What other current students think of the Core

<p>Recently I read from a famous book written in the 1930's that said knowledge is what you do with your education. This got me thinking about our core, especially Lit Hum, CC, Music hum, and music hum.</p>

<p>What do other students or alumni think about this idea of a core? </p>

<p>I think its pretty much unnecessary and a waste of time. You literally cannot do ANYTHING with the stuff you learn here. All it does is make you a better conversationalist at a dinner party. It probably does not boost your future income (try arguing that knowing Homer will make you more productive at a job). When I think about it, the only useful parts are probably University Writing and ironically frontiers.</p>

<p>I disagree. While I do not attend Columbia, I do feel there is inherent value to the intense core curriculum the school offers. It is true that it may not have immediate practical value correlative to one's chosen profession but I think that it's value is realized in a longer term sense; that is, as a student looking back reflectively on one's education, one can make a much more valid appraisal of the merits of one's education. It is not expected for 18-21 year olds--traditional students--to grasp the "bigger picture" behind these supposed irrelevant classes. I can tell you from my individual perspective, and being a non traditional student, the aspects of my education I discounted and took for granted such as liberal arts are inversely some of the most critical things I desire going forward now. This can be attributed partly to maturity and also strict opportunity--I never had the chance to attain a Columbia level education. As for practical value, I think on a macro level an individual who has been exposed to certain subjects has a much more informed perspective culturally speaking and even historically speaking than one who has been deprived of said education.</p>

<p>This makes me so upset. Why are you going there if you hate the Core so much? Ugh. If you think everything you're learning is so unnecessary, I think the admissions committee probably make a mistake in thinking you deserve to be there. I don't even go to Columbia and I can see the value of the Core. It's not so much about "knowing Homer" as the intangibles that are derived from having to think critically about mindsets different from your own clearly lacking perspective. Please transfer and leave room for people who actually want to expand as human beings rather than simply understand how to replicate some mundane skill set.</p>

<p>And since when are the only useful things in life ones that will "boost your future income"?! Ugh. People like you make me sick.</p>

<p>It's that time of the year...</p>

<p>wow man why are you even at columbia. it depresses me how many people want to go to a college like this just to get a degree and get a high-paying job. whatever happened to intellectual pursuit for the sake of becoming a more knowledgable, conscious, empowered human being? I've found the core to be fantastic so far. If you have a shallow outlook you're going to have a shallow experience with these works. </p>

<p>As a person living in this crazy time in history, I think it's more important than ever to cultivate knowledge for the sake of knowledge, specifically when there's such a tremendous lack of intellectual vitality in the mainstage of the world. It's especially important today for people to know and understand the works of art, literature and philosophy that have shaped the world and made human society what it is today.</p>

<p>Are you guys even living in 2011? When I look at the kids in my class, I see kids who have fun and have no idea what its like out there. The employment scene is horrendous out there. The goal of an ivy league education should be to enlighten us. Yes. It should also land us a decent job.</p>

<p>Right now we need entrepreneurs and scientist to create tomorrows jobs. "Cultivating knowledge for the sake of knowledge." Jesus christ. What is knowledge? According to Napoleon Hill, it is how one uses education to improve his or her life.</p>

<p>And to the people who say that Columbia Adcom made a mistake, who are you to judge? Is it wrong for people to go to an Ivy to hope for an education that will help them because the next business leader or plain white collared worker?</p>

<p>I'd really love to hear what some of the other freshmen have to say. I'll ask some of my friends in the dorm too</p>

<p>I'm afraid your perspective is a bit narrow-minded. If you would really like an objective interpretation on the value of your core classes, you would be better served asking some seniors, not freshman. Seniors have completed the Core, had the time to reminisce on its merits or shortfalls, and can provide an objectively valid, retrospective analysis. </p>

<p>This also has a lot to do with age. At 18 years old you have been bombarded with constant impetus as to the "future career value" of an Ivy education, your "future prospects" if you should be accepted into an Ivy league, and everything else that's forward looking. I advise you to take a real step back and ask yourself what it is you desire and expect from your education. </p>

<p>If your wish falls in the realm of "I would like the advantage of excellent post-grad job prospects," may I suggest two bits of advice. You are at an extremely expensive and frankly unecessary institution. Columbia offers so much more than job prospectus. You can go to any city or state university, vastly cheaper, and attain the same level of career-related training and preparation.</p>

