Inordinate Ordnance: The Scam of University
Thursday, October 4, 20120 Comments
There’s a scam going around.
Consider, if you will, a man. An indescribable entity, without a face, in a suit, offering you happiness. This happiness comes in the form of financial security for the rest of your life. He isn’t offering money, per se, he is offering an opportunity to make money in the future, at some point. But before he can do this for you, you need to give him your life-savings. Maybe this faceless creature has money locked up in junk bonds and needs seed money to get it out of customs, and only you can help this person in some African country.
Do you see the picture being painted here? You are probably sitting in it.
This Faceless Man explains the risks involved. It’ll cost a lot up front, but his service will offer a better quality of life in the long run. You can live a life with kids and a spouse, without the fear of becoming, dare he say, lower class. It will give you an edge in the world of business, art and commerce. It will make you better than your fellow human, who did not partake in this Faceless Man’s pricey red pill. He is offering you a matrix, in which you become a mover, a shaker, a baller, a shot-caller. You will be Keanu.
But first, you must pay.
You don’t have the money? He’ll ask. Well, come this way, he’ll say, as he introduces you to his friends, Td Canada, CIBC, The Ontario Government and others. The whole gang’s here. These guys will help you. Although they too are faceless, they seem trustworthy in their power, grinning and offering cheap interest rates and yearly caps on loan repayments. Your new friends will float you. They will pay the Faceless Man and the Faceless Man will make you happy. But only after four years of hard work, crappy living and some minor alcohol poisoning. He’ll see you in four years, the Faceless Man will say, as he shuffles you off with a wad of borrowed cash, into a house with four other strangers who also choked down his red pill.
Four years pass. After so much work, so much money, you leave the safety of a life you created within the walls of academia and wait for the Faceless Man to lead you into a life of company cars, expense accounts and contentment. From here you will be the CEO, The Celebrity, The Rap Super Star, big house, five cars. You are ready for your close up. You are Keanu F--king Reeves. You wait, like a recently released convict, for the taxi, driven by the Faceless Man, to take you to the world of business.
You wait…and wait…and wait, but he never comes. He’s abandoned you. He’s moved on to a younger version of you, buxom and just as naive. He’s traded you up, for a sexier model, one with the same dreams as you had four years ago, and a better credit rating.
How could he do this? After all you went through together, the times spent together. The money you gave him and the hours of work you did for him. He has left you, cold and shivering, crushed under a mountain of debt.
And his friends? They have become hounds, snapping and snarling at you, expecting to be compensated for their kindness. They gave you your first taste, your first bump away from mediocrity, into the ecstasy of academia. And now that you’re addicted, they raise the price, well out of any possible reach. Maybe the Faceless Man could give you hand, if he were only around.
Now, you spend the next ten, fifteen, thirty years dealing with the aftermath that came from the Faceless Man and his friends. You keep paying them your hard-earned money (and it certainly hard-earned, working at Starbucks) and they remain absent somehow, like a father from 1951, smoking and unaffectionate.
One day, after working your fingers dry, you have come up through the ranks at Starbucks. You’ve burned your hands with hot foam enough and you become manager of the store. Shortly after that, because of the work ethic you’ve acquired from your myriad nights at the espresso machine, you are given a franchise of your own. A few year later, you get promoted to corporate. Now here comes the money, the happiness and once again, the Faceless Man.
This time, he wants you to help him, acquire young minds. He wants your company, in exchange for prime real estate around other duped, future abandonees, to sell your product to them. Thus, creating even more revenue, to keep the Faceless Man’s pockets full and the bankers’ money spent at his institution.
You give in, and open another Starbucks in the institution to suck the young-peoples’ money from their pockets. This is your life, stuck in the perpetual tide of institution, with an Art History degree. You aren’t happy, but at least, you’re educated?
Something to think about, next time the Faceless Man come a-knockin’. It’s a shame he is faceless, because he deserves a black eye.
Chris Carr is Editor-in-Chief of The Cannon. Inordinate Ordnance publishes every Thursday in The Cannon and in The Ontarion Student Newspaper at the University of Guelph.
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.