There are some things I wish I had learnt very early in life.
I wish I had learnt earlier than I did that inches are divided into eighths. I wish I had learnt earlier that basting a chicken does not mean sewing it and then picking out the stitches. I wish I had learnt earlier that the right way to commence sponja-ing the floor (Israelis don't mop, they sponja) is to dash water into the corners.
And I certainly ought to have learnt several years ago that COLLEGE CREDITS EXPIRE -- so that college courses taken in high school may have to be repeated... or Clepped.
This has been a public service announcement.
The Humanities Clep covers philosophy, literature, drama, art, music, and film, from prehistory to the present.
On one hand, it is interesting to catch up on what humanity has been doing for all those years -- filling in some spaces in my education.
On the other hand, the material required for the test is the most uninspiring branch of the humanities.
The math Clep tests your familiarity with math. Studying for it makes you appreciate the math in the world.
The science Clep tests your familiarity with science. Studying for it makes you appreciate the science in the world.
And the humanities Clep tests your familiarity with what everyone has to say about the humanities, which is not the same thing at all. Studying for it means memorizing lists like this:
James, Fred, George and Mary of the Tiddlywinks school of art, which emphasized light and movement, were succeded by James, John, George (the nephew of the first George), and Harriet of the Tiddlywoodles school, which emphasized light and color, and were succeeded by the Tiddlysquinks school, represented by John, Harry (the stepson of James of the Tiddlywoodles), Rene, and Mildred, which sought to revive the traditions of the Tiddlywinks, focusing on light, movement, and space, and Michael defaulted from the Tiddlysquinks to pave the way for the Tiddlysqundles who emphasized movement and color; and all the Tiddly movements took place in the age in which the unnaturalist movement of art, which drew on the naturalist movement of art, gave way to semi-naturalist art, and the return of naturalist undertones.
...instead of actually looking at the art.
I thought this was only because the multiple-choice nature of the CLEP test doesn't allow for better, but the art historian of the family confirmed, laughing, that emphasis on categorization (and questions of authorship) rather than content is actually quite common.
There are humanities scholars who spend their lives contemplating some of the greatest efforts of humanity over the millenia... and who, far from being inspired by these to deep and worthy thought, devote their time and energy to quibbling over whether an artist was a Tiddlywoodler or a Tiddlywiddler.
It is embarrassing. I believe it bypasses the point of the humanities entirely.