Thursday, April 2, 2009

I'm Just Sayin's All

CNN profiled several struggling families as they worked to make ends meet over the past year. While reading the follow-up interview (five months later), I found this gem:

Saddled with credit card debt and working at a low-paying fast-food restaurant, Jeffrey Root, 27, decided to go back to college to study English during the economic crisis to better his future.

Jeffrey, I love my English degree, but let me say that buckling down to get an English degree to "better the future," provide for your family, and get out of $8,000 of credit card debt is probably not the best plan.

English is great and lovely and, believe you me, I wouldn't have majored in anything else. However, when I picked it, I did realize that it didn't have the immediately applicable job skills that some other majors seemed to have (though, these days, Econ majors aren't doing so hot either). I chose to study English ultimately to better my writing. What better way to expand your own abilities than to study the masters of the craft? It worked out in my favor. My first boss post-grad was thrilled that I'd majored in English lit, rather than communications or journalism. "I can teach you to write like we do," he said, "But I cannot teach you to love words, or writing."

But seriously, Jeffrey, an English degree to bolster your fledgling financial situation? A one-way ticket to the big life it is not. Best wishes to Jeffrey. Here's hoping that he's getting a teaching certificate on the side...

And, by the way, I think I really need this shirt. Sure would save trouble when B looks at me and asks me random things, like reciting the 12s from the multiplication tables. And yes, that does happen.

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