SeaSquawks 2/20/20: Jack of all trades or master of one?

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Netflix

The cast of 'Terrace House: Tokyo 2019-2020' at dinner.

Darius Melton and Katelyn Vargas

Over winter break, one of our opinion editors (dare you to guess who) spent a lot of time watching watching Japanese dating show “Terrace House” on Netflix. During episode 2 of the newest season, “Tokyo 2019-2020,” there was a conversation that has been deemed The Tempura Incident.

In this episode, one of the residents went on a lengthy tirade about how he believes that people who specialize in only one skill have a narrow view of life and will die out soon. The viewing party inside the show fired back, defending the Japanese way of specialization by pointing out that, while the resident claims to have multiple professions, on paper he looks to be unemployed and simply doing odd jobs. He may be confident in his way of living, but is he successful, and can anyone be successful under those circumstances?

While this was definitely a cultural conversation for the Japanese people in the show, the conversation is worth discussing through American ideals as well. People here seem to love people who can do it all, but systematically, we go to schools that require majors and spend most of our lives traveling down one career path. Which one do we truly value more as a culture?

The Seahawk asked the question, and here are some of the answers:

“I think it’s better to be perfect at one thing. I guess because you can probably make profit off of the fact that you’re great at that one thing.” –Isabella Dalessio-Skare, Freshman, Clinical Research

“I think being a jack of all trades makes you well-rounded, and you are able to devote your time to learning new things all the time rather than just being specialized in one area. So, you really just make the most of use of your time when you can excel in many areas.” –Zaylen Barnes, Sophomore, Supply Chain Management

“I think it depends on the person, but I feel like since humans have such a range of emotions and capabilities, it would be better to be decent at many things to better explore what we all can experience.” –Erik Frank, Freshman, Sociology

“If I had to choose one, it’d be master of one, because I think if you’re passionate about a certain thing and put your heart and mind into it, then it’s great to learn more and more about it.” –Chadstity Copeland, Senior, Creative Writing with English minor

“I think that it’s better to be decent at many things because it makes you well-rounded and more likely to be open to new experiences because you’re more dynamic.” –Molly Schimelfenig, Freshman, Marketing Strategy

As you can see, it is a very mixed bag here. Two people chose specialization while three chose to be a jack of all trades, but even in the latter category, one of them mentioned that it depends on the person. That is what appears to be the most important part of this conversation.

In “Terrace House,” the reason why Shohei’s stance could be deemed incorrect is not due to his pro-jack-of-all-trade feelings, but rather because he was narrow in his belief that you can only do it his way. Different things work better for different people, and that is a life lesson that can be used in many more areas than just this.

What do you think? Answer in our poll below and tweet @TheSeahawk on Twitter!

Is it better to be a jack of all trades or a master of one?

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