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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

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    Theater arts a broad, vibrant major

    Now, typically I refrain from rising to the obviously inflammatory remarks so frequently bandied about by the writers of the Wildcat’s Opinions section, but in the case of Sarah Devlin’s “”everyone knows that idiots major in theatre arts,”” I really couldn’t help myself. We theatre types have been fighting this attitude since we came to college and, let’s face it, will probably still be fighting it 30 years from now when we’re raking in the dough as artistic directors and CEOs of major multinational corporations. Think I’m exaggerating? Ask Michael Eisner.

    See, the problem with people like Ms. Devlin is that they don’t understand that theatre is about more than putting on a pretty costume and flouncing around on a stage. There are acting methods to be learned, history to be studied, books to be read and analyses to be written. I wonder if Ms. Devlin could tell me why the musical as we know it today is a distinctly American style? I wonder if she could explain the impetus behind or significance of the Absurdist movement? Could she break down a scene for beats and intentions or compile a plot-bead diagram? I’d wager not.

    Our method for pursuing knowledge may seem wholly foreign to Ms. Devlin, the high-and-mighty English major, but she might consider for a moment the fact that intelligence comes in many different forms. Moreover, if she actually condescended to take a theatre class, she might realize that the major requires much of the same work that she does in her English classes (the difference being that we do it for fewer units).

    Finally, I would like to add that there were few remarks Ms. Devlin could have made that would have been more detrimental to her own argument. She rails about the importance of a balanced education, but strikes out at the major that is, at its very core, exploratory and broad? Theatre majors are encouraged – nay, required – to study a wide variety of subjects. Furthermore, theatre majors are considered particularly beneficial employees. We are trained to work hard (often spending as many as 20 hours a week earning two units), collaborate effectively, think creatively and write well. Ultimately, we are exactly the kind of students Ms. Devlin wishes to foster. In the future, she might consider doing some simple research to avoid making such an idiotic generalization.

    -Emily Denison
    senior majoring in English and theatre production

    Eller promotes graduate school

    After reading Ms. Devlin’s column in Monday’s paper, I am extremely disappointed in her assessment regarding graduate school preparation and encouragement. Ms. Devlin’s byline indicates that she is an English and political science major, so how does she would know whether or not “”Eller adequately encourages its students to seek graduate degrees and diversify
    their education””?

    As an Eller student, I would have to whole-heartedly disagree with that assertion. Many students in Eller choose not to immediately attend graduate school because top recruiters prefer job experience. I am a student in Eller’s School of Public Administration and Policy, and of the job listings I have seen (primarily government agencies), job experience is preferred over a graduate degree. Job experience provides an edge that classroom knowledge cannot substitute – after all, everyone knows that book smarts can only take you so far. Another reason why some do not choose graduate school right out of college is that many employers, especially the government, will pay for it after being employed for a specific length of time.

    Nevertheless, I offer the following examples of how the university promotes graduate school: Career Services’ annual Graduate School Fair (this year’s is Oct. 24 from 1-4 p.m.); Career Services’ continuous offer to critique resumes, a necessary part of the graduate school application; Kaplan’s graduate examination preparation classes offered on campus; and professors who offer to write letters of recommendation and assist with the graduate school search.

    Of course, these will not get you to graduate school – inevitably, students need to take the initiative to find internships, foster relationships with professors and develop their skill sets in order to succeed in graduate school. As you climb higher in your educational careers, more of the burden to succeed is taken from the institution and placed on your own shoulders.

    -Janne Perona
    senior majoring in criminal justice
    administration and political science

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