Food for Thought

It’s the most wonderful time of the year; X-ring is here! Although I’m only a sophomore, I too shiver with anticipation. Only two years (three if I don’t get my shit together) and I’ll have mine! However, I shall inherit mine from my Grandfather. My primary reasons are: keep it in the family, and save that sweet cash money! Upon reflection though, there is a deeper sentiment.

The X-ring can be a symbol of everything this school is and what the bearer gained while there. Your X-ring will be different from every other, but let’s talk about what they all should symbolize.

They should all symbolize X’s history, X began as a covenant between the Catholic Church and the newly arrived Scottish refugees of Nova Scotia. With education, these people would gain the tools to end their poverty and their discrimination. This is StFX’s historical mission, and was the reason why my Grandfather came here.

I’d like to think that’s why I came here, and that an X-ring will bring that to my mind when I wear it. But, does X still hold true to its founding mission?

I don’t think so, how are we honouring that mission when graduation now comes after an $80 000 bill ($40 000 if you’re getting half-of-an engineering degree)? I don’t think that makes university education at all accessible to the poor. The few and far between scholarships are paid for by alumni. Thus, a new X-ring symbolizes a school that has abandoned its founding mission, not kept it. 

Perhaps the X-ring symbolizes how we have reached the same level of academic excellence that was required of Xaverians past. This is false. Truthfully, my grandfather did not graduate from X. He flunked chemistry and opted to go home rather than repeat the whole year, as was required of engineers at the time. He did not earn his X-ring, yet he’s in the same prestigious club as though who do. Has that changed since then? 

I am still excited to get my ring, but because it’s a reminder that failures do not always reflect in one’s life. After flunking, my grandfather became an entrepreneur, fathered six children, sent four of them to get the education he didn’t, he’s in his 55th year of successful marriage - he’s even a patented inventor! His ring to me is a symbol of him – not his school. It was worn by a man who failed and came back from that failure on his own merit. Hopefully, when I fail in life, I’ll look to his ring, and be inspired to find success. The ring has almost nothing to do with this school, besides the desire to earn it before parading with it. That is what my X-ring means to me, what does yours mean to you?