♦ An editorial response to an article published in Issue 767 of The Eyeopener magazine, Feb 2010. The response was subsequently published in Issue 768 of the same month.
(Non-Fiction: editorial, journalism, 300 words)
After the Eyeopener magazine printed an article lamenting the employement shortage for teacher’s college bound students, the Arts and Contemporary studies office was flooded with disheartened undergraduates considering a career change based on pessimistic statistics quoted by the author. The program coordinator responded with an apologetic email that reminded students of the numerous career resources available on campus.
I understand the act of writing inflammatory articles may be a form of catharsis for the frustrated, overworked and perennially stressed out university student. What I beg of you is that you do not bite the few hands that are willing to help you in the pursuit of cheap journalistic thrills and sensationalist stories. Little use will it be to us that our eyes are open if we have definitively shut our minds to the world, and allow ourselves to become nothing more than victims of some abstract institutionalized structural evil.
Let’s begin with this bizarre assertion that an undergraduate “guarantees” a spot in teacher’s college. Pardon the euphemism, but you would have to be six miles off the coast of sanity without a paddle to believe this for one second. An undergraduate program guarantees absolutely nothing. The university has no contractual obligation to ensure the continuity of their students, it is up to each individual to set goals and meet the qualifying criteria for their completion. Unfortunately, teacher’s college is too often an afterthought to other (diminishing) academic prospects. The result is that nobody does the research until it’s much too late, a classical example of outright poor planning. I will not attribute any epithets to this category of students, as few academic careers unfold without a hitch and the odd visit to academic advisers. I am, however, infuriated with the nerve of anyone who is willing to stab an accusatory finger at the university for this situation. Ryerson University ultimately provides a service. There is no guarantee of employment or acceptance into advanced studies beyond the undergraduate level. That is no the school’s job, but an individual responsibility. And if the goal of the Eyeopener is to enlighten and inform its Ryerson audience, then perhaps it would be of greater utility to remind grieved students of these resources, rather than than attack the institution from a left field blindspot.