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You are the raw material. Images of Canberra

By johnboy 23 May 2012 25

anu signage

As seen at ANU today by a friend.

I AM A DEGREE FACTORY YOU ARE THE RAW MATERIAL

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You are the raw material. Images of Canberra
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EvanJames 12:05 pm 25 May 12

thy_dungeonman said :

EvanJames said :

.

Or in Classics, seeing really old people turning up to listen to the course convenor deliver his pet lecture, on how we can determine the actual population of Athens around 400 BC. This lecture was famous and our usually small, quiet weekly lectures suddenly became an event.

Haha, just the other day the later year classics students decided to attend one of the lecture in the first year Greek history course on ancient sexuality just to see the first years squirm in awkwardness. But despite our rather one minded nature we classics students at the ANU enjoy an academic environment that is probably still much closer to the good old days that people are describing here, despite the best attempts of the ANU to shrink the department into oblivion.

I’m glad to hear it. It was a really nice faculty in the 80s, small and focussed on what it did. There was a staff/students common room in the AD Hope, lined with books, we’d all hang out there most of the day.

Sometimes in summer, the lecturer would troop us all out into the Haydon Allen courtyard, we’d sit on the grass in the shade and he’d deliver the lecture, Socratic-style. Classics at ANU made you feel like you were really at university.

Thumper 11:29 am 25 May 12

What I experienced was moments like turning up for an English lecture, and seeing how the lecturer/course convener had arranged for his dad to turn up and give the lecture on his pet subject, Henry Lawson. That was Manning Clark. No fanfare, no publicity, just 40-odd of us, and Manning Clark striding in wearing his suit, and his hat. Lectures were events, then

I had the same at UC.

Cultural history lecture, rocked up and there is Manning-Clark, resplendent in all black with a big hat on his head.

Fantastic.

thy_dungeonman 11:06 am 25 May 12

EvanJames said :

.

Or in Classics, seeing really old people turning up to listen to the course convenor deliver his pet lecture, on how we can determine the actual population of Athens around 400 BC. This lecture was famous and our usually small, quiet weekly lectures suddenly became an event.

Haha, just the other day the later year classics students decided to attend one of the lecture in the first year Greek history course on ancient sexuality just to see the first years squirm in awkwardness. But despite our rather one minded nature we classics students at the ANU enjoy an academic environment that is probably still much closer to the good old days that people are describing here, despite the best attempts of the ANU to shrink the department into oblivion.

Meconium 10:44 pm 24 May 12

I wonder if uni is actually easier these days, or if it just seems easier? Things have changed over the past few decades, not least our increased investment in school-level education, and our understanding of the world is clearer now too than it was at the end of the cold war. While university policies have changed, and while the more inclusive and understanding attitude towards students has arguably made the whole uni experience less formal (and made it seem like less of an achievement to get a degree), I wonder if it’s actually objectively much easier? Doing anything you’re not good at is still hard – but maybe it’s easier now just to avoid doing the hard stuff and still walk out of the place with the same award as the serious students?

EvanJames 10:41 pm 24 May 12

Before “every child wins a prize”, a place at a university was something you worked for, you really worked. You had to prove you deserved to be there. And then you worked to stay there.

If not, we had a good network of training institutions, vocationally orientated. For the professions, we had colleges of advanced education, ag colleges, teachers colleges, nursing colleges, which conferred diplomas and degrees.

And we had the TAFEs, which trained tradespeople and people who needed/wanted hands-on applicable skills.

Now, the universities have to be all of the above. When I was at ANU, most of the lecturers and tutors weren’t teachers, but they had knowledge and would impart it, or at least help us to learn how to find our own knowledge, if we showed interest. I guess it was a negotiation. They expected us to strive to rise to their standards.

But they weren’t baby sitters. I doubt current undergrads have the slightest concept of this.

What I experienced was moments like turning up for an English lecture, and seeing how the lecturer/course convener had arranged for his dad to turn up and give the lecture on his pet subject, Henry Lawson. That was Manning Clark. No fanfare, no publicity, just 40-odd of us, and Manning Clark striding in wearing his suit, and his hat. Lectures were events, then.

Or in Classics, seeing really old people turning up to listen to the course convenor deliver his pet lecture, on how we can determine the actual population of Athens around 400 BC. This lecture was famous and our usually small, quiet weekly lectures suddenly became an event.

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