271 – Oh, The Apathy

271 – Oh, The Apathy

I noticed a lot during school that not very many people (myself included and with the exception of people in activist/political groups and avid Daily Show enthusiasts) had much of a clue what was going on outside of the campus while they were at school. Lots of stuff happened in the world that I was only able to catch up on after graduating. I’m curious if that happens at other schools too — if it’s a matter of simply being too busy, or perhaps we’re just apathetic, I’m not certain. Were you guys in the know about world and political events while in school?

(Also, the above conversation happened in reverse — *I* had to be reminded who Ted Stevens was, and it didn’t click until “series of tubes” was mentioned. I’m kind of a horrible person.)

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Discussion (14)¬

  1. Anonymous says:

    He was also the senator that had the break down on the floor when they voted down his bridge to now where

  2. Incog says:

    Yep, in Oxford we called it the Oxford Bubble…people know hardly anything about what’s going on in the real world til the end of term.

  3. Freak says:

    People here are always pretty aware of what’s going on in the outside world . . .
    (Reminder: I’m up at MUN)

  4. Bookworm says:

    At the University of Miami, I was pretty clueless. Of course, that could have just been me. I’m not really interested in what’s going outside the bubble of my friends and family. Life is complicated enough dealing with the day to day paroxysms everyone has to deal with. Why should I have to worry about people I will never meet. If it’s important enough, I’ll find out about it from someone else.

  5. Jay Walker says:

    The lack of outside knowledge is so disappointing. I always expected college to be a place of great political discussion but no one knows (cares?) whats going on most of the time. Even when I went to PSA (a political group) it seemed like people were clueless. I guess I should have expected that from a tech school though. Mid term elections are coming up. I hope students from the appropriate states make sure to submit their ballots.
    -RPI Student

  6. JZ says:

    Yeah. The college I attended in America was pretty embarrassing in that regard – lots of people tried to be involved in this or that, but in all honesty, the “series of tubes” thing sounded relatively educated and sensible compared to many of the policies and positions the other students espoused.

    Rest in peace, Mr. Stevens. You inspired more than one dent in my wall, but you were still a pretty awesome senator to us. And anyone who can deadlock an election down to a microscopic margin against a popular candidate *immediately after being found guilty of corruption charges on national news* has to have something big going for him.

  7. Daniel says:

    Same thing at UMBC. The horizon kinda shrinks to the edge of campus. Maybe its something to do with working/eating/sleeping in places so close together… I wonder if commuter students get the same effect?

  8. Renold says:

    I think it has a lot to do with the people that make up RPI. A good portion of the students are foreign, and thus have little to no interest in US affairs. Another good portion are reclusive nerds, and don’t care about news unless it relates to technology. I think at colleges where there are majors like Political Science, people are more likely to care – and those who don’t care still have friends who do.

  9. tmechanic says:

    I think it’s mostly apathy, I’ve been out of school for about 20 yrs and I still try to ignore what’s going on in the wider world. Want to get me to leave a room, start talking politics, or religion.

  10. Johnny says:

    Along with apathy, I think it’s the administration (at RPI, at least). We’ve got enough policial problems in our own school. I don’t need to pay attention to an outside world, or else I’ll go crazy.

  11. V. Galbreski says:

    Well, when I’m at school, I don’t have a TV, which is mostly how I take in the news at home. I set it on a channel and listen while doing something else. I suppose I could watch it online, but I never really think about it at school.

  12. drmike says:

    I have to admit that I didn’t connect his recent death to the Tube meme either.

    I at least skim the news sites once a day. Better than nothing.

  13. Medinoc says:

    The worst part was that the “series of tubes” was the least wrong part of this guy’s speech… And still massively overshadowed the fact that this guy was doing a speech against Net Neutrality.

  14. Elvennations says:

    The first day of the second quarter at my school was September 12th 2001, so there wasn’t much chance of not being aware of the outside world at that point.