Sarah says:

“I’m going to an art college.”
Me: “I would prefer that you wouldn’t.”

Everyone who knows me well knows that I spent a semester here. I don’t think that semester makes me a hypocrite. I think that allows me to speak from experience. If I hadn’t transferred to a liberal arts college, I wouldn’t have tried other majors and I wouldn’t have found that I love theater as much as I loved fabric design and photography. It was sociology and psychology that captured my attention more than anything. Yes, I am quite aware of the overlap in these interests. It isn’t just my desire for Sarah to try out several different subjects and explore new things that has me discouraging a single-focus college. I want my children to be able to do the mathematics that are a major part of our lives. I want them to be able to write without a steady stream of misspellings and crimes against the laws of grammar. I want them to know more about history than the Civil War. I want them to understand where other people are on this planet and have an understanding of their responsibilities as a human being. A single subject curriculum limits the cultural literacy of students. It is also my belief that a 14-year-old child shouldn’t be deciding what they want to do with their life any more than a 14-year-old should pick out their life partner. Teenagers need to pursue every flighty little interest that wanders through their heads. Join a million clubs. Take a dozen classes. Listen to different kinds of music and wear funky clothes. It’s ok to fail and it’s ok to quit. Allowing or forcing a young teen to have only one interest isn’t teaching them perseverance. It’s dooming them to never learn how to try new things and making bitter, unfulfilled adults. Tonight, I took Sarah and Tommy to a college fair. Tommy would have been there for days if I hadn’t asked him to quit interviewing the representative of each and every single college there.

Sarah just visited the art colleges.

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