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Opinion - Get those thoughts out of your head!

Monday, September 13, 2010

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  • Most of the schoolwork I did in university involved memorizing and regurgitating. I encourage students to release the contents o

    Most of the schoolwork I did in university involved memorizing and regurgitating. I encourage students to release the contents o

Written by Adam Bowers

Most of the schoolwork I did in university involved memorizing and regurgitating. Basically, I was required to store a bunch of facts in my brain, and then, come exam time, I would be required to demonstrate how well I had stored these facts.

I was, thus, a self-suppressive individual throughout my university days; I would prevent myself from reading or writing non-course related material on occasion because I felt that my mental faculty was a resource, which was to be consumed on a basis of priority. I felt that it would be prudent to complete my homework before I spent time enjoying myself.

But, as every university student knows, course work can quickly become all-consuming if you're not careful, because there's always room for improvement and the possibility of higher grades.

When it came to writing essays, this process of memorizing and regurgitating seemed to linger because I always thought that it would be a good idea to demonstrate that I had been paying attention in class and taking notes. As a result,  pretty much every essay I wrote was boring; so boring, in fact, that even I wouldn't want to read it before printing.

I am sure there are lots of people who can relate to this. Even students who felt as if they'd written written truly interesting papers probably checked the word count after every paragraph, not to judge how much space they could spare for a certain topic, but to give them an idea of how much longer they were going to have to sit in front of a computer screen.

My first philosophy professor warned me that undergraduates live rather solitary existences. This is in part due to the number of essays undergraduates are required to write. The same professor also provided me with the unique admition that it takes a lot of ‘stamina’ to be able to complete a degree, and to this I can now attest because I felt absolutely worn out after my last exam period.

Evidently, all students draw the line somewhere, and if we did not draw these lines we probably would not have anybody sidewalk-chalking messages all over campus or playing sets for open microphone night at The Bullring.

Most of the material that students memorize and regurgitate is content that was produced at another human being’s leisure. Those who take part in leisurable activities, then, are sometimes content producers. The priority of leisure seems to be selfish because it is essentially just doing something that you want to do. However, it can, and often does, produce something in which another person can take leisure.

My advice, and perhaps even my plea, then, is for students, both new and seasoned, to take breaks from putting information into their minds and pulling it out for exams. Instead, I encourage students to release the contents of their minds out of their own free will, for both themselves and others in the world.

I can honestly say that I am prouder of this article than any essay I wrote for any class in university; there were no deadlines, no topics to choose from, and no worries that it would receive a poor grade. This was all my idea.

The opinions posted on thecannon.ca reflect those of their author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Central Student Association and the Guelph Campus Co-op. We encourage all students to submit opinion pieces, including ones that run contrary to the opinion piece in question

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