This archived article was written by: Christopher Palo
STEM; that was all there was to me when I first attended this institution of higher learning. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) were the things I held most dear, and the things I wanted to pursue for the rest of my life. I was aware of the liberal arts and like all students, I was forced to take a few classes in them and dreaded the fact that I couldn’t focus just on my major in the STEM fields. I enjoyed my time in those classes and even did fairly well in them.
Introduction to poetry by Professor Kent Templeton and introduction to film by Professor Corey Ewan, are the two classes and professors that stick in my mind. and they are the two that opened my mind to the liberal arts. They took my ridicule and jokes about their career path in stride and continued to share their beloved fields with me. I quickly became connected to the two men and their ability to take something I dreaded and make me see it in a magical light.
I had always thought poetry was for soft and unmanly men and then Professor Templeton introduced me to men like Charles Bukowski and Dylan Walsh, both poets and both beer-swilling womanizers who were the exact opposite of what I had envisioned as the soft and emotional man of poetry. Under his tutelage, I discovered poems about war, about drugs and violence and, of course, about raw unbridled sex.
These poems were eye openers and I even started writing some of my own. Then I stared writing short stories and essays just for fun. The ability to make a complete world out of nothing and make it any way I wanted to was more fun than I had imagined.
In the fall of 2012, I took introduction to film by Ewan and though it was just a class to watch movies all day. But when I got in the room and sat this wonderfully flamboyant man starts teaching in the most entertaining way a class could taught, each class was another show. I soon found a friend in this instructor.
I preformed in the play “Les Miserables,” directed by Ewan. During the undertaking of the rehearsals and set building, I found I enjoyed it more than I expected. There was work to be done, but the work eventually turned in to play. Laughs, jokes and great friendships were made.
It was a world unlike any other I had experienced. People were actually fun and had personalities. People liked hanging out with each other and actually cared how the other person was doing. There was love not only for the play, but the company of performers in the play.
I have learned that opening yourself up to other experiences is what helps us grow as people. I sit here bound and determined to major in physics, but I found a love for journalism. So I ask myself why can’t I do both? Why can’t I have my preverbal cake and eat it to?
I challenge you open yourself up. Find out what else is out there. You might find that you are great at something you never expected and then fall passionately in love with it. Our world is about differences and different perspectives. So get out of your shoes and into someone else’s.