Stop Degrading Liberal Art Degrees

At what point did I, or we, if this applies to you as well, accept the stereotype of liberal art majors? When did we stop defending ourselves? Reading Silva’s essay opened my eyes. I had already known that the stereotype against English majors existed, but I never realized how strongly it prevailed.

As a double major in Photography (an art degree) and Writing (an English degree), I receive double the amount of heat. I jokingly switch between the two depending on the situations I am in. (For example, being with my two very left-brained biology degree friends while they discuss anatomy: “What? I’m an art major!”) The fact that I switch between my majors and willingly degrade myself to those with “harder” degrees, shows just how much this stereotype has permeated into daily life.

In the essay, Silva states “But as far as I’ve seen, none of the stereotypes of a STEM or hard science major undermine their future and choices. That’s exactly what the stereotypes and stigmas surrounding liberal arts majors do.” Throughout my college career, I have had people assume that I want to be a journalist (I do not like factual writing), doubted that my Writing major was a real degree (‘It sounds fake.’) and ask what I plan on doing because neither of my degrees guarantees me a job. When in all actuality, everything that we associate with on a daily basis deals with writing or photography, specifically social media and advertisements.

I believe in the art of storytelling. And I also believe that I can change society, even if that change is small. The moment I stop doubting myself, my abilities and my degrees is the moment that I start to change the minds of those around me.

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Week One in London!

Day One

I arrived at the airport earlier in the day and was brought back to campus with a few other students. On my first day here, I went to the local shop to purchase an Oyster Card, which is how one pays for the public transit system. I then learned how to use the bus and get to Asda (the British version of Walmart) to purchase groceries. The rest of the day was spent unpacking and exploring campus before going to the Welcome Dinner.

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Flying somewhere over Canada.

 

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The campus library! Isn’t it gorgeous?

Day Two

I went through orientation and registration. I now have an official Roehampton Student ID! I went on an official campus tour as well, I’ve got about half of campus down, the other half is still kind of confusing to me. I met up with some people and we ended up back at Asda getting groceries we had forgotten previously. When we got back to school we wandered around campus and explored the library before hanging out and playing card games well into the night. The people that I went to Asda with this day are now people I hang out with every day and are very much lifelong friends.

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The view of central London from the top floor of the library.

Day Three

We spent several hours in Central London. I learned how to get to the local train station, which is about a ten-minute walk from campus. I saw the London Bridge, the Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, Big Ben (which is under construction, of course) and the London Eye, as well as countless other monuments and old buildings. I am slowly becoming an expert in public transportation!

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Outside the Tower of London, which I will be touring in week two!

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After walking around for hours, we found a little pizza place. Yes, I ate this entire thing.

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Other than Asda, this was the first time we hung out as a group. Going from left to right, I introduce you to Jeff, Caleb, myself, and Sydney. We didn’t know it then, but we’re all pretty much connected at the hip now! It feels like I’ve known these people for much longer than just a week.

Day Four

I ended up joining a group and we went to Hyde Park. While there, we rented rowboats and rowed around a man-made lake for an hour. When we were done, we walked around to find a place for lunch. The restaurant that we stopped at had spinach, chickpea, and fettuccini “meat” balls and spaghetti, which I loved! We took the tube (subway) back to our area of London. I ended the night with a game of frisbee with a bunch of cool people! I was worried coming in that I would be lonely since I didn’t know anybody else who was studying at my school. Honestly, though, making friends has been pretty easy! A lot of people who came here also came alone, so we’re all just trying to get to know each other. Most everybody is kind, generous and genuine.

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The view of the lake and a really weird looking building.

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My veggie “meat” balls. They were honestly some of the best things I have ever eaten.

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Experiencing the Tube for the first time!

Day Five

The first day of class. I’m in a literature course that focuses on how London has been depicted through books, specifically the Magic, Murder, and Mystery of the city. Class runs from 9:00-13:00, Monday through Thursday. It seems long but we get two breaks to stretch, get snacks, and use the loo. My professor is originally from California and has been in London for just over a decade. She’s very nice. After class, a group of us went looking for a charity shop (thrift store). The original one we wanted is no longer in business and the other one we found, the owner was out for lunch. I stopped at a post office to buy stamps and was blown away by how expensive they are. Don’t ask, I don’t want to talk about it. I bought a gym membership since I’m here for so long!

