Wednesday, September 28

Don't Cry For Me Assignment About Mexico

(...the truth is I'll never finish you.)

Hey Mexico,

I've been checking out your shit.

What's been going down man? Word is you that the FOX has been bringing home the economic and political stability bacon daddy-o. Inflation is down, and the GDP is up! Gold Star!

You're all up in America's grill with that NAFTA thing hey? I know the FOX has been working hard to ensure that you're chief export is frosty cold Coronas, and not illegal immigrants.

I've been reading up on your economic reforms. People are still earning dirt. How cliche is it to say '10% of the population controls 40% of the wealth'? Pretty cliche huh - but that's going down man. You've got some serious inequality problems, but hey, you wont fit in at the OECD if you can't flash that badge at the door.

And how about some financial information websites in English? The rest of the planet would like to know a little more about how exactly your families are paying the bills. I shouldn't have to hire out White Men Can't Jump and suffer through Rosie Perez to get a grasp of your spanish language websites.

There is no point trying to hide your curiously highly levels of underemployment. Oh yeah, that's right, I know what underemployment means - and don't bother pulling the piss with fudging the figures, and counting people who work a single hour a week as being employed, no one is buying that shit.

I've got some worries. You've got some problems with crime. I didn't know how to tell you; Guatemala was all, "hey man, Mexico will be mega pissed if you go him on the crime thing," and I was all, "Fucken cool it Guatemala, you punk bitch, Mexico needs to know this shit."

Seriously, people are getting kidnapped and shit - and not just kids, ADULTS TOO. Do you know how much tourists hate that? One minute you're sight seeing in Mexico City, the next you're being bundled into the boot of a Fiat and driven to an undisclosed location, at which point you are bound, gagged and photographed under some terribly unfavourable lighting. That sucks Mexico - that'd ruin even the maddest holiday.

Do you know how much that kills tourism? Who'd want to hit the mean streets of Mexico with a bum bag on and a passport jammed in your shorts if it means someone was mailing your thumb to your family a week later?

And come on, someone must have been taking the piss when you guys launched a crackdown on drug cartels that wound up arresting piles and piles of military, police and politicians. It's like you rocked up at your house after a late night at the office, you put the key in your front door and walk in, and then your family spring out from behind your furniture with a cake and streamers, screaming - "SURPRISE! YOU ARE DODGY AS FUCK!"

That'd blow, royally.

But I have to say, it looks like after 71 years of oppressive rule by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (How long can a revolution take, seriously, a month? Two months? Not 71 years surely.), you guys have at least tried to get it together on the democracy front. And I'm glad someone finally slipped you guys the note about trying to pay attention to what you spend money on.

All in all, keep on trying tiger, you're doing okay so far, but you've got along way to go. Oh, and, what're you doing Saturday? Want to bring over some tacos and come Coronas? I've got nothing planned except this ridiculous group assignment about your seedy banana republic - let me know.

Cheers, The Student.

Monday, September 19

Why I don't sell my marketing books.

At the begining of every semester I sell my books. It's the great cliche of uni that the books are expensive, and yes, yes they are. I sell mine off and then use that cash to buy the next semester's set.

I keep all the marketing text books, because I am getting a makreting degree. I can see some point in the future where I'm going to need to walk into a meeting at work and have to sound important. Dropping a few marketing terms, dazzling the head of accounts. This is the reason I am storing a pile of marketing text books that is collectively worth more than my first car.

How many times have you heard someone say:

"The second the exam is over, everything I have learnt over the six months is out of my head."

The problem I have is that I feel like I have forgotten everything the moment the unit has been completed. I failed Accounting once, and then passed it with flying colours the next semester. Now, a year later, I can't remember a thing I learnt.

Is there something fundemantally wrong with this?

This degree is a massive drain on my time, yet I suspect I'll be coming out the other end of it with nothing more than a peice of paper that makes me more employable, and a stack of marketing text books to refer to when I fear I'll look stupid at work.

University Life Glossary Term #11

Chinese Water Torture

Any assignment that penalises you 1% per day late.

"This assignment is 3 days late, that's 3%. If I hand it in tomorrow, that 4% - what harm is an extra 1%?"

