I switched majors
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07-04-2012, 02:40 PM (This post was last modified: 07-04-2012 02:56 PM by ghostexorcist.)
I switched majors
I have been majoring in Asian studies with an emphasis on Chinese for the last three years. However, I haven't enjoyed learning the language for a very long time. It feels more like a chore now. I live off campus where there are no large Chinese communities, so I have no one to practice my speaking and listening skills with, and even if I did, there is no way to apply the language in my daily life. I’ve tried several times to get scholarships to study the language in China—as I feel total immersion is the only way that I can master it—but have had no luck. I know the military won’t pay for it (especially since I am no longer active duty). I get A’s in all of my Chinese classes, but this doesn’t reflect my actual skill level. In the long run, I can’t compete with the kids who are lucky enough to have Chinese roommates and have the funding to travel to China summer after summer.

I picked up a minor in art history last semester. I have been taking numerous Asian art classes prior to picking up the minor because I love Chinese, Tibetan, and Indian art. I am currently taking a class on western art (Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neo-Classicism, etc.). This series of classes has ignited a passionate love for art and its history in me. I have, therefore, decided to drop my Asian studies major down to a minor and push the art history minor up to a major. I am an artist and a lover of history, so it seems only natural that I would head in this direction. My mother was surprisingly excited that I did this because she has been sad for many years that I gave up on a planned career in illustration (the military sapped my will to draw, somehow). She knows that I won’t be drawing, but the fact that it's art related makes her happy.

On top of this, I have decided to pick up a major in anthropology. I have been very interested in biological evolution for a number of years now. I have recently become enthralled with evolutionary psychology, primate behavior, cave art, and early human culture, so I figured that all of my combined interests would make me a perfect candidate for anthropology. In fact, that is exactly what the head of the anthropology department told me. He also told me that many students switch to anthropology in their junior year like me. I will probably have to go an extra year in order to complete both majors (given the late switch), but it will be worth it in the end.

I will most likely go onto grad school to get at least an MA in anthropology. I am interested in studying the origins of creativity and art and its connection to religion. As anyone who has ever looked at Asian or Western art can tell you, some of the most beautiful pieces of art ever created were done in the name of religion. Likewise, the earliest pieces of art seem to have connections to religion. For instance, among the 35,000 year old Chauvet cave paintings, the oldest known paintings in the world, there is an animistic / shamanistic depiction of a half-woman-half-bison. Even older still is a lovely pink quarts hand axe that was buried in a mass grave in Spain some 300,000 years ago. Based on my amateur, pre-academic study of the evidence, I would say this all ties in to the ever expanding power of the brain. When a brain becomes capable of abstract thought (e.g., understanding stories about a person who is not present), art and religion—the early animistic / shamanistic kind, not the tribal monotheistic or organized kind that came much later—is a natural outpouring of this expanded brain power. I look forward to exploring this further.
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07-04-2012, 02:43 PM
RE: I switched majors
wooooooooooooooow !!!! Aw man, that's so exciting! It sounds like so much fun Smile
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07-04-2012, 02:50 PM
RE: I switched majors
(07-04-2012 02:43 PM)morondog Wrote:  wooooooooooooooow !!!! Aw man, that's so exciting! It sounds like so much fun Smile

Thanks. I hope the road to my MA (or even PhD) will lead me to wonderful discoveries.
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07-04-2012, 02:51 PM
RE: I switched majors
(07-04-2012 02:43 PM)morondog Wrote:  wooooooooooooooow !!!! Aw man, that's so exciting! It sounds like so much fun Smile
That's in the irony font, isn't it?

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07-04-2012, 02:57 PM
RE: I switched majors
(07-04-2012 02:51 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(07-04-2012 02:43 PM)morondog Wrote:  wooooooooooooooow !!!! Aw man, that's so exciting! It sounds like so much fun Smile
That's in the irony font, isn't it?
no irony Tongue I wish it was now that you've said it 'cos then I'd be cool and I could use the cool symbol Cool but yeah... um... no irony...
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07-04-2012, 03:42 PM
RE: I switched majors
(07-04-2012 02:57 PM)morondog Wrote:  
(07-04-2012 02:51 PM)Chas Wrote:  That's in the irony font, isn't it?
no irony Tongue I wish it was now that you've said it 'cos then I'd be cool and I could use the cool symbol Cool but yeah... um... no irony...
I was a Psych. major for one term; I likened the Sociology coursework to wading through neck-deep manure, occasionally coming across a pearl or a gem. Really. No irony.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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07-04-2012, 04:16 PM
RE: I switched majors
(07-04-2012 03:42 PM)Chas Wrote:  I was a Psych. major for one term; I likened the Sociology coursework to wading through neck-deep manure, occasionally coming across a pearl or a gem. Really. No irony.
I was a history of music minor for 60 minutes once Tongue

The anthro crowd at my uni were a really weird bunch - into post modernism and all. Basically you had to know the right buzzwords - it was pretty nonsensical stuff. But the real deal I think is awesome - studying cultures, their legends, how they interpret the world... very interesting stuff.
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07-04-2012, 04:30 PM
RE: I switched majors
I sometimes wonder if id rather go to school and become a scientist. Astronomy and cosmology have always fascinated me. But then i'd miss out on my car hobby.

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07-04-2012, 05:12 PM
RE: I switched majors
I was a PHIL major all the way up to my Junior year, then ManlyGirl got prego so I switched to CS 'cause I realized no one was gonna pay me enough to support a family to just sit around and think deep thoughts. Must be nice to be able to afford to just follow your interests, though. Thumbsup

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07-04-2012, 05:36 PM
RE: I switched majors
(07-04-2012 05:12 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  I was a PHIL major all the way up to my Junior year, then ManlyGirl got prego so I switched to CS 'cause I realized no one was gonna pay me enough to support a family to just sit around and think deep thoughts. Must be nice to be able to afford to just follow your interests, though. Thumbsup

The military is paying for my schooling, but I'm not sure if they will cover the extra year I'll probably need to finish both majors. I will definitely have to find some funding for grad school. It would be awesome if the military would fund everything up through my PhD, but they are not that nice.
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