A place for those who study English literature to express their discontent in everything from the misuse of apostrophes to lack of income. Some say we're pretentious asshats. They may be right. But at least we're well-read.
Does anyone else encounter this problem? It happens to me alllll the time.
“What are you majoring in?”
“Oh, so you want to be a teacher?”
“NO I DON’T FUCKING WANT TO BE A TEACHER. IF I WANTED TO BE A TEACHER I WOULD BE MAJORING IN TEACHING OR EDUCATION — I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT IT’S CALLED BECAUSE I’M NOT MAJORING IN IT DAMMIT”
“Well what else can you do with a degree in English?”
I’ve slapped them and walked away by this point. I can’t be the only person that experiences this!
No, I’d say you’re in good company over here.
“What did you major in?” the man asks, eyes crinkled and smiling at me across the table as I fill his glass.
“Oh, I have a B.A. in English.” I reply with a cheery grin.
I already half expected the way his smile fades to a false shine, watching the way his eyes glaze over- he’s already gone, counted me out of the proud graduate workforce that he was imagining when he asked.
If I were a doctor, he’d be delighted.
If I were an engineer, he’d talk about all the things I can do in the future, how practical I’d been.
If I were an accountant, my skills would be indispensable in his mind.
Instead, I am an English major- the worst of the worst, those poor few who weren’t smart enough to make it in any “real” course of study. Poor kids, fated to live and die waiting tables and selling clothes to people who have “real” jobs, living off the fat of those who do the “real” work.
I have lived lives you will never know, been more people than you can imagine. I have thought the thoughts of those both much smarter and far more ignorant than I. In those turning, changing worlds of stories and books and lives, I have found myself.
You know numbers and calculations and statistics, the strict unflinching laws of business- hard edges and cynical snickers.
I know words, the way they caress and cut, manipulate and soothe-flowing and ever changing, touching on parts of you that numbers and calculations could never understand.
I may not be the girl in the suit, a clipboard in my hand and business on my mind. But I’ll be damned if you count me out for a choice I made, not because I wasn’t smart enough, or had no other choice, but because I wanted to.
I’d dreamed of being a doctor, or a vet, you know. I could have done it- Biology major, animal sciences, years of med school and internships. And I would have made money. I would have slowly died inside, to see the death around me. The compassion that would have made me a great doctor would have killed me.
I chose my major, and my path. It will not always be an easy one- it may never be an easy one. But it is my path, and I do not deserve your derision or pity.