Posted by: hellonhairylegs | July 7, 2008


In books, that would be only a fraction of the study guides on the shelves of all opportunistic book  stores

Last Friday a flock of public school children were released into the realm of temporary freedom known as school holidays. “Thank god school is over!” shouts one child to another. Over the tumult you can make out the derisive chuckles of all the nearby Year Twelves. We still have to study for the trials. Fun Fun Fun.

As the term drew to a close, the frenzy of panicked guilt-tripping on the part of the teaching staff was terrible to behold.  For my audience that comes from saner parts of Australia and from overseas, the trials for the HSC, not the actual HSC itself, is enough to send spasms into the heart of every year twelve teacher in the state. I’m sure the lead up to the real HSC will cause thunder and lightening, given the drama we have to put up with.

I’m a smart girl, always the top of my class, always the one who should become an engineer or a lawyer. Well at this point in time, all I really want to do is become a useless arts student. One doesn’t need to kill herself over the HSC to achieve that goal. I could get an 80 UAI with two hours sleep and a hangover. While I don’t plan to test that particular boast, I will allow myself to have a holiday. If it says “holiday” on the calendar, then that’s good enough for me.

I’m up to my neck in dot points, syllabi, elective statements and other assorted crap. So for now, fuck it.



  1. Ha, your attitude is exactly like mine when I did my HSC ten years ago. I studied really hard in English, simply because I love the subject (currently doing my PhD in the field), but other than that, I spent most of my StuVac writing fiction for a role playing game. I did do a little study for other subjects– I wasn’t a complete slacker. But at the same time, I wasn’t going to bust my arse trying to get a UAI over 90 when I only needed 80.

  2. It sounds like the HSC is even worse than I remember. No big surprise there I guess.

    On the topic of arts:

    Just as in any faculty, some students will of course be useless. And of course, like most everything else you could mention, the arts are dominated by the patriarchy.

    Taking all that as a given: the arts have traditionally been one of the rare areas where free thought and alternative ideas flourish. Arts faculties don’t spit out perfect little producer/consumers as well as other faculties do. And arts faculties are suffering right now. No-one can really see the point of them. There are cutbacks. Amalgamations. Often in favour of more ‘useful’ faculties -like Engineering or Law (now, don’t tell me you didn’t see that coming).

    Engineering, Law, Science, Technology etc – to my mind, these subject areas are inherently patriarchal. Just look for example at their emphasis on rationality and logic. On the provable.

    And in the workplace: well, I can only really comment here on Law (after several years working in the area). The boy’s club mentality. The obsessive interest in hierarchy, and the small number of women ‘at the top’. The number of men still unable to function without their (inevitably female) secretaries. The incredible demands placed on all staff. And the barriers to success for those who are parents (excluding of course those with a wife at home to run the household). All this no matter how ‘equal opportunity’ and ‘family friendly’ these workplaces claim to be.

    And that’s not even mentioning all the problems women encounter with our law enforcement and courts systems.

    ‘What did I do to deserve that rant?’ I hear you ask. Good question. After all I probably misinterpreted you anyway. If so I am very sorry.

    But before I go, I wanted to say: enjoy your holiday. Rest and relax. And when you do get back to it – continue to make your choices your own. You’ll be ok no matter what.

    Disclaimer: Of course (if you haven’t guessed already) I was a useless arts student myself. These days however I am gainfully employed ie I help keep the wheels of the megatheocorporatocracy turning as much as anyone else.

  3. It was a good rant. Keep it up, it’s good for the soul.

    Yeah, there are some worrying trends when it comes to universities. I hope my arts degree sees some use.

  4. The world needs more intelligent feminists in powerful positions.

    “Be the change you want to see” and all that…

  5. Ahh – I’m preaching to the converted as usual! Glad to hear you’re ‘on the team’… and thanks for approving the rant anyway.

  6. Drat the unconverted. They just won’t stand still. 😉

  7. About 9 years ago, when I was doing the HSC, I had pretty much the same thoughts as you. I studied enough to get by, but my main ambition was to get into an Arts or Languages degree, and I saw absolutely no reason to study myself into a nervous breakdown (like plenty of people). So I was happy with 86, it was wayyyyy more than I needed as a UAI.

    Don’t know where you’re interested in going to uni, but UNE’s Schools Recommendation Scheme, if it’s still going, is also pretty good.

    I’m sure you know this, but don’t listen to anyone who tells you that your Arts degree won’t get you anywhere. I’ve had plenty of awesome experiences I wouldn’t have had with a nice safe engineering or accounting or science or law degree. Besides, there is no reason you can’t change your mind later and decide to get a post grad qualification in a more tangible skill than being able to think for yourself. 🙂

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