Nowak: Life starts with core

Erica Nowak

Freshman year. I remember it like it was yesterday. I moved into St. Monica and got a roommate from Jersey. Then again, who doesn’t get a roommate from Jersey? I got my schedule and this is what it said: Ancient Medieval Renaissance Thought, Themes in Modern World History, Calculus I, The Literary Experience, and Conversation and Composition. Now doesn’t that sound like bunches of fun? I thought, just like many of you are probably thinking now, why on earth do I have to take these classes? They have no bearing on what I want to study. What is this core curriculum about anyway?

Oh yes, I said that to myself every day for two years. But now that I have had the opportunity to go into the real world and experience life after college, the core curriculum is valuable. When you get out there in the field, employers really are looking for well-rounded candidates, which is what Villanova prepares you for.

So I had core humanities, like every freshman does. I read some books and wrote some papers. So you’re thinking, so what, I read and write in all my other classes. Yes, you do, but the texts that you read in core humanities and the things you learn give you the tools to someday effectively contribute to a discussion someday.

For instance, what do you do when you are at a business dinner and someone at the table starts up a literary discussion? How do you jump in? You use the tools you gained your freshman year and all the great work you did and Bam! You’re involved in the conversation.

Same goes for philosophy. What if over dinner your boss mentions Plato or Socrates? Are you just going to sit there or jump in with some silly comment? No, you’ll have something ingenious to say that you remember from your Introduction to Philosophy class. Believe me, it happens.

One of the classes I constantly go back to is physics. I dreaded that class. Yes, I could have taken biology or chemistry or astrology, but I thought, hey, let’s try something different and go for physics. What was I thinking? Subconsciously, I must have been thinking something good, because I use so many things that I learned in that class as conversation pieces. And the best part about that class was the professor, Dr. Arrison. He made the class fun and enjoyable. (Thanks, Dr. Arrison!)

So, I guess what I am trying to say is, although you may find it unnecessary and at times tedious, your education really will help you in the long run. Just wait until job interviews and dinner meetings, then you’ll see what I mean. Trust me, it’s worth it!