Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sympathy for York Students (a 1st for me)

Thursday night for some people means the weekend is soon to begin and it's time for a small break before getting back to work again (not for me this year). However, for students at York University, that break began a little more than two weeks ago and may not end for a long time... The union representing the faculty, teacher's assistants, and a bunch of other groups decided to go on strike.

Yep, Canada's 4th biggest University is on strike. YU North is out for business.

Two reactions came to mind when I heard about this. At first I was actually happy. No, its not because I'm a U of T student, which by default requires me to dislike York, I simply don't like York. It's not a vendetta either. Something bothers me
about that school. Now, I've never spent a great amount of time there, so I may be biased but hear me out. I've got quite a few friends who go to York - according to Facebook it's actually 89 - but who's counting? For the most part, York is usually the primary option for those who've gone to yeshiva or seminary for a year or two in Israel once they come back to Toronto (that's a relative "once" because you never know what a year in Israel can do to you). I find that most people take a very passive approach towards deciding what they'll be doing @ York (not university) but rather it's expected that they'll be at York. It's viewed as the quickest option to get a university education, for the pure sake of making a living, so that you can get out of there quickly and start doing something else like making a living, or get married or anything else someone finds intriguing (like going back to Israel).

I have no problem how people choose to make use of their time and mo
ney when it comes to university. There's nothing wrong with what I mentioned above

But doing that wasn't my primary option, it was actually my last. I chose going to U of T (Scarborough nonetheless) because I was enticed by the program as well as the challenge. That being the case, it kind of upsets me when I hear about all the things that make York so accessible. These are things like:

*Closeness to home
*Cheaper tuition and transit rates and travel times/ways to get to and from school (not having to take more than one transit system)
*An active Jewish student community + atmosphere Better class times (especially when it comes to setting up a learning schedule elsewhere)
*No school because of Holidays (not anymore though)
*Credits from Israel (you just had the easiest year of your university life, and didn't miss a beat!)

Hey York people, correct me if I've made a mistake!?

Back in the day, I would've settled for less because it was more convenient (See Westmount>CHAT for high school, though I don't regret it.) But being in Israel taught me the values of learning things the hard way and where to benefit from it. I appreciate what I get out of traveling 45 minutes in the morning and an 1hour or so at night to and from Scarberia. So even though York students are off school now and have a lot of free time to what they please and here I am swimming in a sea of work, for the long run it'll work out for me. I wouldn't want to lose my winter break or summer. Or worse, lose out on the value of a good education. (especially when it's tearing a hole in your wallet.) There's my sympathy.... have fun making up the time you've lost So I wish the best to York students. And even though your not in school now, appreciate what you have - what I've mentioned above. It could be worse. You could be going to school in Scarborough ;)

I googled "york university strike" and this is what came up. Ha! And it was from the YRT!! (York Region Transit- the worst transit system in the world - a post for another time)

** I'll save the university/yeshiva story for another time

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