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Australian Members - Page 1693

post #25381 of 51860
Quote:
Originally Posted by lachyzee View Post

Need to replace the buttons on two of recently purchased my MJ Bale blazers. The default buttons are such a dark brown that they pretty much look black, which looks just OK on navy, but pretty terrible on light blue. Odd choice by the designer IMO. I'm going to try and put something lighter on.


Yes. This. It's really annoying to see light grey/lighter navy suits black looking buttons.
post #25382 of 51860
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie's Wardrobe View Post


....If I had my time again, I'd probably really enjoy being a landscape gardener or something of the sort. I'm obsessed enough with my lawn enough as it is, love the outdoors & there seems to be plenty of this kind of work around (in Canberra anyway).

Had to come in on this one.  Totally agree.  

 

Am sitting in a cubicle the size of a toilet working on iron ore and coal projects that may never see the light of day in this country, bored to death and on the verge of wanting to stab the next person in the temple with a biro.  Id much rather be outside and the thought of being a landscape gardner appeals to me greatly.  

 

When I finished year 12, there was huge expectation that we continued on to university (no gap year back then), go further and get your MBA (dont even think about not doing it), go further and specialise in particular disciplines that all require additional exams and moronic workshops and tutorials....blah blah blah.  I have nothing but admiration for those of you who do follow your desires and dreams, people like CW who balance their lives with something meaningful, ie Henry Carter. You guys are to be commended.  

 

On the point raised re University lecturers, I did this for nearly 3 years part time and calculated with the all the contact time, answering idiot emails and marking papers written in pali by non english speaking students who never so much as completed 20% of the course and who still passed, attending meetings of staff and ceremonies; I was earning about 65 cents an hour.  University employment is terrible especially when you take the approach I took in wanting all my students to do well.  Am not too sure how it is today, however UQ had very high standards in the 1990s, not sure that they still exist in the teaching methods today.  Seems to me to be a churn n burn type environment.  So long as your paying HECS, keep going.  This way, it falsely reports employment statistics as huge numbers of people who would normally be sourcing jobs in the market are tucked away in universities undertaking Arts degres in Latin.  

 

As I tell my daughter, University is one option, there are many others and doing something meaningful is what its all about.  

post #25383 of 51860
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoffrey Firmin View Post


1 Do you know how much money firms such as Hays and Hudson make off the APS a year? And this is not waste?

2 As an associate lecturer your paid for contact hours not time required to prepare a lecture. The ratio is three hours prep equals one hour teaching.

1) Well clearly this is only a waste if it is an amount more than would be required to employ staff full time.

 

2) Yes I understand, though most lecturers do a single prep for multiple lectures so it's not really 3:1

post #25384 of 51860

The university debate concerning funding and student numbers appears to be a chicken and egg problem.  Was the funding blowout caused by increased intake/demand, or did increase intake (due to lax entry requirements) caused the funding blowout?

 

My point about profit driven incentives has to do with allocation of resources.  To balance out the books, universities are increasing intakes in low capital intensive courses such as law, finance and commerce, and restricting intakes in sciences and engineering. irregardless of feedback from industries/employers/businesses.

 

In general disciplines such as commerce and business, I have seen graduates who can barely communicate in English.  This is related to lax entry requirements (just pay the dosh) and lowering the passing mark curves.  The result is unemployable graduates. Over the years, I have the misfortune of interviewing accounting graduates with no working knowledge of double entry. They could not answer a simple question on how the purchase of a computer is reflected in the books. How could this happen? 

 

This is what happens when incentives are not aligned with objectives. The universities have never seen it as their duty to produce graduates with skills that are useful to employers. I got this straight out of the mouth of some pretty high ranking academics in our august institutions in NSW.  I am still utterly gobsmacked.  The result is massive unemployment for graduates other than those trained in specialised vocations.  Commerce degree, business degree, arts, even law and computer science, then better have work experience or know someone who can put in a good recommendation.  

post #25385 of 51860
Quote:
Originally Posted by Windowpane1967 View Post

 

When I finished year 12, there was huge expectation that we continued on to university (no gap year back then), go further and get your MBA (dont even think about not doing it), go further and specialise in particular disciplines that all require additional exams and moronic workshops and tutorials....blah blah blah.  I have nothing but admiration for those of you who do follow your desires and dreams, people like CW who balance their lives with something meaningful, ie Henry Carter. You guys are to be commended.  

This is very closely aligned to my experience.

 

Think back to day one, at kindergarten. All the kids in my class were asked what they wanted to be when they grew up. Architects, pilots, doctors, lawyers, businessman, artists, singers, dancers etc. How many said they want to be a tailor, or a plumber, or a carpenter?

