Campuses today sometimes seem to be crucibles of non-conformity; undergraduates, the catalysts fora social, sexual and political revolution. How do this year’s freshmen feel? Here are answers from five of the top 20 high-school graduates across Canada:
William Holmes, 18. Ward of the Vancouver Childrens Aid Society, raised by a foster mother, tied as British Columbia’s top high-school graduate:
Career: I’m in a combined physics-andmath honors program because I can’t make up my mind which I prefer and because this course will make it easier to get an MA and PhD. I want to do research, with a bit of teaching thrown in. Conscience: Any changes I’d want to see in the world would not destroy our present society. I think overpopulation and hunger are the priority. And our government should be doing more in welfare,
poverty and housing. I get very angry about the present welfare system, which condemns people to the rut of poverty instead of helping them climb out of it. I’ve been on welfare, it’s demeaning.
The future: When I am 30 I want to be married, and to be doing research in either physics or math — though not to the total exclusion of all else. I want to have time for other things, which, after all, helps keep a home happy. I’d like to be well off enough to be able to go on a trip to Europe without worrying too much about the cost.
Morals and rebellion: Frankly, I know nothing about rebellion. I went to a private school — I got scholarships, and the Children’s Aid Society helped with the rest — and it just doesn’t happen in that kind of environment. But I think students in arts courses may be justified in wanting more voice in the way their courses are run. About drugs, I don’t really know. I have had a chance to smoke pot, but I didn’t take it, though I suppose if taken in moderation it’s no more reprehensible than taking the occasional drink. No, my hair isn’t long. If it were, my foster mother probably wouldn’t let me through the door.
Robert Sweet, 17. Son of a doctor, graduated from grade 11 in Lachine with a 94.4-percent average — good enough to skip grade 12 and go to McGill:
Career: I’m taking a general course because I’m not sure what I want. I might end up in law or medicine. I would like to become a professional man, but I would also like to do a lot of other things — perhaps spend a year traveling, another year doing a manual job, or maybe a year on the golf circuit. Conscience: I’m still trying to figure out what life and the world is all about for myself, so I’m hardly qualified to start
solving the problems of others. But I do* think the UN should have more power to keep the world intact. And racial discrimination bothers me. I really don’t think it would make much difference to the world if we could vote at 18, but I’d vote for Trudeau if I could. Provincially, it’s hard to say. I have learned to have a lot of sympathy for the French Canadian who fears he will lose his language and his culture, but I still think the separatists and unilingualists go too far.
The future: When I’m 30? Well, I’m a Quebecker, so I would want to be still living here. I would be thinking about getting married, and have enough money to be able to escape when I felt like it. I would like to have a retreat way up north, or down south in the jungle — anywhere in its natural state, not a replica of our urban society.
Morals and rebellion: It’s unlikely I will be a student rebel. I never have been, though I hope it isn’t because of what other people might say. It might bep though. I thought the burning of the computers at Sir George Williams University was insane destruction. I don’t smoke or drink, but not because I think they’re wrong; I just don’t. Pot? Never tried it, but I would think it wrong to smoke it habitually.
Peter Duncan, 17. Son of a Moncton telephone - company foreman, was New Brunswick’s top high-school graduate. He had 749 marks out of a possible 800: Career: I’m torn between politics and science. I am fascinated by research into the unknown, in physics particularly, but I may go into law because that could lead to politics. When I look about me at what is happening in Canada — and anybody can see things aren’t right — I feel I want to get into the actual machine shop that runs the country. Conscience: Nationalism is the world’s biggest problem. I am deeply involved in
the United Nations Association, and I believe we must realize that it is the rights of humanity that are sacrosanct, mot those of nations. The most grievous social injustice of all is that done the students. Often their movements are motivated by good causes and they see things differently from the established society, which — being afraid of change, as all people are once they’re past 30 or 40 — »turns its back on them. We’re told to take our place in society, but when we try to we’re told, “Wait until you’ve had more experience.”
The future: By 30, I would like to be married, have children and be secure financially. But I would like to be the type pf person whom someone of my present age would be able to talk to about the problems of society — and I’d want to be able to do something about them. I’d also like to be fully immersed in some scientific project.
Morals and rebellion: Much of what the ¿older generation calls rebellion is simply youthful enthusiasm, which should be regarded as one of our great natural resources, not as a threat to the comfort of the Establishment. Smoke? Drink? I’m not interested. I’m a very good Baptist. I would grow my hair long to see what it looks like, but my parents won’t let me.
Brenda Sue Weenk, 18. Prairie-farmer’s daughter from Plenty, was Saskatchewan’s top high-school graduate with a 96.75percent average over 12 subjects:
Career: I’m in a four-year honors artsand-sciences course at the University of Saskatchewan, but I’m not sure whether I’ll teach or do postgraduate work in one of the sciences and then do research. I like the sciences better than the humanities. Science is so modern and everything else seems ancient and inconclusive. Conscience: If I could change the world I would make sure everyone had a higher education. After high school you need
to go on and find out where you and the world really are at. The social injustice that most burns me up is prejudice, against our Indians especially. But I’m afraid you can’t legislate against prejudice. 1 just hope my generation will have better attitudes.
The future: When I’m 30 I’d like to be in a city, Toronto perhaps, and be married to a professional man. I would want to have kids and to have worked, or be working, on research, discovering something new. I would like to leave behind a contribution to human knowledge. Morals and rebellion: I’m not a rebel. At high school I played basketball, volleyball, softball, worked on the yearbook, organized dances. I’m not a swot. I like dancing and boys. I’ve never smoked pot, but I don’t think it’s wrong. I might even try it myself some day. I already smoke about 12 cigarettes a day and I drink a bit, not enough for it to be a problem, but I don’t drink to be sociable or appear grown up. I drink it because I like it. Miniskirts? Well, mine weren’t very mini at high school because my mother doesn’t like them. I do.
Edward Koroway, 18. Graduated from high school in Richmond Hill, Ontario, with a 97.1-percent average:
Career: I am at university to study law eventually because it will provide financial security. University gives you a qualification to do a certain type of work. If you want to make a million dollars, don’t waste good time going to university. But I want security more than a million dollars. I’m a coward.
Conscience: Overpopulation is the
world’s major problem. I guess you’d have to sterilize people for a while in India and Africa and other places where
famine is a problem. If you had to do something in Canada, you would limit the number of children everyone could have to, say, two. Injustices? I used to consider it wrong that Indians could not make the same kind of contacts as white men, but there is a plan to give them equality now. If I could vote, it would be for the Progressive Conservatives. They have the individual most in mind.
The future: At 30, I’d like to be really secure, not having to worry about money. I would either be in practice for myself, or working for a company. I would be married, but whether I had kids would depend on how much money I had. I would prefer living in an apartment or a rented house to owning my own home. Morals and rebellion: The media exaggerates the amount of student unrest, and ignores the majority who don’t take over faculty buildings or stage sit-ins. The rebels who took over the president’s office at Columbia University were invading the rights of the majority who were there to get something out of university, and they should have been dealt with severely. They wear long hair to get attention. How do I get attention? By doing well at school, I think. I don’t smoke or drink. I’ve never tried pot. □
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