Carolyn Hax

Carolyn Hax: She’s proud of her liberal arts degree

 

Dear Carolyn: I see that you have a liberal arts degree. I just earned my BA in English literature and I am proud of it. You would not believe the people who say, “What are you going to do with that?” Or, “You won’t get a job with that.”

I have a very long explanation of why liberal arts degrees are still relevant, but their remarks seem to call for a shorter response than a dissertation. How can I respond without being rude, perhaps even illuminating them in a concise way?

It doesn’t help that I haven’t actually figured out what direction I want to go in professionally, but I do know my degree has made me a more critical thinker and a better writer, and I am glad I did something I loved.

Proud

All of which is wonderful, and none of which your questioners give a (poop) about, since they’re mostly invested in confirming their own biases.

So, just tell them this: The moment you actually get a job, you’ll let them know how wrong they are. Illuminate them in a concise way that not all liberal arts majors take themselves too seriously.

Re: Liberal arts degrees:

I am surprised you didn’t mention your all-purpose “Wow.” People who say things like “You will never get a job” are rude. Just reply neutrally with a “Maybe” or “OK” or “If you say so.” Be a smart-aleck punk like my brother, smack your head dramatically, and say, “Oh no! I did college all wrong! Now I will live off the taxpayers FOREVER!” (He majored in philosophy, and has been employed for 12-plus years, gainfully enough to keep him and his family living comfortably.

Anonymous

“Wow” is for ugly things, not stupid ones. Stupid just gets the “OK, whatever you say” treatment, in whatever form amuses the person delivering it.

Email Carolyn at tellme@washpost.com.

Read more Lifestyle stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
Linda Bladholm

    A Fork on the Road

    A Fork on the Road: Choices Cafe gives vegans plenty of flavor

    In a sign of the times, a small vegan café has opened a larger outpost, offering meatless burgers, wraps, soups and salads. Choices Cafe doubles as a juice bar with cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juices and innovative smoothies such as the Miami Heat with mango, jalapeño, lime, plantain, ground flax and chia seeds and agave.

  • The Edgy Veggie

    Edgy Veggie: Eggless ‘Egg Salad’

    This must be the egg industry’s favorite time of the year. There’s Easter eggs, egg-rich Easter cakes and cookies, Easter brunch omelets, casseroles and eggs Benedict (eggs atop English muffins and in the Hollandaise sauce). Eggs also play a big part at Passover. They’re on the Seder plate and in matzo balls, kugels and Passover desserts. Eggs, though, aren’t all they’re cracked up to be for cholesterol avoiders, allergic folk (eggs are among the top eight food allergens) and vegans. Plant-powered egg alternatives mean we still get a place at the holiday table.

  • Cook’s Corner

    Cook’s Corner: Behold the new colors of Easter eggs

    Radiant Orchid, Pantone Color Institute’s color of the year, not only is the hot spring fashion color, but it has made its way into the Easter egg parade. Forget the pastels of yesteryear; what’s trending now are vivid colors. McCormick developed these formulas for making vibrant dyes.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category