Sticky Notes of Thoughts

…because some thoughts are worth remembering

On Receiving a Liberal Arts Education

MarseilleMusicians

I received, no experienced, a liberal arts education, for which I am grateful. I don’t know if it is inherent in the fiber of liberal arts education or if it’s because I actively sought to attend a liberal arts college that I found it so valuable (or was it specifically Reed College? Steve Jobs didn’t even graduate from it, but he attributes Apple having different fonts to his Reed College education).

Feeling like you belong is an important concept, especially as a woman and an immigrant, as I discussed before. At a liberal arts college, you feel free to explore subjects you are interested in it, even if you aren’t good at it, or have no plans to specialize in it. As a matter of fact, you are required to take courses from the humanities even if you plan to major in chemistry, and courses from physical sciences even if you plan to major in sociology. It was like an extended summer camp, to be able to explore what caught my attention, and sit side by side with students who decided to master these topics who have been investigating the subjects more thoroughly.

A Reed Alumnus, Robert Bridges, described the university degree system in a way that I would have if I were as eloquent:

“It harkens back to the ancient concept of what a baccalaureate degree is. The term bachelor means you’re not wedded to a particular discipline. The master’s degree is where one gains mastery in a particular field, and a doctoral degree means that you administer to the educational needs of your practice.”

He also said in the June 2014 of Reed magazine that “a perfect world would enable a student to combine the liberal arts experience with a graduate degree, though it is an elitist model not all can afford.”

I was not afforded that luxury, but I’m not bitter: founding a startup seemed like a more direct way of mastering the field of business administration.

Photo: Band playing at a market by Marseilles Harbor, France

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One comment on “On Receiving a Liberal Arts Education

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This entry was posted on August 5, 2015 by in Education and tagged , , .
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