“They say” or “I say,” Which is it?

          In the article, “Only Connect…”, the author, William Cronon, discusses how the modern day liberal arts education has been skewed from its direct interpretation of liberty or human freedom. Essentially, a liberal arts education is meant to provide individuals with the capability to relate as well as diversify their interests, knowledge, and human connections. Cronon mentions how the liberal education has improved since its conception, but often requires students to complete a list of required courses, and jump through other hoops in order to be considered sufficiently educated in their area of study. Cronon also describes how a “liberal education nurtures human freedom in the service of human community, which is to say that in the end it celebrates love,” (Cronon). To expand on the author’s thoughts, a liberally educated human being is capable of a larger understanding of the world than those without the same level of education. Their deeper understanding of the world and the people around them arms them with a moral obligation to give back to the community that gave so much to them, whether that community is a small town or the human race.


          Although the author attempts to convey a strong message to its reader, he fails to reach his maximum potential through his disorganized text. Cronan spends far too much time describing either the “they say” or the “I say” side of the argument without intermixing them. When he should bring the conversation back to his point or the opposition’s, he simply continues on in the same direction, allowing the audience to easily forget the connection both sides of the discussion. In order to better convey his message, Cronon needs to illustrate and compare his ideas to the subject matter with a sense of urgency. Otherwise, the reader may misinterpret the author’s feelings towards institutionalized liberal education, and may even confuse his definition of liberal education with what a modern liberal education looks like in reality.

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