By Jan Creaser
"Hello again. I’m Professor Jan Allgood and this is my colleague
Dr. Brain. In this week’s edition of Wild University, we investigate a new
practice that began one year ago-U of C 101: The Introduction. This first
segment of footage was taken Thurs., Sept. 3 at 3 p.m. Dr. Brain, would
you care to elaborate on what we’re witnessing?"
"Yes, Professor. Under the supervision of experienced leaders, these
new students are role-playing potentially harmful situations they may encounter
in their new territory."
"By harmful, you mean ferocious carnivores or poison berries?"
"Um, not really, Professor. I think you’re having flashbacks to
that year we spent in the African veldt. On campus, there are numerous temptations
that can derail a student’s education thereby thoroughly demoralising him
or her to the point of dropping out. According to U of C 101 officials,
research shows that drop-out rates are reduced and Grade Point Averages
increase when students are given time to connect with their new environment
as opposed to just "throwing them to the lions" so to speak."
"Lions? Lions! Where?"
"Oh, sorry, sorry. It’s just, sometimes I still see their gaping
"Allgood, get a grip!"
"I’m fine, Brain, I’m fine! So, what you’re saying is that U of
C 101 is a survival course for new students?"
"What an excellent idea. In a habitat of nearly 25,000 people, I
can imagine that inside knowledge is bound to increase the chances of survival
for a tenderfoot. Now, Doctor, I know you spent some time with some of the
younger frosh. What are their feelings about this mandatory orientation?"
"Well, Professor, predictably it has been met with mixed feelings.
From what I gather, about 70 per cent of the students are at least appreciative
of the opportunity to learn something about their new habitat and are absorbing
the survival skills well. Many are excited and enjoying their time here
due to the diligence of skilled Student Leaders. So far they have learned
that talking to professors and teaching assistants for help is allowed,
that bringing lunch is cheaper than buying and that down-time is good. I
guess the main point the Student Leaders are trying to get across is that
to be successful in the university wilds, one must balance work, play and
study in a manner suitable to their lifestyle."
"So, Doctor, the Student Leaders are trying to teach by relating
their own experiences?"
"Yes Professor, and hopefully this knowledge will be a guide for
these young students when they find themselves in similar situations. Still,
they will have to learn from their own mistakes and there are those who
could care less about being led around by the hand."
"Goodness, Doctor, I never realised how much forethought and planning
went into this frosh introduction week. I suppose it is an improvement over
the previous "you’re an adult now, sink or swim" mentality. I
wonder how many students have fallen victim to the idiosyncrasies of university
bureaucracy in the past? How many educational lives were lost due to a lack
"Yes, disastrous to think about, really. I think as faculty climb
the rope into the upper echelons of the institution they forget that the
younger future leaders of the world need a little guidance. You cannot thrust
them from the coddled domain of high school into the free world of university
without at least a little preparation. For that, I give kudos to the U of
C 101 leaders for their hard work in helping these students plan for their
future academic survival."
A young frosh stumbles past the WU crew.
"Excuse me, young fellow."
"We would like your views on the U of C 101 orientation. What do
you think so far?"
"Uh, I don’t need someone to lead me around, man. Do you all think
we’re stupid or something?"
"That’s a very honest opinion. Have you actually attended any of
"I went to the welcome meeting, but all the people in my group were,
like, geeks. Me and the boys went for a beer instead."
"Really? So you’re not at all nervous about starting university
or finding your way around the bureaucratic clap-trap?"
"Huh, are you trying to trick me, dude? I gotta go."
"Very well. Carry on."
The young frosh taps Dr. Brain on the shoulder.
"Uh, dude? Can you tell me where I can pay my tuition?"
"I thought you didn’t need someone to lead you around? Scoot! Skeddaddle!
Get along, you ungrateful…"
"That’s enough, Brain! Let him be."
The frosh skitters off.
"Two weeks, maybe a month at the outside. Academia will eat him
"Well, you can’t save them all. Enough bally-hoo, Doctor. Should
we move on to something more exciting? I see you have a clip from last Friday
afternoon? Would you care to explain what we’re seeing?"
"Well, Professor Allgood, this footage was taken during the One
Big Party put on by the Students’ Union as a wrap up for the U of C 101
week. This young frosh bravely allowed himself to be placed inside a large,
metal ball and rolled down a makeshift bowling alley in a game known as
Human Bowling. It is, essentially, the icing on the cake after a week of
sessions, seminars and other highly interesting activities involving the
participants of U of C 101."
"Thank you again, Doctor. Well, folks, as we close another session
of WU, we hope we have enlightened you to some of the trials and tribulations
of university life-especially the survival course for new students. Until
next week, be glad that you’ve already lived through this trying first year.