Are you Major-ist?

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Are you Major-ist?

Postby fuzzycuzzy » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:43 pm UTC

I am! What majors can you not seem to understand? What group of teachers really get your goat? (probably the veterinary majors...) Be respectful, but don't piss off an English major, because you'll never hear the end of it!

No, seriously, be respectful.

Personally, I can't seem to understand literature majors. I like the people, for the most part, but I feel that the only thing you can do with a literature degree is write or teach. I really strongly disliked all my literature teachers because I think they know very well that I want to interpret these stories my (f'n) self and enjoy the story rather than write a ten page report on what the author was thinking. Maybe I'm just interpreting something wrongly... Anyways, your turn...

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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby Lady Macaroni » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:56 pm UTC

fuzzycuzzy wrote:I really strongly disliked all my literature teachers because I think they know very well that I want to interpret these stories my (f'n) self and enjoy the story rather than write a ten page report on what the author was thinking.


I fully agree. I mean, having to tear the books apart made me not enjoy pretty much every book we read in high school (cripes, Ender's Game and Huck Finn specifically said "Don't psychoanalyze this book, there's nothing there," and what did we do? We psychoanalyzed it.). Though I supposed you kind of have to give lit majors some credit for wanting to be in a major that many other people would prefer to avoid...

I'm not necessarily major-ist, but I find that it's hard being a journalism major because a lot of people expect... well, not better, per se, but more stable, I guess you could say (not only with all the dirt-uncovering and such but also with the world going digital and everyone having the capability to be a journalist-of-sorts).
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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:02 pm UTC

fuzzycuzzy wrote:I really strongly disliked all my literature teachers because I think they know very well that I want to interpret these stories my (f'n) self and enjoy the story rather than write a ten page report on what the author was thinking. Maybe I'm just interpreting something wrongly...

If your goal in your essays is to descry the author's thoughts then, yes, you're going about things wrong. And of course you're not going to enjoy a class where you don't want to do the work.

As for career prospects, I'm not sure what else you'd expect from a major that centers around writing. You're obviously not going to be able to be a civil engineer or a biologist with a literature degree, any more than you could be with a computer science degree. But, for what it's worth, I've met at least one English major pre-med and a Spanish literature major who's working at Bain & Co. in the fall, so it's not the case that a literature degree limits you to teaching and writing.
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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby Jahoclave » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:02 pm UTC

I think you don't understand the broader notions of what literature majors do. Or, what the point of requiring people to take those courses is. While it's nice to expose people to the arts, it's also a matter of critically thinking through an issue and to be able to provide analysis. That ten page paper is likely the most important part of the class.

That you don't see a lot of the back end research, such as recovery work, etc... Is really to your detriment of understanding. You'd never know of a lot of women authors if it weren't for research lit people did.

As to interpretation, even reader response theory doesn't grant you the right to come up with whatever the hell you want. And, a better way of looking at literature is as a broader cultural analysis. So far, in my master's degree only one paper has actually been directly about the book. And the degree paper I'm working on right now is on the Tea Party. So it's really not all that narrow of a field as you've come to believe.

On top of that, critical evaluation and writing skills aren't exactly throw away skills.

As for worthless majors, a fair bit of the business college falls into that category, especially given recent reports about how business majors aren't learning diddleshit. Hell, management majors tend to have some of the lowest scores on the GMAT. And, given what that test is about, that's kind of fucking sad.

Edit: Though, I'll give you a lot of the psychoanalysis bit. It's got some extensive flaws in certain areas.

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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby Dark567 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:20 pm UTC

Jahoclave wrote:As for worthless majors, a fair bit of the business college falls into that category, especially given recent reports about how business majors aren't learning diddleshit. Hell, management majors tend to have some of the lowest scores on the GMAT. And, given what that test is about, that's kind of fucking sad.
That might be saying something more about the quality of our business schools than the topics covered by those majors.

