Talking to Current College Students about their Choice of Major INTERVIEWS
KELSEY SANDERS, AGE 27 B.A., Psychology B.A., German Language and Culture
Interviewed by Corinne Jean-Gilles
What is one thing you would change about the educational system and why? Pay teachers more! In all seriousness, I think we underestimate the important role that qual- ity teachers (high school, college, and beyond) play in people’s lives. I also firmly believe that any laws governing education must be handed down by people that have taught at some point in their lives. There are a lot of people in D.C. making laws about things that directly affect teachers and students, who have never once set foot in a classroom. Do you feel like you can properly advocate for yourself in a social setting? Explain. Yes. I have developed strong social skills over the 27 years of my life, many of which have been strengthened by my current job. ABOUT ARTS/HUMANITIES IN CAREER Why did you choose to pursue a degree/career in the arts / humanities? Psychology was the first class I found interest - ing in college, and I just stuck with it. I landed on German, as my mother is an immigrant from Germany, and I wanted to feel more personally connected to my family history.
ground adds something particularly valuable or unique to your current or future jobs? I am a special education teacher. I use the skills I learned from the arts in my work every day when I step in front my classes. Do you think your back- I think a background in the arts has just allowed me to be comfortable in front of large groups, which is useful as a teacher. In what ways have the arts/humanities opened surprising newpaths for you or contributed some- thing special to your career path or your job? Studying German allowed me to travel and study abroad. Studying psychology opened up a wide possibility of options for careers. Why are the arts/humanities important to you personally and in your career? The arts shaped who I am. I did theatre as a kid, and it helped me find my voice and my confi - dence. What is your job title and how do you use your background in the arts/humanities in this posi- tion?
Why do you think taking classes or gaining a degree in the arts and humanities is especially relevant and important in today’s day and age? I think it is important we have a well rounded society. I do not think arts/humanities degrees are better than STEM degrees, it is important that people choose a path that most interests them, regardless of the area of study. Have you ever felt like you’ve been left out of a well-rounded educational experience? Why or why not? No, I went to a large public university where I was required to take hard sciences, math, etc. It was by no means a liberal arts school, where I could isolate myself in the arts/humanities, so I feel like I got a taste of everything. Do you believe the education you received in high school prepared you for college and be- yond? Why or why not? I was completely unprepared for college. My high school did nothing to instill study habits, or push us to be all that independent, so the first year was very challenging for me.
ABOUT THE EDUCATION SYSTEM During your years in the United States Educa- tion system, what do you feel like your teachers heavily emphasized? Math and science was heavily emphasized, but more so for boys that for girls. Going to school in the 90’s/early 2000’s, it was still generally thought that STEM careers were for men, and hu - manities careers were for women. I spent a lot of time thinking that math wasn’t for me, but dis- covered later in life that math is a considerable strength of mine. “What kind of opportunities did you or did you not have to take classes in the arts or humani- ties? In college, I could take whatever I wanted in the arts and humanities. Once I declared a psych ma- jor, I was pretty locked into social science/hard science and stats classes, but my German major allowed me to go deep into the humanities side of things. Probably why I decided to double ma- jor, I wanted the best of both worlds.
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