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Agree to Degree?

And so I went back to school.

After a long and hard fight between the government and the national assembly in my head, the ruling came out recently that I should go back to school. Of course to me it’s more like moving ahead towards the past! Given that I have a college diploma only, or what others would call an Associate’s Degree, I decided that finishing what I started not long ago is way over due.

What major would you like to be in?” the nice lady asked, neatly sitting behind her paper-filled desk. A seemingly quiet yet thunderous battle broke out in my head with Marketing on one side and English literature on the other; and more than likely the words stumbled out of my mouth rather than have them come out with confidence. “English,” I said hesitantly, “..literature“.

Sure I have my reasons! Literature nurtures the mind, raises the level of thinking, and improves ones analysis of any situation. Doesn’t it? I had a difficult time explaining this to one of the guys I met there, who’s well in his 40’s, wanting to get his degree in Accounting. “You’re already in business and you seem to be in good control of your understanding of it,” he exclaimed in near automated questioning, “why would you ever think literature would serve you well today..here..in this society?
What was I supposed to say? Of course he’s right. Literature will not serve me well, and I’d be wasting money, effort, and time into a degree that will ultimately do nothing for me, for my future or career. But hold on, how many degree holders actually ARE benefiting from their degrees?

At a time when engineers are business managers, MD’s are investment fund advisers, accountants are IT heads, and the degree-less are MP’s and board members, I felt there was definitely something wrong with the theory. His words hit me in the face but bounced back, as bullets would bounce off Superman so harmlessly. “I could’ve taken marketing,” I shrugged, “I know, but then I’ve had my share of real experience in marketing, and I wouldn’t want to go back to theory.” He stared. I continued. “The problem is not the literature, Smeagol (not real name), the problem is society.” I knew at that moment that in his mind’s eyes, he rolled his eyes. It was obvious! Because you’re allowed to roll your eyes in the face of idealists, and I was certainly sounding like one.

I went on nonetheless, “Literature teaches one how to think. Seriously. Besides, the ship has sailed for me to pick and choose which degree would serve my career. I already have a career and I’m already moving up the ladder. Plus I’m very keen on being a business owner myself, so there’s no need to.. you know..” I stopped because I felt I was being repetitive. Forget repetitive, I was being defensive. That’s always the weaker side. “Well I wish you the best,” he said with a faint smile while still not looking me in the eyes.
So I got up and kicked his face so hard he swallowed his teeth! Or maybe that’s what I really wanted to do for that smirk on his face.

Literature is a world of imagination. Science and business are not worlds of imagination, but they have some aspect of imagination to be dealt with. In literature you don’t just enjoy a story or a book, you understand it as well. Whereas in business and science you got the rules pretty much in black and white. Yes maybe marketing has a creative side to it, but creativity is different than imagination.
I’m not saying I picked English literature because of the imagination involved in it, but I’m saying it may open some new doors that a BA degree cannot unlock.

Oh well.. at the end, I’ll just be a guy with a literature degree hung on the wall and going to work, doing financial business.

Categories: Silent Mood, Silent Tours
  1. Miss Good Egg
    October 5, 2010 at 9:30 am

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    • October 5, 2010 at 11:39 am

      In case I need essays and/or assignments, you will be there, won’t you?

      • Miss Good Egg
        October 5, 2010 at 11:54 am

        lol Sure 😀

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