“Frivolous” Humanities Helped Prisoners Survive in Communist Romania – Nexus – Zócalo Public Square

By Irina Dumitrescu, reblogged from Zócalo Public Square

In a recent New York Times article on the movement to promote university majors promising higher employment and income, Anthony Carnevale, a professor at Georgetown University, sums up the utilitarian view of education in one snappy phrase: “You can’t be a lifelong learner if you’re not a lifelong earner.” Things often sound true when they rhyme. Growing up in Canada, I would have agreed with Carnevale. I would have even agreed with politicians like the governor of North Carolina, Patrick McCrory, who sees university primarily as job training. I had a Romanian immigrant’s relentless pragmatism, having been raised to think that medicine and law were the only acceptable career options in life. Although I was a bookish teenager, I never thought I could study literature or history or philosophy. At some level I felt these topics were pleasant but useless fluff, nice as hobbies but not worth thousands of dollars in tuition and four years of my life. At the …

Source: “Frivolous” Humanities Helped Prisoners Survive in Communist Romania – Nexus – Zócalo Public Square

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