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Liberal Arts Education Essay

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Casey Wedlake
March 8
th
2017
Interdisciplinary Paper
When one hears “liberal arts education” there are many different ideas that come to mind.
For me, when I was deciding to come to Loras College, I knew it was a liberal arts college, as it
is mentioned time and again, however; I didn’t put much thought to it. I knew that Loras had a
major I was interested in, Public Relations, and to me that was enough. I was not quite sure how
my education would differ from my friends that did not attend liberal arts universities and I did
not think it really mattered. Since coming to Loras, I have come to see just how different a liberal
arts education is from another college program. I have taken classes on everything from religion,
to sports and media, to race and ethnicity. The further along I have gotten in my undergraduate
process, the more I have come to see the ways in which these classes all connect. Even though
my Politics in the Developing World and Race and Ethnicity classes do not seem like they would
have much in common, I have come to see the ways in which history and cultural constructions
have a profound impact on the world we live in today. They both allowed for me to look at the
history of various types of people and their lineage to the present, all while seeing how political
practices influence our social and cultural spheres no matter where we live. It is through these
courses that I have come to see that a class devoted to sociological teachings and one devoted to
political teachings could overlap in a way that shows how the world today is made up of links
and connections many never come to realize.
Looking at my Politics in the Developing World class, we spent most of our time
examining the differences that exist between third world countries, mainly in Africa and South
America, and those that are fully developed such as the United States or Western Europe. We
looked at the current political, social, and cultural climates in these places and then traced back

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the actions that have made these places what they are today. We looked all the way back into the
times of slavery in colonial US and England and the ways those invasions and enslaving of
African peoples are still causing effects in the world today. We discussed the different cultural
barriers that exist and the developed world’s constant desire to make other countries “like us”.
We addressed the ways in which these underdeveloped places have rebelled and how the cultural
and social differences make for a profoundly different understanding as to how one should live
life.
Turning towards my Race and Ethnicity class, it was during this class we focused on the
differences between peoples of different ethnicities. We examined our past culture where those
that were not white were systematically held back in a way that can still be seen today. We
looked at racism in Europe and the Western World, and how it has changed over time. It was
during this class that I came to see how our government policies during the 1900’s specifically
set African American people up to where they would not be able to succeed. They were not
given early the same assistance as white people from the federal government. We looked at how
most of the problems and issues between black and white people arise due to cultural and social
misunderstandings. Our failure to acknowledge the differing social and cultural norms have
created divides that exist in every part of our lives. We analyzed more than just a sociology
perspective, as we looked into the politics of different generations and the laws and practices that
have shaped racism to be what it is today.
Looking at the connections that can be drawn from these two classes, it is evident that
there are both surface level similarities and deeper connections that exist. In both of these
classes, I learned the importance of taking on an issue that is current, and then examining the
history surrounding it. It is through this process that I was able to come to understand that the

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Casey Wedlake March 8th 2017 Interdisciplinary Paper When one hears “liberal arts education” there are many different ideas that come to mind. For me, when I was deciding to come to Loras College, I knew it was a liberal arts college, as it is mentioned time and again, however; I didn’t put much thought to it. I knew that Loras had a major I was interested in, Public Relations, and to me that was enough. I was not quite sure how my education would differ from my friends that did not attend liberal arts universities and I did not think it really mattered. Since coming to Loras, I have come to see just how different a liberal arts education is from another college program. I have taken classes on everything from religion, to sports and media, to race and ethnicity. The further along I have gotten in my undergraduate process, the more I have come to see the ways in which these classes all connect. Even though my Politics in the Developing World and Race and Ethnicity classes do not seem like they would have much in common, I have come to see the ways in which history and cultural constructions have a profound impact on the world we live in today. They both allowed for me to look at the history of various types of people and their lineage to the present, all while seeing how political practices influence our social and cultural spheres no matter where we live. It is through these courses that I have come to see that a class devoted to sociological teachings and one devoted ...
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