Thursday, August 24, 2006

variations on a theme

Here are three conversations I've had within the past two days with people at work about how I'm going back to school. I've had more conversations than this about it, but this is a representative sample, and believe it or not, these were the three most interesting ones. Actually, I'm guessing none of you will have any trouble at all believing that.

* * *

Person 1: So, I'm going to be working part-time as of next week because I'm going back to school.
Person 2: Hey, that's great! What are you going back for?
Person 1: I'm going to be an English Major.
Person 2: Oh! What are you going to do with that?
Person 1: Well, pretty much all you can do with an English degree is teach.
Person 2: You could write!
Person 1: Yeah. I could do that now, though.
Person 2: Oh. That's true.
Person 1: Mostly, I just want an excuse to read books and talk about them.
Person 2: (Eyes widening) Oh, I can understand that! I love books! Have you read The Lovely Bones?

[As a matter of fact, I have read this book. It's told from the point of view of a murdered teenager looking down upon her wholesome family from a quite literal heaven. At one point she comes down from heaven and inhabits the body of a former classmate in order to have sex with the boy she had a crush on when she was murdered years before. The boy, obviously, senses her soul inside her classmate's body, and they have a heartwarming conversation, and in the meantime her classmate is up in heaven having a parade thrown in her honor (don't ask, because trust me, you don't care). And I think that's probably all you need to know about this book, not to mention all I can stand to say, except that it was atrociously written. It was airport reading, and it was so awful that it nearly put me off airport reading altogether, which would have been a tragedy, because browsing through the airport bookstore for something I'd otherwise never even consider reading is a completely innocent pastime which I am hoping to hang onto for a little while longer. Moving on.]

* * *

Person 1: I'm going to be working part-time as of next week because I'm going back to school.
Person 3: Oh, what are you going back for?
Person 1: I'm going to be an English major.
Person 3: Are you going to teach?
Person 1: Yes, well, that's about all you can do with an English degree.
Person 3: Have you thought about what grade?

* * *

Person 1: I'm going down to part-time as of next week.
Person 4: Oh, what are you going to be doing?
Person 1: Going back to school.
Person 4: Oh, really? What will you be studying?
Person 1: English.
Person 4: And what are you going to do with that, come back to insurance? Or teach?
Person 1: I don't know yet.
Person 4: Do you want to teach?
Person 5: I can see her being a teacher.
Person 1: (Helpless laughter)
Person 4: Oh, well, you're young.

* * *
Suggestions for more interesting answers to the what-are-you-going-to-do-with-that question would be ever so welcome. I'm thinking "die in debtor's prison" might be too much of a downer, though.


At 3:39 PM PDT, Anonymous shoshariffic said...

I say you teach Nabokov to kindergarteners, yo.

At 4:56 PM PDT, Blogger piehat said...

An excellent idea, sure to lead to jail time for no one!

Hey, speaking of teaching Lolita: James Kincaid has now been CONCLUSIVELY PROVEN to be a pedophile. And to think, if I hadn't been lucky enough to flunk out of college I would have taken classes from that man.

At 8:46 PM PDT, Blogger idler king said...

Waste away in a workhouse?

Whoa, stigmatized AND proscribed. I can see the grin on ol' Jim's face right now.

Wait, can I be both smug AND whiny?

At 12:39 PM PDT, Blogger Randall James said...

Well, that's what happens when we let the theory-ridden liberals take over education. The University of NAMBLA. Or maybe UMBL. Or UMGL. Whatver. Anwyay, it's a good thing you got out of there and are now going to go to a school where we accept all points of view and you won't be brainwashed by those closed-minded, phony-academic liberals.

At 1:19 PM PDT, Blogger Randall said...

Um. I seem to be having some trouble with my e's. Sorry.


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