One questions students are frequently asked is, “What’s your favorite subject?”. As a student, I find myself faced with this question a lot. I find that it kind of comes down to preference: like a photo, answers and general course of a subject falls into one of these three broad categories: clear, blurry, and the in-between. What distinguishes each category varies from person to person, so I’ll be going into my take on each category.
The obvious example for a subject with a clear answer is math. Often, there is only one right answer to a problem, though there may be many ways to solve a problem. Personally, I find math really monotonous: I don’t naturally “think in math” and have little tolerance for trying to for extended periods of time. I’m that one kid that obsessively checks how many problems he/she has left; it’s as tense as a rocket countdown. Each number down represents one number closer to freedom. Nevertheless, I can see the simple, elegant appeal of math to those who have the patience to sit down with it. It’s amazing watching people solve things with ingenious simplicity; math teachers tend to do this effortlessly. I’m mostly the kid on the side gaping in awe.
Thankfully, I don’t do my best gaping catfish impression for all of my school subjects. In contrast, I find that participating in English class is a lot easier for me, which I attribute to the seemingly endless possibility of answers in English class. Truly the number of answers to a question are not infinite. Well scratch that, they kind of are, but quality answers are those strongly supported by ample textual evidence. There is usually a widely accepted point of view, but there is no need to accept it. Provided the case is strong enough, the analysis of any argument can be broken down and interpreted in many ways.
Though these two subjects are the relative extrema of the school subject spectrum, they are by no means the endpoints. In the middle are all of the other subjects in school I have neglected to mention: history, physics, chemistry, economics. Answers in all subjects are varying degrees of clarity. It’s no so easy to define these subjects because different parts shift the subject on the spectrum. Me? I lean left towards open answers. Or ambiguity; it all depends on how you see things.