How many times have you heard that “everything is going to be okay”? I hear this on the daily from my parents, my friends, and my professors. But sometimes, everything is definitely NOT okay, and knowing this itself, makes everything okay. People struggle all the time. Some people don’t make it through high school, and look at all of us, enrolled in one of the best schools in New York State. It’s important to know that even on your worst days, everything is going to be okay. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. It is something that has been said to me since I was little by my grandmother and my mother. I have come to believe that no matter what path I go down, what I do in my life, it all happened for a reason.
This semester has been interesting for me personally. I haven’t had the best grades and have had to make some difficult phone calls to my parents. But everything happens for a reason and everything is going to be okay. My advisor-whom I strongly recommend to anyone in the education field, is one of the nicest, most caring guys I have ever met. He knows how hard I try in my classes and he knows that my grades are not where I want them to be. Every time I go into his office, he points out a card that says “RUDE AWAKENING #457. NO ONE CARES WHAT YOUR GPA WAS”. This is something that over the past couple of months has really hit hard. Your whole life, you were instructed to “get good grades so you can get into college so you can get a well-paying job”. Well, its okay if you have a bad semester. It’s okay if you have a bad year. Because no one is going to look that in depth into your transcript and think “hmm in 2016, ____ got a C- in a math course, lets not hire them” even though you are an English major.
One semester is not going to kill you, one bad grade is not going to destroy your GPA. I know that while getting these grades, it feels like the end of the world, but you have multiple courses and multiple grades adding up to make your GPA what it is. One bad grade does not matter nor does one perfect grade. Its all about staying consistent and earning the marks that you deserve, no matter if they are good, or bad. And just remembering that everything is going to be okay.
Admittedly, I have trouble going back and revising my writing. Growing up, I always kind of had a chip on my shoulder when it came to this. I was always allowed to submit essays without any real necessary needs for extensive revisions. Even recently, I submitted an essay early in my History of Theatre class, and managed an A the first time around, meaning I saved myself a lot of trouble in the upcoming weeks. However, when it came to my “Essay 1” submission for intertextuality, I cringed as I found myself deleting all but 400 words of my formerly 1600-word essay for revisions.
After going over Zulus in class today, it was fascinating to learn briefly about Percival Everett’s background. It was interesting that despite being a philosophy major in his undergraduate work, he was still well-read on other topics, such as but not limited to the sciences and biology. However this was not surprising to me, as philosophy literally translates to “love of wisdom”.
On November 2nd 2016, we participated in a class experiment dealing with alphabetical or an “abecedarian” approach to organization. It was interesting to really think about this, as it has always seemed just widely accepted that this is typically how archives and books such as the Bedford Glossary are organized.
Reading through Moran’s Interdisciplinarity, Chapter 5 Science, Space and Nature, as I read about “bioregional authors”, it reminded me of a similar situation I have been in when it comes to reading Greek mythology. Most Ancient Greeks knew the stories of most if not all of the characters in the plays presented to them. However, in today’s society, it usually requires specific research and knowledge about these characters to even get an idea of what is going on. This is very similar to the knowledge on cultural geography and ecology necessary to understand the region-specific writing that Moran mentions.
Often times I’ve caught myself acting self-conscious about the fact that I’m an English major. Usually when I tell people this fact, it’s greeted with skepticism:
“Oh… what are you going to do with an English Literature degree?”
“Are you going to be a teacher?”
I usually follow up these criticisms with the reassurance that “Well, I’m pre-law so I plan on going to law school afterwards”, as if to validate that my studies are going to be “worth it”. In class discussion, it was nice hearing that I’m not the only one who has experienced this. It’s also interesting that there has somewhat always existed an ever-changing hierarchy in interdisciplinarity as far back as Aristotle, with slight discrepancies from today’s educational hierarchy. Continue reading “Interdisciplinarity and the Ever-Changing Hierarchy”
(When I began to think of blending literature and science, this refused to stray from my mind. Pretend you haven’t seen this movie and scene a million times.)
“Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could that they didn’t stop to think whether they should.” Obviously applicable to the scientific revival of dinosaurs, this classic line is more recently used to denounce food monstrosities like the caramel apple oreo and KFC doubledown sandwiches (look them up. Definitely an abuse of science.)
But what about real issues that face this concern? That the powers of science may be flourishing far more quickly than the grip of ethics can take hold? We reach farther and more rapaciously each day. It was only in 1981 that the first embryonic stem cells were isolated in an experiment from mice, and now we can use them to research and cure a multitude of diseases and injury.The genetic importance of DNA was only discovered in 1953 and already we have learned to clone an entire being. And perhaps the most powerful, terrifying scientific discovery to date: in the 1930’s scientists began theoretically discussing nuclear fission. And in 1945, we tested Trinity, the first nuclear device that was by far the most devastating and powerful weapon ever seen before.
These, of course, are examples of the most polarizing scientific advancements. While the first two have become more accepted over time (duly so, in my opinion), all large leaps in science have been approached with fear and apprehension. Is this something that is morally okay to do? Is this “natural”? What are the possible consequences? And where will it lead? These are important questions that the scientific method doesn’t account for. All the empirical data in the world cannot give these answers. These questions and those like them can be used as a fear mongering tactic, but open minded, rational and respectful discussions of these concerns are necessary. Furthermore, despite the insistence of many that these kind of questions impede scientific advancement, I would argue that they enhance it. And it is English that teaches us to ask these questions. Continue reading “How Interdisciplinarity Prevents Dinosaurs (sort of)”
So far, I have only read the Introduction of Joe Moran’s, “Interdisciplinarity,” so I am no expert but it doesn’t sound like anyone is. Interdisciplinary sounds like an updated word for philosophy. It is the center of all the disciplines yet, no one really knows how to explain it or if it is a good idea. Moran himself says, “I take interdisciplinarity to mean any form of dialogue or interaction between two or ore disciplines: the level, type, purpose and effect of this interaction remain to be examined.” To me it seems as if the scientists and researchers still do not understand this word they created for the connection of different disciplines or should I say “majors.”
I think that the philosophers and researchers try to study every single thing and then work much slower and more scattered because they can’t just focus on one field. Can you imagine what Nietzsche could have accomplished if he would have stopped and specialized in something rather than worrying about trying to “traverse the who range of human values and value-feelings”?
Moran states that Aristotle claimed that philosophy is the “universal field of inquiry which brought together all the different branches of learning.” How can one possibly major in philosophy if it is essentially the entire tree and every other discipline is the branches? Wouldn’t it be more effective if everyone picked the one branch they wanted to study to the point where they could memorize the veins in every one of their branches leaves rather than to try to know everything there is to know about that tree? We are all only human, even the scientists and philosophers, and we can only comprehend so much information. If everyone dedicated their lives to a more concise field of study, then ideas like philosophy and words like interdisciplinarity would not be as overwhelming.