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Quotes / A Degree in Useless

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Question: What is the first thing an arts major asks when he leaves university?
Answer: Would you like fries with that?
— The current incarnation of a very, very, very old joke.

"Why anyone who wants a job would study Lit's a mystery
Unless their only other choice were something like Art History.
A BA in Communications guarantees that you'll achieve
A little less than if you'd learned to underwater basket-weave."

"They say to study history or find yourself repeating it,
But all that it prepares you for is forty years of teaching it."

"You are a genius if you can finish a five-year course in ancient Babylonian astrology in only two years.
You are an idiot if you think anyone is going to hire a guy with a major in ancient Babylonian astrology."

Princeton: What do you do
With a B.A. in English?
What is my life going to be?
Four years of college
And plenty of knowledge
Have earned me this useless degree.

"Had anyone at my reunion complained about the complacency of today’s students or bragged about how they got through school without taking on staggering debt, I could have reminded them that the class of ’84 was the last to have a higher percentage of grants than loans. Today’s imbalance leads too many students to buy the lie that the humanities are exclusively for rich kids. They worry that those in the 99 percent studying Aristotle or Virginia Woolf are destined for permanent residency in their parents’ basements and, if they are lucky, positions as baristas."
Peter Lunefeld, Salon

"Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating. None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it's likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later."

"A tous ceux, qui nourris de grec et de latin, sont morts de faim, je dédie ce livre."Trans. 
Jules Valles, The Student

"Thank goodness I majored in French philosophy."
A school janitor, The Fairly Oddparents

"What a luxury."
Margaret Thatcher, to a student studying Norse literature.

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