Tag Archives: chemical engineering

Should You Major In Liberal Arts Or STEM?

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Should You Major In Liberal Arts Or STEM?

There was a time, perhaps a couple of decades ago, where the liberal arts – a.k.a. the humanities, dealing with the study of literature, history, philosophy, art, and the like – and STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) worked together in harmony. These days, there seems to be a major divide between the two when it comes to college. At least, that’s what a lot of commentators and even politicians believe.

Back in 2014, Barack Obama called into question the usefulness of a liberal arts degree. He caught quite a bit of heat for suggesting that a degree in art history may not provide you with the job opportunities that an education in trade and manufacturing will. Oddly enough, this actually put him on common ground with the Republicans, who have long questioned the usefulness of degrees such as literature and anthropology!

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He didn’t always please the liberals!

But how right are the critics of an education in liberal arts? Before people even get an opportunity to ask “How do you get a bachelor’s degree?”, they seem to be hounded by such a question. If you feel a bit torn and confused about the whole thing, here are a few points that you should keep in mind:

Manufacturing and Trade Aren’t Dead: So many people out there seem to think that we’ve moved past the need to have so many students doing STEM subjects because there isn’t much career potential in manufacturing and trade. Here’s the thing: Obama wasn’t actually so much criticizing liberal arts as he was criticizing this idea. The fact is, that these are still essential fields in our economies, and fulfilling and lucrative careers are still common in those fields. Don’t dismiss manufacturing and trade as dead fields because they are very much alive and kicking if you know where to look.

Liberal Arts Education Isn’t Just “Training for Starbucks”: An education in the humanities does not doom you to a dead-end job, the way that a lot of people tend to dismiss it. Having said that, there are certainly courses out there that are so steeped in postmodernist denials of reality or objective truth and so much closer to ideological indoctrination rather than education that job prospects after graduation are genuinely lackluster.

But, a degree in philosophy has been shown to get people into well-salaried positions. In fact, the average philosophy major earns more than the average accounting major. As for an English degree, so often mocked by humanities haters, it’s a massive boost for many careers due to the degree showing your ability to read and analyze deeply. Talent in theory and criticism is more useful in business and technology fields than you may think!

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Starbucks & studies!

And Remember: while Bill Gates has dismissed liberal arts degrees, Steve Jobs has pointed out that his company would never work it if hadn’t been a perfect marriage of STEM and liberal arts.

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Take that, Bill Gates!

Remember Part 2: the value of a degree is both overestimated and underrated – it’s the former in a more general sense, but the latter when you take into account oft-disparaged subjects such as those you’ll find in the humanities. At the end of the day, higher education isn’t pointless, nor is it a waste of time – as long as you pursue your education with purpose, you’ll get something out of it.

Featured Image By: Wikimedia

Monday Update: Weekend In Wisconsin Edition!

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Monday Update: Weekend In Wisconsin Edition!

Hellooooooooo everyone and happy Monday! After a beautiful weekend in Wisconsin, I’m back in Ohio and here once again to bring you the latest and greatest. My oldest brother Peter graduated this weekend from the University of Wisconsin with a PhD in Chemical Engineering, so my family packed up the car and headed up to Madison, Wisconsin for the ceremonies and quality time with my brother and his fiance, Megan. We left around eight o’clock in the morning on Friday so we could make it just in time to the five o’clock ceremony at the university. We arrived in Wisconsin around four in the afternoon, which is awesome considering we got stuck in the bowels of Chicago traffic for an hour. -___- We arrived at my brother’s apartment to freshen up for a bit, and then we followed him and Megan to the university for the ceremony. Here’s some pictures from ceremony numero uno!

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  • PicStitch 1) Peter looking scholarly as hell in his graduation robes!! Hubba hubba!
  • PicStitch 2) Peter and his fiance Megan being precious. They’ll be getting married at the end of July, which is pretty exciting! The pictures in this collage are a combination of the ceremony on Friday and the second one on Saturday. So cute!
  • Photo 3) Yours truly sporting her graduation best! As usual, here’s the breakdown of what I was wearing from head to toe:
  • Floppy hat: PacSun, Brandy Melville
  • Lace blazer: Blue Boutique, Esley
  • Floral dress: TJMaxx, Mine
  • Telephone purse: Macy’s, Betsey Johnson
  • Cream lace up wedges: Kohl’s, Juicy Couture
  • Photo 4) My sister Kristen and I doing the damn thing!
  • Photo 5) Peter and I!! I love this picture so much and I can’t wait to get some copies printed out so I can frame it and put it in my room where I can see it every day. And I must say, I was really feeling my outfit that day, as Kristen so appropriately Snap Chatted in my featured image with the caption “she’s feeling herself”. Hahaha
  • Photo 6) All of my siblings and future sister in law! From left to right: Kristen, my brother Andrew, Peter, Megan, and yours truly!

