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Year View| Summary| Highlights| Month View| Tuesday 5 August 2003 (Day View)

05.08.2003Tuesday 5 August

Today I had my first physical practical – university practical that is. By that, I mean that I actually did something physical as opposed to mental or virtual. We had to draw schematics of some very basic logic circuits and then use a breadboard and a few basic chips to create those circuits. We were supposed to have written out schematics at home before we went in, but I hadn’t, so I spent most of my time doing that and didn’t bother building the circuits as I couldn’t see any great advantage to doing that. This was pretty much an introduction to breadboards by the looks of it, and as I’ve used them before I probably don’t need it. Apart from that today was rather bland, very normal, and definitely not memorable. In fact, it was so unmemorable that I can’t remember anything else, so I’ll have to make it up.
I was woken by a high-pitched screaming sound. I jumped out of bed in shock, bumping my head so hard on the wall that I knocked myself out. I’m not sure how long I was unconscious for, but when I woke up I’d missed the train into uni and the screaming, whatever it was, had stopped. I caught the next train into uni, or at least tried. About halfway to uni, while on the train, I got a bad headache and had to lie down in the train carriage, which is rather embarrassing. I hopped out at the first possible station – I can’t remember which one it was, and did something. The problem is I can’t remember what I did, but I must have done something as I ended up at uni with a few cuts and grazes on my arms, and a very sore back. Seeing as I’d missed all my lectures, I went to have lunch instead but discovered that I can’t chew – it hurts too much – for some reason my jaw is really sore and I can’t put any pressure on it. After leaving the main refectory, having thrown my lunch out as it was too hard, I found the “yes” and “no” camps trying to convince everyone to vote their way in the upcoming referendum. I spent half an hour or so talking to them and reading their pamphlets. At least part of the above wasn’t made up.
I asked the “no camp why I shouldn’t vote yes, and their argument went roughly like this: “You must realise that the “yes” camp are young liberals just interested in their hip pockets and they are lying on their little yellow piece of paper, and besides our constitution is less than three years old! To keep a strong union able to support queers, women and the environmental mob, which is where lots of our new members learn to abuse other people in a democratic way, you must vote NO”.
I then asked the “yes” mob why I should vote ‘yes’ and they went through in detail, point by point each issue they’re trying to correct, why they’re trying to correct it and how, explaining how it currently works and how they envision it working with the new constitution. They refuted what was on the “no” camps propaganda, and clarified a few issues that the “no” camp was trying to accuse them of.
I walked back to the “no” camp and asked them some more questions based on what the “yes” mob had told me. Their reply: “You must realise that the “yes” mob are young liberals just interested in their hip pockets and they are lying on their little yellow piece of paper, and besides our constitution is less than three years old! To keep a strong union able to support queers, women and the environmental rabble, which is where many of our new members learn to abuse other people in a democratic way, you must vote ‘no’. They’re also going to allow hugely expensive election campaigns so that any uni students with the backing of major parties or other large funds will be able to mount huge TV ads, aeroplane sky writing campaigns and colourful balloons which is hugely undemocratic. Plus, we need to be able to fight the anti-student, anti-HECS Government in a fast and efficient way which the new bureaucracy the “yes” mob are going to impose will limit. They are also removing that new bureaucracy we just mentioned which makes it unsafe because it was a safeguard against the union being able to quickly fight and potentially make bad decisions. So, obviously, anyone who wants a strong queer and women’s collective and a union able to quickly mobilise in support of illegal immigrants and other such urgent issues will vote ‘no’”.
I walked back to the “yes” mob and asked them to explain, and to me this seemed to be the only large flaw in their new constitution – it’s open to possible abuse by skywriters. Apparently, TV ads are out as election stuff is restricted to campus and no one has yet figured out a timeslot that guarantees only uni students will be watching. Oh, and the “yes” mob had run out of yellow chalk and had their banner stolen.
I’m not political, and in fact, I’d like to see voluntary student unionism, but that’s actually fairly accurate descriptions of what both camps told me today. Ironically, the “no” camp seem to be more organised, or perhaps just richer – they definitely have more of a presence, coming and intimidating us in our lectures and so forth, but they didn’t seem to have much of a valid argument – more anti-“yes” scare tactics involving HECS and the “big bad government”. Having carefully considered both arguments, and realised that not voting is similar to voting ‘no’ as a referendum requires 5% of the student body to vote to be valid with failure keeping the status quo, I think I shall vote ‘maybe’. I do not see why queers and women should have special collectives. Sure, they’re minorities, but so are Catholics, Muslims, sane people, normal people, female IT students, and pretty well anyone else if you think up an appropriate category, but I don’t see anyone marginalising them and setting up collectives for them. I think I shall identify as an indigenous schizophrenic queer woman with several split personalities, at least one of which shall be a single mother, sexually abused as a child of course, and another few could be illegal immigrants – and perhaps then I shall get some value out of the union. I also think the milkshakes at the union run shops need to be cheaper.
Politically Correct
Just to ensure I’m still seen as politically correct, I should say that I believe all people (apart from me) are diversely equal and anyone who disagrees with this philosophy is biased, sexist, bigoted, close-minded and obviously not a member of the UQUnion. I should also state that I do not use makeup that has been tested on animals, and I do not eat animals as that would be a violation of their human rights. It should be noted that only animals that are rare, big or cute have rights, such as dolphins in tuna nets, cute bunnies with myxomatosis and sexually deprived pandas. I also hug at least one tree every lunar cycle and use alternate renewable and non fossil fuel sources whenever my other ones run out, I mean, whenever possible. I shall also refrain from the use of licentious humour, as politically correct people must remain stolidly serious at all times. Finally, I shall call the mailman the person person who delivers my people, although they are really society’s people. I think contact with the union is bad, look what it’s done to me.
I think I shall go to sleep now.
Comment by DK – Wednesday 6 August 2003, 5:02 AM
  Hope you are OK :-S How does one know which bits are made up? :-p
Comment by Michelle – Wednesday 6 August 2003, 6:00 AM
  Don't you just love political agendas?
Comment by krait – Wednesday 6 August 2003, 1:07 PM
  In addition to all that, you *really* need to figure out how to get paragraph tags to work on your web page. My eyes officially hurt after reading that huge paragraph. Do it. Do it now. Or the cute bunny gets it.
Comment by bv – Wednesday 6 August 2003, 1:09 PM
  Why do you hate plants so much?
Comment by Ned – Wednesday 6 August 2003, 3:29 PM
  Ok, I’ve put a few paragraphs in. I think that when I write things late at night, for some reason, I tend to be slightly less coherent than at other times. I guess it has something to do with moonshine – that being the only difference I can think of between night and day. And bv: you’d hate plants too, if they tried to kill you all the time.

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