The Great Divide

We go to a school for science and technology, but what does that mean for the humanities?

Photo Credit: People believe that there is a line between STEM and the arts, but that line must be erased.

Annika Duneja , Staff Writer

There is a whole world of science and technology waiting to be discovered. Every day, there is new groundbreaking technology, more advanced robots, and new scientific theorems. Every day, we break barriers and do things that people a century ago could not imagine in their wildest dreams. It’s incredible. Every day we move forward in exponential steps, closer and closer to a perfect place of innovation, and farther away from abstract world of books, paint and music.

But what happens if I don’t want to be a part of the technological world? What happens if I rather stay with the older, simpler ideas that could happen with just a paper and pencil? Why is it that if I want to write stories instead of code, or if I want to draw flowers instead of sketch t-distributions, I’m not important? If I say that I don’t want to go into a career of science or technology, people go, “What career could you possibly want then?”

The problem is not that more people prefer a STEM oriented path, but it is that because the majority of people prefer it, they tend to think of humanities as a lesser field. Is it wrong that when someone asks me what my favorite subject is, I say English? Being a humanities oriented student at TJ is like looking through a window at all the kids coding and programming and wondering why you can’t be in the room with them. It is feeling like because you did not spend your whole life being someone who fits the TJ stereotype, you will never properly belong here, and that just isn’t true.

What people seem to forget is that when we decided to go to Jefferson, we did not just sign up for the science and technology. We did not sign up for the stereotype of having our only goal be to excel at science and math. We come in here thinking ‘If you did not come into this school knowing exactly how to build a fully functioning robot, then why are you even here?’ The worst part is that we have started to believe this stereotype. We begin to question how important our actual interests are in favor of subjects we are supposed to like.

The great thing about Jefferson, though, is that the school itself does not believe in those stereotypes. We have programs like IBET that allow people to see how STEM and the humanities are intertwined, and people just need to be reminded of that. There should be no line between the two, and though this is a school for science and technology, it is still just a school, with unique people who have their own goals and interests.