So the ceremony on Friday was for all of the PhD graduates at the University, the ceremony on Saturday was specifically for the engineering department. There’s not much to say about either ceremony other than the fact that it was boring and the only exciting thing was seeing Peter strutting his stuff across the stage. Thank goodness for free WiFi in the building, because I would have blown my brains out from boredom. 🙂 After the ceremony we found Dr. Peter and went out to dinner at this super yummy Mexican restaurant, Laredo’s. I was SO hungry and completely annihilated my vegetarian dish. I also may or may not have ate an entire bowl of chips and salsa before our food arrived. Whoops 😉 My family was so tired after dinner, so we headed to our hotel to check in for the night. We stayed at the Cambria hotel, which was not too far from Peter’s apartment. The hotel was really nice – especially their insanely comfortable bed and pillows! Their pillows were seriously like resting your noggin on a big, firm marshmallow. Seriously, as soon as your head touched the pillow you could feel it forming to your cranium and it was incredible. My mom and I both agreed that we need to find a pillow like that ASAP, because they were fabulous.

On Saturday we woke up relatively early so that we could get ourselves ready for brunch and the second graduation ceremony at two o’clock. For brunch we went to an absolutely amazing predominantly vegetarian restaurant called the Daisy Cafe, and oh my god it was to die for. Everything was SO good! I got a roasted vegetable omelet with goat cheese and a side of sourdough toast. My omelet also came with breakfast potatoes and a slice of fresh pineapple and cantaloup. It was a breakfast fit for a queen, and it was absolutely perfect. The cafe was decorated beautifully on the inside with bright poppy colors and mosaic artwork. It was also gorgeous on the outside as well, with mosaic pieces and mechanical statues in their garden. Take a look:

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^^^ So pretty! If you recall, I wrote about a place that my family visited during our summer vacation to Wisconsin called Dr. Evermore’s, which was a park filled with incredible mechanical sculptures – some big, some small, and all equally impressive. I’m pretty confident that the robot, dog, and flower sculptures at the Daisy Cafe are all done by Dr. Evermore. The resemblance is too uncanny not to be, as you can see by these pictures:

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(You can read more about Dr. Evermore’s in my article “Dr. Evermore’s (The greatest place on earth)” !!!)

After a delicious brunch, we went to Peter’s apartment to primp and beautify, then we headed back to the university for the second ceremony. This one was actually a lot more enjoyable than the first because it was a lot more intimate since it was only the engineering PhD’s and their families at the ceremony. We got excellent seats and were able to see Peter very clearly, which was great considering we couldn’t even find him on Friday. Here’s a few pics from ceremony numero two:

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  • Picstitch 1) While taking pictures with my mom, she said that she’s not selfie material…I say FALSE!!!
  • Picture 2) Once again, Kristen and I doing the damn thing.
  • Picture 3) Hanging out with Dr. Peter! And as usual, here’s the break down of what I was wearing:
  • Trench coat: PacSun, Jack
  • Army green wedges: TJMaxx, Guess
  • (Underneath the trench I was wearing the blue dress that Kristen had on during the Friday ceremony, which is from Express.)
  • Picture 4) Peter in line to receive his diploma!!!! What a stud!
  • Picture 5) The look Peter gave me when he realized I was taking his picture! Hahaha

