One of the best parts of going home on breaks has been telling people who knew me before college that I’m majoring in computer science. The look on their faces is PRICELESS because I was never a STEM person growing up; instead, I thrived in the Humanities, loving History and English and wanting to be a teacher for roughly eight years.
This semester, I’m taking two Humanities classes for fun. One of them is a philosophy class called Science, Technology, and Culture, taught by Professor Collin Rice whom I
had Intro to Logic with last year. Did you know Philosophy of Science is a thing? I wish I’d known about it sooner, as it’s really interesting. In the class, we talk about topics like nature versus nurture, innateness, and twin studies, among others. As a Humanities-turned-STEM-person, I now see how my twin brother was nurtured towards STEM growing up as that’s where he thrived.
The class recently discussed Larry Summers’ claims about how women are innately inferior to men in STEM subjects. Nearly everyone in my class had strong opinions on the topic, and we realized that society led to men’s brains being typically (but not always) better at numbers-based tasks because women were historically confined to the house and childcare. At least some things can be TAUGHT because they’re not innate.
The other class I’m really enjoying is Professor Shiamin Kwa‘s Films of Wong Kar Wai, a Chinese film class on a well-known arthouse director. It’s neat to watch all of the films made by one director in the order he directed them, taking note of his idiosyncrasies across films and seeing how he grew with experience.
I won’t spoil too much, but he has a thing for using clocks and time, the same actors, certain food like pineapple or pie, long panning shots, interesting use of color, and more. The class has had some amazing discussions and I look forward to them and our film screenings each week.
Honestly? I love the freedom of being able to take both STEM and Humanities courses in college. Some other favorites I’ve taken have included Sociology of Harry Potter and Romance to Bromance, which I took both of in my sophomore Spring. It’s really neat to see overlap between classes and work experience, like how I’ve been able to cite research on emotions from my thesis in both Science, Mind, and Culture and the Films of Wong Kar Wai this semester.
Recently, Silicon Valley engineers have come under fire for not understanding ethics or their user base. The primary reason? They didn’t take enough Humanities courses in college as the majority of them did not have the freedom to take classes outside their engineering majors. Luckily, that won’t be a problem for my classmates and me.