Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Only allowed for accountants and engineers. I should know because I'm an English-ist Political Scientist

What does a bachelor's degree qualify you to say about yourself? Not a lot, right? I mean, good job, pat on the back, you learned a lot, snap a photo, here's the diploma, we salute you, but you don't get to introduce yourself as "Gurrbonzo, B.A." right? RIGHT. Yesterday I started class (and spent a lot of it worrying that our cute baby was flipping out, but apparently she handles 2 hours away from me better than I handle 2 hours away from her) and despite the size of the class, everyone introduced themselves. Not surprisingly, there were many former political science majors in the room (because the only thing that qualifies you to do is go to more school). Moments later, we start discussing interpretations of the Constitution, and some kid behind me raises his hand and proclaims, "Well, as a political scientist, I approach this in the following way..."

HOLD EVERYTHING. Did you get a Ph.D. and neglect to mention it? Do you work for a think tank?? Do you measure election results in test tubes?? If a bachelor's degree means this fellow gets to call himself a political scientist, WATCH OUT WORLD. Turns out my college buddies just got a lot more impressive: "My friend the economist..." or "My friend the organizational communicator..." or "My friend the art historian..." or "My friend the biologist" or "My friend the international relations theorist..." Who cares if they're secretaries and/or working for the man? We sound awesome.


Tarra said...

1) Justin and I saw Avenue Q in Seattle last week. The lead character sings a song called "What do you do with a B.A. in English?" Here is a sampling:
What do you do with a B.A. in English,
What is my life going to be?
Four years of college and plenty of knowledge,
Have earned me this useless degree.

I can't pay the bills yet,
'Cause I have no skills yet,
The world is a big scary place

2) Our home teacher is a computer programmer for Boeing that completed his undergrad in physics. People insist that he is a physicist. I don't think you get to call anyone a physicist unless they split atoms on a regular basis. We are regularly reminded that he is a genius.

Jen Ha said...

Now I'm sad that I didn't take the Con law class to share in this entertainment. I signed up but decided to drop it since I couldn't justify $2100 for 3 credits. blah.

AzĂșcar said...

When I graduated with my ever-so-useful History B.A. I happily said to my PhD father, "Now I'm a historian!" To which he responded, "No you're not. You're not a historian until you've published or have a PhD."

Right...so, uh, I guess I'm an extra-fancy writer.

heidikins said...

Hahaha! That is fantastic! I will now start introducing myself as an Economist-slash-Asian Culture Enthusiast. I'm gonna be so popular! :o)


Erin said...


actually it took me a minute to even remember my major.

since i haven't taken the bar yet, i don't feel comfortable saying that i'm an attorney. but law clerk sounds like i am an intern. SOOOOO, i am totally going to start telling people i am AN HISTORIAN. and yes, i will say AN historian, because that will make it even more awesome. that's even better than trying to claim i have a doctorate (juris doctor, hello).

i'm glad i didn't major in english because i don't know what i'd call myself.

Kiersten said...

Well, as a Literary Analyst, I can answer that for you, Erin.

My husband and I also decided that I'm no longer a freelance writer, I'm a Mercenary Writer. It just sounds cooler.

Joel said...

at my U summer course, the teacher staged and assault in class with actors who barged in to the room and proceed to get in a fight. so I guess the SJ Quinney really is more exciting and dynamic of a place.

Stephanie said...

lol, wait, what is someone with an English Lit. degree,

and English Literaturist?

The fact that I am both a Historian and a part-time English...whateverist makes the fact that I get paid 8 dollars an hour okay.

it also makes me feel better that my co-worker is my 16 yr. old sibling.

Mar said...

So if my husband and I went to hair school (and I mean I went to hair school while he slaved away at work) would we be called Hairstorians? And if I referred to myself in the singular form, like ALL of us should, could I call myself an hairstorian? Luckily, I have a college degree and no hair experience whatsoever so I don't have to call myself an hairstorian. I am Mar, Communicationist.

WonderKitty said...

I don't even think my 2 year art degree qualifies me for this conversation. I feel so out of the loop. Lucky I have friends with real degrees to make me look better. Thanks Jess and Lisa and Steph!

Ashley is Blogalicious! said...

Speaking of Avenue Q, "everyone's a little bit racist."

Oh, and the only thing getting a degree taught me was that I'm a helluva good fun haver, and I get sick A LOT!

Natalie said...

Hi, I'm Natalie, Mass Communicator. Dude, I really am awesome!

Jennifer said...

This totally sucks. If I had realized that I was a Political Scientist about 3 yrs ago, I would've never needed to become a lawyer on top of that. Thanks a lot, college guidance counselor. Thanks a lot.

sally said...

Dude, your blog is hilarious. My favorite is the SNL mom jeans video... Please get a pair of those immediately.
Oh, this is Sally, by the way (i don't know if it posts my name)... I found your blog through Laura Wahlquist's... This is the kind of stuff I do while "working" from home this summer, it's awesome. Sorry for blog stalking you, but it's so entertaining, I can't help it.

Sally Williams, Philosopher.

That title isn't that cool, in fact, I feel like people would take me less seriously if I added it.

KT said...

If I got a degree in Social Work and a minor in Philosophy, but I work as a Financial Advisor, what the hell does that make me? I can't believe I've lived my life for so long without a definition/label. I feel so naked now.

Mrs. Clark said...

Well, I guess I can legitimately claim to be a Broadcast Journalist now, although most of my journalism is of the freelance/mercenary kind, and printed rather than broadcast...

Reminds me of the way SNL used to send up Star Jones when she was on The View--"Well, as a woman, and a LAWYER..."

And I know a woman who refers to herself as "Doctor" even though her Ph.D. is in home economics.

Hey, get your self-esteem where you can.