Mar 9, 2013

A Symbol of Resistance

Like it or not I have been in Tzu Chi University for 7 years. It is not exactly a blink of an eye - there were good and bad times - and I'll be leaving school in 3 months' time! How exciting is that!
Given Tzu Chi University is barely 20 years old, 7 years is a big feat and things were certainly a lot different from what it used to be when I got in here. One significant change has to be the student identity cards.
The school changed the design of our student IDs twice over the past 5 years. The first design was the original design (herein termed "original") that I got when I enrolled. It was nothing special but it contained everything important from your IC number to parent name (for what I could never comprehend). At the back of the card, the bar code is HUGE and hence very easy to scan when entering the library, paying for food etc. In short, original is a respectable, functional, and reliable student ID which I had cherished for more than 6 years.

How did I end up with two student IDs you ask? Well, seeing that I'm about to graduate, I decided to keep my ID as a momento and declare it "lost". After NT$ 150 and 3 working days I got our new second generation student ID which is hideous and silly (herein termed "new").
First of all, the English fonts bearing the name of the school made it looked like a kindergarten. This card contained no information at all except your name, school number, and your faculty at the left corner which is easily neglected. Then we come to space utilisation - what is the use of all the empty spaces between my name and my faculty?
At the back of the card, the bar code is half the size compared to original which makes it very difficult to be detected. Then there were rows and rows of useless articles dictating the laws and bylaws of student identities according to the Ministry of Education.
A novel function of new is an RFID chip embedded inside the card. So instead of waving helplessly for the bar code to be detected, you just swipe it over an RFID detector while paying your food. However, as student meals are subsidised (or so they say), it only allows one payment per meal. Poor students like me who eat ourselves into the red every semester can no longer rely on other students to pay for food. I resisted switching to new when they made the overhaul but seems like my resistance is futile now that I'm about to graduate.
I am only glad I kept original with me during all those tough years of medical school. Now when I graduate I can return this hideous new ID and keep original as a symbol of resistance from all those years of poverty and hard work.