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  • After reading the introduction multiple times, I finally understood a point that Ordine was making. I could be wrong, but something that I got from the introduction was that there are two kinds of usefulness: what […]

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    • In our society, what is truly useful? How do we weigh whether a skill or talent is useful or not? Ordine explains that our society values skills and career paths that will ultimately lead to wealth because we are solely interested in anything that hold monetary value. I started to wonder where does this implementation of the important of monetary value begin and thought about elementary schools. Ordine states, “Because it is easy to understand the efficacy of a tool while it is even more difficult to understand the utility of music, literature, or art.” (pg. 4) I’ve had the opportunity to work in two elementary school in Queens, in which I noticed that children are no longer pushed to experiment with the Arts. They are no longer given the opportunity to learn about art or learn how to play instruments. Their school days basically consist of subjects like math and science, which are important, but as Ordine explains is killing creativity. I agree that it is very important to learn about these different subjects in school. However, I think is is crucial to foster children’s’ creativity. Schools curriculum continuously cuts funding for art programs and therefore students don’t have the opportunity to learn about music and art. Which I believe is the reason why as adults we are so focused on what careers will make us most money and majors like english, music, drama to name a few are looked down upon.

      -Iridian Lopez

    • How though?

    • Though I feel that Ordine’s elaborate explanations could have been more simplistic, The reading stimulated my curiosity because Ordine addresses an intriguing argument between individualism versus utilitarianism. Where the usefulness of expressing oneself purely for expression without any form of gain is questioned. This argument reminds me of the time of the Renaissance. The Renaissance was a time when people experienced changes in art, learning and other things. It was a time when Humanists emerged, which were people who believed that the individual had important contributions to make in the world. As a result, the Renaissance influence society to grow as individuals; the idea behind social classes were being reformed. People were starting to realize that they could move up in society if they individually worked hard and earned more money rather than being stuck forever in the social class they were born in. The idea of the Renaissance supports the argument that there is usefulness for having the mentality of expressing oneself because it is a literal example of how individual expression influenced society to grow as individuals.

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