Day Six

Getting up for class is rough, and not having caffeine in the morning is worse. I had to get a coffee on our first break because I kept nodding off. Class went by really fast and afterward, I quickly worked on a presentation. Then I went to the gym. Then I got ready for the Hidden Pubs of London Tour. It wasn’t as fantastic as I wanted to be, but I did see a lot of beautiful old buildings and hear some crazy ghost stories, including one that inspired J.K. Rowling’s Nearly Headless Nick. We ended the tour at a gin palace and after I ordered my gin and tonic I realized that I didn’t like gin. I drank it though. On our way back to the station, we stopped at McDonald’s. The chips (fries) here are the same, and they have veggie burgers. The veggie burger I got was NOT good. I’ll try the spicy one next time, but if that one isn’t good I will just stick to the chips.

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While we were waiting for our tour guide, I found a telephone booth!

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This church is haunted by an evil French queen. It was also destroyed in the Blitz and now acts as a memorial to the lives and the old London that the war destroyed.

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Acting like I liked the gin and tonic I ordered.

Day Seven

I presented in class about Jack the Ripper and we watched a movie about him. After class I went to a quaint little event that the Study Abroad Team at my university put on for us; tea and cake. The cake I tried was vegan chocolate and it was so good! The tea was also very good, except that it was hot and humid and I was drinking a warm beverage. While at the social, a group of us decided to spontaneously go into the city and ride the London Eye. I’ve really taken to doing things spontaneously, as I used to do before my life required organization. We ordered our tickets online with a student discount. I was expecting the cost to be £50 but it was actually only £15, which was a relief, though I probably would have done it anyways. The Eye was pretty cool but not as great as I expected it to be, given how talked up the attraction is. We roamed around the city afterward to find a doughnut shop in Soho. It was the most expensive doughnut I’ve ever had, but it was incredibly rich and the frosting was amazing.

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If you look closely, you can see Big Ben getting worked on in the background. Fun fact: Big Ben is actually the name of the bell. The structure is actually named Elizabeth Tower.

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Check out this view!

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A peanut butter, chocolate doughnut! The store also had doughnuts the size of my head.

 

 

That’s it for week one! Week two will be coming soon, and with some even crazier stories than week one.

ABOUT

20180714_163313I’m Susan Arnold and I’m a twenty-something Michigan based photographer.

I started doing photography seriously in 2013 but began taking photos in 2006 when I got my first camera as a birthday present. I graduated from Northern Michigan University with a bachelor’s in science in photography in May 2019.

I focus on multiple types of photography, primarily portraiture and landscape. If you book with me, I offer competitive prices for on-location shoots (I will travel if you need me to).

I hope you enjoy scrolling through my views of the world.

 

You can find me on social media here:

http://instagram.com/susanarnold_

https://www.facebook.com/sarnoldphotography/

BOOKINGS

Senior Sessions – $125

  • 2 hours
  • 3 outfit changes
  • photos edited without manipulation
  • all rights go to you

Engagement Sessions – $250*

  • 3 hours
  • 3 outfit changes
  • photos edited without manipulation
  • all rights go to you

*depending on how long of a commute, travel fees will be added on to the price

Elopement/Courthouse Weddings – $300

  • 3 hours
  • shooting on location
  • 3 outfit changes
  • photos edited without manipulation
  • all rights go to you

Weddings – $1500*

  • all day
  • shooting on location
  • a meeting beforehand to discuss what you want for your special day
  • photos edited without manipulation
  • all rights go to you

*depending on how long of a commute, travel fees will be added on to the price

 

 

Photobooks are available upon request. There will be extra fees.

 

Turnaround for editing is typically a 7-10 business days. Longer if including a photobook.

Notes: ISO, Shutter Speed & Aperture!

Exposure

-exposure controls how light and/or dark an image is
-it’s the mixture of all three pillars of photography: ISO, shutter speed and aperture

ISO
-iso is the level of sensitivity of camera to available light
-the lower the level, the less sensitive, the higher= more sensitive
-base iso is the lowest iso number of the sensor, that can produce the highest image quality, without adding noise to the image. Ranges:100-200 (base iso), 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400. Each step in between doubles sensitivity
-With increased sensitivity, there can be more graining

Shutter Speed

-shutter speed is the amount of time the shutter is open
-it’s measured in seconds and fractions of seconds
-slow shutter speeds require tripods and cause blurriness to moving objects
-want a fast shutter speed for taking pictures of sports or flying birds etc.
-want a slow shutter speed if you want to capture paint drying, or a snail moving, stuff like that

Aperture
-aperture is the hole in the lens that lets light into the camera body (the pupil of your eye is the aperture of photography)
-adds dimension by blurring background and bringing subject into focus or makes everything in focus
-diaphragm: stops or blocks light, with the exception of the light that goes through the aperture
-expressed in f-numbers, which are described as f-stops
-f-stops describe the size of the aperture; the bigger the number, the smaller the hole
-if you want the subject in better focus, use a larger f-number. The smaller the hole, the more in focus the subject and the blurrier the background