In Mary Elizabeth Williams’ recent article ” Hooray for ‘Worthless’ Education ” she brings up a point that I’ve heard my entire life: getting a degree in humanities is worthless.
Why? I won’t make any money. I won’t have a job. etc etc etc. Guess what degree I’m graduating with this spring?
English with an emphasis in Creative Writing . That’s right. I want to be a writer.
I’ve spent the last few years as an English major. That doesn’t mean all I know how to do is write. Among other things, I know how to read, research, analyze, argue, and yes I know how to write. And considering how much I do it, I do it well.
So maybe I won’t be making thousands of dollars winning ground-breaking court cases. But I might spend hours sifting through hefty casebooks to find that key point to your argument, because I know how to research with the best of them. I spend hours reading hefty literature on obscure topics for fun .
I won’t be building skyscrapers or working on the next cure for cancer. But I might be the one proofreading your grant or business proposal before it ends up in front of someone who won’t look at it because the wrong form of “there,” “their,” or “they’re” was used. I don’t blame you (mostly) English is tricky, which is why it’s even a degree in the first place. Heaven knows my desk grammar book gets its fair share of use. You’re busy curing cancer or building skyscraper leave the heavy reading to me (I mean it, I love copy editing with a passion).
Perhaps, I’ll stick writing and develop a screenplay. Humanities are worthless though right? And I’m sure you don’t like watching movies, or TV at all….right?
Or maybe I’ll be the one to teach your child how to read and write, and form an argument so they can go on to be the next great president or doctor or technological superstar. Take your pick, we all go to school, and I would be nothing without the care of some fantastic teachers.
Don’t think of the humanities as worthless. They are most certainly not. Besides, I don’t study English because I want to be rich and famous. If I did, I would be working in a technology field instead of building computers and programming as my hobby. No, I’m a Humanities major because I love English.