The Tree of Knowledge

Knowledge is a tree root. The different disciplines may be deviating branches of the same tree with their own paths, but visualize how the roots connect all branches and even the trunk of the tree together. Everything is interwoven. All of it is a part of a universe that scientifically continues proving this very fact. All parts of the tree rely on the roots for its life and the roots contribute to one object, the health of the overall tree. It is because of the roots that the tree is alive. Branches can be severed off and leaves fall and return, but the tree cannot live without the roots that absorb the nourishment and water. They are ultimately responsible for the beautiful blossoms the tree brandishes one day.

As I start my journey in college, I am at times perplexed by the resistance to venture beyond one’s own specialization. GPA is important. So is learning. While I understand the pressures of maintaining a good GPA and graduating to a paying job that requires specialized skills, it seems that the original intent of college as a place of learning is fading slowly. In order to be truly masterful in this world, one needs a little knowledge from all the disciplines. Many neglect this idea and travel with the perspective that the disciplines are completely separate and as long as one has mastery over their own discipline or as long as they are devoted to a discipline, they will be completely free of others and will be able to succeed.

“Are you a math or an English person?” The misconceptions about the STEM field simply “stems” from childhood when one is asked such a question by teachers and parents alike. It immediately concludes that math and writing cannot be equally enjoyed and coerces one to ditch one for the other. It is critical to understand from a young age that people are taught to

believe that they must be loyal to only one subject and that liking another subject is a form of betrayal. It’s not just America. This is global. In some countries, the selection process starts as early as the beginning of high school. Students are forced to choose a high school that caters to one subject as opposed to others. Therefore, a student that chooses to pursue writing may end up in a high school that only specializes in that field. This exposes the student only to a limited number of classes and denies certain subjects entirely in favor of others. There is very little education provided in high school or even the early years of college to showcase to students the type of professions and their lifestyles that emanate from such early choice making. Frightening, isn’t it? To assume that one loves or despises a certain profession based on a single course or two in high school, it is alarming indeed. Thus, the global education system is guilty for much of the discouragement there is for people to pursue different passions.

In a modern world where law bleeds into computer science and computer science bleeds into medicine, and in a universe where higher level chemistry and physics become a single bonded field, and in a time where digital computing, dye manufacturing, and understanding the refraction of light all take an active role in creating the aesthetic beauty of paintings or a sculpture, it is rather depressing to realize that our educational system does not fathom a different type of knowledge-based-seeking for the Twenty-First Century.