There are always questions of selection bias as well.
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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:24 pm UTC

Lady Macaroni wrote:(cripes, Ender's Game and Huck Finn specifically said "Don't psychoanalyze this book, there's nothing there," and what did we do? We psychoanalyzed it.).
I forgot that saying something makes it true.
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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:24 pm UTC

I've noticed more elitism the further towards the 'math side' of things a major is. The math majors and physics majors I've interacted with tend to be very stubborn and view the world in a binary. They are right, and everyone else is wrong. It's been pretty annoying doing a couple collaborations with these kids.

Pre-Meds are irritating as fuck; never have I so routinely seen a batch of students so unable to comprehend the material being studied while so insistent that they deserve a better grade.
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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby Dark567 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:26 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Pre-Meds are irritating as fuck; never have I so routinely seen a batch of students so unable to comprehend the material being studied while so insistent that they deserve a better grade.
I've noticed that with business students too.....

For some reason the word 'privilege' jumps to mind.
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Yakk wrote:The question the thought experiment I posted is aimed at answering: When falling in a black hole, do you see the entire universe's future history train-car into your ass, or not?

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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby Jahoclave » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:27 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Pre-Meds are irritating as fuck; never have I so routinely seen a batch of students so unable to comprehend the material being studied while so insistent that they deserve a better grade.

You haven't met many elementary ed students I take it.

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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:31 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:For some reason the word 'privilege' jumps to mind.

Mmm, yeah, possibly. A couple friends of mine who are Econ majors (not Business) are far more realistic about their coursework and the difficulty.

Actually, I'll just toss this out here: I think generally speaking the more willing to admit that a line of study is difficult FOR YOU, the less irritating I find the person. I've never met a physicist who said "Damn, neutrino oscillations are tricky to understand" but I've met assloads of Econ majors who say "Whoa, this math is way over my head, I need to study more".

A certain amount of hubris is a good thing in academia, but I think academics by in large thrive on helping one another, and adore the opportunity to explain something to a colleague.
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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby Angua » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:32 pm UTC

Huh, everyone I know here (in all subjects) generally complain about not knowing enough about what we're supposed to know about. Physists, medics, linguists, e&mists, chemists, etc
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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby Jahoclave » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:50 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Dark567 wrote:For some reason the word 'privilege' jumps to mind.

Mmm, yeah, possibly. A couple friends of mine who are Econ majors (not Business) are far more realistic about their coursework and the difficulty.

Actually, I'll just toss this out here: I think generally speaking the more willing to admit that a line of study is difficult FOR YOU, the less irritating I find the person. I've never met a physicist who said "Damn, neutrino oscillations are tricky to understand" but I've met assloads of Econ majors who say "Whoa, this math is way over my head, I need to study more".

A certain amount of hubris is a good thing in academia, but I think academics by in large thrive on helping one another, and adore the opportunity to explain something to a colleague.

And you'd be surprised as some of the interesting collaboration even between the arts and sciences. Sciences, especially a lot of the soft sciences have a lot of interplay in the humanities.

There's a theory that some of the French nuclear physics work was influenced by some alchemists theories gleaned from alchemy texts: in-so-much as it provided an idea of what could be done.

Sort of how some science fiction work can inspire certain ideas and ways of looking at a problem.

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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby Viae » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:06 pm UTC

Equally, I reckon a lot of the serious anti-science stuff in society is due to scientists who can't write for shit and journalists who can't do science for shit. Decent mainstream science journalism is thin on the ground.
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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:14 pm UTC

Eh, I disagree. Scientists who can't write for shit aren't writing science. They're grantless, at the bench, being told by someone who can write and who got grants, what to do.

Similarly, science journalists who suck at writing science aren't writing about science; they're publishing articles at Fox News about how happy thoughts cure cancer.
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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby Nat » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:32 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I've noticed more elitism the further towards the 'math side' of things a major is. The math majors and physics majors I've interacted with tend to be very stubborn and view the world in a binary. They are right, and everyone else is wrong. It's been pretty annoying doing a couple collaborations with these kids.

