Saturn and Beyond

I just got out of my Connections class, which is the interdisciplinary seminar all upperclassmen are required to take. The class is “Mars Exploration”. Other than the fact that I get to hang out in Thompson more often (most of my classes are in Wyatt now since both my majors are in the humanities) this  is exactly why I’m so glad I came to a liberal arts school: I can take a class about astronomy, just because I’ve ALWAYS  wanted to, and not only is it about astronomy, it’s about how planetary exploration relates to history, economics, and politics…so it’s perfect for a student like me who never even took a basic physics course in high school. I get to look at giant images of Mars and Venus in class and my homework is to take pictures of the moon with a telescope I make myself. It’s a little overwhelming to sit in a classroom and realize consciously that the entire universe is reeling and spinning lightyears above my head. But I love that my education here, the classes I’m required to take, broaden my horizons instead of narrowing them. With each class discussion, the universe becomes larger and more complex, but it also becomes more accessible. I am given the tools to explore it for myself. Tonight, I fully intend to spend an hour messing around with the Microsoft’s World Wide Telescope, tracking constellations and looking at Saturn’s rings up close. And after that, I need to write an essay about Shakespeare’s Henry V…for  a course that counts for my French major.  Liberal arts education at its best! The world and its infinite intricacies opens itself up to me. Nothing is irrelevant. Nothing is off-limits.


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