Tuesday, October 28, 2008

You're majoring in what?

Sometimes my hormones make me stupid. More often, they make everyone else stupid...

People tend to react poorly when I tell them I major in English lit. Sometimes, in an attempt to be encouraging (or comforting, perhaps), the individual might ask, "Oh, have you read [insert some random paperback fiction]? It's really good!" Awkward. Especially because they seem to think me inept at my trade, if I have not read their latest fancy.

Then there's the reactions to hearing that I teach composition:

"My daughter's about to take that down at ____ University. I told her to prepare herself for a boring drudge of a class. I absolutely hated my composition classes in college."

"Yeah, I always hated English. I mean, I failed Comp I three times. But that was also because the teacher was so hot. I always had this fantasy about English teachers..."



Dr. Virago said...

Head them off at the pass: don't say you're majoring in English. Say, "I'm getting a master's in English so I can go on to the Ph.D. and become a college professor." Then they can't say, "What are you doing to do with that?"

However, you may then have deal with comments about supposed 6 hour work weeks.

Dedalus said...

Just say you're a Seeker After Truth. Or, alternately, just go with the pre-emptive Sockful-Of-Quarters-To-The-Bridge-Of-The-Nose. Shuts 'em right up. :)

And people really want to be happy for you when you've earned a degree. They do. Oh, congratualations! What's it in? Then they have to struggle mightily to keep smiling encouragingly after you tell them.