Most Stanford students are familiar with the Hume Writing Center (HWC). As a hotspot for freshmen struggling with Introduction to the Humanities (IHUM) assignments as well as graduate students plugging away at their dissertations, the Center seems to be going strong as it celebrates the tenth anniversary of its opening.
It’s such a shame, really, that this is the state of freshman-year humanities at one of the world’s top-ranked humanities schools. Because whether we like IHUM or not, the humanities should play some role in every college student’s education, no matter what you want to do or who you want to be.
Make no mistake, the move from three quarters to one will mark a much greater change in the experience of Stanford undergraduates than whatever changes take place within the classroom.
During my time at Stanford, I have been told several pieces of advice time and time again. Start papers before the day they’re due. Don’t join 90 clubs just because they all seem cool. Wear a helmet when riding your bike. And, above all else, do not attempt to take 20 units.
Stanford students don’t agree on many things. With such a diverse student body, it’s no surprise that the campus rarely reaches a general consensus on any issue — whether the topic of debate is the Occupy movement, the return of ROTC or the quality of dining hall food. We just love to argue.
What made the difference between my good advisor and the bad ones? It really boils down to four things: knowledge, commitment, availability and the intangible personal connection.
Students’ anticipation of the opening of winter quarter enrollment this past weekend undoubtedly prompted some students to express frustration over Stanford’s General Education Requirements (GERs). The non-Structured Liberal Education (SLE) students are required to take three IHUM courses, two PWR classes and classes that cover five Disciplinary Breadth areas (Humanities, Social Sciences, Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Applied Sciences and Engineering) and two of four Education for Citizenship requirements. In practice, this amounts to around eight to 10 courses outside of one’s major (the Foreign Language requirement, not technically a GER, requires up to three additional classes).