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Look, I'm All For Interdisciplinary Education but Don’t Fucking Make Me Do Math

Karl Marx behind a bunch of math.
Math is not a social construct, and therefore I do not care about it.

By A Social Studies Concentrator

When I reached my final semester here at Harvard, I was pumped. Finally, I thought, after seven semesters of fulfilling requirements, I could fill my schedule with fun and interesting classes, like Hebrew Bible, the other Hebrew Bible, and probably a third Hebrew Bible. Then, I met with my academic adviser Sheila, who hit me with some awful news: I still needed to complete my Empirical and Mathematical Reasoning requirement, or else I couldn’t graduate. Somehow, she forgot that her job is only to approve my study card, not offer meaningful guidance based on her knowledge of the university and my personal self-interest.

Look. As a Social Studies concentrator, I know firsthand the value of crossing disciplinary boundaries. My academic coursework spans a variety of social science fields, all of which cover extremely different topics. In History classes, I learn about the history of Latin America. In Government classes, I learn about the comparative politics of Latin America. And in Economics classes, I learn about how to fuck over Latin America.

I feel measurably enriched by engaging with such disparate subjects. Which leads me to my ultimate point: I am all for interdisciplinary education, but don’t fucking make me do math.

First of all, math is useless. Unlike having a thorough understanding of the Hegelian dialectic, which I can use to annoy everyone within a 100-foot radius of me, math is not useful to my everyday life. Now that iPhones come equipped with calculators, I no longer need to personally calculate how much to overpay for three pieces of kale at Life Alive. Instead, I can use that precious time to launch into a fifteen-minute rant about how my server, Carla, is alienated from her labor. Technology has rendered math obsolete, but change the last two letters of “math” and what do you get? Marx.

Second of all, math is for robots with no interpersonal skills. My Social Studies education has taught me effective communication tactics, like talking loudly and “pushing back” on everything my classmates say so I can seem like I am smart and did the readings. Who cares about being able to solve complex equations when I can consistently masturbate to the sound of my own voice? I am great at interacting with people, except sometimes when they call me an "obnoxious asshole."

And no, it’s not like I’m just saying all of this because I am still insecure about the B+ I got in AP Calculus (fuck you Mr. Chelednik), or because I’m trying to feel better about my employment prospects in a competitive job market that places growing emphasis on STEM. I promise—I just really fucking hate math. And you can't make me do it.

But also I will do it.


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