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.universitas negotium


by Christina


Lat.: universitas, “university, world, whole, universe”

Lat.: negotium, “business, matter, task, affair, work, trouble”


The system of education I know is strange, and flawed, and should be improved – so I set out wanting to write about this. I started by reflecting about what I was taught.


Here’s some of it over the years, to the best of my memory, listed chronologically by first encounter:

braiding, making lanterns from balloons, holding pens, writing my name, how to read the time,

the rest of the alphabet, Arabic numerals, reading, basic arithmetic, how to cartwheel, playing the vibraphone, how domestic birds look like, basics of Catholic holidays, good handwriting, making a penguin out of wood, writing descriptive essays from comics, writing essays from imagination, how to ride a bicycle, weaving, which mushrooms have lamellae and which have little channels, how to make a cress hedgehog, writing summaries of text,

the weather/water cycle, English, how theatre works, how to write formal letters, state capitals and rivers, percentages, how to play softball, music notation, fractions, the best-of of the testaments, how many stomachs a cow has, Latin, basic geometry, how an electrical cycle works, capitals of the world, basics of the Greek and Roman ancient civilizations, how to write an argumentative essay, the principle of photosynthesis, world religions, how to start up a word processor, what states of matter there are, ruling families in the middle ages, how insects breathe, optics, rational and irrational numbers, how contraceptives work, interpreting prose, 18th/19th century European wars and successions to the throne, how particle accelerators work, basics of the government and constitutional law, the World Wars, American politics, interpreting poems, high jump, Jung’s psychology,

what a cell membrane is made out of, titration, orbitals and valence bonds, complex ions, DNA bases, thermodynamics, solid state chemistry, organic synthesis, what spins are, eigen values, how to calculate the Slater determinant, how to synthesise interhalogens, the life cycle of stars, how to analyse NMR spectra, how to analyse FTIR spectra, how to analyse Raman spectra, hiragana/katakana, how to write a thesis, how magnets and superconductors work, how super resolution microscopes work, basics of nanotechnology, how PCR works, what happens at catalytic interfaces

This is by no means a comprehensive list –


Writing it down changed my perspective: our educational system might be strange, and flawed, and needs to be improved, but it’s not bad at all and should not be taken for granted.

People learn all kinds of stuff, largely for free, and largely factually correct. Thinking globally, none of these points is guaranteed. Especially looking at our world in 2020. Education for all is everything. It needs to be enabled and protected.

“The less you understand, the more you fear, and the more afraid you are, the more dangerous you become.”

  • Tayo Rockson, based on quote from Julian Barnes


I repeat. Education for all is everything.

Thank you to my dedicated educators, classmates, colleagues, who made me learn and contribute over the years. I hope to pay you back as much as possible.

In the spirit of critical thinking, I’d still like to come back to my original idea and conclude by addressing “the system I know” with three suggestions about “the system I know”:

  • stop having extinct languages as compulsory subjects (it’s strange)

  • fix how the colonialization age is taught (it’s flawed)

  • and start paying our teachers more (needs to be improved), we are lost without them.

As you can imagine:

This is by no means a comprehensive list –


Looking forward to writing my argumentative essay:

“Why the slogan ‘The entrepreneurial university’ is an oxymoron and needs to be changed”


Make it Latin, at least. Probably will sound smart.

Yours truly.


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