Friday, February 11, 2011

Things You Can Do With a BA in English.

If we only listened to puppets, as I used to, the answer is nothing (thanks Avenue Q.) However, I've complied this helpful list of some of the amazing things you future graduates of English Literature and Language (what a title, they probably should have just gone with “BOOKS”) can and probably will do with that diploma of yours! Let's take a look and keep all creepy, supposedly-inanimate-when-your-back-is-turned creatures out of it.
Don't take advice from adults that spend their evenings pretending their puppets
 are having sex. On stage. And never, ever, search "puppet sex" on Google images.
1. If you go to work abroad, your entire job could be explaining to other people that majoring in English has nothing to do with learning the English language, because yes, that's true that you grew up speaking English. Now ask them if they would you to teach them English as a second language. They'll probably say no at first because of this mix up, but hey, maybe not, because who wouldn't trust someone who's found it necessary to learn an entire language TWICE? Also, question: What language are you speaking to this foreign person in if the only language you know is English...twice? Whatever, at least you've gone somewhere.

2. Keep going to school, and get an MFA, a Masters, or maybe even a PhD. That way you can live inside the world of words your entire life and never, ever have to make human contact. I'm sure the college or university where you become a professor or writer-in-resident will completely understand about your crippling agoraphobia and let you teach all classes via a one-way video. I mean, as long as your achingly and stunningly brilliant and have managed to make startling breakthroughs in classic literature (because God knows that good schools won't let you study any of that contemporary crap, meaning after the turn of the previous century) before you're thirty...oh. don't think you will? No Pulitzer either? Shame.

3. I heard a story about an English major once who once went on to work in fashion, or maybe it was Wall Street. But I think it was a myth. So I wouldn't rely on a crazy pipe dream like that. Aim for something within your area of expertise, like reading comprehension. For example, cabbies have to read maps all day long, just like an English major reads books. A perfect match! Or how about dog walking? You need to be able to read and remember the names on the dogs' tags in order to get them to obey you. I also hear nursing homes like to have people come in to read to the old people. Just make sure you have a nice, loud voice for that one, and can stand the stench of death and cats.

4. The great thing about this degree is that it just sounds so damn fancy. Rent an office space with the money that nice lady in the nursing home left you, and hang the degree on the wall behind you. Buy a water cooler and some potted plants. Set out a blotter, fan some magazines on your IKEA coffee table, and just hope some one will come in and hire do...something. In any case, this will be a great place to write your rambling, thinly-veiled autobiographical, self-aggrandizing novel that you won't even be able to get a publisher to read because you won't even be able to get an agent to read it because you basically look like a homeless person by the time it's done because you're living in that office, and smell like a homeless person because you have no shower and have been eating dry, Ramen noodles for six weeks straight. Besides, it makes little to no sense, and the parts that do make sense are painfully awkward sexual moments. No one wants to read that.

5. You can now LITERALLY be that homeless guy that recites poetry on the streets. Everyone loves him.

6. Start your own business! Everyone loves an entrepreneur, just don't forget those pleather, thigh-high boots when you're recruiting business. Or the red, satin corset. No pants required! Who doesn't want a job where you never have to wear pants? I hear a lot of men have a secret fetish for women who recite the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales in Middle English while stripping. I bet you'll make a fortune at that, once the Johns hear your tongue wrapping around those hard consonants.

7. Write a highly satirical and mostly grammatically blog. FOR FREE (when I tried to type “FOR,” NeoOffice—because my computer crashes too often for me to have real programs—tries to change it to “FORMALDEHYDE,” in caps mind you, so maybe we should forgive all my little mistakes.) No one will read it. But you can tell people you're a “blogger” and I think that sounds like a real job in this economic climate.

Or maybe, just maybe, you can go back to school and get a real degree. Any other suggestions?

Image of creepy puppet-people (are they devouring the humans? have the humans disemboweled the puppets?) courtesy of some website. Thanks Google.

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