“Frontiers of Science is Just Lit Hum: an Interdisciplinary Ode to the Freshman Core Experience ”
When literature is your passion, it might at times be difficult to wrap your head around a science-based class like Frontiers of Science. If you feel more at home in the lab, Lit Hum may pose some challenges. But that, in a sense, is why the Core exists: to expose scientists to literature and bookworms to the world of science. As a Pre-med English major, I particularly appreciate this approach. I believe that, when combined, science, art and literature can feed off of and contribute to each other, becoming an experience that is richer and more valuable than the sum of its parts.
This interdisciplinary spirit is what drew me to Columbia’s Core in the first place, and it’s exactly what I want to foster with my core scholars project. On one level, my song’s immediate science-literature ties are a bit tongue-in-cheek in their simplicity; personally, I strive to make more meaningful interdisciplinary connections than “both Dante’s Inferno and the theoretical model of the Atom are circular.” But that deeper connection does occur within this song, right under the listener’s nose. Parallel to the more superficial content-based connections made in the song’s lyrics, scientific concepts are being paired with famous works of literature, put to music and expressed through verses (and my drawing). For me, there’s something powerful and exciting about combining science, literature and art in such a way—it refreshes old concepts by opening the door to countless new potential connections. So, while this project doesn’t specifically analyze any single Lit Hum text, character or theme, I believe it gets to the core of the Core: its interdisciplinary mission, its encouragement of connections, its goal of seeing old texts and ideas in a new context.
Although he's not sure how he's going to accomplish this, Ben Kaplan (CC '14) is a Pre-Med English major. This is probably what drove him to write a song that combines Lit Hum and Frontiers of Science.