Case Western Reserve University is definitely a smaller campus than lots of larger state universities, with just over 4,500 undergrad students. The population of liberal arts majors on campus is also lighter than most colleges. So, to celebrate all the humanities majors out there, here is a list of things that will definitely sound familiar. And anyone with other majors out there, if you’ve ever taken or are considering taking a humanities course, this list will still hold true!
1. Discussion circles. Getting to class and immediately putting the desks in a circle. And being super confused when they aren’t in a circle. Because…Hello! How are you supposed to have a discussion without a circle?! And the worst is when the desks don’t fit in a perfect circle, so you’re squished awkwardly next to the person in the seat to your right. Yeah, we’ve been there.
2. Lots of reading. The workload at CWRU is no doubt hefty, but you know you’re a humanities major when you’re excited that you only have 200 pages to read in a week, because you know it could be way worse. Like 300 more pages worse.
3. Small classes. Being used to classes with less than about 30 people is a norm for humanities majors, especially at a smaller university like CWRU. And there’s usually that one class per semester that has less than 8 or so students. I mean, what’s a lecture hall, anyways?
4. Barely any tests. This is especially true for History, English, Art History, and Language majors. And there’s usually some panicking that ensues when you actually have a class based on tests, not papers. And somehow it’s even more nerve-wrecking when it’s multiple choice, because that means there’s only one right answer, and you either get it or you don’t. Plus, how are you supposed to articulate your thoughts without an essay portion?!
5. Having awesome professors. Not saying that there’s not great professors outside of the humanities, but there’s something about sitting down with your professor and having an intellectual discussion for an hour during class that really lets their coolness shine through. Plus, sometimes you encounter those professors that let you call them by their first name and get coffee with them. Humanities professors make some pretty excellent mentors.
6. Your professors actually know about you, and you know all about your professor’s life. Small classes lead to lots of one-on-one time with your professors, especially during meetings. So naturally you two will eventually end up just talking about life. Work, family, everything. And a lot of the time, if you really click with a professor, you two will stay close during your academic career, which actually ends up being pretty cool.