<p>Secondly, and equally important, I suggest you give some serious attention and consideration to your desired career. Job prospect has as much to do with your individual choices as it does an institutions ability to prepare you for your future. The job market will only help or harm you as far as there is demand or lackthereof in your future field. Needless to say, attending Columbia and financing the expensive education for a future career in social services or philsophy is not a wise choice.</p>

<p>Your reflections on all of this will be shaped with time and maturity. Right now, dont worry so much about your future job prospects and stay focused on doing as well as you can in your classes and choosing a future field which you desire, and which makes financial sense.</p>

<p>For current students, the Core is a joke. We all know that it's curved ridiculously high to a B+/A- for most classes. Professors have to write a letter and get approval for giving a grade below B-. Most students can get away with spark noting the entire curriculum, because very few people actually read all the material. Music Hum, Art Hum, and the Global Core are even easier. The only class that's challenging is UWriting.</p>

<p>Overall, the Core would give students a good background in critical thinking but it usually just gives CC students phenomenal ability to BS.</p>

<p>^^^^ For real? Lit hum and U writing isnt curved. How do people BS in lit hum because my professor is actually killing me.</p>

<p>And classes in general probably do not increase your future earning potential very much. Networking does. Why go to Harvard? Because all the other rich and smart people sent their kids there. Networking directly increases your living standard. The Core doesn't. </p>

<p>I would at least like to take courses in which I LEARN FOR THE SAKE OF LEARNING. Sure I enjoy learning, just not when its a structured curriculum that pretty much sucks up 3 semesters. Why offer 3000 courses (Don't know how many classes Columbia offers lol) when kids can't even take them?</p>

<p>Btw. If you take a look at society, the people who excel are specialists. They are not "renaissance men" who are mediocre at 50 billion things. They are good at a few things. Look to moguls, investment bankers, doctors, lawyers, and engineers.</p>

<p>As a math/science-oriented CC student with a strange fascination for social science, I thought I should chime in.</p>

<p>What Columbia portrays the core as: A series of seminar courses designed to promote intelligent analysis of the things that define society.</p>

<p>What the Core really is: A series of seminar courses that everyone must take, regardless of your capabilities and whether you want to or not. In my opinion, too much breadth, not enough depth (some of the reading assignments in Lit Hum are ridiculous).</p>

<p>My experiences with the core (I'm in Lit Hum/UWriting right now): Pretty good surprisingly, because I have great professors. Seriously, my writing and ability to debate people in arguments have improved a ton since the start of class (mainly because my teachers have extremely motivated me to push beyond my perceived limits). </p>

<p>My conclusions on the core: Highly dependent on the instructor. Seriously, it is, get a good professor by looking at CULPA, or you'll suffer. In the right hands, it'll redefine your entire outlook on life. (I never thought I'd actually enjoy a tour of an art museum, but the art hum guide really did a fantastic job.) They need to trim down the core though, too much information is overwhelming at times. I also wish that FoS could be replaced by something actually useful like basic calc or econ though, that class is NOT you teach the "basics" of science.</p>

<p>In terms of how it'll help your career, it won't do much (but then again humanities experience doesn't exactly correlate to high pay). But, you'll hopefully learn to appreciate life more, like I have. Seriously I've taken way too many challenging courses this semester, but I haven't had a breakdown yet. It's an odd, serene feeling. If you want an engineering/business school, apply to Berkeley, it's not that hard to get into.</p>

<p>Also, do not underestimate the GPA boost that the Core gives you. I actually think I'm doing better in those classes than my science courses (far more challenging in comparison to the relative simplicity of the humanities) right now.</p>

<p>Haha, it's not curved in the sense that people get 70-80 and then it's bumped up. It's curved because the professor decides how hard to grade based on how everyone is doing and ends up around a high 80 to low 90. </p>

<p>Stop complaining about the Core. It's a huge GPA boost and doesn't require that much work compared to the science/mathematics courses. Adapt to the situation and learn how to Spark Note and BS. It's a skill that will help you in your future life: the ability to synthesize loads of information with a cursory glance and communicate a coherent response. </p>

<p>Unless your professor is one of the full professors and head of a Classics department, there is a low likelihood that he or she is incredibly difficult. If he or she is, then you have my condolences.</p>

<p>"Adapt to the situation and learn how to Spark Note and BS" - really?! Thank you, Caelestor, for saying something meaningful. Your peers are making me lose my faith in humanity.</p>

