Wed. Jan 26th, 2022

Ten years after School of Rock’s release, the cast is still rocking. On Aug. 29, Jack Black and the now grownup group of kids from the film played a reunion show hosted by the Austin Film Society at the Paramount Theater in Austin, Texas. Even today, the moral of the movie is still beating: “it’s a long way to the top, if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll.”
The plot of the movie, for those who have yet to see it, follows ex-rocker Dewey Finn, who, while posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school, discovers the musical talent of his fifth-grade students. He then forgoes the lesson plan of reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmatic, to instead show them the man-challenging, gutbusting, and take-charge history and lifestyle associated with rock. Hilarious and heartwarming events occur, and in the end, spoilers omitted, they melt the faces of an unsuspecting adult crowd.
Despite this movie being a cult classic, it brings an interesting point to mind. Why learn what the Man wants you to? Who should have a say in the direction your education and future takes? Your teachers? Your parents? Or should you be able to take the basic skills accrued in early education and focus them towards your passions?
Being a Liberal Studies major, I have large blocks of electives I can channel towards various minors of my interest. Most students, my friends included, hardly have enough electives to take Democracy & Education, Peace & Conflict Studies, or History of Rock, which are just a few interesting electives I have had the pleasure of taking over the years. Just for the record, I am a pretty indecisive person with a wide array of interests and skills. I like to keep my options open, and be able to use my available knowledge and talents to support whichever passion speaks loudest.
In the final musical number in School of Rock, Jack Black sings, “Baby we was making straight A’s / But we were stuck in a dumb daze / Don’t take much to memorize your line / I feel like I’ve been hypnotisized.” Should not freedom of education be integral in the modern state of higher education? Most students do not even think to question it. It is ingrained in our generation by our parents that we need to pick a major and get good grades so we can graduate and get a job right out of school which we can work at until we retire. That may have worked well enough for them, but I am not so sure about us. Since getting a job right out of undergraduate school is becoming more rare anyway, should not students at least enjoy themselves and take some classes that take the edge off their core courses?
I asked my good friend and roommate Joe Deegan, a fourth year English education major, his opinion on the matter. “I certainly agree that there should be more freedom with college classes, but there still needs to be some structure,” said Deegan. “Our programs should not require 120 credits, especially when classes tend to overlap again and again. There should be less credits required for a major, so that students are able to add a minor or another major without the overwhelming fear of another year, AKA more college debt, scaring them away from doing so.”
So college underclassmen, take it from me. Take some interesting gen. ed. classes, join some organizations, and take full advantage of what electives you have available. Make those straight A’s, make some friends, and do not be hypnotisized.
Dillion Sweigart is a fourth-year student majoring in Liberal Arts. He can be reached at

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