“And it’s dangerous to forget that in a democracy, college isn’t just about making better engineers but about making better citizens, ones whose eyes have been opened to the sweep of history and the spectrum of civilizations.”
The University of Iowa is home to over 31,000 blooming students all with aspirations such as achieving their dream job or higher education. With so much competition it seems only logical to focus generally on each student’s distinct major. After all, majority of graduate programs are highly specific and incredibly hard to get into. Often times I found myself asking the question why do we have to take gen eds when we may never utilize them for our careers? It was a constant question in my mind when thinking about English classes in general. How will an interpretation of literature class benefit my purely science based human physiology degree? The truth is even though I may never directly utilize the information I learn it will make me a better individual. Competitive programs, GPA, and other factors cause us to lose sight of the real goal of education, which is learning. Not only is it important to fine tune a specific skill, but to immerse yourself in a wide range of things to become a well-rounded citizen. Shakespeare not only was a literary genius, but we can all learn important life lessons from him.
From the reading of “king Lear” we can see important values and struggles each of us go through in everyday life. Aspects such as love, family, trust, and power are all very real issues. The fact that we can not only read these ancient tales, but apply them nearly hundreds of years later is pretty awesome. Also there is the portrayal of the old English style of writing. This was one thing I found incredibly challenging throughout the reading of this piece. However, the basis for many of the words we use in the English language today come from Shakespeare’s original works. The struggle of reading this and understanding it is a challenge within itself. Reading and interpretation of the world around each of us is the basis for becoming a better individual. A resent statistic shows that nearly 40 percent of schools don’t require students to utilize the arts in order to graduate. (http://www.ed.gov/blog/2012/04/ed-releases-new-report-on-arts-education-in-u-s-public-schools/)This statistic is a sad reality and is becoming a norm in many schools today. I feel like it’s important for our education system to remain more open instead of confining people to very specific classes. So I say bring on the Shakespeare and keep the general education classes coming. It’s important for us as individuals to be aware of many aspects of education. If given the choice would you cut down the amount of general education requirements the university has? Do you believe Shakespeare could actually be relevant to students?