I’ll go out on a limb and say students who are serious about their education at Oxy who are studying less-popular areas have considered dropping out or transferring. Or maybe it’s just me. Funny enough, it’s because Oxy gave me so much money that I decided to stay. Money it apparently doesn’t have, since we’re required to live on campus for three years thus required to have a meal plan for each of those years. I don’t have the financial means to pay, out-of-pocket at another university, for what isn’t offered by my own college to complete a sadly neglected major that Oxy allows me to declare.
Language majors are required to have a certain number of classes including and above the 202 level. This is not a problem, usually, as there are many French and Spanish courses, and testing out of the beginner and intermediate classes early on makes completing the major a lot smoother. However, as a German-Russian Group Language major, five classes including 201 are required in two languages which may or may not include French or Spanish. The availability of classes in Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, German, Russian, or Classical languages pales in comparison (and not for lack of interest).
In addition, most of these languages are not offered at the high-school level, and so previous exposure in order to test out of beginning classes is far more difficult. Therefore, I have no choice but to take Russian 101-201 before I can even start accumulating major credit.
All of the languages I have mentioned, with the exception of Greek and Latin, are critical languages. This means that those who speak and study these languages and their accompanying cultures are in high demand, so please believe me when I say that not only is there a demand, but that my declaring this particular major was not an attempt to be different or edgy; I am absolutely serious and engaged in what I want and I believe it is important to society.
Oxy promised us the opportunity to pursue diverse, unique passions. We are not as diverse as we say we are. German only has one professor and one adjunct professor on staff, whereas Russian has only one adjunct professor. If there are scheduling conflicts, I’m out of luck for that semester. I’m certainly not about to give up my passion and my true interest for the sake of Oxy’s convenience.
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