As I walked down the street towards Sydney University, I noticed an ad for “Mamma Mia” in the window of Blockbuster Video.
The movie which haunted me throughout Europe will soon be available at my local video shop. The same video shop I haven’t been to for years because I was so embarassed at the $27 overdue fine I had to pay eight years ago (or thereabouts).
I was on my way to Sydney University for a “Media Industry Night” put on by one of the student groups. In comparison with the main drawcard – Ray Martin – I was a minor player, though quite a few of them were interested in what I had to say, even if a couple of them confused me with James O’Loghlin. “We’re both bald”, I reassured one of them, when he realised the mistake he’d made.
It was a really interesting reminder of my own university days a thousand years ago. Most of the students seemed to have no clear idea of what they want to do when they finish their courses, echoing the experience of most of my peers back in the 1980s.
In common with these kids I lived through a reasonably difficult economic period. “Everyone goes on about how we are gonna cope, as such a materialistic generation”, one of them said to me at one point. He was reassured, I think, when I mentioned similar comments were made about my generation.
Despite what’s often said about the generation gap, I think we all go through similar experiences from generation to generation. I think it’s too simple (simplistic) to make generalisations about Gen X, Gen Y and whatever comes after that.
There was only one occasion when I had to turn my head and smile at what I thought was one of the naïve thoughts/ideas of youth when we discussing some issue or such. One of the guys picked up on it, I know, though he didn’t draw attention to it.
Later though, he asked why I’d bothered to come in a genuinely inquiring way. It was then I pointed towards Ray Martin and said “Ray didn’t have to come, either but he did” alluding towards a genuine sense of altruism.
I could have been at home watching television, or playing on the internet, but I really enjoyed my experience visiting Sydney University tonight. Despite what you often read about the cynicism of this generation of kids going through university today, they seemed like a genuinely nice bunch, with a genuine sense of optimism towards the future. I hope they do well.