Thursday, 10 June 2010

Problems always around

Everyone has them and it can’t be helped. For PO-voters these are mistrust, bureaucracy and limiting civil liberties, for PiS-voters conspiracies, manipulations, ookwud, lies, distortions, dependence. For PSL-voters privileges in pension system, for SLD-voters social welfare privileges. For one of the readers of this blog a key problem are gay rights. Everyone has different priorities, some are serious, other not even worthwhile. And finally we should draw a thick line between the serious and diminutive ones.

Look at what has been making the headlines for the last weeks. Actually there are two topics: accursed presidential campaign and the flood. Under the former ten candidates run for the office of the head of state, but only two of them stand a real chance to win. Many Poles are put on the spot and can’t settle on who to vote for. For many educated and open-minded ones none of the two candidates has making of an outstanding stateman. Many voters will put a cross against Mr Komorowski only to prevent comeback of Kaczynski’s presidency. A funny sacrifice – choose lesser of two evils just not to face a disaster. Choose a mediocre one just to fend off the mistrustful one. I made a decision to not to vote for Mr Komorowski in the first round. I have a certain vision of Poland and its president so I’ll vote for Mr Olechowski even if he’s going to get two per cent of votes.

The former is much worse. Candidates put on their shiny shoes and stroll around the embankments built of sandsacks. They come and go and the flooded are left with their problems, damaged houses, washed away belongings and no hope for the future. Whenever my thoughts are with them I discern how negligible everything what bothers me is. I have no reason to be unhappy – I’m healthy, quite well-off, study for taxpayers’ money at one of allegedly best schools of economics, I got a decently-paid job, my future prospects seem bright despite the wobbly labour market.

Yesterday I rode home a 709 bus and almost lost my temper listening to a conversation between two stupid teenagers for whom the biggest problem was what to wear for a Friday party. The generation pampered by welfare is unable to distinguish between real problems and what we make up whenever we don’t have real problems. Did they think about people whose houses collapsed in a landslide on Ursynów escarpment? Did they think about tens or hundreds of local residents whose houses in Jeziorki, Pyry or Nowa Iwiczna were flooded?

We help the flooded and the hype is over we forget, they have to carry on and their trauma lasts months or years. On Sunday TVN Warszawa crew was in Jeziorki to film houses under water. Yesterday they turned up to my school alerted by the students appalled by a recent scandal that had broken at SGH. I usually advocate the system which gives students a lot of freedom, but somehow it also creates anarchy, dilutes responsibility and secures jobs for the untouchable academic staff. The problem is that rule of law is not what can be observed at SGH. The untouchable do whatever they want, are not familiar with what they deal with and make flawed decision that wind up students and waste their efforts. That chaos has reached its ultimate limits – incensed students decided to contact TVN Warszawa and TOK FM to let the rest of the world know their university is run (partly) by incompetent people. Just try to imagine – you complete a course, pass exam in it and then you find out it has been deleted, God knows why exactly. Watch the footage I’m linking to above, read the article in today’s Gazeta Stołeczna. This is not the first time such things happen and not the first time we tell on our authorities to media just to claim our rights.

Beware, there are two sides of the story. On there is a totally incompetent Mrs Dean who cocks up everything she does and shirks responsibility for the mess she creates. Mrs Dean is accompanied by an incompetent spokesman, both have no idea what’s going on around, what’s in the curriculum and even where the heart of the problems lies. On the other side there are some other representatives of school’s authorities and student council who pull all-nighters to straighten the matter out – it’s always heartening. I deeply believe everything will shape up and students won’t have to get credits in many courses once again. The courses will be returned to their study documentations but the problem will actually be swept under the carpet. In private company someone responsible for such a mess would be fired right away. In a state-run university guilty of this mayhem won’t be dismissed, heads won’t roll as they should. We have plenty of untouchable, complacent people and “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” system under which pathologies thrive…

There’s always a glimmer of hope – reporters of “hostile” media want to pay attention to students’ problems. Unfortunately I couldn’t be present at the rally they filmed as I had to attend another event (look out for my name in Monday’s Gazeta Wyborcza, insert Gazeta Praca), but I wish I could have been there – there should be no indifference and no tolerance for professional misconduct…

Come to think of it – look at your tribulations, put yourself in a certain perspective, don’t get carried away, life’s too short to worry about trifles…

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