My computer had a heart-attack recently – the hard drive had been sputtering for a while and it had been sounding like a “dying airplane”, to quote A’s words. And with the increased frequency of the feared Blue Screen of Death (Windows users will know how it feels), I thought it was time to replace the hard drive.

So I got onto Facebook, and posted in one of the many internal groups the students of my university had set up, hoping that someone had a spare I could use.

In amongst the fifty over comments (fueled by my indignity), this is what I realised –

There is something inherently wrong with the education system, and this needs to change.

I might have over-reacted to one of the first comments on the post, but as it progressed, it hit me that the society in general has not woken up to the fact that Arts students are not useless. Even with the number of posts all over the internet, sharing the thoughts of various Arts graduates, the society in general still does not understand that we have as much to offer, if not more, then students and graduates from any other faculty.

On top of that, in a society where the Prime Minister is a female, and women hold positions of power in many industries, gender discrimination still exists. And of all places, in a university.

With the post as an example, I first got called up on the fact that I probably did not know what I needed – on the basis that I was female. And I over-reacted – mainly due to having had to deal with a never ending stream of sexist remarks from all around. And I’d had enough of it. When I pointed out that I had made quite clear in my post what I needed, the offender was  joined by others, who fueled the flame that was already burning in me. And the offender had then proceeded to checkout my profile, and posted this –

Wahahaha!! Guys!! She knows a lot about computers!! She got a bachelor in fine arts.. Rofl!! Lol just don’t give her more advice.. She knows what she’s doing!

At this point, I would like to mention that the rest of this post will be discussing this particular problem, and not take the fact that the offender also happens to be a sexist bigot into consideration.

I may have graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, but that does not mean that I have no idea of what I am doing. In fact, some of the smartest people I know are proud Fine Arts graduates as well. And this is why the society really needs to be educated in regards to respecting other people and their chosen professions.

Sure, we may not be the ones that come up with cures for cancer, we may not be the ones finding new ways to feed Earth’s ever-growing population. But we do have a purpose.

As Elisabeth wrote –

It is the artists, the musicians, the actors, the people who don’t have “real” majors or “real” jobs who reinvigorate the world to continue their own noble pursuits.

I am not content with just existing. I am not content with just trying to make things better. I want to see the effect of what I do on people’s faces. I want to make the world a better place, by simple everyday acts. From something as small as a note to a random stranger saying they are awesome, to helping someone achieve their dream of owning a business – I want to make an impact.

I am a serial enabler – I take in what is around me, and I reform it in my mind into something new; I take in what I am given, and I make the necessary links to create something beautiful. I work with my hands as much as I work with my mind. And I don’t stop.

This doesn’t just apply to me though. This is what Arts graduates are. We are all enablers of some sort. We see the word differently, we think differently. We are the ones who make the world go round.

All the memes out there  mocking Arts graduates and students, true and not true at the same time. We take pride in what we do, we enjoy what we do. Even if it’s serving up your morning coffee, you in that pristine suit of yours, rushing to work. We may never be as rich in monetary terms, but we definitely get more out of life. We know to stop and smell the roses, while you did not even notice it. We appreciate the blue skies, that which means nothing to you. At the end of the day, you entertain yourself with our creations – books, magazines, music, performances – those are all products of Arts graduates.

The society needs to stop mocking and start seeing. The society needs to be educated on what it really means to be an Arts graduate.

And, should the world one day fall apart, and we are all left with no technology, no money, no possessions, Arts graduates would probably be most adept at survival, considering we have spent our lives making, creating and rebuilding everything around us.

 

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