2007-03-16

University courses equivalent to primary school

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You sign up to a five year course that requires you to excel at your schoolwork or have achieved a really high GPA in your past teriary study. You are told the job prospects are not so good, the pay not so good and the suicide rate is very high.

The first couple courses have members of the pushy student association come in and take up lecture time with some lame singing antics. They extol the virtues of alcohol at every oportunity and push parties which include wholesome activities like jelly pit simulated sex. They belittle anyone who would opt out with insults and off hand remarks.

It is upsetting to sit in a class where you are being treated like a primary school kid ... and know that you're paying to be taught this.

A newly introduced class, veterinary professional studies, claims to be all the rage in the US but, in my humble opinion, seems to be a really weak implementation of social development skills. Leadership experience enables you to tell other people what your favourite colour is and play games that are straight out of primary school. Self care classes tell you that you shouldn't try to get high acievements all the time, it's ok to get the bare minimum pass marks. Mediocrity is fine.

The lack of decent library facilities, the poor staff to student ratio, the out dated equipment, the delapidated condition of the infrastructure, the extremely unprofessional behaviour of the student association ... it isn't any wonder that this University's Veterinary Science degree is not recognised in the United States or that the head of the department gets suspended

From an article in The Australian:
Perth veterinarian Helen White, a 2004 graduate, started her degree at Murdoch University in Western Australia and switched to the University of Queensland. "If universities are going to charge premium prices ... then they should teach premium courses," she says. "The University of Queensland fell far short of my expectations."
Sure, there may be some benefits to some of these courses. They are probably excellent for the naive twits, straight from high school, who probably think the jelly pit sex is the cultural height of University life. One would hope that the high achievers might be a little more above this crap and perhaps slightly more focused on coursework. You would also hope the coursework was focused on coursework. And I just hope that the student association would push for or provide better facilities and not so many drunken parties.

There are plenty of other courses where students are more focused, the student associations aren't full of idiots, the facilities are half decent and the opportunities once you get out are quite good.

They tell you that you really have to want to be a vet to do this course. You would think that was a warning of the difficulty of the coming content, but it actually seems like they are trying to throw as much idiotic crap at you early on to make you re-evaluate your decision to study Veterinary Science at this particular University.

2007-03-12

Car Insurance

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThere seem to be a lot of dodgy car insurance companies out there. Over my life I have heard some quite nasty things that certain companies do and I like to spread the info to make sure people have informed choices. Now to be fair, the info that I provide is just my experience and may be the result of talking to a person who has had a particularly unfortunate time with the company. Internal policies within a company change all the time and dodgy people who manage them also move on.

To start with, I have always been treated very well by my insurance companies, which include Allianz and Suncorp. The few times that I have had to deal with incidents have been surprisingly great. From completely handling repairs that others have caused on me, handling damage that I caused others, and refunding me with the full amount after my car was stolen.

Now to the bad. RACQ seems to have a little bit of a reputation amongst my family as being an insurance company to avoid. Which is quite unfortunate as their road side assistance is excellent and, well ... wouldn't be without it.

My Uncle used to work as a tow truck driver, the stories of RACQ dodginess that he could tell would have you wondering why there aren't more arrests in the insurance game. I won't go into details for many reasons, which, of course, leaves the first sentence of this paragraph hanging unsupported and you'll have to take that at face value.

Another more recent incident, involved a work related acquaintance, who I will refer to as S, who came to me for advice. RACQ had insured his car at what S thought was an agreed value. The car was in good condition but was involved in an accident that was not S's fault. The car that caused the accident was insured with Allianz. RACQ offered to handle the claim and deal with Allianz on S's behalf, to which S agreed. S was informed that the car was irreparable and was offered half the agreed value. S complained bitterly to RACQ who would not change their position. S eventually decided to bypass RACQ and discuss directly with Allianz who started with and offer just under the agreed value and indicated that this was the amount that they were going to pay RACQ. RACQ was going to pocket the difference which was in the order of a couple thousand dollars. S has carefully documented this and has started a conversation with the insurance ombudsman. Unfortunately he is extremely busy and doesn't have the time or energy to pursue proceedings.

Now this could be a particular insurance officer with RACQ who is not quite providing his customers the best value service he could or it could be RACQ policy. Either way, when you are signing up for car insurance, you might want to ask the insurer about handling claims that are not your fault when the car is totalled.

Again, let me stress that this is just my experience that I am sharing with people, and I am not a professional insurance advisor or anything of the sort.