Academic Probation
First-year students have been complaining about a lack of pictures in their long, text-filled readings.
Morgan Shandro/the Gauntlet

Freshmen confounded by university

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Reports have reached the Gauntlet of certain first-year students being flabbergasted over what they are asked to do in university. There have been a small collection of freshmen gathering in MacHall where they just gossip with their friends and make social arrangements, but are oblivious to the mental strain awaiting them in class.


It started with orientation week.


“We were getting all this free stuff, being led around by someone and there were parties every night,” said first-year drama major Sandra Newman. “I thought that’s what university was like.”


Newman was apparently astounded when she had to pay for textbooks and nearly died when she paid tuition.


“There was so much free stuff, I thought university was free,”
Newman said. “We were getting free papers and pens, whistles, day-timers and pamphlets — what do you mean I have to pay for my classes?”


“In high school it was all free. I thought it would be like high school — but with more alcohol,” continued Newman.


She thought that university was all about partying, and that it was mysteriously funded “probably by business students.”


“That’s what it’s like in the movies,” whimpered Newman to explain herself.


Thankfully, Newman’s parents continue to fund her iPhone 5, Frappuccino, designer jeans life-style.


Other students, the Gauntlet discovered, have also been shocked that they have to study to do well in their courses.


“My teacher was actually serious about the deadline. I wasn’t allowed in my lab because I didn’t have my pre-lab done. What is this world coming to?” asked first-year chemistry major Harry Dickenson.


Dickenson doesn’t believe in reading the information that his professor posts on Blackboard. He admits that he feels the class is unnecessary.


“The prof totally has it out for me. He hates me,” explained Dickenson, who has emailed the professor five times already this term asking for information that was surprisingly on the course website.


“And when I had a problem with registering on the chemistry website, I had to actually solve the problem myself because when I whined to the prof about it, he was kind of annoyed,” added Dickenson.


He is also miffed at having to buy access to the website when he will never complete the assigned exercises.


First-year political science major Alex Henik was stunned by the material in her first course.


“My teacher assigned us this reading — it was awful, it was just one long block of text in a course pack. There weren’t any pictures, any videos or anywhere to leave comments. I looked for a dislike button but I couldn’t find one,” said Henik.


Henik was so stunned by the amount of reading assigned that she just didn’t do it and went on Facebook instead.


“What am I supposed to do with an actual book? Is it possible to learn that way?” Henik asked.


She is still confused about the large amount of text before her.


University of Calgary history professor Laura Russell said, “sometimes teaching first-year classes is great. You get to meet young, mouldable minds. But there are always the weak ones that have to be either whipped into shape or weeded out.”


Russell teaches Intro to Modern History and has a lot of experience with first-years.


“Kids these days think that they are all going to get an A. They don’t want to learn the fundamentals of anything,” said Russell.


“They can’t take criticism. Apparently hearing that they need to do better hurts their self-esteem. Of course there are the students who float by with minimal effort for four years,” Russell added, “but who really cares about them?”

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