On the brisk morning of November 11th, Saturday, Agnes Scott community opens its door to more than 120 prospective students and their families from 9 different states for the annual Open House event: Great Scott 2017.
Reaching the record highest number of participants from the widest geographical range, this year’s Great Scott was kicked off with President Elizabeth Kiss’s opening remarks of the college. It is a cherishable opportunity to be greeted by the President of a college during an open house event; pieces of her talk are recorded and published on our Instagram page.
Following the presidential address was the meetings and consultations with the admission counselors and student-led tours around campus in small groups. After the tour, Great Scott 2017 was concluded in the Bullock Science Center with various concurrent sessions pertaining to the specific interests of the prospective students.
As someone who majors in the Humanities, I sneaked into the room that assembled the prospective students sharing such interest and had a wonderfully productive discussion with the professors, students, and parents. Here are several pieces from that conversation:
When Dr. Gundolf Graml was asked about what advice to give for international students who have interest in the Humanities, he responded by saying:
All of our faculty think of writing as a process and are more than eager to provide the students with ample opportunities to practice writing in shorter or longer formats, including our digital project that shows a wide range of possibilities in where writing can take you. International students should also take advantage of their knowledge in many different cultures and languages they are bringing to the college and build upon this diverse foundation. We live in a multilingual world where English does play an important role but not the only role; I think one the great advantages we have here is that you have multiple avenues to achieve that competence in English and you can definitely connect that with the humanities. I think there is a wide field to be explored and there is great support at Agnes Scott for that exploration.
In a consequent conversation on whether it is worth it to study the Humanities in undergraduate:
Every Agnes Scott student I meet is deeply invested in their field of studies. Unlike students from many other institutions who learn for the sake of application, Agnes Scott students really demonstrate enthusiasm in their academic pursuits and are lifelong learners who think deeply no matter where they go. What’s the trick of Agnes Scott to inspire the students to be held so accountable for their fields of studies?
Sometimes we have no choice but to defend our majors, just like how we defend our choice of coming to Agnes Scott. When I decided to become a Classics major, I had to come up with answers to questions such as “what is that?” “why study Latin?” and “how is that relevant/practical/meaningful at all?” The more I answer these questions, the more I want to answer more of them; and through this inevitable process, I learned to defend my major and understand the implications of it better. Many of us in the humanities go through the same thing. The same applies to defending coming to Agnes Scott, the more we get asked “why women’s college?” the deeper we identify with our mission statements.