Friday, November 29, 2013

Whistling in the dark...

...or else, deliberately lying to justify her own job by luring kids who love to read into a major that won't qualify them to do more than make coffee or run a Walmart register. 

Because, really: "Why English Majors are the Hot New Hires?"  Bullshit.  If they were, they'd be...um...I don't know...working.

What's-her-tits claims that English majors are more valuable than STEM majors who actually have the skills and knowledge to be valuable workers--unlike said English majors--without further education.  She claims that our "soft" skills, such as communication, writing, research, critical thinking, and empathy are far more valuable than skills such as being able to design and build a software system or a building or a bridge. 

Hah--no.  And if they were, veterans would be more valuable, yet. 

Here's why English majors are as worthless as they look:

1.  Communication--they would be far more capable of communicating clearly if they weren't English majors.  English majors throw phrases like "heteronormative standards of beauty" into conversation, and expect normal people to understand what they're talking about.  They take five minutes to claim they have a question, then make a statement of their world view that hints that they want to ask why reality doesn't fit. 

2.  Writing--you'd think English majors would be excellent writers.  You'd be wrong.  And it stems back to the communication issue.  My comp II students are capable of writing clearer, more organized, more focused and developed arguments and expository pieces than your standard English major, who is not trained in clear writing, but in obfuscation. 

3.  Research--no, actually, this one they're good at.  Understanding that research is a different matter, though, and English majors tend not to understand hard science, math, engineering, or technology.

4.  Critical thinking--no, they're not capable of this.  All they tend to be capable of is regurgitating far leftist talking points (focusing on Marxism or gender or queer theory), and finding ways in which their employer is an evil part of corporate culture that oppresses the masses, or women, or gays, or all at once, and getting their employers into legal trouble.  Not the types you want to hire...the only worse option would be a women's studies major, or a minority studies major.

5.  Empathy--yes, this one is good in sales.  Or in a lawyer.  It's pretty useless in an engineer, a computer programmer, or someone researching and designing new pharmaceutical treatments for things like cancer. 

I love my job.  I enjoyed every second of the homework for my bachelor's and master's degree in English.  However, my job is, and was designed to be, supplementary to my job as wife and mother.  No, really--my husband (then boyfriend) and I sat down and talked about the future at the end of my freshman year (he'd just graduated), and we discussed roles.  I'd thought, until I actually got into the class, that I could get an education degree, stop working when we had kids, then go back to work to pay for private school.  As we all know, I'm intelligent enough to lack any patience for bullshit whatsoever, and I ended up dropping the education major (while people who couldn't hack it in other majors because they were too hard dropped in). 

I spent a year after I graduated looking for a job.  I tried getting an agent or an editor so that I could write--no dice.  I tried working for a newspaper--no dice, they didn't want me.  Not even for secretary.  I worked, on and off, when I was needed, for the local science fiction and fantasy and role play games store.  That, I was actually good at: I could talk to people and find out the books they'd enjoyed, and point them toward more of the same in different authors. 

After a year, I gave up and took my GRE, and went for my Master's degree.  Odysseus and I agreed that teaching as an adjunct would work even better into childbearing and rearing. 

I couldn't have done it without the degree I have; however, I am under no illusions that other English majors have the same expectations and understanding about what their degree is worth: near-starvation wages for eleven hours a week on campus, and another twenty or so in the planning, grading, and dealing with the technical side of teaching while I'm at home.

I joke, sometimes, that if you get a Master's degree in English, you'll find a job that pays enough to buy the good Ramen. 

It's not a joke. 

Not if your average English major is the sole wage earner, not the support wage--which is normal with the bullshit that these poor girls are spoon fed, and buy into, by their radical feminist professors.

So, no: English majors aren't the hot new hires.  They're actually more worthless than your average kid straight out of high school who doesn't look for things that prove that their new employer is a sexist/capitalist pig, that they can use to get their employer in legal trouble.

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