Registration fast approaches! Some thoughts on AHS from someone who took a lot of failed attempts to find an AHS concentration that fit:
The approach to humanities that sees it as a supplement or fortifier to STEM education is effective for some people and ineffective for others. I got little out of a Drawing I class by framing it as a way to up my MechE skills. Then I tried to take an education class from the perspective of an engineer looking to teach engineering. I’m sure that it works well for many people to have their entire curriculum working toward one unified goal or idea, but with all the talk of cross-disciplinary integration here, it took a while to realize that I could keep my peas and carrots on opposite sides of the plate. So, if by chance you were looking for permission: contain multitudes, if you want.
Something that worked well for me was to sit down with an hour or two free and go through the entire Wellesley course catalogue, marking off classes with names that interested me. Once I’d gotten through the whole list, I reviewed all of the class descriptions and wrote down groupings that emerged as concentration possibilities. I came up with two that I was really excited about and ran them by my advisor. I ended up with a concentration in history, specifically nationalism and partition – something I never, ever would have guessed that I would like. Because history was boring in high school, and I “just wasn’t a history person”. Turns out history is very different at the collegiate level, which lets professors get specific enough to do their subjects justice. And there were so many other options to explore – anthropology, psychology, American studies, political science, religion, classics…
Investing time in finding the right AHS concentration was arduous but worth it. I could babble endlessly about how much the history classes I’ve taken have enriched my life. There’s an amazing breadth and depth of opportunity in the arts, humanities and social sciences available to you, if you’re interested in finding AHS that does more for you than check off a requirement or further your engineering education.
PS. Fran Malino, My Favorite Professor Ever, is offering a seminar next spring on the history of anti-Semitism. So. Just a casual plug.