A freshman enters a college whether in the U.S. or Japan or India or Brazil.
We keep trying to offer the view that holism must “rule” the discovery of a “major” or “field” in education.
This holism means placing on the “mental plate in front of the student” these dimensions of reality, considering that every student is first and always a person.
- “This is your life.” Every person (the predecessor to being a student) is born, lives and dies. Your education is part of this larger truth and you the student, being shrewd in the largest sense, wants to “factor in” the larger frameworks of book-learning (i.e., life itself).
- Shrewdness cannot be restricted to a ZIP code in a state that will be advantageous income-wise for orthodontists, divorce lawyers or pediatricians. Concern over “ZIP codes” when starting a career is fine and valid. However, it can’t be enough since the student is, as a person, more than a career “Olympic swimmer.”
- Micro-shrewdness (i.e., career tactics and smarts) has to be supplemented by “macro-shrewdness” (“this is my life” thinking). You have to carry some “enchantment” from your education with you, or the life you have will be desiccated or insipid. Ultimately, you will “outsmart” yourself.
Max Weber (died in 1920), the great sociologist, says of that modern world that it involves “Entzauberung” (disenchantment, where only technical cost-benefit thinking is seen as valid). This Weber insight tells you that a student/person has to find something enchanting to carry him or her through life, its blows and its helter-skelter “shapelessness.”
This is why we “insist” on holism in education everywhere from Day 1 so that these various levels of shrewdness are contemplated together and overspecialized “rabbit holes” are seen more clearly in their limitedness. The process of overview-creating and overview-pondering in the life of every freshman must be combined with “career-cleverness” by itself.