Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Down to the Wire and Close to the Bone

Hopkins and I have been having a bit of a difference of opinion about the relevance of taking humanities and social sciences courses. Now that he's back in school, he seems to have a real fire under his butt about getting out as fast as possible- and in his milieu (programmers of the world, UNITE!) math is *it* and everything else is superfluous. Well, almost everything. He still reads space operas, something that I find oddly comforting after so many years...including a series that features a protagonist who, in his words, is a 'deadly librarian'. The resident deadly librarian appreciates that, but, nonetheless, I really wanted him to take a literature class. Or a history class. Or something, anything, that pushed him out of his comfort zone, and that he didn't necessarily know from rote.

Let me interject here that it also annoys me that he has such a disdain for the humanities and social sciences- particularly since yours truly has two history degrees and I'm preparing to work on a third. You can't make someone value things that they don't care about, in the same vein that you can't make somebody love you who doesn't; however, I find this mildly intractable attitude indicative of an education that is somewhat lacking. I've made the point that he is attending a university, albeit a regional state school and not the elite competitive East Coast school at which he originally matriculated, ergo there are expectations that he will take courses outside his major so that he emerges on the other side a more well-rounded (yes, dare I say it, educated) person. I've lost the argument thus far, and concluded my most recent statements in the matter with a threat that I'll come down there and personally kick his tail if he blows the Western Civ II CLEP.

The other side of this is that yes, at this juncture, time is rather of the essence. We are no longer as young as we once were...the whole 'earning a living' thing is sort of important. Be careful what you wish for, because this blew up as a nasty exchange over whose fault it was that he didn't have the credentials necessary to advance in his field (his, having been sent down in 1987). The faster he acquires the credentials, the faster he can get a better job, and in some ways, I think, feel a lot less insecure about a great many things. I don't begrudge him that and it's also partly my fault.

If his credit-by-examination plan succeeds, he will graduate this December. It's been a long and circuitous route, but at least he'll have his bachelors' degree. Whatever will I do when he finally flies the nest at last? Survive. Exist. Continue...as I have done these many years in between. 

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