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Collegiate studies do not define intellectual status


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Students from A&T’s engineering department happily sport “Get a Real Major” t-shirts.

Though the shirts carry a lighthearted undertone, one cannot deny the condescending view of non-math and science related majors on our campus.  

As an English major, I have been questioned on countless occasions, “What are you going to do with that,” as if teaching is my only career option. Forget the need for speech and ghostwriters, copy editors, or people who can compose a coherent email.

I recall multiple conversations with my peers consisting of the proverbial, “What’s your major?”

The moment I say English, they dismissively respond, “That’s not too bad.”

Never mind those who believe journalism and mass communications is a walk in the park and visual art majors are not to be taken seriously.

People quickly pass judgment on non-math and science related majors.

But I do not comprehend how one could even compare subject matters so inherently different.

To compare an English or JOMC major with a business or engineering major parallels comparing apples with oranges.

 These types of majors utilize different parts of the brain. Majors such as engineering, that focus more on objectivity and definitive answers, mostly utilize the left hemisphere of their brains.

On the other hand, majors that require creative and open-ended thought, such as visual arts and English, use their right hemispheres.

I have often overheard people talk about how wonderful their grades would be if they had an “easier” major.

Such individuals fail to realize, regardless of the grade point average hierarchy prevalent on A&T’s campus, it takes hard work to maintain mostly “A’s” in any major.

Each major has different standards and expectations to meet.

So while a biology major, for example, may be required to write a research paper, it would not be graded on the same scale or level as an English paper.

No matter how great the content, if an English major hands in a grammatical nightmare, he or should expect no higher than a “C” on the assignment.

You do not know what it takes to be an English, art, or JOMC major unless you are actually pursuing a degree in one of those respective majors. Thus, who are you to say those are “easy” fields of study?

Nobody knows the time and effort it takes to crank out the work students in Frazier Hall literally labor around the clock to create.

One may argue art majors love what they do so the time they put it does not matter. However, one’s love of his or her major does not negate all the time and effort that goes into being a successful student.

There is no one standard of intelligence. Intelligence does not begin and end with one’s ability to compute complicated equations, but transcends to encompass the mastery of verbal, visual, musical and creative skills as well.

Just because you can excel in one discipline does not mean you can succeed in another.

The fact of the matter is easy majors do not exist.

Putting other majors down does not validate your intellectual capacity or your field of study.

People can talk trash and condescend all they want, but the average non-art major cannot generate the works actual visual art majors create.

The average engineering major cannot thoroughly read, comprehend then critically analyze “Beowulf,” “Heart of Darkness,” or “Paradise Lost.”

Conversely, the typical English major cannot correctly complete a business, engineering, or biology major’s homework.

So the next time you feel like knocking English, art, or JOMC majors have a 10-page explanation of relativism, a 4’ by 8’ painting that took 30 hours to complete, and a New York Times worthy news article on hand.

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  • Justine riddick Copy Desk Chief
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Collegiate studies do not define intellectual status