Sunday August 31 2014

And this Arts education…

By Jan Ajwang

So, for now I will draw my head out of the sand and suggest that I think that when the president recently said that arts courses are useless, he was ‘quoted’ out of context.

There is no way a person who oozes everything ‘artistic’ in the literal and I daresay ‘scientific’ meaning of the word can even suggest that arts courses are useless because in reality, there is a lot that art does for humanity than rocket science could ever do.

Well, pity me; I have become as British or (Welsh?) as it gets, taking people serious for what they say most of the time. So I was shaken to the core when I read that because I was in the middle of taking break from my ‘qualitative’ research that is more about words than numbers only to stumble upon a down play of ‘my kind of education’. I became numb for days looking at my research work finding out what science I could return with to my country.

I will tell you that it does look so artistic and I certainly have big plans for my country with my extremely arts education. So, should we be mad at the president, no? Let us just say all can be useless depending on the context, if you like. Well in one room at a study centre I often sat next to this man who, just never took his head away from the computers or his books.

He was always scribbling things; I could bet that he was going to discover a new planet or a provable theory that we were wrong because the earth is actually squared. One day I picked into his work as I passed by him and behold! I saw numbers and ‘x’ and in my mind I thought ‘na bado x hapatikani?.

Well, I had stopped finding x long ago, but this man seemed closer to apprehending X, in his work and I really admired his passion. Only thing is last week he came up in a conversation with another colleague who had also observed him, she said for all the nine months or so she had been studying at the centre, he had never spoken.

But last week he said, hello and guesses what he was studying? Linguistics! I don’t know how… but to the arts! And God Bless the scientists!