<p>Core is a grade boost, just not Lit Hum and UWriting right? </p>

<p>Both professors EXPLICITLY told us that they were going to grade harshly. I was like *** MATE???!!?!?!?</p>

<p>Lol caelester. What are you taking man? I'm in like 5 courses and the hardest class i have is lit hum lol. My chem class is about AP chem difficulty.</p>

<p>Without revealing too much of my identity, I'm taking 5 classes too. Lit Hum and Writing aren't that bad: 3 essays for the former (plus midterm/final), 4 of varying length for the latter, but you can control your essay grades by just getting repeated feedback from your teacher. So yeah, you can probably get at minimum a 3.6 core GPA or higher by just taking your assignments seriously (with reasonable professors of course).</p>

<p>Compare this to my math class with weekly problem sets and my comp sci class with weekly labs, and to top it all off, weekly quizzes in my chem class. To show the difficulty of my math class, my first midterm had a 30% average, but I'm at least above average. My chem class is even harder than my math class, but the curve is nonexistent (first midterm had an 84% average).</p>

<p>Basically, every one of my courses I'm taking can suck up my time easily. But at least these classes are so interesting that I'm motivated to try my hardest in all of them and manage my time appropriately: more than I ever did in high school, at least.</p>

<p>I've been out of college for a while now, I went to seas and took part of the core so let me give you my perspective:</p>

<p>1) don't underestimate the value of good dinner conversation skills, or the ability to read, write, argue well, or understand a different culture/ history well. it can often get you jobs and help you excel at one</p>

<p>2) the core can be thought of as "useless", but it makes you a more critical thinker, ask a great businessman whether philosophy is unimportant to his business or leadership style.</p>

<p>3) whether you like it or not 90% of classes you take in college will be "useless" in the specific content it teaches, especially true for finance and consulting, but also true for engineering, general management etc. these are practical jobs with non-theoretical problems.</p>

<p>4) learn how to learn, how to work smart and efficiently, how to work hard, and how to have a good attitude when you're down or under pressure.</p>

<p>5) I did not have a great contemp civilization prof, or amazing peers in my class, but the class was structured well and the texts were intellectually stimulating, so I enjoyed it and learned a lot, it has made me think about my political / ethical views. reading something like Machiavelli's The Prince, applies very well to any job or leadership role.</p>

<p>6) the classes in general tend to be leniently graded, good boost to gpa</p>

<p>7) your enjoyment is dependent on prof but most profs tend to be engaged imo</p>

<p>I recently interviewed students from a variety of colleges(including columbia) for my company. My firm's business has nothing to do with the core, but a couple of observations:</p>

<p>1)Across the board, top college students were uncomfortable arguing, speaking up, being pleasantly social</p>

<p>2) even the ones who had studied "useful" things like economics, finance, engineering, struggled to apply what they had learned to simple practical problems that I went through with them. this tells me students are too focused on mastering material for doing well on tests, and their educations teach them very little of pracical value. Ask anyone in a job whether they learned more relevant skills and information in their first 6 months on the job or in 4 years of college</p>

<p>This whole thread is missing the point, which is: College cannot teach you what you need to get a job and do well. jobs that require specific expertise, also require secondary degrees, such as law, medicine, scientific research, architecture etc.</p>

<p>I agree. I disagree about college cannot teach you about what you need for a job. In lieu of the core, I propose that Columbia teaches "Inner Core," focusing on Confidence and leadership.</p>

<p>What would help more during a networking session: the knowledge of Virgil or the confidence to work the room? Most people are socially awkward and can barely hold eye contact. Confidence and leadership training will improve their quality of life way more than the core. Confidence allows one to speak his/her mind and treat the boss as another human being and worker, which apparently leads to faster promotions.</p>

<p>lol you can't teach confidence and social awareness in a classroom setting dude, c'mon. That can only be acquired through putting yourself completely outside of your comfort zone and willing yourself to interact with others. I used to be a complete introvert, wary of others, but two of my longest reigning jobs have been consultant loan office and retail sales..Nothing substitutes or can simulate an otherwise uncomfortable real-world setting.</p>

<p>i hate it.. i fall asleep in frontiers all the time haha</p>

<p>but seriously, unless you're into the humanities, you will NOT like it.. most of my friends don't.. i really, really wanted to like it though :(</p>