Are Minds Turning to Mush?

…“College is increasingly being defined narrowly as job preparation, not as something designed to educate the whole person,” said Pauline Yu, president of the American Council of Learned Societies.

In today’s news feed, I came across this short article:

Is It an Unaffordable Luxury to Major in the Humanities in College?

Here is my unheralded response:

I believe that being able to think is a critical, do-or-die, life essential skill. The kind of thinking I’m talking about comes from the ability to use sound reason to identify and solve problems, enrich life emotionally and aesthetically, and create cultures that stand firm on solid, ethical, thoroughly examined principles. To learn to do this requires more than a college education steeped strictly in a medley of ‘how-to’ courses geared to catapulting students into the well-paying jobs their parents now demand.

Believe it or not, I am not impractical. I have lived through this recession just like everyone else. I have struggled to eek a crumb from the proverbial pie.  Yes, I was a humanities major, both times: English as an undergrad and Liberal Studies for my graduate degree. When I graduated from college, being an English major wasn’t such a bad thing. In fact, it was downright saleable in the worlds of advertising and marketing, which is where I wanted to be and subsequently went.

Ready for a ‘duh’ moment? Things are different today. The economy sucks, society is amok with killing sprees and shootings,  business is rife with scandal and education from the ground up is all about passing tests, not thinking.


An author, a teacher, a candlestick maker? I am lucky enough to have followed my muse through a most eclectic life of many careers, many interests, and many friends and liasions. Two beautiful children, now grown and one their own, several books -- the penultimate accomplishment dream come true, a hores trainer, a college professor, and a stint in corporate America to validate my feelings that I never, ever want to go there again. So I donned my ruby slippers and dared to take those different paths, those diverging paths, and that has made all the difference! (Thank you, Robert!)

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