I Protest University’s Herd Mentality

 

I will make it through university and graduate this year but I can’t help wonder if I could have lived a much more fulfilling life pursuing learning outside of this institutionalized education. What does learning have to do with grades? A quantified value that merely instills a herd mentality. I could be a hardworking student but it doesn’t mean I will ace anything. I could do everything by the book but it does not guarantee my name on the dean’s list. When I started university I looked up to my professors but now I have no desire to please them in anyway. I want to pursue my own interest that is not in their syllabus and it can’t be because its a product of my own curiosity and imagination- a professor can’t meet it merely because he or she is not me.  If I write on a topic I like, I want to read as much as I can on it, instead of being constrained by time because I have to write four other papers. And honestly fourth years student in International Relations should not have exams. We are free-thinking beings. Short-answer questions, and memorizing for multiple-questions is then a joke.

Another thing about how university encourages diversity and being different is that it is… well, bullshit. I remember my deans speech when  I first entered university. He emphasized on the point of meeting people of all walks of life and embracing others differences. I’m sorry to say this but in many ways university is another high school where people in their personal circles often share similarities with each other. People who are different, well they are too different. People are often reduced to shallow stereotypes and reduced labels. What is wrong with the world? I have been in debt by the privilege I have had to attend university. But I do have to call out and say the way university system works, academically and socially is WRONG and FLAWED. There needs to be a closer relationship between students and professors. The idea of knit-tied community is only that and is missing the good stuff-the curiosity, optimism and gratitude. What happened to focusing on building character instead of emphasizing IQ. We have seminar classes but even that falls short because students and professors can hardly bear difference in opinion. They make the atmosphere so hostile. I am left to wonder, whether we have all together stopped accepting others differences.

More importantly, university doesn’t teach students how to put wisdom into their conventional life, rather university is a breeding ground for mental health issues, and psychological disorientation. We have various cultural and religious groups but how often do these groups interact with each other? How often do we try to understand each other’s backgrounds, and beliefs? Its great to attach a Jewish or a Muslim card to your backpacks but if there is no discussion between them, what is the point of this display? I still don’t understand where anti-antisemitism comes from? Why have Jews always been persecuted as outsiders? I don’t get it. I also don’t get why Islam had been reduced to women/girls not being able to handshake the other gender or being asked to lower their gaze.  The comparison between Hijabis and non-Hijabis, and the good Muslim vs the bad Muslims – is that really going to help us get anywhere. It only adds dichotomies to a life and nature that is already overwhelming.

Most importantly education is suppose to be empowering us but university is manifesting cynics who have no shame in admitting so. What happened to making the world a better place? Why are we so ready to label others as idealist ? Why do you want to echo the pessimism of human history? Why can’t we be different? Is it too far-fetched to support visionaries? Is peace too much to ask? In my field, we are taught technology, economy, politics are all means to control us. It is true but what about learning how we can use these same methods to liberate ourselves? Addiction is no longer drugs, but Facebook,  and twitter, buying and more buying. There is not enough focus on visionary personalities of the past who have been helpful in breaking free of chains that we have complacently put on. History and politics is mostly covered from a western discourse. IR has bitten of  the Middle East, Africa, Latin-America and South-Asia. Education has fogged up our lens to see the magic with which this world and nature is decorated with. Why institution? Why do you not empower u?. You make us see the chains we are in, yet you have not given any profound means to unlock them.

War and peace happened yesterday, today and is going to happen tomorrow. Sometimes I can’t help but also forced to wonder if university is not systematically targeting student’s sanity. More could be done to take consideration of a student’s struggle. University does not respect the learners and gives into the pride of the robots it manufactures upon graduation. I resisted you from my first year and you know what I will fight you in these last couple weeks. You cannot rob my belief in the profundity of nature, my love for learning, my curiosity for a world beyond Western discourse, and my self-control from submitting to ill-competition with my peers. Life is not about that and as a learner on life long journey neither am I about that. I believe in love, and peace. I have my own voice and my own vision. Bug off, and let me live life. Let me dive into the the unknown of this world. Thank you.

I am the Universe

Following from the link

Back in 2008, TIME Magazine sat down with Neil deGrasse Tyson to ask him ten reader-submitted questions about science and the cosmos. Eventually, interviewer Gilbert Cruz came to the following question:

What is the most astounding fact you can share with us about the universe?

Tyson’s response was incredibly moving, if not entirely original; the astrophysicist is definitely channeling his inner Sagan here, but he gives his explanation that special Tyson twist that inspires us to know more about the world and the universe.

From My First post to Today

My first post ever cited Rilke’s quote. It mentioned that if you want change you have got to look inside you. Today, I quote the Quran to encourage myself to pursue new life and revive my own existence. My struggle is like yours. Today, I look to Allah to give me the ability to internalize change.

I have three links that I would like to share that could be helpful for anybody seeking discipline and respect for time. Lets fight ourselves together. These are the works on Ghazali, an Islamic Persian philosopher. He transformed and revived the way we interpret islam and how we can apply it in our daily lives.

Documentary on the life of Ghazali: I found this two years ago. I have done absolutely very little to advance my knowledge of his teaching, always getting caught up with what we call life and being busy since then. Don’t let this be your reason. Today, once again seeking an understanding of what and who I am I look into his works. I try again.

The following are two of his short books- only 60 page long and very easy to read.
Disciplining the Self: http://www.openaspdf.com/files/694111/AlGhazzaliOnDiscipliningTheSelf.pdf

Revival of Religious and Science:
Fear and Hope: http://www.ghazali.org/books/ih-33.pdf

Harvard Acceptance at 15 Years of Age

Nigerian Muslim girl gets into Harvard along with various other Ivey League schools. She says its passion of learning that got her here.

Islam: Praying in Public

Pride and acceptance.

Women of Syria: An appeal for peace

Its not just Syria. Take any conflict place such as Palestine and Israel, etc look at peace from a women’s perspective. There are feelings, attachments and lots of love. Their appeal moves me. What does this mean to you?

International Women Day: count down – 12 days to go

A Video: Watch “The Autocomplete Truth”, a new video by Memac Ogilvy & Mather Dubai highlighting gains and remaining challenges for women’s equality. In the spirit of the coming International Women Day, I will post everyday regarding women until its arrival on March 8.

Why?
Because it matters to me.
Because I am merely beginning to understand womenhood.
And most important because I inspire to lead as an example for younger girls.
No, I don’t think I can do it perfectly but I hope that by trying and desiring to be an example this itself could be meaningful. Maybe by wanting this, I could be a better person and maybe others being a witness to this it could make them better human beings.

“Women should be seen as equal now.” – UN Campaign, 2014