Being Noah Tesfaye #25: A Humanities-Focused Students Silicon Valley Network

I’m going to be completely honest: STEM is something I can appreciate, but it is not for me per say. I can enjoy Calculus and Physics because they are truly interesting concepts and topics for me. I can appreciate C++ and Java. But it does not give me the satisfaction or joy that history or English give me. Reading about the Compromise of 1850 intrigues me far more than limits in math, and that does not mean that I don’t enjoy finding limits, but they’re not the same for me.

I love the different challenge humanities bring as opposed to STEM. For me, it’s fun to read something and the second you get it, that rush of excitement parallels nothing. Or, when I read an article in the news, then go and research what it is about, that sense of search and learning process give me the same excitement that my friends get when they run a program correctly for AP CS. The humanities let me put the world into perspective, engaging with the past and how it can change our present and future.

Silicon Valley is not exactly the best place to be, for obvious reasons, to be a humanities-focused student. I’m always bummed that there are, by comparison, far fewer chances for students like me to pursue our passions. We do not have options and opportunities to pursue the passions of our STEM-focused peers and it is definitely frustrating.

Furthermore, often times, schools may not provide that same opportunity. I wrote an article with my friend for my school paper talking about how we could double up on STEM courses but not humanities courses. You can take two math or two sciences at our school, but not double up on history or english. Our district’s goals for the next five years even includes advancements in achievement for students in STEM. It is not that the schools do not recognize that there are students who love the humanities, but it is the fact that we are in the area we are. Every couple days, I’ll see someone whom I recognize presenting at Apple’s WWDC or Google I/O, or I’ll see Sergey Brin riding one of those elliptical bikes.

So what can we do? I honestly do not know. I’ve worked hard to make the most of my opportunity on staff at my school paper. I’ve appreciated being a part of our Creative Writing Club. I’ve given my all to my humanities courses and writing here. But that is not enough.

Here’s the dream: a student network, whether it be a Facebook group or other medium, where students who love the reading, writing, history, and more, could come together and work together. We could publish our content on one central hub, building relationships with the writers in Silicon Valley, the historians at Stanford and Berkeley, fostering creation amongst each other. We could get feedback on pieces we’re working on, collaborate on research projects, and meet up at coffee shops to share our passion for politics, creative writing, or anything related to the humanities. My thinking behind this is that we, together, can be the center of our passion, and no longer feel as though we’re as isolated in this STEM-driven community, creating our own community of young philosophers, political theorists, and novelists.

Honestly, I do not know how this could work. But, I believe that it could and should exist. I guess the first place to start would be to join this Facebook group HERE. Share this with your friends, classmates, adults, writers, anyone! It does not start with me. It starts with you. If enough people want to join this, we can get that support system of feedback and have people to bounce ideas for pieces on with others. If this flops, that’s fine. But, there is a slight chance that this could work. And I’m willing take this zero consequences chance to create something that could become something. So share, spread the word, and I’ll see you there!


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