A Scientist in the Liberal Arts: A Semester Experience

This semester has been different and stressful and different. It hasn’t been hard or horrible or upsetting. Just different and stressful and different. At this point you’re probably wondering why I keep repeating myself and there is a reason for it.

That reason is Liberal Arts. 

Maybe I can’t complain. After all, it is only Spanish I, Beginner Ballet, and Management but its still Liberal Arts. They are still completely out of my realm. They are out of my depth.

I am a scientist. I do not say that lightly. It has taken me a long time to wrestle with that word and claim it as my own.

This semester. These three classes. They have shown me that I am, indeed, a scientist.

I speak the language of science and mathematics. I love the adrenaline that comes from finally reaching the end of a complex Calculus problem. I love the moment when you hold your breath after adding the last drop to a mixture and hoping that your experiment proceeds. I love the history of science. I love the crotchety people of science. I love the struggle of fighting for the understanding. I am a scientist.

This fact has made this jaunt, this detour into the Liberal Arts world incredibly interesting. Let me give you some examples:

In science we do not repeat. We discuss a concept, we master it, we move on. This is all done in one class period and if a student struggles the student is meant to seek out their own understanding. In Spanish all we do is repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Constant, in class drilling of concepts already covered.

In science we explain a term once and we use that term through out our papers. No matter how vague the term is, if we define it well enough it is valid. In Management, everything must have a name. Everything must be explained to the point that the concept no longer makes sense.

In science we use our minds not our bodies. In Ballet, we use our bodies. We work them. We stretch them beyond anything ever done in everyday life. Now, I full believer in physical exercise. We have been given beautiful bodies of which we should be good stewards. However, receiving a grade based upon what my body is able to do is something to which I am unaccustomed.

I suppose this is a silly complaint or struggle but it is mine nonetheless. Do not count me ungrateful. I am thankful for this time, taking classes in which I am not interested. It has shown me that science and mathematics are my true calling. It has shown me that I am capable of tackling these classes but there is no joy in the work. No matter, this is a time of confirmation and personal development for which I am thankful.

Love and Happy Reading,





1 thought on “A Scientist in the Liberal Arts: A Semester Experience”

  1. I can relate to what you’re saying. I’m taking philosophy this semester and it’s been…. interesting. I dread going to that class because there’s never a “if you do A, you get B”.
    There’s never a final answer, never a constant.
    But this class also made me aware that my kind of critical, analytical, I-have-an-MBA-darn-it!- thinking isn’t the only right kind of logic. I don’t like to admit it, but liberal arts students in my class who initiate 40-minute-long discussions about “virtue”, “nobility”, and “the truth”, also are logical. I don’t understand or enjoy it, but it’s there.

    Liked by 1 person

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