By Michael Traikos
Just how Daytona Beach is associated with spring break, it may not be surprising to hear Ryerson professor John Cook’s name heard during the debauchery that accompanies a second reading break – if and when university students get one.
The popular English professor, who is continually considered by Maclean’s magazine as one of Ryerson’s elites in their annual university roundup, has managed to increase his favour with the student body by playing up to their drunken desires.
“I’ve grown increasingly concerned at Ryerson for what you might call the lack of reflection time,” Cook told The Eyeopener this week.
A second reading break during the first semester was suggested by Cook at the last Academic Council meeting in December. Cook argued that he wants students to be able to reflect on their course material, instead of being rushed through the semester without giving any of what they learned a second thought.
And while Cook, who is expected to retire after this school year, has the right intentions, his additional study break will most likely be abused by students who would rather spend their seven day excursion on a sunny beach than huddled in a room with their course’s required reading material.
This Christmas I was able to take a student vacation, and like most students, I spent it sleeping in and attempting to forget everything I learned up until this point. It was the best vacation I’ve ever had.
The fact is that most of us are slaved to our surrounding environment. Sit a person down in a classroom and it’s not surprising to see him or her automatically shut up and begin to pay attention to what the teacher is saying. The opposite occurs for that person once the class is over. So during their week off, humorously called a student break by the university, students will do many things, none of which includes studying.
Which is not to say that university students don’t deserve a second week off, whether it be for hitting the books or the bars. Students at Trent University, which is rumoured to be the Ivy League of suicide schools, has been offering the extra slack week for years and to its credit, tied for sixth spot on Maclean’s list for university that offer primarily undergraduate degrees. (Ryerson, one study break and all, was somewhat behind in 16th).
Cook has proposed a study break that would occur sometime during the first semester, when students are working on their mid-terms.
With the exception of Trent, it has mostly been colleges that have offered its educationally-exhausted students an extra week off in the fall moths. Colleges arguably have a lesser workload and the classes are on average easier than universities, yet it’s been the university student who, up until this proposal, has truly needed the break.
But if it is still Ryerson’s goal to shred its image of a polytechnic institution, it better wait until more universities jump on-board before booking that trip to Daytona for a week of university students gone wild.