Arts & Humanities: Don't Leave College Without Them

cated person, be in charge of that decision? The answer isn’t particularly comfortable. I just don’t know enough. Yeah I can think, but I don’t know the facts. I didn’t pay enough attention to the novels I read in high school about independence and about losing autonomy. I took U.S. history, but I can’t remember when the Revolutionary War started. I would never let someone who hasn’t taken chemistry write my lab report. So, it begs the question: How could I allow someone like me to make a decision of multi-generational impor- tance without some major, serious, help? In short, as much as it may hurt our pride to admit it, we need the humanities majors. We need the logic of the philosophers, and the diverse perspectives of cultural anthropologists, and the understanding that we gain from literature or history. Progress! The very word raises our blood pressure. We are scared that, as hard as we may try, our society will never be quite good enough to solve more prob- lems than it creates. There’s only so much time in the world, so much funding, so many smart and passionate people. We desperately want to channel those limited resources into the most productive avenues possible. While the sciences are incredible, they are not the only useful field. If we all major in STEM, and break up our schedules with a few humanities classes, that’s a lot better than nothing, but I can’t foresee any great histo- rians coming out of that arrangement. The well- rounded scientist isn’t going to cut it. Most mid- dle school biology students could explain to you “survival of the fittest”. If we extrapolate this idea to the development of ideas and disciplines, then we can conclude that the arts cannot be meaning-

Keep in mind that you get one chance at this life. … You hopefully have some wonderful and aspira- tional ideas in your head, and we need people like you to pursue those ideas with conviction, with integrity, with ambition, and with bold intent. And people like myself will be cheering you on.

Charlotte Mineo is a Biochemistry major. She’s won awards for her work as an under- graduate biochemistry researcher, including the Beckman and Goldwater Scholarships. While not in the lab she writes as the Science and Technology Editor for the student news - paper, and volunteers as a reading and math tutor for elementary-schoolers. In her free time she hikes, swims, and reads. less. A subject without any use just wouldn’t have made it this far. As ugly questions rear their heads, we are reminded of the value of the humanities. A novel might not have any clean figures, or long data tables, but it does tell us something valu- able. It whispers a story of who we are, and where we might go, if we’re willing to sit down and lis- ten. I don’t want to see us mess up. When our in- ternal alarms start ringing in fifty, twenty, even ten years, when it gets too loud to pretend that our misgivings are nothing more than a pesky fly buzzing around in the room, then we’ll remember the value of listening. Goodbye for now, A con- flicted brain that’s reluctantly grateful for all of those humanities majors.

~ Adam Braun, Founder of Pencils of Promise


Arts & Humanities

Don’t Leave College Without Them


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