 

Go a little bit further, to years 10-11. The phrases were, "how many dropped out in year 10", "did James drop out"? Drop out has a negative connotation. If you left at year 10, it looked bad. People thought and think you are 'stupid'.

 

From the 70s till the 90s, all those new immigrants from Europe, Asia and South-East Asia, that developed themselves in Western Sydney and have since had kids who are now going to university. Do you think they encouraged their kids to leave at year 10 and pick up a trade? Hell no. It goes: 'study hard at school, get good marks, go to University of Sydney, get your degree, get a well paid job and have a big happy family in the Eastern Suburbs with a BMW'. "Education is the source of happiness, without it, you will be unhappy".

 

Asians, Europeans and Middle-Easterners from less obnoxiously rich backgrounds' have a particular attraction to 'sending their children to university. Not to be racist, but it is just something I have noticed. I am Asian myself. You don't send your kid to maths coaching on the weekend if you want them to be a landscaper. Having said that, it is the very same kids that are doing well at university. So there is a bit of a gap in my logic.

 

What does this mean? Well, Fxh's list of tailors that can make a suit goes to Nada, and HC & Co. make $200,000 a year.


Edited by JimmyHoffa - 1/30/13 at 6:50pm
post #25386 of 51860
Quote:
Originally Posted by Windowpane1967 View Post

bored to death and on the verge of wanting to stab the next person in the temple with a biro.

We've all been there. Or at least I have.
post #25387 of 51860
The "university" education debate is an interesting one.

Yes, of course there are students at university who probably shouldn't be there - as has been noted, lots of people go to uni because of parental/societal expectations, rather than any real, burning desire to study at a tertiary level. Of course, many people also go to university nowadays simply because they can and they don't know what else to do. Spending three or four years at university delays the date when they will ultimately have to decide what to do with themselves, in a sense.

Inevitably, as a result of so many people graduating with tertiary qualifications, the "value" of a degree has been degraded. Hence, nowadays, the all-too-frequent practice of new graduates immediately enrolling in coursework Masters degrees so that they can hopefully add value to their initial qualifications, despite their utter lack of actual experience.

A lot of university degrees are also now really vocational degrees - it's interesting to see that a lot of things that were once taught a TAFEs or CAEs are now university-level courses, including accounting and nursing. I'd guess that a fair chunk of that is due to the reforms undertaken under Labor in the late 1980s, where a lot of vocational colleges were absorbed into universities, sometimes much against the will of both institutions!

I think that it can be effectively argued that, with so many people going to uni nowadays, the experience has been largely degraded for a lot of students. Tutorial sizes are often so large that individual students don't get to contribute anything, and increasing numbers of academic staff are on casual contracts and are only paid for a bit of teaching and prep time. Furthermore, I think that the commodification of high education has resulted in a loss of respect for staff by some students. In some ways, it's good that lecturers are (hopefully) more accountable than they used to be, as some lecturers were shocking and would teach using decades-old notes that had hardly been updated. However, students are making greater and greater demands upon the staff and the university itself, peppering staff with questions and demands when not in class and then, when in class, ignoring the lecturer, texting or even speaking on mobile phones and largely appearing to be there under sufferance.

So the vexed question is, what should be done - if anything?

Should the market simply sort it out, so that courses that are not in demand will whither and die whilst those that are in demand will (presumably) flourish?
Should there be a reversion to the pre-1980s system, where some courses are again offered by TAFE or colleges of advanced education?
Should there be a cap on numbers (instead of the increasing tendency towards absolutely uncapping numbers)?
Should prices for degrees be increased, but with a concomitant increase in scholarships available to high achievers/those from disadvantaged backgrounds etc etc (as used to be the case many years ago)?

I must admit that I'm not sure what the answers are. I think that universities are in a state of transition, but that it's been happening for quite some time and that no one is really sure where things are going to end up. Regrettably, as is often the case with bureaucracies (and I speak as a bureaucrat), the administration grows ever larger and more bloated whilst the resources available to the actual teaching staff (ie arguably the core business of universities) are squeezed more and more.

My last sentence just made me think of another point, that there is actually a tension within the university system. Whilst consumers (ie students) and the general public typically think of universities as places of teaching, a lot of universities don't think of themselves as places of teaching and a lot of academics don't actually like teaching (well, not to undergrads, anyway). Instead, they think of themselves as places of research. There's been some suggestion that universities should look at dividing themselves along teaching and research lines, so that the non-Go8 universities should concentrate more upon teaching whilst the Go8 institutions do research with some teaching.
post #25388 of 51860

Fuck, you write well JM. What kind of lawyer are you again? When I am next up shit's creek with a turd for a paddle, I can call you to do all the talking.

post #25389 of 51860
I'll just add that, whilst a lot of plumbers and other blue collar workers are making hay while the sun shines at present, I see quite a few people in those professions whose careers have ended prematurely due to injury. It's pretty rare to see a "tradie" working past their late fifties, and whilst I'm sure that some of them retire voluntarily and enjoy a life of leisure, I'm equally sure that a lot of them are forced out due to back and knee injuries and other stresses and strains.

