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It's Hard To Be Good. It's Good To Be Easy

It's Hard To Be Good. It's Good To Be Easy

Very often one hears a student remark "If I had known what this subject was like I would never have taken It," or "That's a tough subject" or other remarks variously judging the difficulty or otherwise of a subject.

There can be no doubt that some subjects are harder than others. Mathematics I has been the end of many a promising science student who Just scraped through Matric. Similarly Latin I and Contracts have the reputation of being the downfall of aspiring lawyers, while Bookkeeping in seems to have caught many Commerce types.

We feel that the following opinions—taken at random round the table in the cafeteria—may be of value to students who would like to know what they are up against in planning their degrees. We know that the degrees of most part-timers are dictated by lecture-hours, but the experience gained by others before them may be of some value.

These opinions also raise the question of equality of degrees. Is a graduate in say Mathematics worth more than a graduate in Education? If so, why? Is this a state of affairs which is desirable? If not what can we do about it?

One point of view which was definitely made clear to the Salient reporter conducting this inquiry by several students is that they are very intolerant of lecturers who either dictate their notes so that everyone is kept writing and has no time to digest or query what is being said, or and apparently a more grevious crime—those lecturers who rehash the text book.

The following enquiry was conducted by asking [unclear: dffe] student what was the hardest subject he or she had attempted at V.U.C. and the [unclear: reason] they found it so, and similarly what was the easiest subject they bad passed.

5th Year. Arts and Science. Part-time.

Hardest: Maths. I 1946. I didn't pass. I have given up trying and hoping for this subject.

Easiest: Education 1950. This is a common sense subject. It is a subject where you do not have to sit up till one o'clock in the morning trying to work out silly problems. Apart from easy reading very little work is required outside lecture hours.

5th Year Arts. Part-time

Hardest: Philosophy III 1950. In ethics you can work your eyes out—(honestly you can) and still get nowhere. You have to read a hang of a lot.

Easiest: I don't know—well—I don't know. English, Psychology and Education I were all fairly good.

4th Year Arts. Part-time

Hardest:—Geography II 1950. I just haven't got the time. Too much practical work. In answer to the query "How much practical work does one have to do?" the student started off "Three hours they say" and we gathered from the rest of his remarks which were unfortunately unprintable that he would like to see some villainous characters (presumably the Geography faculty) do even a fraction of the practical work in three hours.

Easiest: Education I. They would accept [unclear: any] line of guff I could put across. Of course I did it when I was at Training College and they plug it a fair deal up there.

5th Year Science. Part-time

Hardest: Botany II (so far). Too much practical work and the lecturers are very poor. Frankly the subject stinks.

Easiest: Geology I. It was just easy. I found it a very interesting subject. (Comment from friend—"That's just your earthy mind.") I think every young science student should do Geology I.

4th Year Arts and Law. Full-time

Hardest: A choice of three I think. English III, Contracts, and Latin II. But really you know, it wasn't the subjects I found so hard—it was the examinations that were rather difficult.

Easiest: French I. (I almost had scholarship.)

4th Year Law. Part-time

Easiest: Psychology—but that was under the old syllabus. We did not have to do any of this practical work.

Hardest: Contracts and Property.

The subject I enjoyed the most was Political Science because it gave more scope for thought than any other.

3rd Year Arts

Hardest: French II. Too many terms exams. You know we had about 8 or 9 during the year.

Easiest: English I.

7th Year Student

"Yes," he said, "I've been here seven years and I'm still going strong. Whats that? What Faculty? Well I tried Law for two years; then I did Commerce for two years; then let me see—yes that's right—I did Music for one year—then I had a year off—and now I'm doing Arts. Take your pick."

My hardest subject you say? But they're all hard. I ought to know. I bet I've failed in more subjects than any one in this college (proudly). The easiest? Oh there's no doubt about that—Extrav!

5th Year Science. Part-time

Hardest: Maths. I 1946.

Easiest: Maths. I 1949. It wasn't so bad after the first two times.

4th Year Arts. Part-time

Easiest: Psychology I under the old syllabus. All you had to do was to know the textbook and the lecture notes and you were set.

Well there It is. Perhaps when you are planning your course for next year you may find it valuable to avoid taking two subjects which students in comparable circumstances have found difficult On the other hand we advise students not to count too much on the "easy" subjects. Things are getting tougher around Victoria and the most recent trends seem to indicate that there will be step [unclear: taken] to [unclear: cu] down on these "easy subjects."

Another thing we would like to point out is that these Judgments are entirely subjective. To the person who is really intelligent and prepared to work throughout the year all things are easy.