Price is a sophomore broadcast journalism and politics major and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sometimes we all sit back and actually realize what we’re all doing here, and it’s amazing.
This is just my little bit of time to celebrate where we all are; to bask in the glory of learning.
There is no grand purpose for this column except to exalt the beauty of higher education at Drake University.
Sometimes we need to take a break from study and discussion to actually rejoice in the opportunities we all have here at Drake to simply learn.
I am in a wide assortment of courses this semester—law, politics and society, journalism, rhetoric, psychology, honors, anthropology—and the diversity between the types of students and professors in each are amazing. I’m not talking about physical diversity but instead, intellectual diversity.
In the journalism class, students can look at any image and say how the photograph could have been better. The anthropology students discuss the culture that made the photograph possible, while the LPS students see ways society could make the image a happier one. Rhetoric students wonder what the meaning of the image is. If I was in a philosophy class, we might get entangled in the question, “Well, what is a picture anyway?”
The different ways we each view the world around us is a source of limitless bewilderment and wonder, and that is what makes a “higher” education possible, and I might add, worthwhile.
It depresses me when I hear of students who go to college to just earn a degree so they can get a job after college and contribute to some company’s profit margin their whole lives.
Oftentimes, these areas of inquiry that we are “forced to take” are more vital to arming us as citizens and workers to take on the world than the actual courses focusing on our work.
If we don’t leave Drake University questioning the world, curious about alternatives and essentially the same person as when we moved into the first-year halls, then what are our mountains of debt worth? I might add, too, that would be a terribly boring way to spend four years of life.
The problem we constantly see, though, is that all of this education is only present if we take advantage of it.
A faculty-led working group on global and multicultural understandings sent out approximately 150 invites offering a free (delicious) lunch to students and faculty who would come discuss the ways Drake could provide a better education.
Let’s guess the number of RSVPs by playing hot-cold.
140? Haha. Bahaha.
100? The world is iced over in a post-apocalyptic state.
75? Biting cold.
48? Refrigerator temperature.
20? Chilly, my nipples are still hard.
Out of 150 invites, four members of the campus community RSVP’d to the lunch offering to help the university produce a better education in a globalized world.
All of the departments encompassed by humanities held a symposium last Saturday. Humanities courses read “Disgrace” by J.M. Coetzee during the semester, and then students had the opportunity to discuss the novel with professors at the symposium.
The discussion of the novel, completely optional, was attended by 14 intellectuals and professors and a grand total of five students.
So few students from the entirety of humanities attended the discussion that the students present had a 3:1 professor-student ratio.
When the intellectuals spoke, the others present nodded agreeably or shook their heads angrily, while beginning to prepare their responses in their heads. However, when a student spoke, the professors quite literally sat on the edges of their seats, truly listening to what the student was saying.
If you get to know a professor on this campus well enough, it is only a matter of time until they decide office hours are too boring a setting for discussion and they invite you to lunch.
At first, this was weird for me. How do I deserve the audience of a Ph.D. to bounce ideas off of? However, what Drake University says quite unambiguously is that if you are a student at this university, you do.
I can be quite critical of the place where we’re at, and I often am, it’s the best way to improve it. However, once in a while you have to sit back and look at what you’re doing.
The learning that goes on at this place, if you take advantage of it, is what makes it all worthwhile.