September 25th, 2006

calvin and hobbes: explore imagination

Specialization

Today was another day of eternity: calc, watching a women's studies video that I forgot to watch last night (I didn't put that on the to-do list this weekend. That would explain a bit.), during which I had a few genius moments, lunch, French (I didn't fail the test!), DEs, work, SEC meeting, dinner, and now.

I've been thinking about some things, though.

I don't want to declare a major.

You read that correctly. Now I know you're thinking, "But you're the poster child of a math major! Why would you go around saying you don't want to declare?" and blah blah. That's not what I'm saying.

I just don't want to devote the next two years to one (or even two, as I'm planning on right now) fields of study. So many proponents of liberal arts education (including myself) will say that studying one field isn't the point, but you still declare a major, yes? You're still diving indepth into one field of study. Diving into one or two fields doesn't frighten me. Diving into only one or two fields does.

I don't want to be the person who knows everything about one super-specialized field and nothing about everything else. This frightens me more than just about anything, for then how can I grow in other fields? How can I expand my mind elsewhere? If I specialize in one interest, what will that do for my other interests? My interests are so diverse that finding one thing to unify them is difficult, if not impossible.

I don't want to specialise. I want to know as much as I can about everything. I want to be a polymath. Given the choice, I would be a lifelong student just so I could study everything I could get my hands on. Unfortunately, there's that little thing called reality that gets in the way, so I have to settle for a job.

A dream job, though, will unify all my main interests: math, writing, languages, grammar, linguistics, people, and so many more. I think this is why I occasionally say that I'm boring. How on earth can all these interests come from one person? More importantly, where are the mainstream interests: popular music, fashion, video games? Most of these don't interest me enough to qualify as a main interest, but they fascinate me from a scholarly point of view. What makes them popular? Who decides the trends?

More importantly, what is the role of study in this ever-changing world?
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