I'd like to take a break in retelling my Toronto trip with a brief (okay, not so brief) complaint. It's orientation week on campus. Apparently, this requires much marching around campus in identical clothing while chanting loud slogans. The purpose is to familiarize new students with the campus, and provide a sense of community, especially for those that live in residence. I understand this purpose. I support the concept. I merely question the method. By the time I was in my last years of high school, "school spirit" was already something to be viewed with suspicion. And if you want me to do a frackin' cheer about how happy I am to be there, you've already gone a long way toward making me wish I was not.
So by the time one becomes a university student, then, the group cheer thing seems a bit... hollow. Isn't there better ways to foster a sense of community? Through, I don't know, free pizza or movie nights, or so forth? Through positive social change? Through alcohol? (I'm just coming up with ideas, here, people. Underage drinking is wrong.) Any of these would seem better to me than the idea that all we have to be proud of is that we can show up in a square and scream about how Shamu met his demise on the business end of a canoe. I suppose the whole cheer thing might create community in the sense that people bond by going through embarrassing situations together, but surely that sort of thing can only go so far.
But maybe these students actually like this sort of thing. In which case, well, I guess I'll have to bear it. We'll see how many cheer rallies there are in the middle of midterms.
And yes, I realize that it's somewhat hypocritical to be complaining about this when I made fun of the university people who complained about being disturbed by little dancing girls. In my defense, I can only say that this level of enthusiasm stops being cute if you add a decade to the children's age. And if that doesn't work for you, then my only other defense is that I recently converted to curmudgeonism, and I'm still in the vocal practicising stage.
God help you if you walk on my lawn. Or play your dagblastit music too loud. Darn kids.