Saturday, September 17

"We promise to cut down on needless gravy..."

Obviously taking an interest in politics and studying it at uni makes a me a bit of a political junky. Today the 2.8million electors of New Zealand go to the polls to elect a new government. They have an unusual system of electing members of parliament, one too complicated for me describe here - but they do have a handy example ballot paper.

Personally, I think the sensible vote is for the Leek. I'd be hoping it can form a coalition with Chicken, forming a pie that is popular in the electorate.

That would tasty policy.

This Is How The Song Goes Out

This is a scam.

I'm actually snowed with uni at the moment, not to mention a rising swell of work in other areas. Consequently whenever it comes to writing here I feel like I have nothing to add.

Oh, apart from the group assignment, which I have successfully managed to do 'by correspondence.' I decided I couldn't be bothered going to the first meeting, which is fraught with 'being allocated the worst of the sections' danger. I decided to put in place a pre-emptive strike.

I had a quick look at the requirements of the report we have to do, and messaged the group ring leader/victim and offered to do the following: the executive summary, political analysis, and competitor analysis - three things which should equate to about one quarter of the task. Before I hit send, I decide to play nice and offer to participate over the odds. So I offered the executive summary, political analysis, competitor analysis and the product analysis instead.

The message comes back informing me: "hey, you only have to do the executive summary, political analysis, and competitor analysis."

Me. Candy. A baby. Taking. You get the picture.

Wednesday, September 7


I have lost a (full) wallet and a pair of glasses at uni over the last year, and both have been handed in to lost and found.

Thank YOU kind hearted souls!

Tuesday, September 6

In Oklahoma, not Arizona.

I have no idea what week it is.

Week 8? Week 7? Week imminent Failure?

Simple numerics isn't enough to catch the attention of my television and internet addled mind. Each of the weeks needs a catchphrase that will make it palatable to the marketplace, in the same vein as Operation Desert Fox, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Just Cause, Operation Uphold Democracy, and the classic Operation Enduring Freedom (the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 for those of you keeping score at home).

Week 1 could easily be Operation It Doesn't Matter the Tutes Don't Start Till Next Week Anyway.

Week 2, Operation I Can Afford to Miss A Week.

Week 3 becomes Operation Time to Get Serious.

Week 4, Operation Enduring Malaise.

This coming week needs a name the encapsulates the desperate urgency with which I should approach my studies:

Operation Unparalleled Panic.

State of the Union of The Opinionated People From Year Twelve

Politics is a left wing snap at my uni. The administered by Andrew Bolt cannon fodder courses - while definatly non partisan - are generally a touch red. The tutes, or 'speak easys', have been suprising though.

In my previous experience there has always been an element of the right in the tutes, generally a disaffected young Liberal who thought they should stick up for a federal government that has pillaged university budgets for almost a decade.

I expected to see the break down of the class (of 20) something like this:

Left: 8
Right: 2
Tired: 4
Too Dumb to Know What Left or Right Means: 2
Informal: 3
Didn't Do This Weeks Work and Is Laying Low:1

In reality this semester it's more like:
Left: 12
Right: 0
Tired: 2
Democrat: 1
Year Twelve Formal Planning Committee: 3 (all three of them go to the same tute together)
Too Dumb to Know What Left or Right Means: 1
Didn't Do This Weeks Work and Is Laying Low: 1 (rusted on voter)

In case you haven't noticed, I'm pretty squarely planted in the left, however I occasionally sit on the cross benches as someone who Didn't Do This Weeks Work and Is Laying Low. I find myself slipping into the devil's advocate role and start spouting right wing mantras in order to balance the amount of latent Howard Bashing (tm) that passes for discussing the current weekly topic.

There is no funny punchline to this story.

Monday, September 5

The Path of Group Resistance

Guess who has another group assignment this semester? That's right, your old pal the student.

Yes, after last semester's painful, painfull and protracted group assignment, I have officially taken the path of least resistance approach to this group assignment.

Number of meetings so far: Zero.

Total group members I have met: 1/3.

Amount of work I will do: Exactly one quarter, not a word more.

My official duties for this assignment will include laying on a fold out banana lounge and sipping a pina colada from half a coconut.