Three men walk into a bar — the owner of a successful engineering company, the CEO of a private financial institution, and the president of a software company.
No, wait. Let’s make that three men walk into an upscale pub. After all, the men are high mucky mucks.
They find a semicircular booth toward the back of the place, which allows them to observe everyone in the pub and still maintain a semblance of anonymity. After all, in their respective worlds, they are big shots.
After the waitress delivered the drink orders, those successful men turn into whining babies. What could cause such a collapse into what some may describe as girly behavior? The answer, dear reader, is a flaw many employees exhibit.
Based on a recent news article, the outlook is bleak. But do not feel bad, if you missed it. The story was not blasted 24/7 until your ears bled. In fact, it was practically invisible.
“The University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point has proposed dropping 13 majors in the humanities and social sciences — including English, philosophy, history, sociology, and Spanish — while adding programs with ‘clear career pathways’ as a way to address declining enrollment and a multimillion-dollar deficit.”
Such plans intend to change the mission of the university system “by removing words that commanded the university to ‘search for truth’ and ‘improve the human condition.’” The replacement courses ‘meet the state’s workforce needs.’ In other words, the pragmatic intention is to make universities into trade schools, rather than institutions of higher learning.
After all, churning out ignorant, single-purpose, citizens is essential to maintain and grow the ever-evolving technologically focused economy. There is no need to teach English and proper grammar or develop a love for books if your job is robotic.
There is no need for courses in philosophy and sociology. There is no need for deep thoughts or better the human condition when people are nothing but isolated. Forget about history because that information may confuse the masses.
The lessons of history teach us not to repeat the same mistakes. However, it is clear to anyone observing the ignorance of the masses regarding history; the puppetmasters DO wish to repeat those mistakes. The better to manipulated and control folks.
A liberal arts education gives students a firm foundation, making it possible to understand new concepts, adding to and expanding on the underpinnings of one’s knowledge.
Following the preferred path of no liberal arts basics, the focus of education narrows down to practical professions. Consequently, the university may churn out brilliant engineers who lack the ability to communicate their concepts, which explains the lament of the software company as well as the engineering company bosses.
The same is true for the financial institution. If one lacks the basics of English grammar, it is possible for portfolio managers to struggle when writing up a recommended course of action. Such presentations can make or break multibillion dollar deals. Even on a smaller scale, a written presentation can make the difference between granting a company more funding or driving it into bankruptcy.
We often forget, verbal and written communication coupled with the ability to reason is the domain of humans. Sadly, all we have to do is look around to find countless college graduates behaving like their more furry cousins, the apes. Hand them a goody (or freebie), and they are yours to command. No rational thought required.
Jill Tiefenthaler, president of Colorado College, stated:
“A rapidly changing world means that young people will need to know the value of seeing things from different perspectives and be experts in collaboration and communication. The only way they can prepare for the future…is to develop nimble minds, comfort with different cultures and ideas, and skill at writing and speaking…many people…confuse education with training… A liberal arts education teaches students to learn how to learn, and inspires them to go on learning throughout their lives.”
Continued growth in knowledge is as crucial for humanity as are the trades that keep the wheels of progress turning. If the decision becomes an either-or proposition, we all lose.
Perhaps the powers that be would prefer we join our cousins in the treetops and be content poking at navel fleas?