Skill over task


“C’mon, Grandma!” I exclaimed impatiently. “Let’s play doctor! Get the toys, Grandma!”

Grandma rushed quickly to gather the necessary materials for the night: stuffed animals that desperately needed proper medical treatment. They would be saved by a five-year-old whose fate may have as well been pre-determined, for I knew exactly how my life would look years from that very moment in the living room …

A physician, curing real people with real problems. And maybe a stuffed animal or two.

As evidenced by my enthusiasm, my young self did not know any better. Perhaps it was the further discovery of bodily fluids that frightened me. After all, my Bugs Bunny never bled, even though he appeared to have every medical symptom known to man. Or perhaps it was the monotone nature of the profession. I simply could not bare to perform similar tasks on the daily basis. And thus, for whatever reason, I escaped the hunger that once rested within and decided to leave the noble career path to other worthy candidates.

The interest for medicine further began to diminish as I received more exposure to the work my dad performed. As an attorney, he executed every decision and every move with greatest care and thought. He radiated with satisfaction and content, and every night went to sleep impatiently looking forward to next day.

Astonished by the energy of my father as well as some essential aspects of his profession (which I understood very little of), it was not long before I began to read the Constitution, printed in the form of a pocket-sized paper pamphlet. Certainly, I had trouble comprehending its contents, yet I was curious to discover an unknown world within the legal field to which I’ve grown attached.

A decade later, here I am: a Loyola student with a double-major in economics and history.

How did I get here?

Don’t law-school students usually study sociology, philosophy, or, political science prior to attending an accredited law institution? 

How I Chose My Major(s)

I’ve come a long way from my days in the operating room with Bugs Bunny.

I strategically employed various methods of achieving professional prosperity that I believed would guide me into a successful future.

My choice of majors was in no way accidental. The field of law, overwhelmed with professionals around the country, lacks legal experts with essential skills that are necessarily central to the effective execution of any given task. Particularly, quantitative reasoning and the ability to read, write, and argue.

With its broad mathematical background, economics has surely continued to expose me to various forms of quantitative thinking, in which calculus and extensive statistical analysis are only the beginnings of a more concentrated journey of excessive spreadsheets and pie charts.

History, in return, offers the skill of reading difficult material, analyzing its fundamental properties, and writing coherent argumentative (or otherwise) reports based on the proposed content.

Such disciplines offer a promising future in a newly emerging universe, where general skill resides above particular task.

And while more is to be said about the two aforementioned fields, their essential attributes are clear and evident.

Playing doctor in that room many years ago was surely an experience to remember for an eternity… but it’s interesting to think the doctor who treated that poor rubber duck with a missing eye would be the same person representing him in court as he failed to make his mortgage payments. And that is the power of a liberal arts-based university education.

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