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Townsend Harris calls itself a humanities school, but how often do we ask ourselves if it really is? Humanities are defined as fields of study that concern the critical thinking of human culture and involve a significant historical element. According to Stanford University, “Humanities research… can produce clearer pictures of the past, uncover the many insights that we can draw from our forbears, and in turn, help us better to prepare for the future.” In THHS, there are only a mere 11 humanities courses offered as opposed to the 23 STEM courses. There are so few art and music classes, and yet they are the first to be cut. Does this make any sense? How can THHS call itself a humanities school when in actuality, it is not? I feel cheated to have gone to a school with one image in mind and experience the total opposite.
The students at Townsend Harris who actually care about the lack of humanities at our school need to realize that they do not have the support of this school. Those who want to major in humanities-related areas are deemed to be unsuccessful in life and to make no money. It’s the science and business majors that supposedly bring in the money. I do not think it is adequate to settle for this treatment in our school. Why should we feel bad about liking certain subjects over others? It has no relation to how knowledgeable you are or how successful you’ll be. It’s about doing what you want to do, for the right reason. We should be petitioning and campaigning for more humanities courses. Humanities, including art and music, are essential in our lives and it should not be a struggle to keep them from drowning in a wave of math and science. We need to transform THHS into what it was originally supposed to be. Let there be STEM, but let there be an equivalent or more of humanities.
—Ravenna Chunasamy, junior