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Salient: Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Vol. 32, No. 11. 1969.

All Over Yeecch — Stephanie Du Fresne Reveals

page 7

All Over Yeecch

Stephanie Du Fresne Reveals

For Some time I have been attempting to diagnose the causes of a feeling which I can only describe as All Over Yeecch, which has been with me for the past few weeks, and now I know it was all because of a fairy tale that I heard.

It seems that in the high and far-off times when the world was so new and all, there was a sage in the employ of the Establishment, and he started a University. And when the University was all shiny and completed, with the students standing round and the Departmental Heads nodding wisely; the sage, who was, if you recall, in the employ of the Establishment, gathered everyone together and said this speech so that everyone could hear: 'Lo, for every Department among you there shall be ordained several gospels, which shall be known as the Set Texts. And from every Set Text shall every lecturer lecture, and every student cram tor Finals, each after his own kind. And the Set Texts shall be as the laws of the Medes and Persians, which changeth not. And if any student or lecturer deviate from the Set Text he shall be termed an heretic and dealt with accordingly.'

And so for many years the Universities prospered and turned out many graduates who changed from the Set Text to the Public Service Manual with no trouble at all, and the Establishment was happy, and the sage was promoted higher and higher.

Then one day the Deep South, where people are barbarous and without moral or scruple, there arose a department teaching psychology, who were possessed of evil thoughts and they spoke to their students with honeyed tongues, saying to them 'Do not buy textbooks, for your bursaries are inadequate, and books are very expensive!

And then the department spoke a great heresy, saying 'In this subject the body of knowledge changes very rapidly, and any Set Text we prescribed for you would be out of date by the time it went to print. Go ye and use the Periodicals Section of the Library!'

And the heavens shook and the earth trembled and the minds of the Establishment were troubled, and they ran to the Sags end cried 'Look what your horrible Universities have spawned! We shall be undone, for these students will see through our masks and see through our brains—as they see through the water that runs down their drains'. But the sage was calm and said to them 'O ye of little faith—these men shall bring about their own downfall. Watch.' puzzle over their subject, and they began to ask for research facilities, for such is the doubting, evil nature of the scientific mind. And they went to the University Authorities and said 'Give us money for equipment' and the University Authorities said 'No', for the sage had informed them that the Establishment would not provide such money. And the lecturers were saddened, and still they pondered over their subject, until barbarous Universities from overseas said to them 'Come to us and we will give you research facilities', and the lecturers went, and the Establishment were exceeding glad at their going, and made the sage into a Minister of Money, and the sage waxed fat.

And as times grew harder the students came to the Minister and said 'Our bursaries are inadequate, will you not give us more money?' And the Minister said 'No, you must make do with what you have, for already there are too many of you'.

But no-one recalled the heresy of the Otago Psychology Department, and the students ran round and round in perfectly symmetrical ever-decreasing archimedean spirals, scrabbling after a degree, and forgetting to acquire education In the process.

It was as I prepared to fill in one mediocre answer along the dotted line marked 'Answer' in my Stage II Psychology Practical Answer Book, that this fairy story came to me, and it seemed to explain the All Over Yeeeccch feeling which had been with me so long, and for a little while I considered writing a whole grown-up lab report, instead of one mediocre answer along the dotted line marked 'Answer'; but then I remembered that fairy stories are the products of diseased minds, and that the Minister of Money is very fat.