STORY BY KENDALL WENAAS
As a journalism major, I don’t know everything about the magazine industry — I never will.
But thanks to the classes and experiences that Drake facilitates, my writing has improved, and I’ve furthered my editing ability.
Those are skills that pertain to my major, but I’ve also picked up a few pieces of information that aren’t journalism related.
Some professors, though, (and students for that matter) only expect me to know about journalism because that’s what’s printed on my transcript.
Thanks to Astronomy 001, I know that Jupiter has 63 known moons. Thanks to History 001, I can list the characteristics of a utopia.
The knowledge I now possess even comes from my high school days.
Thanks to five years of Latin, I can still recite the first ten lines of the Aeneid. And yes I still have the Pythagorean theorem memorized.
We’re fortunate enough to be able to take a wide variety of classes here at Drake. In theory, we go to a liberal arts college for that purpose.
Being a well-educated journalist should not lead me to become ignorant of all other fields of study.
Every student at Drake knows about more than just his or her major.
A pharmacy major may know a lot about computers. An education major could be exceptional when it comes to trivia.
The phrase “collaborative learning … by the integration of the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation” comes straight out of our mission statement.
As a journalism major, it shouldn’t come as a shock that I know how to take both the derivative and the integral of a function.
To be exceptionally knowledgeable in your field of study, you don’t need to shut out everything else.
That’s not how the human brain works, and shouldn’t be the expectation in a college setting — especially at a liberal arts school.
Students and faculty should instead challenge themselves to be well educated in a wide variety of topics.
While specialization is important, shutting your mind to the rest of the world is not.
It should be admirable, but not surprising, when a graphic design major knows about the human genome.
Same goes for business majors who can play the violin.
Applauding these skills is important, but only to a certain point.
As soon as we make it seem out of the ordinary for a design major to be interested in science, we are saying it’s OK to limit our learning.
Sometimes this extra knowledge comes in handy. Conjugating Latin verbs has helped me widen my vocabulary.
Other times, though, learning about unfamiliar topics forces us to think critically.
Either way, the more knowledge we posses, the better professionals (and people) we will be.
That said, I’ve yet to write an article about the planets in our solar system, but I’ll be up for the challenge if the opportunity ever presents itself.