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I got the email the summer before freshman year telling me that I had to read about the Minerva sisters and write a 3-5 page paper on it. I thought this was a joke. In high school when teachers told us to read, we just Googled a summary of the story and wrote an essay based off of what we read.
I continued thinking the assignment sent to me from Queens was a joke until I got a big red letter grade on my first paper…an “F.” I was devastated. My Core professor used that paper as an introduction to the real world of college, showing us that we cannot just blow off assignments. He did not actually count the paper as a grade, but it shook all of us up. From that point on, I knew I would try my best on every paper and every assignment.
In freshman Core, I learned about the Minerva sisters and Socrates, all people I would have never read about without Core. While some students think the Core program is pointless, meaningless and a waste of time, I think it serves its purpose: to prepare us for the 21st century.
Sophomore Core prepared me for my future profession, teaching. I chose the education Core and learned all about the issues in education. Classroom discussions were helpful because for the issues you didn’t know how to handle, there were people who did. I do admit having that break between sophomore Core and senior Core was a relief, but it always felt weird around exam time not having to go to the 8 a.m. Core exam.
Now that I am back in Core, I remember why I liked it so much. This time we are learning about ethical issues in the world we are about to engage in. We learn about issues such as income inequalities, euthanasia and religion in the presidency. Discussions are what drives the classes, and do not be surprised by what your fellow classmate would do in certain situations. On the first day of Core 412, we were all set up with a situation as to whether or not we have the obligation to save a child that is drowning. Half of the class believed in saving the child no matter what, while the other half did not. The point of this Core is not if we are right or wrong, but how we can justify our choices.
Your Core experience is all up to you. You can choose to hate Core and not learn a thing from it, or you can choose to be thankful for the experiences and learn from them. Whatever you choose, just know that four years flies by and you do not want to miss the true value of the Core program.