Perception Is Reality

The Role of Universities

Posted on: December 11, 2007

I was flying from Toronto to Montreal just a day ago. I’ve taken this flight a ton of times thanks to Air Canada and its Aeroplan program. What I love the most about Air Canada is the enRoute magazine. The service on the other hand, is that of a 3-star hotel (I believe a smile makes all the difference) but thats a story for another day.

 As I was reading the magazine, I began to realize how many bits and pieces of information my mind was consciously processing (Scientific studies show that the mind processes 40 bits of information consciously and over a million bits subconsciously). I was enjoying the read in a very non-contemporary way: I was critically analyzing each bit that my eyes set upon. From layout, to content, I was thoroughly processing the technical and factual aspects of the magazine. I realized that this was all thanks to my university, more specifically my Information Technology and Society course, my section being led by Alison Harvey.

University has played and will continue to play an integral role in my life – and the lives of thousands of those who are fortunate. Essentially what I have understood is that, more than anything else, university teaches you time management. It introduces it to you, slides it towards you, beats you with it, driving you to the edge. Most information we take in in universities do not stay with us, atleast consciously, re-introduced to our conscious mind through some odd connection. What stays with us, is arguably the most important skill in life: time management; and in a world where time equals money, it looks pretty slick on a resume or CV. Tons of courses, assignments, thesis papers, exams and anything else you can think of teach you to prioritize and allot time slots to each task, much like a TV or Radio station in its daily programming (except not each slot is for an hour or half hour). At the end of the day, your success and worth may be measured by whether or not you have a valedictorian status, your GPA and the like. What underlies all of these, however, is that sense of responsibility and time management (phew, the term’s becoming repulsive!). If one manages to fly all high (and get drunk later on, attending several parties and bars), it shows that the individual has been able to effectively plan their schedule on a day to day basis, keeping in mind the long-term goals. Hey, the skill may even bleed into your bar-hopping plans.

So, this is all fine and dandy, but coming back to the magazine, I did not enjoy the content for what it was: flavorful and delectable; an enjoyable read. Instead, my mind has been classically reconditioned somewhat following the Pavlov Effect, leaving me unlearned in the art of relaxation and enjoyment. What do you have to say?

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About the Author…

Born in Karachi, Pakistan in an Adventist hospital, I grew up in a city where on one side I experienced poverty and oppression, while on the other I had the good fortune of Tabish Bhimani being a member of an upper middle-class business family...more...

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