By frenz.lo on The Three Ways I Got Schooled: As a Student, a Teacher, and a Person Trying to Pay Rent
Well, and there's this: if you are a person who reads for pleasure, and so develops decent grammar, spelling, and usage, your takeaway from your K-12 years might be that you are extremely hot shit, and that writing well is a super power. Kids who write clear sentences and who have decent comp skills make teachers' jobs easier, and I think that, say, a well-written in class assignment is such a handy way to show that "yes, this kid gets it!" that some teachers take good written work as a kind personal validation, so really reward kids who write well pretty disproportionately. I had a professor who called the students in my college's locally-famous writing program "writing jocks," and the metaphor kind of holds. Just like student athletes get groomed in a particular way and may be allowed a lot of outs when it comes to academic standards, you get away with EXTREME SHENANIGANS if you're a clever kid who writes well and gets along OK with your teachers. I know I used to be so proud of the way I could effortlessly BS my way through papers, and I also didn't have to study much, and I still got a lot of praise and validation from adults. The Internet has told me that this is a pretty common experience. When it came time to pick schools and majors, super duh, I picked a tiny liberal arts college that came with not just a heavily-endowed English program, but a large cash prize for the graduating senior writer who was The Best, and I was obviously The Best, so I dug in for an English major and a creative writing minor....and now I cut hair and make lattes. .
I have mixed feelings about this. The people publishing these types of warnings have been through or are going through humanities programs and even if they are struggling to make ends meet, it feels like they are saying do as I say, not as I do. That they aren't giving up but no one else should try. I listened to my mother and school counselor and all the well-meaning relatives who told me to “be sensible, Chel” and pursue a practical degree and job. My parents would have graduated into a recession had they graduated. My father planned to be a lawyer, he wanted to be a public defender and instead became a long-haul truck driver because his veteran benefits would pay for college but not diapers. My mom left her journalism program to help take care of her younger siblings and went to work in a church daycare. I switched from English to accounting and have spent the last six-plus years working in a financial planning office, surrounded by people who can’t write a coherent sentence. I try to make time for writing but know if I am going to continue and advance in this field, I am going to have to give that time up. There is no work-life balance here. If I stay, there are 16 hour workdays, answering emails from home and clients calling me on my vacation and the only benefit is that I am able to pay the dog-walker and cleaning person I need to hire because I am not home enough even do that. And if I want to take a stand, to say I am going home in the evening, not just taking a dinner break? Well, there are plenty of new graduates with fresh degrees eager to take my place. Fourteen years out of high school and I am making plans to go back to college next year and finish my long-abandoned creative writing degree. I’ve learned what I need materially to survive in my life and what I can do without. Turns out I can do without a lot. And I’ve learned emotionally what I need. Maybe I won’t make it. But I have to try. I know I’m not going to make it through the next five years, let alone thirty-five if I stay on the sensible path.
By themmases on The Three Ways I Got Schooled: As a Student, a Teacher, and a Person Trying to Pay Rent
As someone who tried history grad school, I know firsthand that sometimes your dreams are dumb and you need new ones. Although I got some good, realistic advice from a couple of professors once they knew I was going, it was kind of too late. I'd already had a lifetime of being told I was a special level of smart and would be great at this, by older teachers and mentors who went to school when my dream would have been more reasonable. However, I have to disagree with the author lumping all humanities majors together, and conflating grad study with undergrad. I don't regret my undergrad history major at all, and I use those research, writing, and citing skills all the time in my (medical research) job. My coworker senior to me is a humanities person too, and these skills were considered a plus when we were hired. Just because humanities grad school is usually a terrible idea, doesn't mean that an undergrad degree in the humanities is. Sure, if you came out of undergrad with *only* writing skills, that would not be impressive. Most humanities grads come out with those, plus other skills. I'm pretty sure that English majors do, too. That some employers can't think of what those would be is a measure of our abusive, short-sighted job market, not an indictment of the person who studied English. Lots of job postings today also ask for proficiency in a suite of esoteric internal software and years of experience for entry-level pay, but we don't reproach ourselves for not having those just because some hiring manager somewhere was inappropriate enough to put his private wish list on the internet. There are tons of humanities grads out there working and making hiring decisions who know what's involved in those degrees-- this is hardly the first generation to think of studying English. Before going the trade school route, I'd suggest to humanities majors that they take their gen. ed. courses seriously: use those few hours out of your degree to learn something "marketable", just in case. And get an unrelated job as a research assistant or something. If you're smart and can learn on the job, you might be surprised by what you can find an interest in.
5. My parents have paid for it since high school, and we haven't really talked about it since I became a real adult, and it's obviously not in my financial interest to bring it up.
What about "3. 'My parents want to make sure I don't have a good excuse for not calling them.'"?
The more I think about this article, the more horrified I am. People have congratulated him for remaining calm and reasonable and not being bitter about the disaster that befell him. But a disaster happened to his wife, too! She went from being a law school grad with a new husband and bright future, to being crippled by depression and addiction - losing her career, husband and child along the way. And this writer isn't calmly offering advice - he's seething with fury at his wife for ruining his perfect plan for the perfect life.
@Catface "personally I don’t see how a prenup could ever be a mistake" Barring family money (inheritance, business, trust fund, whatever), the raising of a prenup (or a prenup extending beyond the family $$) would be the ending of a relationship with me. So, maybe not a 'mistake' but something with broader ramifications. What would have worked here? "you must work until you pay off your law school debt"? "you can't have mental problems after having a child"? "you must return to work within [X] weeks after having a child"? "if you quit working, after having a baby, after I (willingly) co-sign your law school loans, and you develop a mental illness that manifests as a spending addiction, and you rack up medical bills bc of broken bones, then you have to take back all 'your' debt, and I get to keep everything that should have been mine" Nothing as simple as "what's mine (assets AND liabilities, as of the Wedding Date) is mine; what's yours (assets AND liabilities, as of the Wedding Date) is yours" would have solved much here.
Guys, I Got Rid of My Smartphone. I paid about $70 for a crappy phone, and bought $100 of credit for minutes and text through Tmobile. This was in late February, and I still have about $35 of credit left. So, let's say it costs me $20/month, plus my dignity.
Okay, but I would love to be your intern because I just want to hang out and eat snacks with you guys. Snacks! (That's what I assume the Billfold office is like: all bodega iced coffees and gchat-spitballs. Basically I want to be your intern because, delusions of grandeur.)
By stuffisthings on Open Thread
I mean that was my original plan for the weekend anyway.