Monday, 17 November 2014

Can We Relate to The Festival Of Ideas?

Can we as students relate to the university's Festival of Ideas? I would argue.... that we CAN. 

To me, university is all about creating ideas, debating ideas, proving ideas, disproving ideas, sharing ideas, and strengthening ideas. If we’re lucky, we’ll come up with some pretty great ideas that can lead to major breakthroughs that can have a positive impact on the world around us. By investigating ideas, we can better understand where we’ve come from, where we’re at, and maybe even where we’re going. 

The fact that we get to exist in an environment that allows us the freedom to explore and foster thought is an opportunity that is still unfortunately all too rare across the globe. And it’s for that very reason that we have to take advantage of the various opportunities that come with being a part of this place. It’s our responsibility as students to really pay attention to the ideas that are being shared with us. And it’s our duty to try and share them with others in the broader community, to help extend the reach of what’s going on here. And yes, sometimes it can feel like we’re just here to take notes or to complete assignments, but the whole point of sitting through a lecture or a lab is to hear about and to test the ideas that already exist. And if you’re really lucky, you might even get the chance to further develop (or, shocker, fully form) an idea yourself. Crazy, right?

Also, it's important to remember that the guests presenters at the Festival of Ideas have all been in our position before. That's right, at some point they've either struggled to find the best explanation of their thoughts, they've all worked to explore a new perspective, and they've all worked their way through this whole "growing up" thing. And to help prove my point, here are a few quotes from a few of this year's guests that I'm pretty sure we have all been able to relate to a little at one point or another... presented to you in the form of inspirational posters… because we’re students, and posters are the fine art of our bedrooms:

"Comics are a gateway drug to literacy" - Art Spiegelman Quote

"I probably spend about 90% of my time revising what I've written." - Joyce Carol Oates

"Life has a funny was of becoming ordinary as soon as it can." - Colm Toibin

"Sometimes I don't feel like a functioning adult" - Art Spiegelman Quote

I hope that you'll take advantage of your chance to engage with the opportunities that this year's Festival of Ideas will present (including presentations on the exciting developments coming out of the Faculty of Engineering, a look at how scarcity can influence our decision making abilities, an investigation of the medical treatment received by our veterans, a discussion of how Truth and Reconciliation can truly be achieved, an exploration through the comic's history, and conversations around writing and identity). 

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