A Hopkins Student and a Humanities Major: A Confession in Several Paragraphs

Name: Jeremy Bremer

Year: Class of 2011

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Major: Writing Seminars, and possibly Philosophy

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Hi, my name is Jeremy and I study the Humanities: a terrible and shocking confession for anyone claiming to be a Johns Hopkins student. Alright, so maybe I exaggerate slightly – or significantly – but I am still a proud member of a minority, and I don’t think I’d have it any other way; it’s far too much fun to complain about inequities.Gilman_as_it_is_stands8

It’s a shame that I didn’t get here a couple years ago because then I would have had great complaint material, concerning Gilman, but then the powers that be had to go and start renovation. Gilman Hall is the main Humanities Building at Hopkins, and appears to have been constructed around the time the university came into being. I once managed to get myself trapped in one of the bathroom’s because the door knob had some cooperation problems, and turns counter clockwise to open.

Gilman_after_botox8As I said before though, Gilman is getting just starting its round of Botox injections that is going to take in the neighborhood of two years and turn it into a rather more legitimate place to study at a top university – although I would argue that it is going to lose some of its romantic mystique. At least, in the mean time, I can still hold onto the fact that the Humanities professors’ offices are essentially Winnebagos until then, but after that period, well things will be different around here.

Aside from the opportunities to complain being a Humanities major, we do have a very important role to play in the grand scheme of things. For one, we are responsible for, I’d say we account for about 50% of all facial hair on campus. Our showering habits could also be construed as a bit questionable, but then again the same could be said for many majors. We also occupy important space in the library: we sit in the comfy for chairs for hours on end reading and reading and reading.

A common misconception is that we don’t spend much time in the library, as we don’t have to deal with complex equations or the joys of Organic Chemistry, but, in actual fact, we’re in there quite a lot. I spend more time in the library than my roommate (a Chemical Engineer), my girlfriend (Psychology Pre-Med), and my friends (Psychology Pre-Med and Behavioral Biology respectively). Now, all of these respective individuals would have you believe that this is because I am absolutely insane, and possibly the most meticulous reader to ever walk the planet – I have an annotation problem and am seeking help – but I think it is because being a Humanities student isn’t as easy, or as rare, as its cracked up to be. We’re actually growing in number and strength, and would consider attempting some sort of coup, but then we would lose aforementioned complaining privileges.Three_humanities_majors_all_facing_

Unfortunately, we cannot claim responsibility for Hopkins fine performing arts community of which I am a proud participator as a member of the Buttered Niblets, Hopkins only improv and sketch comedy group and one of its most discreet and modest groups. Although we are not completely Humanities based, pedagogical diversity is not one of our strengths. Here are the Buttered Niblets:

Myself: Writing Sems, possibly Philosophy
Adar: Political Science
Jackie: Writing Sems
Kempton: History
Eric:Writing Sems
Scott: Whiting School of Engineering
Remy: Writing Sems
Chris: Film and Media Studies
Mike: Writing Sems
Blake: Public Health

As this shows, we need to work on our diversity pretty desperately. As you can pretty embarrassingly see, things tend to be more than a bit lopsided. Scott_hard_at_work8 Though I may seem a bit hostile to the Engineers I’m not, I can personally attest to Scott’s theatrical talent – he was in a production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night along with other student written productions – and he really does fit in quite nicely Two_writing_sems_and_an_enginer_sco with everyone else; this is probably more so because we’re all rather strange people. I must admit, though, that he comes in handy though when we have questions that necessitate mathematical calculation or some kind of conception of space, as does my roommate; neither are afraid to point out our deficiencies in these.

I feel bad sometimes with my roommate because I can sometime give him a hard time about being an engineer, but he cuts into my guilt as he always gives me some good jibes back. He certainly didn’t try to keep quiet about the fact that all of his midterms were over while I still had three to go or that he has one midterm this week while I have two philosophy papers and a 3-5 page story in the style of Virginia Woolf to write, along with a midterm in my political philosophy class due in the next four days. However, I feel it is fair to take anything that he can think of throwing at me as he helped me assembled some shelves (and by help I mean make me look a bit silly by doing it rather easily, after some thought) I bought at the bookstore after I’d personally known him for all of two hours or so; they really helped give me a lot more storage space. There is a healthy and deeply sarcastic rivalry that plays out through little these little pokes across campus.

Everyone on our campus really does have something to offer. We are happy to deal with the abstract and the esoteric and write comma and semicolon saturated pieces – such as this one – while the Pre-Meds offer helpful medical advice, the Engineers help us fix the sound equipment and turn off the damn blue light to which we can’t find the off switch to, the Computer Science guys fix your computer when Vista decides to act up during an especially suspenseful part of a story you’re writing that’s due in an hour, and whomever else does whatever it is that they do–and hopefully manages to clean the bathroom every once in awhile.

In the end, everyone really does have a part to play, Humanities majors just happen to be the best complainers.

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