Friday, October 14, 2011


I posted this on Facebook, but thought it would be worth sharing here. 
Have you noticed that the world seems to believe that a humanities degree is worthless? This is frustrating for those of us who have these degrees and whose interests and passions lie in the humanities. While an English major may not directly prepare you for the increasingly high-tech, math- & science-heavy workforce, it does help you develop an open and flexible mind. It also fosters creativity and critical thinking skills. In the last couple of decades, these traits have become less important in the work world, but it's a mistake to discount them. ("Big mistake. Big. Huge!")
Is having read the works of Shakespeare, Dante, Dickens, Twain, Sophocles, or Poe going to help you in our society? Does the ability to write a strong essay or a beautiful poem, or understand Beethoven's music, or paint a breathtaking sunset get you anywhere economically or employment-wise? Does knowing the origins of sayings like "sword of Damocles" or "Catch-22" make us valuable employees? No. But it's still worth reading, writing, making/listening to music, and painting. In the end, these are what make life worth living, not your income, employment status, or what bank you use. It's frustrating not to earn enough to live off of, not to be able to afford your medicine, to feel oppressed by the people who seem to control our world; however, none of that should make us try to change our fundamental interests or desires. Let's not lose who we are just because society tells us what our interests or desires should be. These are a big part of who we are as individuals, and it's tragic to degrade that because there's more money in technology than in knowing classical mythology and being able to quote Austen.

I'm an English major, and I'm proud of it.