The Saturday ceremony was a lovely time, and once we met up with Peter afterwards we decided to walk around the shops close to campus for a while to work up our appetite because we were all still so full from brunch! Andrew, Peter, Megan, and my mama spent time in one of the stores with a lot of Madison sports gear, while Kristen and I opted for Urban Outfitters. We both got a gorgeous new dress, which you’ll all be seeing sooner or later this week! 🙂 After an hour and a half or so of shopping, we were all hungry enough to eat, so we went to the Great Dane, which is one of Madison’s staple restaurants. Naturally, the Great Dane was hopping with graduation celebrations and Saturday night tom foolery, so we had a half hour wait for a table, which was fine by me because I still wasn’t all that hungry. Once we got a table, we ordered cheese curds for an appetizer, because you kind of have to when you’re in Wisconsin. When in Rome, as they say. 😉 Unfortunately, our meals took a fairly long time to arrive at our table since the restaurant was so busy – but that’s okay because the food was so amazing that it didn’t matter. I ordered a peanut stew, and it was legitimately the best thing ever. It was cilantro rice, butternut squash, red onions, and red peppers all drenched in a peanut sauce. So delicious! Everyone really enjoyed their meals, and after our late dinner, we went back to Peter’s apartment to unwind with some silly television shows before we went back to our hotel for the night.

Yesterday was my brother Andrew’s 26th birthday, and unfortunately most of it was spent in the car for our drive home! (Happy birthday Andrew! I love you!) We met up with Peter and Megan for a quick breakfast at McDonald’s and then said our goodbyes. The next time we see them will be at their wedding! We were on the road by ten-ish and made our long trek back to Ohio. We arrived home in Cuyahoga Falls around seven thirty and I was soooo happy to be out of the car to stretch my legs and most importantly, go to the bathroom. We only made one stop during the entire eight and a half hour drive, and let me tell you – my bladder was probably ten minutes away from exploding. It was AWFUL! After unpacking, we celebrated Andrew’s birthday with some cake and then went our separate ways to unwind for the night. I for one slept like a combination of a rock and a baby and it was simply terrific.

My weekend in Madison, Wisconsin was absolutely wonderful and I really did have the best time ever. I’m so damn proud of my brother, and it was so great to be able to watch him walk across the stage twice! We ate tons of delicious food, that I’m going to have to work off because I swear I gained fifty pounds and had lots of beautiful family quality time. Our weekend getaway was a definite success!

I hope all of you enjoyed reading “Monday Update: Weekend In Wisconsin Edition!” as much as I did writing it! What did everyone do this weekend? Anything exciting? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Honey, I’m Home!

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Honey, I’m Home!

Hello, hello everyone! I have returned safe and sound to Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio after my weekend getaway to Madison, Wisconsin – and let me just say…it’s SO good to be back! My brother, Peter graduated this weekend from the University of Wisconsin with a PhD in Chemical Engineering (so proud!), so my family packed up the car and made the nine hour trip up to Madison for the ceremony. I’m going to post a few pictures tonight to give you a little sneak peak for the usual Monday Update tomorrow, where I’ll discuss the trip in detail! I mainly just wanted to let all of my lovelies know that I’ve made it home in one piece and that I will talk to all of you very soon!

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^^^ Mwahaha, there’s the graduate himself – swagged out to the max! Love you, Peter! 😉 And there’s my sleeping beauty sister, Kristen getting her snooze on! 😉

There’s going to be a bunch of fun stories, pictures, and my graduation fashion choices to discuss tomorrow, so get ready for it and keep it posted with yours truly! How was everyone’s weekend? Did any of you have a weekend getaway trip? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Goodnight! -Sarah

Road Trip!

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Road Trip!

Hiiiii everyone and happy Thursday! I just wanted to let you guys know that I’ll be out of office starting early tomorrow morning until Sunday night. My brother is graduating tomorrow with a PhD in chemical engineering, so we’re packing up the family car and heading to Wisconsin for the ceremony and for some sweet, sweet hanging! Hopefully the motel we’re staying in has WiFi, because I’ll have my iPod on me so I’ll try to check in with some short little posts once we return for bed. If not, you can expect to hear from me either late on Sunday or on Monday for the usual Monday Update segment! I’m seriously so excited to see my brother!!! I’m not too excited about the nine hour drive to Wisconsin, but it will be so worth it! I haven’t seen my big bro since the beginning of January, so it’s sure to be a beautiful reunion. :))))

^^^ This basically sums up how I’m feeling right now!

So yes, I will be on a little vaca from lifewithlilred for the weekend, but make sure you check back in with me upon my return for the latest and greatest! Send me some good vibes so I don’t get super annoyed with my family during the car ride! Are any of you taking a road trip soon? Where are you heading off to? What do you do to entertain yourself during a long car ride? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love, and I’ll talk to you all soon! -Sarah