Highlights of Humanities

On November 6, 2014, I was able to return my alma mater, Marian Catholic High School in Tamaqua, Pennsylvania. The one thing I love about graduating from a small, close-knit high school is that you always have an open invitation to return. In fact, it is as if you never left.

The purpose of my visit was to speak to the members of Miss Martini’s drama club. This is the third time I was asked to give a presentation to the drama club and I must confess that I have immensely enjoyed each and every experience. After each presentation, I always come to the same conclusion: the humanities are thriving! I can cite research that supports this idea but I personally feel that experience speaks louder than all the facts and research I could collect.

We live in a world filled with towering skyscrapers, massive medical centers and state of the art research and science centers. The individuals who construct and work in these fabulous structures are brilliant. They dedicate their lives and work to create a more functional world. On the other hand, there are individuals like me. We are creative mavericks, who hold the skill sets of these mathematical, engineering individuals in high regard, while we strive every day to hold tight to the arts we love.

Sometimes it seems that creativity is pushed aside even though the one element everyone has in common, whether they hold in high regard art or science, is that we all work to make our world a more cohesive, a more purposeful and a more benevolent unit. Each time I leave the classroom after presenting, I am reminded the humanities have an everlasting impact. The idea that creative writing, analyzing your favorite movie or television script, composing music, directing a script or painting a picture can strive to reach the heart and soul of an individual is the concept that I am constantly reminded of each time I give my presentation about being a humanities student enrolled in the English/Creative Writing and English Literature Programs.

As a result of my presentations, students ask intelligent questions, show genuine interest not only in their creative work but your work as well and enthusiastically act out their latest drama club scripts, careful to leave no stage direction unread.  At times, the students who jump out of their seats to read their stories aloud or clap wholeheartedly after you finish reading, speaking or end your PowerPoint are the students who remind you that the humanities do matter. There are times when we are underfunded and underappreciated but these students remind you that a story, a poem, a play, a song or any other piece of art is worth creating even if it touches or impacts one person’s life.