i've been reading an industry-specific forum recently, and noticed a professor that taught for a semester of my 2nd year at college is a regular poster. this guy was brought in to fill-in, as our usual professor was off to complete his dissertation, and wasn't necessarily a long-standing member of the staff.
in one thread [which was originally about the stewart centre fire here in kelowna. huh.] the members start a dialogue about rookie graduates working in industry, and good ol' prof chimes in... appallingly.
in a series of long posts, he summarizes his experience working at BCIT and a couple of schools out east through the 70s/80s to recently, with heavy emphasis on things "nowadays". i was a second-year student in 2008, so i surmise the majority of his reference was directed towards his time in vancouver, given the inferences in his little diatribe.
it was insulting, to say the least. apparently his experience was that the students were all uncooperative & egotistical- expecting a middays gig in vancouver upon completion of the program, approaching each project with little to no effort, and injecting the typical youth apathy & over-inflated self-awareness into all aspects of the learning process.
not exactly the impression i got when i ACTUALLY WENT TO SCHOOL WITH THESE PEOPLE.
unfortunately [fortunately?] i didn't get the opportunity to learn under the tutelage of this charmer, as i co-oped out of the program in 4th term [for a job in north alberta. HORRORS! it's not vancouver!!], and dealt with him mainly through handing in a documentary for assignment, which i recall getting an abysmal mark on. no worries. given that i was one of the only two people who were able to co-op out, and i produced it all remotely, with no assistance, while doing my other schoolwork through correspondence on top of my industry job & a second, supplementary-income job, i'll take it. i've somehow ended up with a nice position at one of the big companies in kelowna so apparently it all turned out ok :)
i'm insulted though that rather than concentrating effort into doing his job as an instructor & ensuring a positive learning outcome for each and every student, he instead took a position of superiority and saw my classmates and subsequent classes as basically a group of lazy no-goods. i'm also disgusted by the fact that he felt it fit to post negative generalizations about the students he was put in a position to mentor on a message board that's frequented by people with great insight into the industry.
this is where i'm torn. i want to reply to this. it's unfair that someone in his position is allowed to post this kind of rubbish without being held to task. i have a membership to the board and a carefully worded letter, but i'm worried that posting it would be the patented Career Limited Move. It's not like I'm calling him a raging butthole or anything, but I want to ensure that my position on the experience is noted as well as his. I feel he should be held in check given the fact he was hired as an instructor, not an internet critic. But would showing up my teacher on the forum be a good move?
I just don't want the industry elders to think the new generation of graduates are a bunch of entitled lazybones -who feel a major-market job better be waiting for them as soon as they receive the diploma- based on this man's lengthy and poorly punctuated "observations". however, they are already nodding in agreement, and thanking him for his insight. ARGH!!
i've included my letter below the jump, which i haven't sent off to forum-land just yet...
Mike, I was one of the students in the second year radio program at BCIT when you taught there back in 2008.
You probably won't remember me because my communication with you was limited mainly to me sending in the documentary assignment I produced while working at the industry job I got in a small northern prairie town after co-oping out of the program. I've since moved to working for one of the big guys in Kelowna, but I endeavour you to note that we don't all expect that once we graduate, it's Vancouver or nothing.
I appreciate that you feel the need to use generalizations as a way to get your point across passionately on this message board; however, I don't believe your review to be completely accurate.
Of course there will always be the small group of students who were led into radio by ego more than ambition, but to tar us all together with one brush is unfortunate and, frankly, a bit insulting. What I saw from my classmates -a group of students who's average age was in the very early 20's- was a fire in nearly all of them to create the best product they could, tackle each project head on, and work as a team to reach a common goal. The majority of my classmates was driven to the point of competition to get the highest marks they could- I know, I was there for the study groups. I don't remember any group assignments where a portion was completed in "texting" language. Nor do I remember anyone believing we were "seasoned professionals" once we received our Diploma. As I am someone who didn't always see eye to eye with a lot of them, please don't think I'm just trying to make everything look rosy. I worked for 2 years with these people and find it unfair to come across one of our professors generalizing negatively about his experience with us on an industry-specific message board.
I'm currently enjoying my time working with fellow, fairly recent graduates [BCIT or otherwise] who've worked their way from remote towns in the Prairies, Rockies, and Ontario to get to Kelowna. And we all realize we have it damn good to have come this far already! I'm proud of us and the product we're consistently able to produce on a regular basis, and I know more than a few people in the industry, locally and otherwise, who would willingly agree.
Don't get me wrong -there are definitely the few out there with questionable capabilities in their chosen career path. I fully recognize that and echo the sentiments that they need more guidance, or to gain more experience, before being given the full opportunities they currently enjoy. But for every one of them, there are dozens of us who fully understand the nature of the industry and who are more than willing to devote the time in small towns and in the backgrounds, answering phones and working overnights, if it will help get us where we want to go down the road.
By the way, newsjunkie, you forgot about Firewatch 2009. Kelowna's radio stations knocked it out of the park with coverage that rivaled if not beat out the coverage provided during 2003's Okanagan Mountain Park fire!