By Caleb Keith –
Two days ago, I started my last year as an undergraduate student. The semester ahead is going to be no easy task. I am taking eighteen units, including courses in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. On top of that, I have my five-month-old daughter to care for, and I was stupid enough to get a puppy, which my wife will be picking up tomorrow. It is safe to say that I have a hefty challenge laid out before me. However, this challenge is not uninvited. Every single task on my list is self-inflicted and for the most part optional. Now is a good time to ask why on earth would I do this to myself. For now, I’ll put the baby and the puppy to the side, because they are a different story for a different time.
The answer to why I would take on such an academic challenge is simple: a university education is supposed to be a challenge for the sake of learning. Paraphrasing my Latin professor, “By coming to college, you are proclaiming your ignorance and stupidity, and you come to class not to get a grade but to discover those things about which you are ignorant.” Such a statement goes against typical contemporary thought, which sees a university education as simply a means to a job. This common way of thinking is what leads students to take the easiest courses and chant “C’s get degrees.” The rich foundation of university education is not about getting a job but about shining a light into the areas of the mind where there once was darkness.
By recapturing the classical purpose of the university, the real value is brought back into education. There are much cheaper ways to enter the workforce, but there are very few opportunities to learn as intently as one does while attending university. I don’t want to waste the time I have left in school, and I hope The Jagged Mafia will join me in recapturing what it means to seek out an education.