Browsing Tag: University Writings

Thought Piece

Thought Piece

When reviewing the subject of the course I am reminded of when I started to research something a while back. I started writing and entry for my blog on whether the “Digital Revolution” was really or not a revolution that lead to a bigger philosophical question of other revolutions throughout history. Then, I started to ponder the question about revolutions in general. What does it take to make enough people to take the big jump to start the revolution?

The larger question that also I keep asking myself if it was considered before a revolution begins: “Will the king end up dead, and do we really care?” I then proceeded to start an introduction that was never finished. It is suited to be used here since these are some of the questions that I am hoping to be able to answer by taking this course.

Over the course of recorded history, revolutions have changed the course of the future to countless Peoples. To these ends certain questions would be asked, and answers pondered. The first question is why would people change the comfort of the things as they are to instate change. How bad do things have to get for revolution to happen? What is required to meet that turning point? Does success or failure matter at the turning point of the situation? Is an end game plan necessary to avoid a splintering of the effort? How far can it be taken before it becomes a “bad” regime? What justifies a revolution?

Out of curiosity some of the situations that fascinate me include the French Revolution, Bolshevik Revolution, the military coupe in places like Uganda. I am also extremely curious about events like the “5 October 1910 revolution” in Portugal and others the ended eras monarchies, more to ask of what caused to people to flip and change to the conventions of centuries of orders.

I think that a revolutionary is a person that wants or needs change. Perhaps it could be a forward seer or one that sees the winding path up the steep rocky mountain to the peak of hope. Whereas, a radical would be someone who wants change and does not need the slimmer of success. I think of a radical as one that antagonizes others or one that will do anything for their cause without thinking the situation through.

From my experiences during a Student Debt rally during budget day in 2002 outside the Legislative Assembly in Fredericton I think the “Big angry shouting mob” as the revolutionaries where especially the 150 or so that sat in the Member of Parliaments office for an hour, where the radicals were the 20-30 that started to shake Minister Margaret-Ann Blainey’s truck as she was drive to the Legislature as we were parading. Or the guy that climbed the flagpole and cut part of the flag off to symbolize getting our fair share.

Radical seems to defiantly be negative term, mostly since it gets intertwined often with a fanatical or terrorist, or freedom fighter. Whereas, revolutionary does not seem to be as bad. Revolutionary is a good person in my perception as they are looking for the change. The revolutionary does not even have to really believe in the cause they just have to believe that doing something is better than doing nothing. Some examples of revolutionaries that I feel made a large difference would be Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the United States of America, Mahatma Gandhi in India, and Nelson Mandela’s movement in South Africa. A radical, is more of having nothing to lose, or not really caring about what they would lose by a fanatical belief that their God told them it was a good idea.

From my past being in University during the aftermath of September 11th and over analyzing what a terrorist is, I would say that a Radial could be a terrorist, but does not have to be a terrorist. The persons living in fear may be limited to those in the highest power. Do you think the common people during the French Revolution lived in fear, no! They were part of the angry mob.

Then again, it seems that the revolutionaries could not be terrorists if the “Angry Mob” is the majority of the population. Using the terms as extremists would seem to fit more of the radicals, but the King or those in power could also be the extremist resulting in the cause of the average person of the population becoming a revolutionary, or depending on haw bad the conditions were a radical.

I think revolutions are very good and necessary. It interests me when governments do whatever it takes to keep power and how far they will go. Some prominent recent examples would be Adolph Hitler in Germany, Ide Amin in Uganda, or Vladimir Lenin in the Soviet Union. The necessity or desirability depends on what the majority of the population feels on the status of the current government, regime, or system. Including those that don’t care or don’t take sides. If the government is doing well, the population is doing well, and the economy is doing well then there is no reason to change. Change for the sake of change cannot be guaranteed to be good or bad in the end.

I think it is when peoples’ lives become so intolerable are usually because external forces be it an oppressive or uncaring overlord or natural condition and offered no help there is nothing else to lose. It is like backing a wild animal into a corner, it has nowhere to run but to attack. Sure they may lose everything, even their lives they feel it is more productive for the whole then to find a corner and kill themselves to make the emotional pain go away.

As, I was writing this it seems that losing everything may go beyond religion. Religion is what people turn to during the bad times, to make them feel better. Losing everything must also mean losing sight of the beliefs that keep you warm at night turning one into a radical, where a revolutionary changes their belief to better their situation. Perhaps a revolutionary has not lost their beliefs and morals then, they just decide that the hope of better is greater than the cost of what would be lost.

