I wish I could go back and take CORE over again. Not because I enjoyed it, but because I didn’t.
The Cornerstone course for incoming freshmen is not a popular one; it especially wasn’t in the fall of 2010.
Students’ complaints ranged from the abstract foundation of the material to the sometimes uncomfortable subject matter. Different instructors taught different materials in different ways, making students in some classes work harder for an A than others.
It was not a perfect system, and the university realized that. Administration listened to students and made some changes.
But if the students had their way, this general education curriculum would be thrown out all together. The course requirements were reduced and courses were condensed and improved, but students still have to pass several semesters’ worth of CORE classes.
And that’s a good thing.
Reminiscent of common child-parent arguments, administration essentially told the student body, “We know what’s best for you.” The students may continue to respond negatively, but here’s some advice: get over it. Try to get the most out of it.
I didn’t hate CORE, but I really didn’t like it. Cornerstone seemed pointless and too difficult. I thought that even before I heard that other classes watched TV in class, for educational purposes apparently, while I was unsuccessfully trying to study Shakespeare.
The workload in the next semesters of CORE weren’t much easier, but the classes became more interesting and more applicable. I went into them a skeptic, came out a better critical thinker.
The CORE Community course, which is now paired with the Identity course, brought different political philosophies to question and criticism. Ideologies, not political partisanship, detailed four different ways of coexisting in large and small communities. Stripped of the democratic/republican argument, the political views presented all had strengths and weaknesses.
I hated politics. I didn’t know what to think about it, other than that it just seemed like irresponsible politicians arguing about how they are always right and everyone else is always wrong.
I got a lot out of Community, more than in the other CORE classes. I learned to think for myself outside of the confining box the two conventional American parties have established.
The initial semester of Cornerstone had its setbacks and shortcomings, as with any new program, but it was still worth it. I wish I had given it a second chance.
I’ve heard better responses from lower classmen. To those of you still resistant to the challenging, abstract material, give it another shot. Let it provoke new ideas and thoughts. Let it interest you, even if it doesn’t seem relevant now. It will be soon.