At a Nov. 1 Gabfest, the future of the Cornerstone I perspective was debated by two faculty members. Each brought up cohesive arguments. Nick Proctor, associate professor of history, remarked on how he believed the classes were outdated and did not represent the views of the entire world. Mark Gammon, associate professor of religion, commented that removing these classes would turn Simpson into a “glorified trade school.”
Simpson’s curriculum is outdated because faculty members are fearful of moving too far away from the liberal arts forum and into the field of actual, real world preparation. This is a shame. Stating that taking away the classes that fall under the current Cornerstone I would transform the campus into a job training site is an opinion indicative of why many students leave the campus ill-prepared.
While it is important to gain a perspective of the views on which civilization itself was founded, perhaps being a “glorified trade school” should be a key priority at Simpson. How many students who take Western Civilization can even regurgitate Socrates or Plato past that first midterm? How many of these same students have a resume that falls short of other college grads competing for the same jobs? Maybe what we need is to start philosophizing on what it means to be ready to enter the real world, not simply study one fraction of its past.