So that was that. The election is over, the Liberals attained an unexpected majority, and life, it seems, continues without there being an election campaign running. Democracy has once again been exercised, and while nearly a third of us did not bother to participate, over two thirds did. Our system has given us another majority government with a minority vote, and has once again ignored over half the votes cast. This time, however, there is some hope in that the winning party has promised to review our electoral system, and perhaps move it to something that will waste fewer votes with each election.
However, with them having a achieved a majority with the system as it is, I have to wonder how seriously that promise will be taken. Right now, however, we can do little but have faith that what was promised will be what is delivered.
Also, Halloween is coming, and, while I don’t know how it’s been in your area, around here, the last few years have seen fewer and fewer houses decorated, and the number of kids making the rounds decreasing along with it.
Until this year, that is. For some reason, it seems to be making a resurgence, and there are already several houses in my neighborhood that have full yard displays. At least one air-filled monstrosity can be seen on most blocks, and the number of fake spider webs hanging from trees, or along the railings, fences, and windows would give the impression that we’ve been attacked by some advancing army of arachnids. This is good news to me, as Halloween is a holiday that, while highly commercialized, has come so far from its origins that, these days, it seems to be about nothing more than having a little fun, and that is something we all could use, in my opinion.
In the spirit (pun intended) of that, next week I will be off once again. I’m hoping you’re going to be far too busy simply enjoying Halloween to have any time for The Voice Magazine, and I’m going to use the time to try to catch up on everything I wasn’t able to last time.
In the meantime, I’m leaving you with our feature article, where we ask Dr. Jon Dron about his vision of a future for universities. Honestly, I have to say I disagree with his vision. While I do agree that a university should teach beyond the bare facts and into a way of interacting with the universe, I disagree that we, as learners, should be the ones determining our course to get there, for the simple reason that we don’t know enough yet. That’s why we’re students and not professors. Telling a student to chart his or her own learning goals and acting only as a repository of knowledge when students approach eliminates the essential function, to me, of teachers providing guidance as to whether what is being learned is valid. If there were no false information, no educational blind alleys to chase after, perhaps then I could see his idea of a university working. But as it stands, I wonder how many people would be disadvantaged by following multiple dead-end paths to their learning while a properly engaged professor could have directed them toward the correct paths to begin with.
Of course, that’s just me, and that’s just the feature. There’s a lot more to discover in this issue, so, until next time, enjoy the read!