When I first started college I had planned to obtain a career certificate and then get a job. I had no plan to take full course loads especially in math and science. However as I began to take more classes I had a desire to go further in my college career. Of course when one makes this decision, general education courses become inevitable. Many people complain about this portion of gaining a degree because lets be honest we all don’t have a desire to learn about science, math, music or literature. We excel in subjects we love, so of course the other classes may seem useless or difficult. On top of that, being a mom we often try to cut corners and do what is most essential. If we don’t feel like we are “good” at certain subjects, we may classify something as unessential. However, I discovered that general education isn’t just for the traditional student and that we have the freedom to choose classes that may later benefit us in life after school! So, here is my “Top 10” bits of knowledge I gained through general education! (In no particular order)
- Music Appreciation – the importance and significance of the origins of music and how the arts all tie together. Also, that Bach is amazing — among others.
- Ornamental Horticulture — that grasshoppers are in fact mean to our rose bushes and that buying a Praying Mantis is one way to rid your landscape of those pests!
- Public Speaking – that I am a good speaker. That more people fear speaking in public than they do dying. That “transition walking” can allow your nerves to be calmed.
- Child Development – That the areas of socialization for each and every one of us are: family, school, community, peers and the media. This was ESPECIALLY helpful as a mother. If you are even a bit anxious about starting college I highly recommend that you look in to starting with a child development class.
- Statistics – the importance of testing a hypothesis and using confidence intervals to see if your data is within a probable range. Also, to further your critical thinking skills. Also, that not even I am “bad” at math. This class is also especially helpful in terms of future research assignments.
- British Literature (yes, part of my major but also a gen ed.) – That the World War I trenches were a terrible, terrible experience for millions of young men, and we have their poetry to prove it. And that Chaucer is the Father of the English language and literature.
- Philosophy – “I think, therefore I am” actually makes sense now!
- Meteorology – the perfect atmospheric conditions needed for a thunderstorm, as well as the anatomy of a towering cumulonimbus cloud….and a tornado. This class actually also equipped me with information that calms my nerves a bit when I am flying — that the “bumps” we feel while in the air are actually quite normal.
- Journalism “Race, Culture, Sex and Mass Media” – Just how seriously ridiculous that our media culture is and has been for some time. That little things that usually go unnoticed in media are not necessarily unintentional.
- United States History – that George Washington was a great man — much more than I ever realized. Also, that Paul Revere never said “The British are Coming” because he was captured and released to go home later on.
This is of course my list, but I am certain if you asked another woman what she learned from her general education classes you would have a good variety of classes to choose from. General education may seem arduous or even pointless, but truly it allows a student to gain new information they might not have ever pursued otherwise. So do not fear general education — enjoy it, embrace it! And for those moms who have taken general education classes already, please feel free to comment on this post with classes you felt you benefited from!
(“Top 10” will evolve in to a monthly series spanning over various topics, for a topic you would like to see please leave me a comment)