Fun Fridays: Three reasons I’m glad I took literature classes


Literature can seem like a real bore at times

I’ve decided that each Friday, I’ll be running an installment called “Fun Fridays.” It’s really just an opportunity for me to share some more personal thoughts and perspective, however, I hope you find it interesting as I’ll always try to relate it to the Simpson community.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about another complaint I hear frequently. Many of my peers don’t seem to understand the need to take literature courses as part of their liberal arts education. I’ll be the first to admit that at times during both the literature courses I’ve taken here, I’ve cursed the books I had to read, their authors and yes, even the professors (anything negative I ever thought about a professor I took back soon after). Yet, after two consecutive semesters of literature, I’ve come up with three reasons I’m glad I took the courses.

1. Literature has solidified my philosophies
Literature is an excellent outlet for presenting new ideas and stimulating discussion and thought. In the Women’s Literature class I took last semester, the class read a non-fiction graphic novel dealing with the tragic and confining life of a closeted homosexual father entitled, Fun Home. In discussing the characters, plot and culture surrounding the novel, I found myself viewing my own reality through a new lens. I now have a guidepost I can point to when I go to the polls to, for example, vote to retain justices who support the constitutional rights of minorities. Literature is one of the best tools for developing this type of moral compass.

2. Literature helps me relate to my professors
There’s a reason why they’re our professors. Most of them are extremely smart, cultured and well-read individuals. One of the best aspects of attending Simpson College is that we, as students, have the opportunity to develop relationships with these professors that may even have benefits in the future. Taking a literature course ensures that next time a professor makes an off-the-wall literature reference during class, you won’t be left in the dark. Also, several times professors have used vocabulary that would have been incomprehensible to me had I not encountered the words in a literature course.

3. Literature helps you know a little about a lot of things
I find this extremely important as my girlfriend’s mother holds a Ph.D. At the dinner table, several different topics usually come up and often times I can come up with a smart sounding response using knowledge learned in a literature class. It goes a long way. I’m sure you can think of situations in your own life where this type of knowledge might be useful.

So those are my three reasons. I hope next time you are faced with signing up for a literature course, it won’t be so scary. Thanks to all those writers out there providing us students with even more homework and all those professors who want to help us enough to assign it!

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