If anyone has ever wondered what recent college graduates do, let me share this secret with you: they do absolutely nothing. Be aware, this is a closely guarded secret, and other recent grads may kill me, but they're probably too damn tired from being in college all those years to do anything about it.
Sure, there are those overachievers who have a job lined up before graduation. I call those people superfreaks and I want nothing to do with them. Psssh...show offs.
But there's something more important I want to share with you today. And that's a few reasons why it sucks to be an English major...or an English graduate, for that matter.
1. Grammar becomes your life.
When you're first starting out as an English major, you have to take those mandatory English 101 classes. In those classes are a bunch of people that are majoring in nonsensical things like Communications or Biology or Nuclear Physics. These people suck at spelling and grammar. If you get a professor that has peer draft workshops, you will learn how painful this can be to you. You will start to judge the intelligence of others based on their comprehension of the basic rules of writing. It sucks.
And then it penetrates into other aspects of your life. You begin to judge everyone's intelligence based on your superior English-major knowledge of language. Pat and I just watched The Sandlot 2. It sucked major donkey ass. But it would've only sucked baby donkey ass if their grammar was better. For instance, "them is our only hope" is not correct. These people obviously didn't hire someone with an English degree to proof read their script. To anyone writing a script that needs their grammar checked to make sure that your movie doesn't suck more than a tiny donkey ass, give me a call.
2. You begin to analyze EVERYTHING.
Sometimes, movies are just movies. Sometimes they don't want to make you think. The Sandlot 2 definitely did not even plan for anybody thinking during their movie. That was a big mistake because they didn't realize English majors would find it.
Being an English major means writing a lot of papers analyzing plot, symbolism, metaphor, and overall pulling meaning out of something that may have not even had any meaning in the first place. Including movies. As an English major, you'll begin to analyze movies. You won't want to. You'll sit down with your popcorn and beer to enjoy a dumb movie, and then you'll become so annoyed by the various massive plot holes within the first thirty minutes that you want to shoot your DVD player.
And then you'll later talk about said movie with your friend or lover (I love the word 'lover'...it sounds so dirty), and you'll start talking about the plot holes and horrible metaphors and they'll just stare at you like you've ruined Christmas by giving them a gift of a charitable donation. And nobody wants to ruin Christmas.
(Side note: For Pat's birthday one year, I did give him a gift of a charitable donation. I'm still paying $10 (that I don't have) a month to support an orangutan that I "adopted" for him. He actually loves it.)
(Another side note: I just put a parenthesis inside a parenthesis. Yay English!)
3. You'll have to read boring and inane literature
I still don't know how reading The Canterbury Tales furthered my knowledge, but it was a required course for English majors. Maybe someday I'll be able to use my new ability to read and analyze Middle English literature (while drunk, too). When that day comes, I'll climb atop a giraffe because I'm pretty sure that it'll mean the end of civilization.
4. You'll find yourself doing the crossword puzzles
Crossword puzzles have always been, to me, an old person thing. I could never understand it. Until one day, I was bored in class and started doing the puzzles in the most coveted news source, the California Aggie. I discovered that crossword puzzles were fun, at least more so than listening to a boring lecture on American poetry in the 20th century. I also discovered that I may just be an old lady.
5. You'll actually understand obscure literary references.
Remember that really crappy Renaissance novel you had to read in English Lit 10535345B (if that's a real class in your university, then that must be an awesome college)? When CSI finally references Sir Francis Bacon you may find yourself laughing your ass off. And everybody else will stare at you like you just laughed at a picture of a water buffalo eating a kitten. Because, really, Francis Bacon is not funny.
6. You may have to field questions about you being a teacher.
The one question I've always been asked when I tell them my major is this: "Are you going to be a teacher?"
The answer, folks, is a resounding hell NO! Do I look like I'm capable of handling groups of children larger than one? Because I'm not. Believe me, no parent would ever want me in charge of their kids. I would either break them or set them down on top of the refrigerator while I went to the bathroom and then completely forget about them. If I were to ever have kids, I'd live in constant fear that some day they may revolt against me.
And then I have to explain that an English degree means a lot more than teaching. I could become anything I want because I have a solid foundation in reading, writing, and speaking in the official language of the United States. I could even be general manager of Wal Mart! Yes!
So there you go. A few reasons why you may want to reconsider being an English major. In fact, you may just want to go a different route and become illiterate all together. That way, there's less pressure on you to succeed or become a teacher. Plus, you won't annoy others with your habits of correcting grammar and analyzing movies. Everyone wins!