Liberal learning ruins lives

Liberal learning sucks. How’s that for an intro?

Ever since the Fall 2003 semester, when transformation took over, students have been complaining. And rightfully so.

Four classes a semester at four credits each. In the standard four-year (eight-semester) college career, that equals 32 courses total. Out of those 32, about 10 will be liberal learning classes. Don’t forget the other classes for foreign languages, senior practicum and other random mandatory requirements (redundant!).

I know some people who will have to stay at least one extra semester to fulfill all their requirements. This is in part because of general education. Some people are deterred from doing a minor because they can barely complete their major and gen eds.

Instead of taking liberal learning gen eds, I’d rather take additional classes relating to my major or minor (makes sense). I don’t care about being a well-rounded person educationally. I care about knowing a lot in the main areas in which I’m interested (duh). I’m sure some people accept their doom and go into liberal learning classes with a positive attitude, but not me. Hooray for pessimism.

If you take a look at my transcript, you’ll see mostly As and Bs (thank you). But what’s that? C+ in microeconomics? C in African-American history? I must be really stupid. Thank you, liberal learning, for kicking me off dean’s list those semesters. Other liberal learning classes in which I earned B-s: Politics of Sexuality and Islam. No comment.

That all makes me seem like a racist and sexist asshole. I’m not racist or sexist. I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!

Were those courses difficult? No, I think “pointless” fits better. The low grades were due to my apathy toward those classes. For some people, economics and African-American history are interesting and worthwhile. But I did not want to be there. At all. And since I resented wasting hours of my life sitting in classrooms “learning” about stuff I don’t care about, my work was done halfheartedly (the other half was busy with The Signal). At least I have some personal evidence to back myself up in this rant.

And just recently, a revelation has been dug up from the trenches of Records and Registration hell. There are other options to complete your liberal learning requirements, with a lower number of courses than ever before. Whoa! Thanks for screwing us with transformation and then telling us about these “new” options when we’re upperclassmen!

The way most of us have been plodding through the liberal learning is “Option C,” according to Robert Anderson, director of General Education. Option C. Meaning there are Options A and B. When I was a clueless freshman, some “official” person told me how to complete the gen ed requirements. It was the method of Option C. It was not the third option described to me – it was the only option. But I was confident. I was going to conquer liberal learning! I was going to take gen ed courses that eliminate more than one requirement, so as to take the easiest and shortest way out. Call me callous.

Would I have chosen Option A or B? Probably not. But that’s beside the point. The point is that liberal learning sucks and it makes me want to make fun of it as much as possible without threatening anyone.