Thursday, January 24, 2008

Mythbusters' Values

If I had to identify people who most absolutely represent the highest ideals of a liberal arts education, I would start with the hosts of the television show Mythbusters.

A blogger writes on the merits of a liberal arts education as they relate to the show, and comes up with some interesting conclusions.

Maybe I should've taken a different career path? ;)

I may not be currently "using my degree," but I can say that it has prepared me for a myriad of life experiences post-college, from soliciting donations for large-scale apartment events (thank you, sorority fundraisers!) to one-on-one tutoring skills (thank you, Writing Center!) and even political discussions (thank you, Civil Rights and Justice!).

I believe the best value of a liberal arts education is that you leave a lifelong inquirer, interested in a myriad of subjects, possibly diving headlong into one particular area, but always seeking to make connections between disparate fields and wanting to know more. I agree with the author that Mythbusters embodies those ideals.

Jamie Hyneman, one of the Mythbusters hosts, puts it best:

You can’t expect to teach someone everything he or she needs to know. A broad foundation of experience allows you to extrapolate things with which you have no direct experience. Specialists are usually in danger of not seeing the forest for the trees.If you acquire both a broad foundation and deep knowledge in a specific thing, you become much more dynamic in that area. If one takes both of these things to extremes, something truly transcendental can happen. In my case, my college education was not specifically useful to me later, but it had an effect on me in fundamental ways that were very major in the long run.


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