Old Hobbits Die Hard: Article and Responses

Writer: Maree Rodoni

When it comes to students that need a flogging, mature aged students take the cake. From their patronising yet ineffective advice for… well – everything, to their kiss ass ‘tutor I will do anything for your attention’ attitude, these imbeciles are the bane of most normal students’ existence.

My first encounter with a mature age student was during a lecture in one of my very first weeks at VU. I noticed that this old man would respond to every sentence the lecturer would say. In detail. After weeks of his moronic interjections, I started spending more time in the lecture coming up with ways to reduce his theft of oxygen than I did learning the topic at hand.

And then there were his embarrassing over-compensations for not being as ‘cool’ as he may have been in a past century… This student proceeded to think of different ways to greet the lecturer each week, as a tragic attempt at some kind of ancient humour. Throwing your hands in the air and pretending a lecturer is your favourite rock star is not appropriate, let alone funny.

My hatred for these students really started to boil over when I witnessed a highly-strung mature aged woman complain about the lack of respect our generation has. This has to be their worst habit. She vehemently argued that we would be completely incapable to function without technology. Mind you, this was just self-indulgent irrelevant banter, as she had only turned up to four of the twelve seminars.

Just when you thought they could not get any worse, some mature aged students have the audacity to suggest all young adults studying are ‘lazy’ and unable to contribute ‘efficiently’ to group assignments. However, in the same breath, they push for longer deadlines because of full-time jobs and children. If I find myself hearing one more excuse from one of these old bats who have less organisation and control over their lives than young students do, I will not be held accountable for any physical response.

Mature agers, your anecdotes aren’t remotely related to the course topics and don’t make your knowledge any more credible. I don’t know if I would feel deep sympathy for your children if I crossed paths with them, or whether I would mug them just for being your spawn.

Sadly, the only way I can see past the plague of the know-it-all mature aged student, is to ban all potential students over the age of thirty from enrolling unless they pass a very strict personality test. Screen the self-righteous bigots before they send the rest of us sane people over the edge. I mean it.

Sorry old folks, but wasting our tutorial time (that we pay for) with your rants is just not right. Get off your high horse. You’re just as uneducated as ‘us’, you’re in the same course, and you obviously don’t have life that figured out if you’re back being educated with teenagers.

Response: Shirley Shmidt

When it comes to students who need a flogging… No. For the sake of equity, no one deserves a flogging. This is the rant of a mature aged student on how everyone is entitled to be a student.

I’m sorry, but I am not as ‘uneducated’ as you. I have had two careers and three degrees so far, and I am studying to open up more opportunities. Life is hard, and in itself is a great teacher. Ever flown 1,300km overnight from the ass-end of nowhere to attend a funeral? I have. Ever schmoozed your way backstage at an exclusive sold out rock show in LA? I have. Ever failed at uni, at work, at life? I have. I don’t want your respect, but don’t you dare compare your life experience to mine, or say that I don’t have it figured out.

I too, am a model student, but this is not for the sake of being a smartass. Failing is not an option. I’m losing $25,000 in potential earnings per semester by being here. The ‘old bat’ is missing out on seeing her kids grow up, the ‘old man’ is just trying to be relevant. Ms Y-Gen, can you understand why we want to get the most out of class?

I have another idea. How about we legislate to put young people into the workforce straight after school. We have plenty of menial labour jobs out there. Our nursing homes are screaming out for carers, our building industry begging for labourers. Once you have paid the required amount of tax to pay for your tertiary education, you can be allowed into the system.

Seem inequitable? Makes as much sense as your suggestion. And I’m sure that you’re aware of the Equal Opportunities Act (2010). A fair go for all Australians.

Response: Moshidi Manaka

I make no apologies for speaking up in class and contributing while you eighteen year old first years update your Facebook status on how hungover you are, because I have already been there and done that. That said, university is by definition a place of adult education so I am curious as to why someone would decree that an adult seeking an education deserves a ‘flogging’. Now, you may see me walking in the corridor and not make the connection. I don’t possess many of the physical hallmarks of the stereotype, but regardless, I am a mature aged student.

There comes a point where that young, reckless student life is just not enough. You recognise that something is missing. You begin to analyse your situation, which for me meant realising that I had not quite reached my full potential. I assure you that making the decision to go back and study was not an easy one. Do you think I want to be an intern when I’m in my thirties? Do you think that this is the life I envisioned for myself? If you answered yes to either one or both of those questions, then you, dear reader, deserve the flogging.

As a law abiding, tax paying citizen of this here country, who is actually on the electoral roll, I have chosen to exercise my right to get an education. I know that nobody likes a know-it-all and I don’t for a minute aim to be one. And while I am well aware that disdain for unsolicited advice has already been made known, consider it in my mature aged nature to impart to you, Maree Rodoni, a little bit of wisdom… Nobody will ever have life figured out. So stop with all the hate, and get over it. You can roll your eyes as much as you want, but make no mistake, I am more educated than you.


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