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Snapshots on parking, teacher strike, beauty, and phone phobia

Commentary on current conditions: parking mayhem at UFV, the teacher strike, forced piercings for children, and phone phobia.



Print Edition: June 18, 2014

(Illustrations by Anthony Biondi)

(Illustrations by Anthony Biondi)

You park, you pay

Those of us who drive to school every day know that if you pull in any time after 9 a.m., it’s almost impossible to get a good parking spot (especially if it’s the beginning of the fall semester). That is, unless you are allowed to park in the lot behind C Building. But you can only do that if you have a permit.

That’s right. If you take on those extra shifts and pay top dollar, you too can park in UFV’s gravel lot.

Think of all the joy you’ll get season-to-season when you have to replace your suspension, get a new paint job, and fund windshield repairs. Also, who doesn’t want their own mud pit to sink their car into every winter? Or dust storm to clog up their air filter in summer?

This is a no-brainer. It’s no wonder the university won’t pave the lot after at least four years of filling pot holes, and grading it. I mean, who really cares about money anyway?



Teachers vs. government

Teachers make enough money.  The government is simply trying to ensure a balanced budget. Won’t someone think of the children?

Or, you could look at the whole picture instead of sharing the latest and greatest Facebook has to offer.

It doesn’t matter what side of this debate I’m on — because you don’t give a shit. You will continue to latch onto whatever media mumbo-jumbo the outlets want to feed you.

It’s okay though, because when it comes to being angry about things, you only need to read one 400-word article to understand the magnitude of the situation. Or maybe you just read the comments below, because those people are probably informed — right?

I am sick of arguing with people who read that, despite a weekend of bargaining attempts, neither side budged. Sure, perhaps that’s true, but what about the other side that says the government sat on the offer, only to shut it down. Who’s to say who’s right?

News is rarely objective, as much as we want it to be. It’s your job to click on links, check dates of publication and sources (if listed), and cross-check the information that’s touted by countless media outlets. The BCTF strike is easy for journalists to cover right now — there is so much to latch onto.

Do us all a favour and take the time to inform yourself.



Beauty is pain

Ear piercing: two tiny words which carry with them a lifetime’s worth of presumed female identity and beauty assumptions. One little pinch and then it’s over — or is it? For many young girls a seeming rite of passage quickly morphs into terror, tears, and screams.

During the time I’ve spent piercing ears, I have witnessed many mothers pressure or directly force their daughters into getting a coveted set of earrings, despite the obvious emotional discomfort of their child.

But why?

When did children lose the right to control the appearance of their own body? When did it become necessary or even socially acceptable for mothers to force a cosmetic alteration on their daughters?

So often I stand, piercing gun in hand, and watch as young girls cry and beg their mothers to let them leave without holes in their ears. I remember one mother who looked at her five year old daughter as she sat, hyperventilating and crying in the piercing chair, and told her, “Beauty comes at a cost — you just have to suck it up and pay it.”

That moment has stuck with me.

Beauty should never come at a cost, especially when you’re five years old.



Phone phobia

I can’t talk to people.

I found out the extent of this paranoia when I had to call a contact and set up an interview in order to write an article for this paper. If you put me up in front of a horror movie, full of blood and gore, it’s not a problem but when I have to call someone for my job I become a mess.

It’s sad, really, how our generation has developed this ineptitude with talking on the phone. Sure, there are some people who have no problem chatting away. However, you have people like me in the world: the completely awkward, partially brainless, almost unable to speak people who find  the task of telephoning whether the number is foreign or well-known an unspeakably terrifying job.

The availability of communicating through text has destroyed our ability to talk through an actual phone by turning the experience into a heart-pounding, and often embarrassing, situation.


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