Wednesday, June 22, 2011

No, It Isn't

No, it isn't time to kill the liberal arts degree. It never will be that time. Even if only a tiny fraction of the college student body majors in something besides business-related subjects, there's always going to have to be some people around with the knowledge to remind all the others what lies at the core of us: our humanity. And that's what the humanities are all about, aren't they?

It appears that we're moving inexorably into an era where the accursed marketplace will call all the tunes. Everything will be judged by same criterion: does it help or hinder business. Are you ready for this world? I fear, despite my fervent wishes otherwise and all my instincts, that is the world we have already entered. As if to confirm it, I ran across another blog today that I will be reading regularly--yet another! (I can't keep up with all of them now.)--called "The Leibowitz Society"--by the way, if you've never read Walter Miller's A Canticle for Leibowitz, your life is woefully incomplete--anyway this blog is dedicated to the preservation of knowledge for the rebuilding that will be necessary after the coming Dark Age. And this piece, coincidentally the first I've ever read there, concerns this very subject of liberal arts degrees.

Remember yesterday when I was talking about Ms Kim Brooks, the author of the piece that set off these ramblings? And I said I did totally dismiss her out of hand? This was because after several hundreds of words arguing that it was indeed time to kill the liberal arts degree, she ended up saying that she would not trade her education in English, and all that poetry, fiction, and theory, for anything. Which doesn't necessarily mean she would do it all over again if she were starting today, but even with 20-20 rearview vision, she cannot bring herself to say what she learned was useless. I sure as hell can't. Either for her or for me.
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