SASKATOON (CUP) – Dear University,
I vividly remember the day when I first laid eyes on you. An early summer morning, the sun shining across your sensuous body. Your figure etched dramatically against the landscape. I knew instantly that there was something special about you.
I still remember the precise moment when, my entire body quivering with anticipation, I entered you for the first time.
I thought it could be that forever kind of love you usually only read about. As the years passed, we grew together, and so did our relationship. It was no longer just about the fun or the drinking, or how in debt we both were. It was about what we could learn, how we could change the world and ourselves. In the years that followed you taught me so much about the nature of life, the universe and everything.
I was ready to make a lifelong commitment.
But as we approached our four-year anniversary, my feelings toward you started to change. I started to see a side of you I had never noticed before – and it hurt me.
You see, in my mind you had always stood up to the storm of ignorance and hate in the world around us. With you, I felt safe expressing my opinions and to explore whatever piqued my interests. I felt I could experience the true spectrum of the arts and sciences, with your glowing support. With you by my side, I felt I could be myself – no matter who that was.
I felt in my heart that it would be like this forever.
I now realize that I was the ignorant one. I ignored the fact that you, like everything else in the world, are not perfect. For a long time I blocked that fact out. When you made decisions I didn’t agree with, I would listen to your justification and accept it. But what I’ve started to realize is that we simply aren’t all that close in our beliefs
I want to be clear: we still share our passion. I mean, you probably like health sciences even more than I do, and it’s my major. But it’s the way you treat my friends that hurts me. It’s like you don’t even really care about them and what they do. It seems like you couldn’t care less about our English, history, and art friends. Frankly, more than a few of them feel like you’re always talking and scheming behind their backs. I think they are starting to resent me for sticking by you despite the things you’re saying.
To be fair, I know it isn’t entirely your fault. There has been a lot of pressure from the outside and I know you aren’t getting the same funds you’re used to. I guess people just don’t care as much about what you do anymore, especially when it has nothing to do with industry. But it’s how you’re dealing with this stress that’s showing your true character.
You may disguise your intents through “task forces” and “TransformUS,” but we all know your true intentions: to get rid of the people who don’t make money … And I’m sorry, but I can’t be a part of that.
We had some great times together and I’ll never forget all you taught me, but I guess this is it. Things between us are coming to an end. I can no longer be involved with someone who could marginalize such valuable parts of their community. So I’ll be moving on, exploring the world and maybe, if I’m lucky, finding a partner who shares my ideologies. And you – I’m sure you will find a path that works for you. You certainly have a bright future ahead of you as a technical institute.
Thanks for the good times. I wish you the best.
Maybe we can get a coffee sometime.
Andrew John Roebuck
University of Saskatchewan (Sheaf)
Photo courtesy of library.usask.ca