Advertising Feature: University of Alberta celebrates long history of being ‘almost worth money’

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The Edmonton West Star,  01/10/2013 –

The University of Alberta, situated in Edmonton on the lovely banks of the North Saskatchewan River, boldly enters its second century of sucking dreams dry. Locally known as ‘just what you do when you’re done high school’, this academic institution is proud of its reputation as ‘the entrepreneur of apathy’.

Many credit this continued success to the Faculty of Arts, which has been a wealth of staff to cutback and students to gouge, keeping the U of A triumphantly treading water for decades. Although the school has become revered worldwide for its engineering and medicine faculties, most of the capital required to run such an awesome and rambling network of pretension comes from adding up the little details. Enough suburbanites still buy the Bachelor Degree is the new High School Diploma-schtick, that the arts Faculty alone provides the break-even income for the University as a whole.

Cites one contemporary  analyst  “It’s all planned out, every year, we harvest a new crop of students who are under tremendous pressure to do as well, or better then, their parents. Once graduated, depending on their program, they may only find work at the University itself. Because of lack of competition in the working world, they have no choice but to have us or one of our sister institutions, as their employer. Then we can treat them however terribly we decide, with little to no consequence.”

“It’s inspiring how many tops there are to skim off of,” boasts Temporary Foreign Arts Dean Dr. Janet Tempchair, “Recently, we’re proud to announce new adjustments  in our world-renowned library system. After all, libraries are the laboratories of the humanists.” New efficient processes include compound-interest applied hourly to delinquent library loans, allowing for maximum tracking and penalizing. A week overdue copy of The Communist Manifesto – a book of which the institution owns hundreds – will cost roughly $19, which is a deep discount when compared to the $40 it will cost to park your car near the library.”

“Again, it’s beautifully planned out. If not, then their next logical choice (using university logic) is to take more school, such as a Masters, PH D, or an Education degree, which provides us with even more students to which we pay our expanding and questionable bills with. On top of that, some of the actual content of the education that we provided is so lofty and unrealistic that it breeds a certain type of useless that many future employers shy away from. This creates the subject to wonder if the problem is not that they don’t have right education, but enough education. Teachers teaching teachers. Its a glorious positive feedback loop, all the U of A has to do is sit back, watch the institution feed itself, and wonder why the critically thinking skills being taught to students in the lecture halls are not being applied to the way we do business with them. Ha ha, beautiful, simply magic.”

This system of bilking the highest bidder means that many young adults are left in the dust when the family well is dried-up. One Edmonton grad, who has yet to take to the highway system in any direction towards a lower cost of living, cautions the University’s prospective customers, “Watch the cost of your program. There’s a difference between paying for overhead investment and paying for a vanity press. If you have to pay somebody thirty thousand dollars to hear you spit off ideas about contemporary video installation art, chances are, they don’t give a rat’s ass. And watch out for the third year ‘existentialist nightmare cliff’, when you realize you’re being taken for a ride, but you’re in too deep to quit without embarrassing your folks at the next family Thanksgiving.”

01/10/2013

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