Letter to the editor: Should we push our students to think about money and materialism?

Andy Schoeneman

This is in response to Scott Estill’s opinion piece that gave advice to the Class of 2024 published on Aug. 24. Humans are basically storytelling beings, stories that aspire to the truth. There is hardly any other way to give us an understanding of our society, except through the stock of our stories. From “Horton Hears a Who” to “1984” and “To Kill a Mockingbird” and other classic books, we learn the values that underpin our very characters. History is made of stories, and is philosophy — one slice at a time. These are all found in the humanities.

These stories and values are not found in Mr. Estill’s finance and mathematics. They are found in the humanities, including literature, history, philosophy, environmental ethics, which are taught (and that I teach) at our Colorado Mountain College in Breckenridge.

Mr. Estill suggests understanding “banks, credit cards, loans … and every other element of finance work,” and offers that “finance can be a very lucrative six-figure major.” I ask, however, of human life is — or should be — based upon sheer materialism and money? Do these values and practices send our creative instincts, our imaginations, soaring? Aren’t there greater vistas, prospects and perspectives to be opened up for our young adults?

Confined to material values, finance and mathematics are largely lacking in stories, and are devoid of the teaching of values — the ultimate values of truth, beauty, and justice — which cannot be measured or calculated. I invite the graduating class of 2024 to attend our humanities classes at Colorado Mountain College here in Summit County.

For a beginning finance lesson, preferred by Mr. Estill, consider the costs of attending CMC versus the cost of attending a four-year institution (and our credits are transferable). Just do the math.

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