GCRs still important
Imagine my surprise this afternoon when I received The Hatchet’s notification that GCR requirements are to be cut in half for CCAS students (“Columbian College votes to reduce number of GCRs,” April 6, p.1). Obviously I imagine there are many happy future students and professors, the former because they don’t need to take nearly as many GCR classes as before, the latter because no longer will lower-level core classes be full of students who don’t want to be there.
I also imagine that there are quite a few recent grads and current students who are decidedly ticked off that they had to take twice the GCR requirements as future students. However, I am concerned with the decision – let me just briefly explain.
I graduated in 2007 with a B.A. in religion. I made the same mistake many students make – I took fun and interesting 700-series classes in my major early and childishly saved GCR requirements for later, meaning that by the time I was a senior, I was scrambling to finish another math class and three lab sciences. All of these I took senior year and trust me, it was a real pain.
But to be quite frank, those three lab sciences ended up drastically impacting my education. The GCR requirement, though difficult to fulfill, ended up teaching me better writing skills, relative (and I stress relative) scientific inquisitiveness and a lasting friendship with a lab TA. Even today, while my profession is Web development for a newspaper in the Middle East, the lessons I learned writing lab reports for the first time since grade school stay with me.
To those of you who are still at GW, do not take the recent decision by CCAS to limit your GCR requirements as an opportunity to forgo a well-rounded courseload. I count those science courses that I took the spring I graduated as some of the most difficult material I covered while at the University, but also some of the most rewarding and fulfilling.
Will Donovan, Class of 2007