The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

'A voice for the voiceless'
Kiley O’Brien ’25, Assistant Features Editor • July 18, 2024
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Lilli Dellheim '25 M.A., Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Balancing creativity with logic

The value of an education in both the sciences and music

From the day we are born, we are confronted with choices. As we get older, these choices become harder and harder to make, culminating with what to study in college and where to attend. Trust in our previous decisions and experiences lend us into making the best choices for the future. Lucky for me, I knew that St. Joe’s would be a good fit as I am a fan of Jesuit education and several of my family members are Hawks.

The choice of what to study was much harder because I have two unrelated passions–math/science and music. The sciences, especially physics, are great, because there is a logical approach and solution to almost everything. Problems can be solved analytically and sequentially, which coincides with my structural thought process. Music, on the other hand, is very creative. It forces you to think outside of the box to create something original and unique.

I approached Piotr Habdas, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the physics department, and Suzanne Sorkin, Ph.D., chair of music, theater and film, to discuss how I could double major in physics and music and finish in four years. Both looked at me funny, especially when they saw that I was a trumpeter, but assured me that it was achievable. It is fantastic to see how well the departments work together for their students. This collaboration is not something all schools can claim.

I hear all the time “Physics and music? Why?”

It is actually quite simple. Science and music go hand-in-hand. Both focus on different sides of the brain, keeping me constantly on my toes. It helps me become a well-balanced person and fulfills my approach to order and creativity. I am a very creative person hidden with a logical facade. The two disciplines allow me to push my creativity while continuing to have order in my life. Most people only hear about my one major or the other though. In fact, I think very few people know I am majoring in both.

My goal right now is to get my feet under me and learn as much as possible. Long term, I would like to keep my options open and gravitate towards whichever discipline calls to me more during my years at St. Joe’s. Having two different majors provides me with a strong foundation with which I can go in any direction.

The same is true with a Jesuit education. Jesuits believe that true education only occurs when the whole person is educated. In my case, it involves developing both sides of my brain, personality and character.  I believe that the interconnectivity of the brain is essential for long term success. My hope is that by the time I graduate, I will be well-rounded and aware, prepared for life’s next choices.

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