Thursday 15 October 2009

Asian Students in Australia: An Aussie Tribute

Just go home - you deserve it


Danny Katz

October 15 2009

Read here article by Danny Katz in The Age

Asian students go home!

Stop whatever you're doing right now and go home, back to the houses where you live, flop on your couches, put your feet up, and just TREAT YOURSELVES TO A DAY OFF, because you deserve it, you've earned it.

I'm not one to make gross stereotypical generalisations but Asian students work very, very hard, and it makes non-Asian students look like stereotypically generalised gross slackers.

Do not deny your impressive hardworkingness, O Asian students of Oz, for I have seen it firsthand.

Seen the Vietnamese kids at my son's high school studying all through lunchtime, sometimes nodding off from sheer exhaustion.

Seen the young student waiter at my round-the-corner Indian joint in full octo-mode, serving eight customers, cleaning five tables, taking three phone orders ALL AT THE SAME TIME, and still managing a gracious smile at the end of the meal when I tip him two bucks, my beloved glaring at me all the way home while I mumble ''C'mon, it's fair, 10 per cent, they probably don't even tip in India, stop looking at me like that, STOP IT!''.

And I've seen it this week at one of this city's most prestigious educational institutions - not Tony Bartuccio's dance studios, one rung lower … The University of Melbourne.

Now why was I visiting Melbourne Uni?

Not for the reason you're all thinking: not to get my honorary doctorate for contributions to Australian literary culture. I've already got one of those - I bought it online from the University of North West Northern Phoenix (non-accredited), along with some licensed pills that ''give you concrete thing in pants!''

No, I was at Melbourne Uni because it was my birthday, I turned 46, and I thought it'd be pleasant to take a day off and head into town and have a nice relaxing MIDLIFE-CRISIS MELTDOWN by myself.

So I wandered round the campus trying to revisit my long-lost glory days of youthful student life - a total of 20 days if you count actual ''learning time'', the rest spent sitting in the student union bar trying to crack onto science/dip-ed girls because I was too ugly to get an arts/law one.

But the moment I started looking around, I knew something fundamental had changed in the uni-universe.

Where were the loonbag student activists soapboxing on the library lawn about pro-democracy anti-nuclear Palestinian-Burmese bilby-juntas?

Where were the notice-me drama students poncing around the arts faculty and breaking into spontaneous show tunes between scoob-puffs?

Where were the drunken student antics outside the mechanical engineering building involving a jug of beer, an unzipped fly, and a dangling scrote?

None of that traditional stuff was going on anywhere.

Instead the lawns and laneways, courtyards and corridors were all peaceful and orderly and filled with students, most of them Asian, in a state of … STUDIOUSNESS. AT A UNI! IN AUSTRALIA!

It was a DISGRANCE: Students were reading textbooks in corners, writing essays in food courts, and some even appeared to be doing an unfamiliar scurrying movement that could only be described as ''AHHHHH, I MUST RUSH TO MY NEXT LECTURE BECAUSE I'M PAYING ANYWHERE BETWEEN $20,000 AND $60,000 A YEAR IN FEES. AHHHHHH!''

At last I spotted a big rowdy pack of scruffy boofheads lolling about on the grass, swearing, boozing, pashing, just like students used to do - then they all got up, brushed themselves off, finished their staff meeting, and toddled back to their jobs as tutors, lecturers, professors and deputy vice-chancellors.

Asian students of Australia, ignore the handful of racist thugs - they're just half-wits jealous of your focus and drive and computer-gaming skills and natural manga-cool.

Don't leave this country, stay here for good, but now and then take a day off, watch some telly, chill, go out for a cheap meal at your local non-Asian eatery - tip the waiter two bucks, see how it makes them feel.

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