Surely we need nurses and doctors, researchers and statisticians, investors and stockbrokers. Indeed, society soars on the coattails of such ambition. But the seas won't rise and the skies won't open if business school students take chemistry and pre-med students take accounting.
Most art students go through immense culture shock when they transition from art school into the "real world." Going from being intensely saturated with artistic activity and other artists to almost nothing can be incredibly depressing and difficult to deal with.
The separation of knowledge into categories frustrates the human desire for unity. Each of us is a student of the world, a whole individual trying to make integral sense of the world, and striving to make that world our own.
In Francis Cornford's satire, Microcosmographia Academica (1908), the dons in Great Britain dismiss a proposal to change traditional practices at their college because "Nothing should ever be tried for the first time."
In a film class this past semester, 60 undergraduate students, most of whom had never heard of white privilege, were confronted with its realities -- realities that are evident in the tropes, themes, characters and concerns of blockbuster movies.
How many graduates discuss (and face critique of) their senior thesis project with the college's top man? All of them, if they go to Bard College at Simon's Rock: The Early College, in Great Barrington, MA.
Having been through it all before, we find ourselves asking the following questions: Is a degree in a practical science worth anything anymore? Can "older" graduates compete with fresh-faced 22-year-olds?