Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Wanted: a liberal arts education

I am embarrassed by how narrow my knowledge base really is. I pride myself on being able to read about stem cells and energy alternatives and other science-y articles but I am painfully lacking when it comes to the humanities, especially world history. I AP’d out of U.S. and World History and didn’t take other history classes in college. Mistake.

Yesterday Appa and I were watching a documentary on Ancient Egyptian mummies. They showed papyrus scrolls written by an Egyptian male about his lover. The contents were read with a cheesy montage of an Egyptian couple frolicking around on a green hill. I think some of the lines were like, “Oh god, if only you would give her to me…”

Me: “Muslims aren’t allowed to date like that.”
Appa: “This is like 1500 BC. There was no Islam.”
Me: “Um… just kidding?”


Our entire Gregorian calendar system is based on Jesus’s life (AD: Anno Domini and BC: Before Christ). Muhammad was born in 570 AD. Muhammad was the prophet Muslims were waiting for (and whose coming they believe Jesus foretold). I had to look this up.

It is difficult to have a good conversation about the sciences. It is not the best cocktail party conversation. Rarely are two people engrossed in the same scientific topic. In my experience, conversations about science usually turn into one explaining something to the other- who often quickly loses interest. Discussion often turns to policy and execution, which can be fascinating, but it is not really “science”. Just because someone is an amazing scientist doesn’t mean she has strong personal views or even interest in these topics.

Some rambling thoughts. And I bring you this, a wish some kid wrote on napkin on the wish tree in the restaurant:

2012-07-10 09.31.17

“Dear Buddha, Jesus, God… I am a Buddhist but I believe in Catholicism.
I don’t think it really matters because I don’t believe gods fights with each other…”