During this period of self-isolation, don’t listen to anyone who tells you to “use this time to better yourself,” unless that person is the scholar of Ancient Greek philosophy Shakira I. Mebarak Ripoll. While other people have spent their quarantines learning how to bake bread or learning new TikTok dances, Shakira has apparently been taking a course in Ancient Philosophy through the University of Pennsylvania for “fun,” (quotation marks her own) after she put the kids to bed. On Thursday April 23, she posted an extremely 2020 graduation photo on Twitter: giving a thumbs-up in front of a laptop screen with a picture of her degree:
She also posted the same tweet in Spanish, accompanied by a fun Boomerang of her winking with a hard copy of the certificate.
The noncredit course Shakira took, titled “Ancient Philosophy: Plato and His Predecessors,” is offered by the University of Pennsylvania through a platform called Coursera and is taught by UPenn Department of Philosophy Professor Susan Sauvé Meyer. Here is some text from the course description:
We begin with the Presocratic natural philosophers who were active in Ionia in the 6th century BCE and are also credited with being the first scientists. Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximines made bold proposals about the ultimate constituents of reality, while Heraclitus insisted that there is an underlying order to the changing world.
Leave it to a visionary like Shakira to look at the state of things today and decide to take an Ivy League course that centers around questioning the very basis of reality. She is on another plane. Shakira’s kids better keep going to bed on time so she can take “Part II: Aristotle and His Successors.” Shakira herself may say her “hobbies are very impractical,” but she won’t be saying that when she’s the thought leader of the free world.