Arguments seem to be the cornerstone of every sincere complaint. As a professional whiner, I can assure you that this is most definitely true. Yet one stipulation of this fact is that for a complaint to truly be the strongest possible, it must involve a new argument, one that is as fresh as Genesee Light. Of course, since we attend UR, we have a lot to complain about. Professors are not always effective teachers, the food is frequently inedible and the showers are not exactly strong or hot. While all this is true, they can all be regarded as trite points. On this campus, these complaints often seem followed by the justification, “We pay thousands of dollars to come here and they (the University officials and Sasquatch) can’t even (enter complaint here). Although it was probably a sharp quip in 1850, it does retain some validity today. Yet, I for one have grown quite tired of this skipping Weird Al Yankovic record. There are many reasons why this argument should be put out to pasture.
The sheer repetition of this stale argument should be enough to send it to argument heaven. For us students, we are already involved in such a year-long monsoon season of tests, papers and promiscuous pictures of Snuffleupagus. We are thus prone to take a negative view on this situation. Since we are paying money to receive work, take cold showers and consume grade Z meat, it seems natural to question why we actually pay so much. Everyone comes to this same conclusion. A new argument might brighten up the otherwise gloomy days provided by our great city. Also, part of growing up is learning how to complain. Meditate on life after middle school – it basically sucks due to those crazy jerks known as hormones. In a place where we are supposed to be learning about ourselves and what we can do, the University is hardening us up for the real world. In this light, it appears as if the University might even be investing extra funds into making our lives miserable and thus instructing us even further how to be cranky adults. Maybe the administrators are doing us a favor by toughening us up as the proverbial Mick, jarring at us as life (in this case Apollo Creed) is beating on us Rockys.
Of course it is clear that the argument that we pay a lot, therefore we should receive the best treatment has been overdone. It is much more fun to think of new ideas to explain why the college dicks us over. Perhaps they lost the money. Or maybe, they invested the money foolishly in Bob’s Underwater Cooking Adventure Company. Or perhaps that dang Sasquatch needs money to pay off his loan sharks and get manicures every three days. These arguments take much more creativity and really provide for an overall more enjoyable whining experience.
We all know that life is void of fun at times and not others, but this does not mean that life is always void of humor and cynicism (as one pseudo-reporter is exceedingly proud to report). “We pay so much, so why don’t we get so much in return?” It’s because UR is a money making organization, and to use it as an excuse or complaint has and always will be done no matter how much Tom Arnold likes it or not.
So please, do everyone a favor and come up with cooler excuses as to why we are not lavished with ambrosia, hot showers and Ferraris while we are in college. As long as you fight the machine, you will never lose your college angst, even if that machine takes quarters and blesses you with grape soda.
Stahl is a member of the class of 2009.