During the age of Facebook, and of virtual hyperealities, teaching literature is underdeveloped, but the most valuable. The lack of technological adaptation is not a threat, but a challenge to the teacher of literature. Technological advancements and lack of educational budget puts literature teachers at challenging points, favoring teachers who share their knowledge in the technical fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. But considering this inevitable fact, literature teachers address the challenge by proving themselves worth it. Time comes when students realize that the most valuable knowledge they have ever known originates from literature.
Consider this: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, widely known as STEM, are where majority of the parents prefer to put their children because doing so does not make them wait a few more years to reap the fruits of their “investment” to their children. Their stereotypical judgment on technical course – that it will always leads to gaining instant money on their side – is a disappointing thought, which sometimes forces a student to study a course that does not interest him or her.
With the acronym sounding like the working backbone of everything, being the center of what we consider as the real world we call the corporation, we refer to them as the STEM. As what colloquial terms dictate engaging into those STEM courses is the only way to grow in an island, which is untrue.
With parents experiencing pressure to pay for their bills and settling their needs in life, the pleasure of studying is eclipsed by pressure. This has a long-term impact on the number of literature graduates teaching literature courses, which puts a University at the edge of becoming just a machine capable of producing graduates inclined in gaining money in the corporate world. On the other hand, we could not just imagine a University without liberal arts.
We could never imagine a school not teaching humanities and literature. On the other hand, disregarding literature courses will break the chain of academia practically in any University majors. It is like a bottle without soda or an ocean without water. It is like eating a chicken sandwich without chicken, like a body without soul.
Studying literature is different, much more when one teaches it. Technical courses provide a yardstick difficulty to the students and they teach to mold the students, which aims to generate uniform actions like a factory. In any given college major, may it be in STEM or Liberal Arts, what gives shape to anybody and provides distinction is the teacher of literature. Without a teacher in literature, studying in a University or in any schools will be boring and meaningless. Teaching literature is like reshaping an otherwise considered unchangeable and stiff. It is how one tames a wild beast. Engaging a student to various forms of literary works whether it is local or international is life-changing. Engineers having knowledge of Virgil, nurses with The Fish Hair Woman mean that they are not only having superficial lives, but the soul which is capable of changing other people’s lives.
Seeing the horizon of the future of literature and its teaching in the modern world, one might further ask, still, is there a space for a teacher to hold on to? Provided that everyone does need University education, yes, and we also want to gain money after graduation, and the corporate world is waiting for us, and there is a need for teachers of literature, is there a need for a teacher in literature in the digital age?
Write your heart out.
Never be ashamed of your subject, and of your passion for your subject.
Your "forbidden" passions are likely to be the fuel for your writing. Like our great American dramatist Eugene O’Neill raging through his life against a long-deceased father; like our great American prose stylist Ernest Hemingway raging through his life against his mother; like Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton struggling through their lives with the seductive Angel of Death, tempting them to the ecstasy of self-murder. The instinct for violent self-laceration in Dostoyevsky, and for the sadistic punishment of "disbelievers" in Flannery O’Connor. The fear of going mad in Edgar Allan Poe and committing an irrevocable, unspeakable act — murdering an elder or a wife, hanging and putting out the eyes of one’s "beloved" pet cat. Your struggle with your buried self, or selves, yields your art; these emotions are the fuel that drives your writing and makes possible hours, days, weeks, months, and years of what will appear to others, at a distance, as "work." Without these ill-understood drives you might be a superficially happy person, and a more involved citizen of your community, but it isn’t likely that you will create anything of substance. Don’t be discouraged! Don’t cast sidelong glances, and compare yourself to others among your peers! (Writing is not a race. No one really "wins." The satisfaction is in the effort, and rarely in the consequent rewards, if there are any.) And again, write your heart out.