Better Policy Needed to Deal with Bus Congestion

Better Policy Needed to Deal with Bus Congestion

I have a concern I’ve noticed happening more often on buses over the past month or so. This effect is predominantly happening on the Hospital / UNB and East / West Routes.

As the buses are approaching capacity there are normally about three to seven seats left in the rear of the bus, however many UNBSJ students will notice only that there are no seats in the front of the bus and will stand half-way between the front and rear doors, causing a backlog of people standing.

I would suggest that the Transit Commission make it policy that all standers must stand in the back of the bus to make it more clear that there are free seats remaining. In addition I would ask that you contact the University to send out an e-mail to students advising them of this.

Journal Entry Nov 12, 2002

Journal Entry Nov 12, 2002

Trying to make sense out of studies on the topic of the Economic Effects of Drunk Driving is starting to make my head spin as I try to make sence of the formulas that some economist must have thought up as he had nothing better to do. One of these formulas are to determine the effectiveness of regulations on drunk driving, R=ƒ(Q,P(S), P(A|S), P(C|A), E(SV|C), E(SV|NC), N, SA, T)

Journal Entry Nov 9, 2002

Journal Entry Nov 9, 2002

The Saint John Kiwanis Club held their TV Auction today. The highlight of the auction was the visit by the local Member of Parliament Elsie Wayne. She auctioned off a Christmas Frame and a Decorative Snowman.

Journal Entry Nov 7, 2002

Journal Entry Nov 7, 2002

Tap Tap Tap, the sounds of little pink fingers tapping on computer keyboards fill the air, as I am in the process of finalizing my news story that is due in measly eighty-five minutes. After a few minutes, it will just become a disconcerting background sound like a buzz from a fluorescent light, or the fans of an air exchange system.

Journal Entry Nov 5, 2002

Journal Entry Nov 5, 2002

The beautiful white snow is setting softly on the ground. As the first significant snowfall bestows upon us for another year, the gentle little flakes are gliding effortlessly through the air, occasionally moved along by the light winds in the courtyard. The people are stumbling around some not sure, whether or not their next step will be one where their foot hits possible hidden ice beneath the snow.

Journal Entry Nov 3, 2002

Journal Entry Nov 3, 2002

Today was the annual Fredericton Rotary Club TV Auction at the Sheraton. This year a computer system ran auction. Instead of having, large boards for the bidding, the operators put the bids into the computer and they were displayed on large 36″ TV’s. My job was to bring up the information on the TV behind one of the auctioneer.

June Callwood

June Callwood

Because I was in class during the time, the June Callwood was speaking in the Ted Daigle Auditorium at St. Thomas University I was originally not going to bother with this assignment. When I went to class, I started hearing all the other stories on this particular guest speaker I decided to do it anyway.

On the evening of November 1st, I sat down and listened to the rebroadcast lecture on the program “Ideas” on CBC Radio One. I turned on the radio to listen but there was very poor reception on my little cheap radio. After spending about five minutes trying to clear up the reception I gave up. Then later I had an insight that I could pick up the signal on CBC Radio One’s web broadcast so after missing fifteen minutes of the broadcast I began listening. Once I first heard the words coming out I became intrigued. I started to take notes but shortly stopped in awe of the remarkable voice of inspiration and experience. I cannot recall anything in part that she said but the words all appeared well-chosen and magical.

Journal- November 1, 2002

Journal- November 1, 2002

Today I did not feel like getting up after spending last night at class lounge playing the game of Risk until late in wee hours of the morning. Looking at my watch in bed it reads, “08:26,” and rolling through my head goes why in the world I signed up for an 8:30 in the morning class.

Journal Entry Oct 18, 2002

Journal Entry Oct 18, 2002

Tonight I was filming a hockey game at the Aitken Centre. One thing I noticed is that people will stash their trash into any hole or crevice. Next to the press box, there is a hole in the cement for us to use to feed our camera cables and audio snake through. When I opened the trap door to feed the cables, a pile of trash fell out, enough to fill up two large garbage bags. There were cups from all the big restaurants like Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Burger King, and Tim Horton’s. There were napkins, 6-month-old decomposing food, and several other decomposing goods.

