“It was by far my favorite class … though I could’t and can’t think of any bluntly practical application for it, not unless you’re bound of a career on the stage or in academia.”
Frank Bruni stated the above in his article “College’s Priceless Value” when referring to a class he took on Shakespeare’s tragedies. This particular passage stood out to me and really made me think. After we finished reading King Lear in class, I found myself wondering why this specific reading was chosen as a class text? At first I was thinking about that question literally; what exactly did I learn from King Lear that I can apply in my life today? And what I learned was, just as Bruni said, nothing. I personally could not find any practical application from the text. BUT I don’t believe that was the reason the text was chosen. Looking at the bigger picture on why this text was chosen, I found that this reading was just one part in making us not only good students, but well-rounded people.
Reading King Lear allowed me to read something that was different from my major, which is specifically science-based. Therefore, reading King Lear forced me to see things in a new way. And THAT is why I believe we read King Lear, to create well-rounded students who can go into the world with more open minds. We are at college to acquire specific traits and learn particular tasks that will help us in our career someday. However, having knowledge on topics outside of information required for our careers will not only make us more successful within our careers, but more successful at life.
James Baker wrote an article, which support the idea that general education classes outside of our particular majors are key in a successful career and life here.
I agree with both Bruni and Baker. I think it’s important for secondary education to not just create better workers, but better and more knowledgable people. So, giving students the opportunity to think differently through required classes like Interpretation to Literature will play a part in doing so.