Vice-Chancellor Dawn Freshwater takes time off between hosting Zoom webinars, and shooing pigeons off the Clock Tower to engage with her Youtube audience in this surrealist tragedy piece, ‘Vice-Chancellor welcomes new students.’
Shooting from what is presumably guest room #15 of her Parnell mansion, the Vice-Chancellor cooks up 3 mins 24 seconds of riveting action. From the beginning, as soon as she butchers the pronunciation of ‘tena koutou’, it is evident that we’re in for an absolute treat.
Whoever wrote her script did an excellent job of conveying elation and excitement towards welcoming students to campus. These emotions, unfortunately, end up being delivered in a monotonous manner, with an expressionless countenance.
The Vice-Chancellor’s words are rousing, imploring students to immerse themselves fully in what the University experience has to offer. Unfortunately, she omits mentioning this includes crippling debt, perpetual unhappiness, and graduating into a likely depression.
Despite this, the response from her Youtube crowd is fairly positive. Francis Fun comments ‘Hope the border would be opened soon.” It seems that ironically, for Francis, this pandemic is playing out to be anything but Fun.
As Dawn leaves the students with the uplifting message, ‘he waka eke noa’ (meaning something to the effect of ‘we are all in this together’), you are forced to appreciate that beyond all the shortcomings of this video, she has single-handedly justified the University’s expenditure on its own Māori pronunciation manual. And that’s an impressive task.
10/10 – Would pay to rewatch in summer school