly difficult to come by. One would think that a learning institution would easily provide their students with facts and figures that concern their own education. Unfortunately, that is not the case – this is my fourth semester and this is the first time I have seen a breakdown of where my $1,650 (the amount of I’ve put into the Macs for two semesters) has gone. A petition was put together regarding compensation for the tardy arrival and inefficiency of the computers as well as to request basic information on buyout and pricing. I don’t feel all students should need to come together as one demanding voice to request a simple receipt that details what you’ve paid for.
My class spent $1,750 on Dell laptops last semester and we were not allowed to take them home at years end. The money paid out was disregarded when we were given the cost of buying the new MacBook Pros.
After several weeks the college complied to give each student a whopping $100 discount if they choose to buy the laptop and also a $100 dollars off next semester’s tuition (even though the college was apparently unaware that most students had already filed their payments for the upcoming semester).
The computer maintenance staff has been helpful when they are available and most of our instructors have been considerate regarding our troublesome computers but the college administration was a hard nut to crack. The information we requested should have been provided for us before we even enrolled – simply when we were reading about the program on the Mohawk website. The college needs to understand – we’re students – we’re poor! Respect the fact that $875 a semester is a lot of money to us and this cost should not be slipped in or hidden in the cost of “tuition,” “ancillary fees” or whatever anyone wants to call it.

Written by shanedantimo

January 17, 2008 at 1:58 am

Hello world!

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Written by shanedantimo

January 15, 2008 at 8:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized