Majoring in humanities: Not a great idea

John sent me this an hour ago. As I sift through listings on Work In Culture, edit my Monster.com profile to match my LinkedIn profile, find adds on Craiglist for semi-nude male gay nightclub bartenders (legitimately awesome sounding job opportunity but I’m neither gay nor male) and generally lament how the visa restrictions that prevented me from working in high school are now crippling my employment prospects (despite a pretty sweet GPA at a pretty sweet institution) I cannot tell you how much this wee little entrepreneur has brought hope to my wretched, dark, unemployed world. So thank you, good sir, for suggesting that maybe, maybe, all I have to do is construct a cardboard cut out of myself, throw down with some Dr. Seuss books and get all-guerilla on the city of Toronto’s ass to save myself from eating cat food in a Chinatown basement for the rest of my life.

Don’t Let the Bastards Grind You Down

Okay, wow. Its been a while. I can’t believe my last post was in February and about peanut butter. That’s an incredibly sad, yet fairly accurate metaphor for the last 3 (I was about to write 6, it feels that long) months of my life. If I wasn’t trying to read the entire Leviathan in one night, I was sifting through Scholars Portal (quite possibly the most useless resource of all time) for reception studies on British imperial epics (fun fact: they don’t exist) all while developing a $100 a week Rockstar habit (words of wisdom: Recovery is non-carbonated, so you can chug it faster than your standard energy drink, but Burner has 40g more caffeine per serving.) Three times in one week I went to sleep at 7AM and got up at 8. No wonder the only thing I could handle contemplating was the poor design of a Kraft jar.

I did, however, survive my third year at the University of Toronto, mostly (physically) unscathed (my jaw now locks up from never-before-experienced stress related teeth grinding, no big) and with pretty f-ing good grades.

When I was applying to universities, I polled everyone I knew (and many a stranger on the internet) on whether they liked the school they went to. I’ve thought a lot about how I’d answer this question if anyone ever asked me if I liked U of T (I can’t imagine why this would ever come up, but three years of liberal arts has somehow naturalized the act of answering questions nobody cares about.) I’ve come to the following conclusion:

Going to U of T is like dating a guy who tells you he loves you, then doesn’t call you for two months, then shows up with flowers and says “baby, I’m sorry.” Its a complete and utter mindfuck. When its great, its great. Courses are interesting, Profs are amazing and you don’t remember how Robarts only ever has one copy of a book 300 people need for an assignment. Then one day you wake up and realize 90% of the articles in the online database are linked to nothing, your TA can’t even make sense of the topics for your 12 page final essay and your library was intentionally built in the shape of a peacock, the great pretentious asshole of the animal kingdom and you can’t help but take this as a sign. Those are the days you wish Rockstar could eat through your internal organs, or that you had just gone to Ryerson.

I think you have to be a masochist to go here. At least for Arts & Sciences. I mean the University of Toronto name is not exactly going to carry my humanities degree a hell of a lot farther. The only logical explanation is some sense of sick pleasure. I’ve heard so many people say they wanted to “beat U of T.” Like all the suffering will be worth it once we graduate and we can say “fuck you, we won.” Or as my roommate described it “After I get my degree, I just want to take a big shit on Con Hall.”