Fish cannot climb trees, end of discussion

Ever hear that old Einstein quote describing the genius of fish?  Yeah, I tried to explain it in class today, and tie it into the discussion we were having about majors being real or fake, and it kind of got lost in translation.  So I am going to reintroduce/better explain the concept on paper.  Let me know what ya think.

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

So in class today, we were discussing whether or not a specific major can be “real” or “fake.”  And what I took from the discussion was that the rigor of a major, if it could be quantified, would serve as the way to measure whether or not a person’s major is real or fake. But right when this concept was introduced, it looked like absolute nonsense too me.  First off, considering a person’s major when you are not in that major just seems faulty.  How can you tell me that HRIM is an easy or “fake” major if you have never taken one of those classes?  Yes, I understand that your last Thermodynamics exam was out of this world difficult, but if you were thrown in the HRIM class and asked to take their exam, I am sure your analysis would be quite similar: That test was out of this world difficult.  So my argument is this: Everybody is a genius when put in the right environment.  But, when they are put in a field of study, or any situation in general that they are not too bright in, they look like an idiot.  They look like that fish out of water.  Therefore, we have no right to call a major difficult/real or fake/easy because we are in our own expertise, and may find it difficult, but if we are thrust into another major, I promise you that all of us would be fish out of water.

I am an English and Philosophy major, and I think my majors are both applicable for my future, Law School, and are extremely difficult at times.  Now, I am not here to assert that my majors are the most difficult offered at UD, because I really do not know if they are.  But, I am here to assert that they are not fake by any means.  Will I have a job right out of college?  No.  But that does not define my major as being fake.  Because if you take knowledge out of a field of study, and become a more intelligent and well learned person after gaining your degree, then your major is every bit real.  The knowledge you will take with you lasts forever and can become tangible in situations where it will one day be applied.  So enough with this rigor being a defining factor behind a real or fake major.  All majors are real when taken seriously enough.  And no one can tell you your major is less rigorous then theirs without being that major and taking those classes that you are taking.  If a Philosophy major comes up to me and tells me how easy his classes are, and how much of a joke the major is, then, well…yeah then I’ll have a problem.  Let me know if you find any.  Otherwise, enough with any major being more real or fake than any other.  Because when push comes to shove, in 10 years your major will have absolutely no effect on where you work, where you live, and probably your happiness level.  On the other hand, let me know when you want to talk about graduate school.

Aaron Weinstock



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