Majoring in a hobby

My first year in college, I was amazed at the sheer numbers of music majors and dance majors and ceramics majors.  Honestly, I thought to myself, what are they producing I'm buying?  Sure, I have spent thousands of dollars on music over the years, but Pink Floyd or Madonna or a hundred other top-selling artists didn't get a degree in music.  So how are these music majors going to make a living when they're at no greater advantage than any bar band in LA?

And what about the dancers?  Remember, unless she's having an orgy that weekend, Madonna only needs about a half-dozen at a time, and even then, only during a tour year or perhaps for as long as it takes to shoot a video.  Sure, I like seeing you strutting around campus with your little dancer's body, but how about you fill your brain with something useful instead so you'll have more than a dance floor to fall back on when your knees give out?  Because they will.

And then there are a handful of folks who major in things they have no real interest in pursuing.  When I was a freshman, I remember running across a lot of these types.  They were called psychology majors.  They had only the vaguest of notions about what they were going to do with their degree.  In other words, this was the option presented to them that was the least-objectionable of the lot, so they were going to take it.  The rationale was about as deep as, "Psychology studies minds.  I have one of those."  No, bitch.  You don't.  And don't even get me started on anthropology majors who have no intention of using their degree.

When I was in my master's program, my research was on why guys chose to teach secondary education over, say, elementary or college or work in any other field.  One of the interesting factoids I happened across in the literature was that, of the five major groupings of professions, the humanities were right at the bottom of the heap.  Second-to-last was teaching.  The message here is that no one will pay you to do your hobby, but we'll sign up for lessons

Those who can, do.  Those who can't, teach.  Those with virtually unmarketable skills that they've invested in to a ridiculous degree (in both senses of the word)... well, they teach too.


Copyright 2009 Alexplorer.
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