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We still need liberal arts, you morons

A quick open letter to those who don’t value liberal arts in college, figuring we can just skip the whole college experience in favor of a few online courses in the technology du jour:

Today’s technological possibilities are virtually limitless. We can communicate in real time with nearly any spot in the world. We can store a lifetime of memories on a device the size of a thumbnail. We can carry our music collections on our phones. We can even produce electric cars.

We can’t spell. Our resumes are embarrassing. We’re befuddled by contractions, let alone any of grammar’s more complicated rules.

And you want to cut the liberal arts?

We flunk quizzes not only about international issues but also our own. The world map looks fuzzy to us. Twenty-nine percent of us think the USA’s population is over 1 billion.

And you want to cut the liberal arts?

We have political ads that hardly even attempt to make a point other than painting the opponent as evil. Politicians and the media convince us that we could cut 5% from the federal budget by getting rid of public TV and radio. We believe conspiracy theories ranging from birtherism to Sandy Hook trutherism.

And you want to cut the liberal arts?

We don’t speak foreign languages, which will eventually kill us in the global marketplace. Or in the intelligence community, where they’re studying brains to see if they can somehow compensate for their inability to find warm bodies who can speak important languages.

And you want to cut the liberal arts?

Employers consistently say they’re looking for liberal arts grads. “Employers understand that everything else can be taught, so they look for the most promising raw material to work with,” says one survey taker.

Whatever technology you learn in college will be outdated by the time you’ve been in the workforce for 20 years. The ability to think and communicate will not. 

Decent employers will make sure you’re up to speed on what’s changing in your profession.  They won’t teach you how to write and analyze.

Medical schools hardly bar the door to liberal arts grads. UConn’s med school says this: “The School of Medicine faculty believes that a broad liberal arts education provides the best background for those entering the medical profession. In addition to the required courses in the physical and biological sciences, applicants should include courses in the undergraduate curriculum encompassing mathematics, foreign languages, literature, history, art, religion, psychology, and political science. Medicine is best served by physicians whose learning has been thoroughly grounded in both the sciences and the humanities.”

And you want to cut the liberal arts?

Let me put this in words we can all easily understand:

Go cut yourself.