I’ve spent this semester finishing up my general education credits, so the classes I’m currently in don’t have much to do with what I’m interested in, major wise. Although, the classes have offered me information about the past, present, and future of our society. Whether it’s science, art, music, or the environment, there’s a history and room to grow.
The first idea comes from my art history class, Exploring Art Revelations & Revolutions, taught by Professor Philip Inwood. After viewing and discussing many paintings from the 16th and 17th centuries, I’ve learned how artists of the past have greatly influenced how we appreciate artists of the present. If the artists weren’t seen as these amazing creators that influenced people, then we wouldn’t see paintings as an important influence today. This relates back to my major as the same concept can be applied to cinema, as it’s a huge form of media that greatly influences populations as do physical art.
The second idea comes from my Environmental Geography course taught by Kevin Wall. We learned about how we need to learn from our past mistakes otherwise the environment will suffer, as will we. Such as, if we keep destroying areas of the environment for profit, there won’t be any left to make a profit off of. An example of this can be applied to the sibling directors, the Wachowskis. They made The Matrix, but continued the series haphazardly and it declined in value, yet raking in the dough. Now it’s reached the point where it’s damaging to their careers to keep producing terrible movies at the expense of minimal profit, much like the environment. This is a mistake that should be learned from.
I took away several ideas from courses that I thought were completely irrelevant to my major at the start of the semester. But through some digging and my odd knowledge of directors and the history of cinema, I could learn how to apply the knowledge to my field. This opens up my hope for information that could help me in ways I don’t even understand yet.
This article an issue of Liberal Education depicts the author’s fear of interdisciplinary studies leading to its own demise. The author, Ethan Kleinberg, discusses how several interdisciplinary programs eventually became disciplines themselves, such as Women’s Studies and African American studies. These interdisciplinary programs becoming university programs added are examples of options at universities expanding, but what the author fears are programs being replaced altogether. Certain interdisciplinary studies programs get their own colleges within universities, get staff and students teaching it, and it becomes a discipline itself within the university. The author fears that this would cause interdisciplinary to just rearrange the disciplines of colleges rather than being a connection across disciplines.
Kleinberg uses two models on how he sees interdisciplinary should be in education to prevent this from happening. The first model is at Wesleyan University, they have a College of Letters which is an interdisciplinary program that takes advantage of the multidisciplinary concept of having different professors from different fields teach the disciplines that make up the program rather than making the program a new discipline. The other model is that disciplines come together on a specific issue with a particular combination of areas of study rather than creating a whole ‘nother program to be offered by the college.
Personally, I find this outlook on interdisciplinary studies interesting, because the program can be used for all three of the above examples. What I mean is, it can be used to create another discipline like Women’s Studies. And also a multidisciplinary program as well as an interdisciplinary program to solve an issue. I’m personally trying to create my version of programs that were previously offered at this school and ones that exist at other schools. I’m excited for the next the years and live out the plan I’ve constructed in this class as I’m sure other members are excited to carry out their programs, whether it’s multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, or a possible new discipline altogether.
Education, Liberal. “Interdisciplinary Studies at a Crossroads.” Association of American Colleges & Universities. N.p., 30 Dec. 2014. Web. 16 Apr. 2017.
A collaborative study in Helsinki between genetic scientists and veterinarians describes a myoclonic epilepsy syndrome in dogs and discovers the genetic cause as the DIRAS1 gene. The dogs began having seizures at around 6 months old, usually while asleep. This canine epilepsy syndrome is much like the human juvenile myoclonic syndrome in certain aspects. The study therefore has meaningful possibilities for epilepsy research across different species. The DIRAS1 gene had not been connected to any neurological dysfunctions before the study and genetic scientists are looking to see how this could help humans with juvenile myoclonic syndrome by finding the genetic cause. Several veterinarians and geneticists studies studied 600 Rhodesian Ridgebacks and about 1000 epileptic dogs in other breeds. They discovered that the gene was specific for Rhodesian Ridgebacks. This allowed vets to produce a genetic test to screen the puppies of this breed to allow breeders to alter their breeding plans, reducing breeding more with the syndrome.
This scientific example is one of multidisciplinary work. The geneticists worked to discover how this could be applied to humans as the veterinarians worked on how this can help dogs and their owners. The veterinarians worked on studying the dogs as that was their area of expertise, and the geneticists words on the DNA in their labs. Their jointed efforts discovered an abnormality that can help both humans and dogs, and even ended up producing a genetic test to discover which dogs will develop the syndrome. Without the two different fields of science collaborating, breeders would continue breeding and selling these special needs dogs that could avoid having the disease in the first place. And genetic scientists would still be trying to figure out how to detect juvenile myoclonic syndrome in humans with little to no leads. The collaboration of these two fields are going to save a lot of people and puppies from unnecessary suffering in the future.
University of Helsinki. “Significant epilepsy gene discovery in dogs.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 February 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170221110730.htm>.