I'm writing this post because it's almost school season (*barf*), and all my friends and fellow students are talking about courses and what courses to take to ensure the best university degree and the best financially-secure job.
Now, I'll tell you a little about my school: University Hill Secondary is an extremely small (we only have about 500 people) but competitive school. Most of the kids come from cultural backgrounds that put education at such a high standard it's usually more important than social life. So it won't surprise you that it's almost always the #1 public school in the annual rankings. And it won't surprise you that it's a little academic heck for all who go there.
Not to mention that it's mainly a science/math-oriented school.
Back in January when we had to do our course selections for next year, everyone was abuzz. Gr.11 is the big year where you're either gonna make or break the course requirements for university. Things start to narrow down. If you don't choose physics and chemistry now, forget the science degree and any hope of medical school. Quite naturally, most of my friends (who are very intelligent) chose the science stream that calls for Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Math, Calculus...the bunch.
And, quite naturally, being the math dufus I am, I decided to forget science and math for all eternity and chose courses like Writing, Comparative Civilizations, and Psychology.
Now, I'm not gonna say what is superior than the other - science or art. Because the world needs both. We need scientists and we need artists. And I commend my friends whom I am sure will become great doctors and scientists one day. (I even tell them to get ready to support the future starving, welfare-dependant attic resident of an artist who's me!)
But this is a message for those students out there who really want to do art, but society pressures them to do otherwise. At least society pressured me. For a moment I wondered if I should give up. After all, there seems to be more careers that have to do with science, and scientists earn so much more money. I have to prepare to get a Masters degree in a form of art at the very least, and even then, I won't be making as much money as the scientists.
The truth is, we can find a cure for cancer, construct the slimmest Mac, fit 99,000 songs into the palms of our hand. But what will we do after that? Sure, we can find a cure to global warming and save lives, but what use is a life if we do not try to find the MEANING of life itself?
The meaning of life. That's something that science cannot promise to explain.
And that is where Art comes in. There are many definitions of art. My computer's in-built dictionary defines art as thus: ( arts) subjects of study primarily concerned with the processes and products of human creativity and social life, such as languages, literature, and history (as contrasted with scientific or technical subjects).
I define it like this: Art is how one sees life.
No human will ever have the capacity to know the million-dollar question of What is Life? but art is the bridge that is available to us. How else do we dig into the deepest confines of our soul and find our truest emotions? How else do we express these emotions? How else can we use these emotions and bring about change? Change to society. Change to injustice. Change to the world. And after that, I can only see myself using art to find the thing I am looking for most in this world: that is, to find myself.
So for all of you out there who are in love with the arts, we need you! And if art's really not your thing, well, we need you too. But I encourage you to give art a try.