Liberal Arts Advisors Commission Resources

Liberal Arts Advisors Commission Resources

From Liberal Arts to the World a new online series. Excerpt below for the first installment: read these interviews with Liberal Arts majors and where their degrees have taken them. New interviews will be available periodically --

Renaissance Man -- Jayson Jarmon

“I immersed myself in everything I could. It occurs to me that there must be something like intellectual multi-tasking…not tasks per se, but ideas. It’s the most overwhelming and the most important thing about Liberal Arts--you need to lose yourself in studying without regard to the structure of particular disciplines or administrative boundaries…

You can see the effect of it in the faces of punch drunk freshmen when they arrive back home at Thanksgiving time. Within a scant two months, otherwise stable young people return to mom and dad as Marxists, vegetarians, poets and philosophers. Kids who had been talking about sports and who’s dating whom, return home talking about the “mind/body problem” and the obscenity of profit.

They are just letting go intellectually. Perhaps for the first time.

And by letting go, you come to see the value of ideas. You learn how to synthesize unlike things into newer, better things. You reconcile opposites. You see the power of language as well as the seductive beauty of novelty.”

What advice would you give your child about the Liberal Arts?

“…my advice would be rush forward and immerse yourself in the great Liberal canon. In so doing, become proficient in clear written communication, rhetoric, and plain logic. Observe that we create new realities by merging opposing ideas, and that there is no ‘right’ answer, but an ongoing dialogue. Emerge from school knowing that even if you aren’t going to write the great American novel you are going to be able to talk, think and act responsibly. It is harder to create your own future than it is to follow the well-worn groove from school into law, business, or medicine…but none of those doors are closed to you either. Be prepared to face the possibility that you may need to live on Top Ramen for a while, but you will find your way, or, rather, you will make your own way.”