We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
As one who has spent a lifetime studying the humanities, my advice for students is to take their business elsewhere. Until humanists can offer an education that truly prepares one for life -- not just with a marketable degree, but with an education of wisdom and hope -- I would consider a degree in accounting or computer science. Then, after work, one can read all the Shakespeare one likes and not have to be informed that the bard was a racist, an anti-Semite, and gender-challenged to boot.
Most of today's humanities professors under the age of, say, 40, are genteel barbarians.
Take the study of literature - say an English Novel of the first half of the 19th Century. To take notice of social, political and economic factors that were contemporary with such a work doesn't just make sense, it may be crucial to appreciate the work. Especially a novel, as the form is (or was) pretty much defined by psychologically complex presentations of how people from various social classes reacted to their and others' social milieus.
But today the tendency is to flatten such works into two dimensions - power and ideology - and allow no other aspect serious consideration. The possibility that a given novel might have qualities meaningful outside political considerations doesn't often merit much discussion.
Very much of what's human has been squeezed out of the humanities.
Agreed. The worst thing about English courses are English teachers. They ruin the books. I am glad I took only two English courses in college, and continue educating myself by reading classics in fiction.