Let me be clear: I know very little in the grand scheme of things.
I like to think I know more than I do, which is common for most, but I think I am loosing my mind with some of the belief and knowledge that I do have. With all that I have been learning recently, not just about myself but within my classes both as a student and teacher, I have to conclude that there is more in this world than I can ever comprehend and decide what to do with.
I am a classical history major, and the most common question I get with this degree is : so what are you going to do with it? This is not the first time I have discussed this topic either, in fact, I wrote a paper on it to complete the English Composition class the Spring Semester just concluded. My argument was that with this major, I could do anything. Anything I wanted to. This proved to be a little wider than originally thought, as, I discussed the put-down creative students receive where art is not a requirement but science is. Singling out my point here: I believe I have much more opportunity with my major than most.
It sounds ridiculous I am sure, but here me out:
Overall, the focus of my degree is in the ancient civilizations, particularly Greece, Italy and the Mediterranean. It may sound dull to some, but to a young child introduced to the Ancient Egyptians and archaeology, it was just the beginning of something that I could never wrap my head around and has held me intrigued to this day. I have never gotten over it, and I hope there is never a day where the lives and achievements of those thousands of years prior to my contemporary will never loose its charm. The achievements are great too: some of these ancient civilizations hold better standard of living, development and have a more functioning society than some of todays countries. They built structures, which would require today our high-tech gear and machines to build, instead with their bare hands and manpower. These are just few broad examples of the success of the ancient world. But I am falling off track with my amazement. . .
The classical degree enlightens in all areas of study. I study both individuals and empires of people, war and politics, religion and affairs, dress code and ideals, art and architecture, language and literature. By studying the civilization, I understand vast groups of people and all that they have been and will become. It goes deeper than any psychology class trying to determine belief, or the strategic understanding of any one politician and their goals. We know in depth the surrounding forces at play, the history and the ideals. Classics majors have to see it all. We determine business ventures of Emperors and Kings, consider battle strategy in multiple terrains, literary genius from both epics to plays, and drawl off dates and languages and names, and be more open minded than most due to understanding the bias, interoperation and the reliability of both contemporary and non-contemporary sources.
My Classic Degree is no ordinary degree, and few realize it.
By studying the history of people, you realize how very little changes and how much history repeats. I can promise you, classical history teachers, professors and lovers could see the issues with the government, immigration, war and religion long ago, and know in depth its consequences. Leaders, royalty, tyrants and idols all have their doppelganger in history, I am certain. Learning about people, in such a wide and varying degree of light, I have found is more enriching than any other class I have taken.
I study: maths and numbers in architecture and determining timelines; science in archaeology; journalism and language in literature; business, politics and international affairs in the growth of society, government and conquering; psychology in religion and from learning the day-to-day life; etc. . .
It’s the most well rounded course I have ever taken.
For someone who strives for knowledge in all areas, it is perfect. I love to have knowledge of all and most things so I can keep up with all conversation and general understanding, and classics has offered me that in so many ways.
But here is where my frustration sets in: so what are you going to do with it?
What am I going to do with a degree that teaches me so much about the world the other degrees barely scratch the surface? Anything I want too. To be taken down by those who determine my degree to be anything less than the most enriching decision I’ve ever made, well, I wish you all the best trying to sway me otherwise.
It will be a challenge to change people’s minds about my little ol’ degree. I know it will. However, I will not allow myself to be boxed in to a corner and be limited in my future decisions because it is considered ‘smaller’ and ‘not as popular’ than a degree in business. I am excited for that challenge. I like knowing that even though I still have very little idea of what I want to do and where I want to go, I am not restricted at all. And, I can always learn more. History students know that there is always more and more and more, and some we will never learn as it is lost to us. . . Unlike the past, the modern world is all here.
Let me be clear one last time: I know very little in the grand scheme of things, but I can promise you, my little classical degree has turned me into a better and stronger candidate for all fields of work for my future.
et ideo fortior
Posted 3 days ago by Bethany Anne Miller
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