Flash Fiction, Life Stuff, Microfiction

“What She Will Do with an English Degree” (aka “She Showed Them!”)*

Something that drives every English major crazy while going through school is the question “What are you going to do with an English degree?”

At one point, while working through college, I overheard a former supervisor saying, “She’s getting an English degree. You can’t do anything with that!”

And I was happy for the irony when, after graduating, I turned in my notice and mentioned I was going to work at a publishing office. When that very supervisor asked how I got the job, I responded, “I just got my English degree.”

While print publishers are not doing as well as they used to, there are still plenty of opportunities for English majors.

While everyone has heard of editors, proofreaders and the like, seemingly no one makes the connection between those jobs and people with English degrees.

First…

There’s a good reason for English majors to hate the idea that there is nothing they can do with their degree — and not just out of defensiveness.

If someone’s a biology and chemistry major, do they actually have the title of “biologist” or “chemist”? Sometimes, but other times, people simply make the connection between a biologist and someone getting into the medical field, or between a chemist and someone involved in pharmaceutical work or product development of some kind.

And while everyone has heard of editors, proofreaders and the like, seemingly no one makes the connection between those jobs and people with English degrees. Most of the general public just automatically goes with the stereotype that there is nothing you can do with this degree.

More on this topic:

This topic is for both English major and naysayers alike — please share!


 

Micro-story: Sitting in her usual place at the back of the restaurant on her break, she heard the voices of the supervisors in their little office. One of them said, "He's going to be an English major — you can't do anything with that." | And about a month later, she was in that very office, turning in her notice to that supervisor, who asked what she was going to be doing when she left. When she replied that she was going to be an editor, he asked, Oh, how'd you get that?" | And she replied, matter-of-fact, "I have an English degree."


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*Blog entry republished from my old blog, Artistically Writing.

**While most of the micro-stories here are not generally based on true stories, this one is. 🙂

"Time-Comber's Sketchbook" Series, Authenticity, Life Stuff, Microfiction, Reality, Retro Fiction, Truth, Wisdom

“The Time-Comber’s Sketchbook, #4: Depth of Heart at a 1940’s Fairground” (Flash Fiction Series)

"Time-Comber's Sketchbook" Intro: For more, click here.

 

 

 

Image of Carousel Horse PaintingEntry #4

A beautiful fairground in the 1940’s….I was floating through my current destination very slowly, taking in all the colors, sights and sounds.

In the back, among wrapped-up carousel horses, likely back-ups for the merry-go-round’s usual horses, was an artist standing with all sorts of glorious paint colors. In front of him stood a “blank” carousel horse — completely white, with only molding showing where the details would go.

And I felt, from that artist, a heavy heart…perhaps from something someone said to him, something that happened to him. It was the heart with an invisible stab wound.

And here he was, supposed to make something beautiful — something awe-inspiring — when he felt anything but inspired in his harsh world.

But I knew he would do it. Being a person of light is hard. You can mistrust everyone. You can question everything. But in the end, you do it…because there’s nothing else for you to do that fits.

 

 

 

More of “The Time-Comber’s Sketchbook”

 

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Flash Fiction, Life Stuff, Microfiction, Philosophizing

If It’s Perfect, Let It Be

Book and Paint Photo

He remembered the words of his long-gone teacher: “Each sentence is a painting. If it’s perfect, you don’t do anything to mar it.”

 


 

We have a way of having to “mess” with things. This can be an issue with anything and everything: words, art, our work, the buildings we live in.

For example, there was a local shopping area that was around for decades. Everyone loved it just the way it was. It had its own unique flair and was welcoming. It didn’t need to be renovated. It wasn’t breaking down. It was well-maintained and safe…and comfortable.

It was eventually bought by a larger company — which, of course, had to put its “stamp” on it. The children’s area changed from a unique place you wouldn’t find anywhere else to match every other children’s play place in every other shopping area. The decor that brought subtle character to the building was stripped away. The comfortable seating was changed to the hard seats that were likely more inexpensive — and uglier.

Sometimes, “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” really does apply. Leave what works; change what doesn’t. If you constantly change what works, what will be left that matters?

 

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