Artsy doesn’t have to be fartsy

Why I don’t hate my humanities class after all


My nerd membership card is at risk of being ripped in half. I might have my honorary eye glasses confiscated. I may no longer be allowed to worship His Bobbafettness. After almost two months of second semester, I’m finally ready to admit it: I’m enjoying my humanities class.

Science nerds and humanities classes aren’t supposed to mingle. If a Nerdian ventures into the City of Artsy Classes, we’re exiled from our homeland on pain of death. Or at the very least, our Star Wars action figure sets (all sealed in original mint-condition packages) will be smacked around a little and have a corner viciously folded down. But in direct defiance of the Nerd Code of Honour, I’m finding the class… well… interesting.

The class, “Individuals and Families in a Diverse society,” claims to cultivate “an awareness of and insight into students’ own personal and family development.” It also promised to teach Learning Skills.

Surely I was doomed.

But then something miraculous happened. I didn’t have the gall-bladder bored out of me. When we learned about the traditional transitions that adolescent Canadians face, I didn’t find my mind shutting down into a sanctuary of exponential equations and horizontal asymptotes.

I’ve even gained some invaluable Learning Skills.

No, it doesn’t quite match the thrill of finding a derivative, setting it equal to the slope of a tangent, and then solving a problem in which a point off the curve of a function must be found. But if losing the right to say words like “vertices” and “polynomial” means finally learning what the hell words like, “conceptual framework,” and “occupational attainment” actually mean, then it’s totally worth it.

Unless, of course, it means my Bobba Fett is in any sort of danger.



Artsy doesn’t have to be fartsy

  1. That’s alright, Scott. I’ve always found that true interdisciplinaries are the most interesting people to talk to. For instance, someone who studies, say, Computer Engineering, but also dabbles in philosophy and religion (such as yours truly).

    This divorce between Science and Humanity is really only a recent one, and should never have occurred in the first place – science without humanity is a dangerous and cold thing, indeed, and should not be allowed to continue. (Perhaps it is not so much a divorce as a bit of a rough patch).

    I miss the glory days of the polymaths and renaissance men (and women), when a person was not considered truly educated unless he or she could reference both Dante and Descartes.

    Science teaches us how to better live in this world. Humanities teach us to how live better.

    But don’t worry about me – I still have my Star Trek action figures, even if they’re stuffed away in some unlabeled box, and I can’t wait for the next season of Battlestar Galactica to begin. :)

  2. Shameless dilettantes both of you. Interdisciplinaries types are indeed interesting people. But it is easy to develop those interesting characteristics that so impress people at parties, when you’re unemployed.

  3. Your nerd membership card will be revoked because you don’t know how to spell Boba Fett.

  4. Since you are thrilled by finding derivatives, you should probably check out my brother’s book:
    The Art And Craft of Problem Solving by Paul Zeitz. Seriously. He’s fun, serious and totally in love with math.

  5. Dear Nerd King,

    It was a test, of course. That, and my editor must have added the extra ‘B.’ And my dog ate my homework.


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