Journal Entry Oct 10, 2002

Journal Entry Oct 10, 2002

I have a plant decaying on my desk. It has been there since I moved here in September. It has probably been about three to four weeks since it has last watered. I should water it now but I have too much to do and there is not much point since it looks like it is gone for good.  Note: The plant has long since passed on

Journal Entry Oct 9, 2002

Journal Entry Oct 9, 2002

Tonight at the Students’ Union meeting, the Vice President of Finance presented the University’s Budget. Although somewhat informative, it really lacked much detail. After an hour and forty minutes when I had to leave, it turned into a debate on buying the old Lieutenant-Governor’s house and trying to find out the large corporations that donated money to the University or the companies the University invests its Endowment Funds in to see if they all have good human rights records.

Journal Entry Oct 7, 2002

Journal Entry Oct 7, 2002

Some of the cafeteria food at the Forrest Hill Cafeteria is tasteless. Today there was the corn, I love corn, but this corn was like chewing newspaper (after everyone has read the intellectual articles). And the chicken was really good except for the fact that they had some awful coating on it.

Journal Entry Oct 6, 2002

Journal Entry Oct 6, 2002

The leaves are starting to look much different in colour. Sometimes I wish that I had more time to go out and enjoy their beauty, rather than just looking at them from my dorm room window.

Journal Entry Oct 5, 2002

Journal Entry Oct 5, 2002

Hypnosis is a fascinating ability. Tonight I went to see “Dream with Dean” the show was amazing. I have also read that hypnosis is also very therapeutic for things like stopping smoking and losing weight.

Journal Entry Oct 4, 2002

Journal Entry Oct 4, 2002

Once again, Wal-Mart has made my life more difficult. Time after time I promise not to go back there but I do because I am really cheap. This time I was trying to get a roll of film developed and then after the hour, they told me they did not have a chance to get to it. Then 4 hours later they told me that they would not develop it cause there was something spilt on it.

Journal Entry Sept 18, 2002

Journal Entry Sept 18, 2002

The STU Help Desk, everybody comes by looking for something or another. Let it be to get their posters stamped, buy bus passes or stamps, looking for some sort of literature, or trying to find something. Working at the Help Desk is the best of times and the worst of times. It can be very rewarding to be helping someone, or it can be very boring when nobody needs help. Some of the inside secrets of the Help Desk are that if we do not know where something is we send them either to the Registrar’s office or Student Affairs. In addition, when people leave posters to be posted by us they may or may not get up in time for an event.

Journal Entry Sept 17, 2002

Journal Entry Sept 17, 2002

The CBC 50th Anniversary Special on the History of News and Reporting was on. It included a roundtable at where I believe was the University of Regina. Many of the panellists were former and current broadcasters and reporters, including my favourite two Peter Mansbridge and Adrian Arseneault. I found this program particularly interesting, as it should the transition from the only Canadian broadcaster to one of the high standards.

Class Observation

Class Observation

It was quite quiet. There was a mid-afternoon calm to the scene as I looked up there a few odd fluffy white clouds among the blue horizon over the roof of a dark George Martin Hall. At half past three, the sun is just starting to make its decline lose its intensity. As I try to look up to see more detail from the silhouette of where George Martin Hall should be, my eyes became overwhelmed by the sun. Then I felt a quick cold wind blowing past my uncovered arms a gentle reminder of the fact that autumn is but nine days away. Although the air was cool there was sweetness to the air that became overwhelmingly refreshing.

Student Senator Election Speech

Student Senator Election Speech

Thursday 27 September 2001

Good Morning,

Effective 4 pm on Monday the 24th of September, I declared that I was willing to accept the responsibility, and officially placed my name forward as a candidate for Student Senator.

I am not saying that I am the best candidate for this position but that I am without doubt that I am the second best choice, and luckily you are not voting for the best person but the best TWO people.

Moreover, it is for this reason that instead of telling you why I am the best candidate I will tell why I am not the worst candidate.

First, I will tell you a little about myself. I am an aspiring politician from Saint John, New Brunswick. This is my first year here at St. Thomas and I am in the Journalism program.

Second, you might be asking why is a first-year student is going for a position of such importance as Senator instead of going for something more basic like first-year rep? The Answer is that my philosophy is that if you wish greatness you must start near the top.

Third, I feel that I have the time, dedication and enthusiasm to do a magnificent job as one of YOUR two student senators.

In conclusion, remember on October 1st get out to vote, and while voting, vote Charles E. Frees-Melvin for Student Senator.

Thank You, and have a great day!