Compare that to, say, a lawyer or accountant who might choose to keep on working (probably part-time, in a consulting capacity) into their 70s.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Sy View Post

This is very closely aligned to my experience.

Think back to day one, at kindergarten. All the kids in my class were asked what they wanted to be when they grew up. Architects, pilots, doctors, lawyers, businessman, artists, singers, dancers etc. How many said they want to be a tailor, or a plumber, or a carpenter?

Go a little bit further, to years 10-11. The phrases were, "how many dropped out in year 10", "did James drop out"? Drop out has a negative connotation. If you left at year 10, it looked bad. People thought and think you are 'stupid'.

I know what you mean but it's not exactly surprising as being a plumber is not regarded as glamorous, whereas being a doctor or a partner in a legal or accounting firm is. Of course, that doesn't mean that those goals are realistic, but that's how society views things nowadays.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Sy View Post

From the 70s till the 90s, all those new immigrants from Europe, Asia and South-East Asia, that developed themselves in Western Sydney and have since had kids who are now going to university. Do you think they encouraged them to leave at year 10 and pick up a trade? Hell no. It goes: 'study hard at school, get good marks, go to University of Sydney, get your degree, get a well paid job and have a big happy family in the Eastern Suburbs with a BMW'. "Education is the source of happiness, without it, you will be unhappy".

...

You don't send your kid to maths coaching on the weekend if you want them to be a landscaper. Having said that, it is the very same kids that are doing well at university. So there is a bit of a gap in my logic.

Well, a lot of Asian and Indian families see education as the road to a professional career and thence to financial security - which, to many people, equates to happiness. It is interesting to see how, at my son's school, a lot of Asian parents send their children to extra-curricular tuition, even in grades one and two. They are also very keen on imparting a sense of discipline and focus in their children, which I think is commendable as it is something that I largely lack! The parental push, and the discipline that the parents strive to instil in their children, often equates to better educational results.
post #25390 of 51860

Back to more important things- shoes.

 

What do you guys think of my new shoes?

 

img0215.JPG

post #25391 of 51860
Quote:
Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post

Well, a lot of Asian and Indian families see education as the road to a professional career and thence to financial security - which, to many people, equates to happiness. It is interesting to see how, at my son's school, a lot of Asian parents send their children to extra-curricular tuition, even in grades one and two. They are also very keen on imparting a sense of discipline and focus in their children, which I think is commendable as it is something that I largely lack! The parental push, and the discipline that the parents strive to instil in their children, often equates to better educational results.

 

Its the path most travelled and 99 times out of 100 you will earn OK money and get by. Its the ones who take the path least travelled that have most chance of real success/happiness id imagine.

 

Which leads us to the next debat "what is success?" haha

post #25392 of 51860
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Sy View Post

Fuck, you write well JM. What kind of lawyer are you again? When I am next up shit's creek with a turd for a paddle, I can call you to do all the talking.

Get ready JM I'd imagine this will be sooner rather than later...
post #25393 of 51860
Double post : (
Edited by Dusty Brogues - 1/30/13 at 7:25pm
post #25394 of 51860
Quote:
Originally Posted by DartagnanRed View Post

1) Well clearly this is only a waste if it is an amount more than would be required to employ staff full time.

2) Yes I understand, though most lecturers do a single prep for multiple lectures so it's not really 3:1

Disagree on both.

1 New administration gets in takes blow torch to APS major cuts across board, major redundancy payments involved. Six months later Department heads advise Ministers more staff required. So numerous staff who have holiday on public purse get hired by contractor for $50 an hour contractor adds $25 government now paying $75 an hour for staff. Six months later APS decides to rehire staff. However clause in contract ensures that contractor is paid out of contract to tune of six to twelve months salary.

And APS will subcontract whole recruitment process out to private firms, now that is where the big money is.

How is this effective and it happened in 1996, 2007 and will happen again this year if administration changes.

2 As associate lecturing demands change and you may not teach same subject the following year. This is also case for TAFE so 3:1 still stands.

Petepan great shoes EG by any chance?
post #25395 of 51860
Walked past Ferragamo at the top of Collins Street and they were closing up shop for good. Coincidentally am wearing a Ferragamo tie today.
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