Saturday, October 15, 2011

Generalizations and the Importance of the Arts

Does it annoy anyone else that the Arts are never spoken about when students are encouraged to do well in school? And why are so many generalizations used when speaking about the tendencies of Americans?

The first thing I noticed in 2 Million Minutes was the incessant generalizations that were being made about the tendencies and behaviors of American students. The behaviors such as lack of studying, a large amount of socializing, and the inadequate use of time were shown in the two American students. The writers of 2 Million Minutes intended for these negative qualities to be the only qualities shown about Americans in the context used. However, these are not the only qualities American students possess and they are not dominant in the lives of every American student.

I know that in my academic life, I strive to learn as much as I can and be challenged, along with receiving good grades. I also know that my friends feel the same way that I do about education. I know for a fact that the only time that I go out with my friends is on the weekends; during the week, all of my time is devoted to either school, Brigadoon rehearsal, or studying tat home. These assumptions made about American students are generalizations because they definitely do not apply to everyone. 

Another aspect of 2 Million Minutes that annoyed me was that the Arts, or any subjects that were not science, math, or related to either of those, were not mentioned at all. I know that my favorite subjects, and the subjects that I have the most natural aptitude for, are the classes pertaining to literature, communications, or history. Math and science are not the only courses that contain importance for young people, and suitable careers that will assist the world can be made from subjects such as literature or history.
I believe that "I Wanna Be Average" exemplifies this importance when the author, Mike Rose, speaks of his favorite teacher, Jack MacFarlane. MacFarlane was a literature teacher, and he changed Rose's life in unimaginable ways. Rose also speaks of his fondness for literature and the ways in which literature has helped him become an intelligent, driven young man. This shows the importance of literature, and this importance should not be underestimated, especially when speaking of the future of our world.

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