Salient. Official Newspaper of Victoria University of Wellington Students Association. Vol. 40 Number 4. March 21 1977
Assessment Forum. [Letter from Amazed]
I have just sat through a Political Science III lecture which must rate as the most revealing I have ever endured.
As an introduction to a theme, Professor Roberts offered a fifty minute tear jerker, tracing the development of New Zealand politics from about the turn of the century through to the present day, as illustrated through the life of his father. A novel and interesting approach (at least for the uninitiated) that involves no small amount of soul bearing, to be sure.
In true shop floor fashion (floor pacing, dramatic pauses, prolonged staring into space with glazed expression etc) Roberts added woof to his historical warp with an impassioned plea for committed study and action from intending political science students. Taking side-swipes at just about everybody including himself the student masses, various political movements and the country as a whole—all of which at various times he labelled soft, corrupt, bourgeois, decadent, fat, lazy and apathetic he predicted not only the demise and imminent dissolution of our political system as we know it but also the collapse of our entire social organization, which, he added, "is rotten to the core."
It was in this fashion that he continued unabated for some fifty minutes. Stunned at this unprecedented outbreak of honesty and integrity from a lecturer the audience sat rather subdued. Almost at time embarrassed. Not a note was taken.
"Surely" I mused as the crescendo rose "surely there has to be a climax soon. After all it's 10.55. He's only got a few minutes left. What would be his final blow? A telling acid comment to end all telling, acid comments? An alter call, demanding mass repentance from political sins? An exhortation to stage revolution, over throw the Studess Exec and occupy the cafe?
Which of the options, if any, Roberts took, I shall never know. Alas! What proved to be his final, most gesticulated, eye glazed and presumedly empassioned piece of rhetoric, was all but drowned when, dead on the hour, three hundred students simultaneously rustled their papers, clicked their ring binders and began to shuffle out of the lecture theatre even before he had finished.
Muggeridge asserts that the death knell of twentieth century man will be the gentle whispering of thousands upon thousands of lift doors opening and closing upon their empty, air conditioned, muzaked interior. I beg to differ. Surely it will be the deadly rustling of millions of papers, billions of clicking folders and zillions of shuffling students, who, having done their obligatory fifty minute life time, have to leave for their final lecture.