“Shame on you, Duncan!”: Students and staff rally against casualisation at Melbourne University

University of Melbourne staff and students rallied outside Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell’s Parkville mansion yesterday in opposition to the University’s growing casualisation of teaching staff.

Students and staff say no to the Robert Menzies Institute

Students gathered on South Lawn yesterday to protest the opening gala of the Liberal-backed think-tank Robert Menzies Institute (RMI).

An open letter to all student politicians

As sleek Facebook frames are slowly being removed from the profile pictures of university students in their early twenties, and social media feeds are returning to normal from constant ‘vote for me’ c

"Please don’t ask if we’ve tried yoga”: Students fighting for disability support

Despite the University’s push to make learning accessible, through programs such as SEDS and Access Melbourne, there have yet to be endorsements from students that these programs are appropriate. Inst

Cinemas Buckle Under the Weight of the Netflix Empire

Will Hollywood blockbuster-type films continue to use Netflix as their outlet, or will they return to their rightful spot on the big screen?



Gilblin Eunson Library

<p>There are forty pot plants in the Giblin Eunson Library. They are placed on the shelves, and above the study desks.</p>

There are forty pot plants in the Giblin Eunson Library. They are placed on the shelves, and above the study desks. Their leaves look glossy. You cannot tell if they’re plastic or alive.

On Wednesdays, a man arrives to water them. He appears at 10am wearing a fluoro vest, like the vests ticket inspectors wear on trams while checking Mykis (when they aren’t disguised in track-pants and wool beanies). The man also wears a badge. It is silver and it says Flora Inspector.

He flashes the badge at students who tell him the plants are fake. Students always tell him the plants are fake — he appears at their desk, holding his retractable hose (with the nozzle that has fourteen pressure settings), and they laugh. They ask him if he’s an actor.

The librarians do not believe him either. They are polite when he is around, but one time — while behind a shelf — he heard them all agreeing that the plants are artificial. They still smile and ask him about his weekend. But he now knows that they think him superfluous. They think his job a waste of time.

He’s discussed this with the woman who waters the plants on Thursdays, and she’s told him that he shouldn’t think about it. She says most people don’t know much about plants. They probably couldn’t tell a palm from a peace lily.

Before he was a Flora Inspector, he majored in plant science. He also spent eight years in gardening, and co-authored a book on evolutionary ecology. He understands intraspecific variation, so he knows that plants morph to meld to their localised conditions.

He knows that each plant in the Giblin Eunson is unique. There is one on the first floor who has grown to love linguistics, as it is placed above the desk where this second-year always sits while he’s studying phonetics, and it reads over his shoulder. It soaks itself in the language.

Some plants in the Giblin Eunson specialise in economics. Others are nourished by business, or pedagogical theory. There is one with spiked foliage who is quite fond of Marxism — and a soft, flowering one obsessed with impressionist painting.

Perhaps we are this absorbent. (Or — perhaps — the plants are plastic. In which case, we are all wasting our time.)

Farrago's magazine cover - Edition Three 2021


Our final editions for the year are jam packed full of news, culture, photography, poetry, art, fiction and more...

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