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September 20, 2010 | by  | in Online Only |
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Academic Idol: Round Eight

You have found a magical genie in a bottle. The magical genie can grant you three wishes. What would your three wishes be?

The rules outlined in the Disney animated classic Aladdin apply:

  1. You can’t wish for more wishes.
  2. You can’t wish to bring someone back from the dead.
  3. You can’t make anyone fall in love with you.

Candy Badger ain’t as popular as (s)he thought (s)he was. Because Candy failed to launch a viral marketing campaign via multiple social networking websites, (s)he’s at the bottom of the heap this week. We gave her/him a chance, and (s)he didn’t grasp it with both hands and make it her/his own. So (s)he’s out. That’s right, we’re not even rigging it so (s)he stays in. How diplomatic of us. The best part about our reluctance to adopt Zimbabwe-esque voting tactics is that THE TOP FOUR LECTURERS REMAIN. But seriously guys, this competition is tight. There’s only a few votes in it. If you want your favourite lecturer to stay, you’re going to have to do something big. Or at least convince your lecturer to promise to do something big if they win. Like run around the quad naked. Or something. Come to think of it, please don’t get them to do that…

How to vote: text 027 CUSTARD or email editor@salient.org.nz by 5pm Thursday.

Dean Knight, Law
One wish only please.

A wish that we didn’t just wish for things, but we made things happen ourselves.

Not just wishing that the government didn’t pass Muldoon-like powers in the name of the earthquake. People actually speaking out against it. Not just wishing our local democracy was better. People actually voting to make it better. Not just wishing MMP wins the upcoming referendum. People educating friends and family about why it’s better than FPP. Not just wishing the student associations were more representative and robust. People participating to make it so.

I know. An earnest response. No jokes about the Iliad, Marc’s telly show or Pondy’s bare feet. I wish I was more funny… sigh.

Peter Andreae aka Pondy, Computer Science
The world is is much too much of a mess for three wishes to do much good, so I focused first on our little bit of the world. I wish we could get rid of the PBRF, which is causing competition instead of cooperation and is forcing staff to think less about their teaching responsibilities. I wish I knew how to teach programming so that the other 40 per cent of my class would ‘get it’ also. But these are such paltry concerns compared to the big problems, I couldn’t waste real wishes on them. Like Bill Gates’ foundation, I would wish to eliminate the scourges of malaria, dengue fever, tuberculosis, and HIV. I would wish to remove from humans the genetic drive that leads to religious, racial, and ethnic extremism, and fuels so many of the violent conflicts in the world. I would wish to modify the human brain so that it no longer responds to drugs such as alcohol, P, and cocaine in order to reduce domestic violence, property crime, and gang violence (whether in the back streets of LA or the open warfare of the cartels in central America). But Salient’s wishes are as futile as the rest; we can but take little steps (unless you are Bill Gates, who is taking bigger steps on the first one!).

David O’Donnell, Theatre
First wish: No more earthquakes. Second wish: The government decides not to bail out any more big finance companies and instead brings back free tertiary education. I know it’s character-building working a 35-hour week on top of your supposedly full-time studies, but there’s also something to be said for having some time to think and dream while you’re doing your degree. Third wish: That big blue Disney genie re-directs some of the vast profits of Disneyland to BATS Theatre, so that the performers making some of NZ’s most cutting-edge theatre there can actually get paid for it.

Marc Wilson, Psychology
I would wish that Alice in Chains and Bush would bring out new CDs (they have? They are? AWESOME! Thanks Salient), that Bruce Campbell really was going to play me in the movie of my life (short and uninteresting as it would be, I’d still insist on zombies), and I would wish for Dean Knight to find me a legal loophole to allow me more wishes. Seriously though, tolerance, a safe future for my family, and an iPad. I reeeealllllly want an iPad. I don’t know what they do, but they look so shiny. Come to me, my preciousss…

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About the Author ()

Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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