I love UofT. No, I don`t think love is the correct adjective here. Let`s rephrase that. I adore UofT to the point of emotional and academic attachment. What can I say? I`m an appreciative (read: loyal) alumna.
I love UofT. There. I said it again. I know I`m not the only one who shares these sentiments, so I take comfort in the fact that I`m not alone in my academic fandom.
What has triggered this sudden blog post in defense of an institution I`ve already graduated from? Don`t get me wrong, I love Queen`s. Actually, let me further re-phrase that statement. I adore Queen`s. It`s everything I would have wanted in a university experience away from home. However, I feel the need to defend the institution I received my undergraduate degree from due to several conversations I`ve had in the Queen`s community. Because really, when you`re as awesome as UofT, there`s a tendency to be misunderstood (read: hated). This blog post aims to convey, dear readers, why I think UofT is awesome. And I`m not just saying this because I`m Asian.
Unfortunately (and I will probably receive some anonymous defensive hate mail for this a statement), I`ve run into far too many people in Kingston who despise UofT. Yes, despise. Utter derision, really. Accusing UofT of elitism? Behold, Exhibit A. A conversation I had with an individual I met at the beginning of the year. Let`s call him Anonymous.
Anonymous: Where did you do your undergraduate degree?
Me: I went to UofT.
Anonymous (completely serious): Oh. I hate UofT. We`ll have to undo the damage it did to you.
Me (taken aback): Excuse me?
Anonymous: I said, I hate UofT. It`s a stuck-up, elitist school who think its ivory tower is better than everybody else. It`s a right-wing machine producing elitist snobs who do nothing but contribute to the world`s unequal distribution of wealth.
Me: Well, I--
Anonymous (interrupts me): God, I hate UofT. It`s the best school if you want to get rich. It`s not the best school to save our planet. UofT thinks its better than everyone else, I hate it.
Me (indignant): I loved my time at UofT.
Anonymous (stands up and walks away): Then there`s no hope for you.
Really? Well, I think you`re a maniac.
It pains me to say that this wasn`t my only encounter of professed spite for UofT. Believe me, I`ve had several of these encounters in Kingston. I don`t fully understand this academic hate-on, but it`s irritating. And I will publically say that for every eye-roll I received, every face that was made when I admitted that I`m UofT alumni, I roll my eyes back. In exasperation. And pity for such blatant disrespect.
Elitism? There were 2000 students in each of my first-year classes. Fostering elitist attitudes and snobbery? I highly doubt that each student who attended UofT has aspirations to take over the corporate world. Assumptions much?
Purely from the context of the life-changing experiences I had at UofT, I (obviously, subjectively) think it`s an incredible school, both in terms of academics and overall environment. I will forever remember my years at UofT as some of the best years of my life. I met unbelievable individuals who have changed the academic world with their ideas, their thoughts. I made lifelong friends who adore this institution as much as I do. I met and befriended renowned professors who challenged me more than I anticipated. I learned so much from these individuals, and I would never regret my choice of attending an institution that provided me with such quality education. Is it really such a crime to be educated by individuals who have taught at and attended Harvard and Yale? And if that`s what makes individuals hate UofT so much, I roll my eyes in exasperation. Learning from these individuals was a challenging experience I`ll never forget. It was a life-changing experience that I`m (humbly) grateful I received. No need to hate (link), really. Shhhh, the Black Eyed Peas wouldn`t approve.
I`m not claiming that UofT is better than other universities. I just (subjectively) claim that (cue Barney Stinson) UofT is awesome. And if you tell me otherwise, just provide me with sufficient (read: respectful) justification. Which I will honestly accept and respect, given that you give me yours. Respect(ful) being the key word. It`s an ingredient missing from these conversations. What`s that, Aretha? Please and thanks.
I love UofT. And if I`m negatively judged for doing so, then so be it. Nothing will change my mind about an institution that will forever have my loyalties. And if that makes me a stuck-up, elitist snob, then we don`t have to be friends. Really, I have no problem with that.
“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.”
- Albert Einstein