The Humanities Matter. Why Don't We Act Like It?

The Humanities Matter. Why Don't We Act Like It?

People say that humanities majors are useless, but they aren't.

As an English-oriented major, I don't have the arithmetic abilities to count the number of times I've heard about how useless the humanities are to my future. I've heard it from my parents, my teachers, my friends, and my extended family, and I honestly couldn't tell you how sickening their broken record criticisms have become.

It seems as though the STEM fields have taken over modern society, fueling an obsession with efficiency that dominates our lives. We are driven by a need to contribute to society, but the only contribution we can think of is the kind that provides us with money and provides society with a feeling of moving forward. Progression means technology, so that's what we push in schools and universities. STEM fields get more funding while art programs fall apart. We value English, sure, but only to the extent that it teaches students proper grammatical form. Why study literature when you can study something actually worth your time?

That's the whole problem. The idea of "worth" has been rewritten in our minds to mean "profitable," and that which is profitable in modern society is science. I know, I know, graduate mathematics students would disagree, but ultimately, we judge the STEM fields as applicable to our surrounding universe. Applied science is the way to go in college, because that is what secures a job. Security, comfort, efficiency. These are our values, and art and literature just don't fit.

John Steinbeck said in his novel, The Grapes of Wrath, "The last clear definite function of man... minds aching to create beyond the single need—this is man." Creativity drives humanity. Why else would we call art and literature the humanities if not because they are what make us human? The humanities have defined civilization for all of history. Technology will move forwards always, but the humanities are what make each society unique. Yes, the Romans designed the aqueducts, but we love them more for their majestic architecture, for their classical sculptures, for the great works of Virgil and the adaptation of Greek philosophical thought. The arts made us human in ancient Egypt, in Greece, in Rome, in India, in China, in Byzantium, in Renaissance Italy, and even today. So why don't we give them the credit they deserve?

Students have been brainwashed into thinking that the arts make them useless to society, but in fact, the arts are the only thing keeping society human. They are what separate us from every other species, every other machine. Without art and literature, we are nothing but a computer-like brain built into a breathing, talking, walking mechanism. Without imagination, creativity, and the freedom of expression, we are useless ourselves.

Historically, no one could be "educated" without a deep and thorough knowledge of the humanities. Art history, philosophy, literature and poetry—these were always necessary to create a civilization. We live in a world in which these values are dying, torn by a lack of relation to a post-industrial society. Some people seem okay with that. Some people just don't care enough to do anything about it.

Not everyone has to be an English major, and that isn't what I'm asking. However, maybe take a second the next time you tell a humanities student that their specialty is useless. Take a second, and think about it. Why is it useless? Useless to who? Useless why?

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Deadlines Are Not Important

The Deadlines Of Life Do Not Mean As Much As You Think


Deadlines are not important; the deadlines for work, school, and things related to that, those are important. Life's deadlines are not important. Society tells us that we must be married, have the perfect job, and have children by a certain age. A lot of the times we end up believing that if we do not do certain things by a certain time, we have failed or we are not doing as good as everyone else. The truth is, society's and life's deadlines are crap. There is no specific time to be married by, no specific time to have your perfect job by, and no specific time to have children by. These things should not be accomplished until you are ready and capable to accomplish them; this means that if you are not 50 until you have your perfect job, you are not 30 until you are married and you are not 40 until you have children, that is okay. There is nothing wrong with waiting, experiencing life, growing in who you are, and doing what you need to do first. A lot of people do not have their perfect job until later in life because if we are all honest here, that is one of the hardest things to figure out and hardest decisions to make. People stress so much because they have not met these certain deadlines of life that they have been told their entire lives they need to meet by a certain time. So often, the important things like a job, a marriage, and children are rushed and people end up miserable. There is no sense in rushing if you are not ready for it yet. When it comes to finding the perfect job for you, look around, find your interests, and figure out what you can spend years of your life doing; take your time and be patient. When it comes to marriage and having children, do not rush it, it is one of the worst things to rush; do it in the time frame you want to and make sure it is what you want. Take a deep breathe and stop freaking out; you have plenty of time. Instead of going by society's and life's deadlines, go by your own and base that off of your capabilities and your wants.


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You Know You're From Trumbull, CT When...

The best memories are made in this boring, little, Connecticut town.


1. The majority of places you will consider to eat at are in Fairfield or Westport... Colony, Shake Shack, Country Cow, Playa Bowls, BarTaco

2. But if you find yourself too lazy to get on 95 for food, Panchero's is the go-to... never Chipotle. If it is past midnight, the choice always comes down to the McDonalds in Monroe, where you are almost guaranteed to see a group of people you know, or Merritt Canteen.

3. Once you got your license, your Friday night plans consisted of picking up friends, driving up and down Main Street, and, somehow, always finding yourself at the THS parking lot seeing who's car is there because there is nothing better to do.

4. In the Fall, you couldn't wait for Friday so that after school you and half of your grade could walk to Plasko's Farm for ice cream and apple cider donuts... and hope you could get them before the owners would yell at you to leave. (This one only applies to Hillcrest Middle School kids, AKA the inferior middle school in town).

5. You couldn't wait to be a senior so you could officially lead the BLACK HOLE at football games... if you were even willing to go in the cold.

6. You looked forward to the annual Senior Scav, the last week of summer before your senior year where a list of tasks is passed down by the recently graduated class... the official kickoff to senior year.

7. You pass by Country Club Rd. and get flashbacks from the worst Cross Country practices ever. Driving up Daniels Farm Rd. in the Fall and Spring, you are conditioned to yell "hi" out the window to your friends at practice.

8. You knew someone who worked at Gene's gas station... and found yourself spending more time there on the weekends than you would like to admit.

9. You are convinced Melon-heads are real after frequenting Velvet St. to see the abandoned insane asylum with your friends, IF you didn't want to drive all the way up to Fairfield Hills in Newtown.

10. You have had/have been to at least one middle school birthday party at the Trumbull Marriott.

11. You know that the 25mph speed limit on Whitney Ave. is way too slow... and can't help but hit a little air going down the huge hill at the top.

12. The guy at Towne likely knows your name.

13. You never find yourself turning right out of THS... that side of town is irrelevant for those who do not live there.

14. You know to avoid the Merrit Parkway from 4:00-7:00pm at all costs.

15. You know more than you would like to about people you aren't even friends with... in a town so small, things get around very quick.

16. Going shopping really means going to Target, or any store in the mall, for the millionth time that week.

17. The marching band was the best in the state and you would see them practicing, literally, every time you drove by THS.

19. Depending on the side of town you lived, you spent a lot of time at Five Pennies Park or Indian Ledge Park.

20. You would say you couldn't wait to leave, but when you got to college, you find yourself excited to come back to your hometown so you can reminisce on old traditions and make new memories.

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