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Academia: Are We Doing It Right?

By Harry Pearse
Staff Writer

360 B.C., in the magnificent setting of ancient Greece, the glorious city of Athens, Plato records a conversation between Socrates and Crito. In this genius piece, we find out the love and “zeal” that these philosophical pioneers have for academia and knowledge is something that I believe has become over shadowed by our generation’s closed-mindedness.

The new seating area outside of Humanities Hall. Photo: Maxime Devillaz
The new seating area outside of Humanities Hall. Photo: Maxime Devillaz

Philosophy translates in Greek, “for the love of wisdom.” Have many of us now fallen out of the idea of learning as something just to be great, or for the excitement and sake of learning?

It brings up the question, why do we come to college and take a major that intrigues us, only to neglect it? Coming to college is such an exciting time in all of our lives. The freedom, the parties, the fun and friends; still we all must remember we need to get a good degree, too!

From the time of Socrates, to Einstein, to Thomas Edison, these notions of achievement and academic development were a thing of true beauty. It was something that they were completely ready to die for. Now, I am not saying that all of us here at Post need to have the “martyrdom” attitude with every class, because cleaning up the blood after midterms would just be too expensive!

However, having this concept of being passionate for a subject or cause is needed, especially in our generation. Evil used to be branded as the lack of knowledge. Does this mean that a high percentage of the 21st century students are “evil?” I hope not. However, are we not putting ourselves at a complete disadvantage by not thriving to learn more and more every day?

I am a prime example of a student who felt that I didn’t have to put too much effort into my studies, and that I could just coast through in second gear, and then occasionally bump up to third gear every now and then. But as I have grown older and more open-minded, I have spoken to fascinating people, such as my teammates, brothers and professors, who have motivated me to climb out of the oblivious hole that so many of us have fallen into.

I always thought I would have soccer to fall back on, but the reality is that most things in life are not concrete. The more goals you give yourself to achieve by learning different subjects, getting good grades, and showing passionate control over things, is going to help you thrive and graduate college, and not think, “Well…what now?”

It seems to take a few alcoholic beverages for many of us to jump out of a shell and convey that we know so much about everything. What if we actually did know, and have learned about so many well-rounded things, that our brain has just soaked it all up and is eager to spit them out in any environment or situation? (And not just in a drunken slur?) Wouldn’t that be so rewarding for ourselves?

My brother is what I would call pretty “geeky” and this isn’t a bad thing. In fact, I could be unsure about a political event, a scientific experiment, or any field of academia, and he could give me a detailed and understandable answer. I am in the ore of people that cannot do that, which is why I feel the need to better myself scholastically, and intellectually, so that maybe I could be the guy that people ask questions to.

That being said, maybe we can all go the extra length to learn the content of our classes and not just pass? Maybe we could be that friend that people have grave respect for, not because of the amount of girls or boys you attract or how good you are at a sport, but because of your vast knowledge! So, what’s the moral of the story? Study up and learn!

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