I've seen the opposite phenomenon: the more things tend towards lit, the more arrogant people are ("you just mess around with boring numbers and see everything in binary, while we understand the depths of the human soul"). And the math majors I know tend to be a lot more thoughtful, a lot more capable of subtlety and understanding, than most people I know.

Gunter wrote:All I want is to be a monkey of moderate intelligence who wears a suit... that's why I'm transferring to business school!

(I get why people go to business school, but why the suits?)
Last edited by Nat on Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:58 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby Dark567 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:45 pm UTC

Nat wrote:(I get why people go to business school, but why the suits?)

I love suits. I miss the days were I had to wear a suit everyday.
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Yakk wrote:The question the thought experiment I posted is aimed at answering: When falling in a black hole, do you see the entire universe's future history train-car into your ass, or not?

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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby Jahoclave » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:37 pm UTC

Nat wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:I've noticed more elitism the further towards the 'math side' of things a major is. The math majors and physics majors I've interacted with tend to be very stubborn and view the world in a binary. They are right, and everyone else is wrong. It's been pretty annoying doing a couple collaborations with these kids.

I've seen the opposite phenomenon: the more things tend towards lit, the more arrogant people are ("you just mess around with boring numbers and see everything in binary, while we understand the depths of the human soul"). And the math majors I know tend to be a lot more thoughtful, a lot more capable of subtlety and understanding, than most people I know.


Which might have something to do with constantly having to defend their major against attacks on its utility value. I mean, lit is not a broad swath designation as "math side." It's something specific you're picking on and not something broader like humanities or hard sciences.

Lit and english seem to be the go to punching bag of people who want to diss on the humanities. Though, I suppose it doesn't help that k-12 instruction is absolutely piss poor for what goes on at the collegiate level.

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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby Dark567 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:50 pm UTC

Jahoclave wrote:Though, I suppose it doesn't help that k-12 instruction is absolutely piss poor for what goes on at the collegiate level.

Isn't that nearly the case for everything?
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Yakk wrote:The question the thought experiment I posted is aimed at answering: When falling in a black hole, do you see the entire universe's future history train-car into your ass, or not?

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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:51 pm UTC

Yes, but people rarely condemn physics as a field on the basis of the poor quality of their high-school teachers.

Oh, and:
Lady Macaroni wrote:(cripes, Ender's Game and Huck Finn specifically said "Don't psychoanalyze this book, there's nothing there," and what did we do? We psychoanalyzed it.)

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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby Jahoclave » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:00 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Yes, but people rarely condemn physics as a field on the basis of the poor quality of their high-school teachers.

And physics tends to do a decent job of conveying the sorts of things that are done at the collegiate level. From what I've garnered from people is that the way they teach literature in k-12 doesn't mesh with what is done at the college level. At best they use some vague notion of new criticism, but that's rather horridly dated even if you do teach it right. It'd be like teaching Newtonian physics as if it were the proper way of doing things.

Sure it works in a lot of instances, but it's not correct.

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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby Dark567 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:37 pm UTC

Jahoclave wrote:It'd be like teaching Newtonian physics as if it were the proper way of doing things.
Uhh... that was what I was taught of physics in high school.

But I see your point.
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Yakk wrote:The question the thought experiment I posted is aimed at answering: When falling in a black hole, do you see the entire universe's future history train-car into your ass, or not?

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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby Nat » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:45 pm UTC

my main problem with lit is that you can't prove yourself right in it, so it ends up being kinda like aristotelian science. Sure, it has a lot of brilliant ideas in it, but it also has a lot of BS, and there isn't a very good way to decide between them. (Also, most of my favourite books would be rated as "cheap pop fiction" by literary critics, so I don't really trust their judgement).

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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby Velict » Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:09 am UTC

My university has a sports business program. It's actually a pretty good program in terms of placing people in jobs within the industry, but I still have a tough time looking at anyone in it as anything more than a jock (with all the connotations that stereotype carries with it).
Nat wrote:my main problem with lit is that you can't prove yourself right in it, so it ends up being kinda like aristotelian science. Sure, it has a lot of brilliant ideas in it, but it also has a lot of BS, and there isn't a very good way to decide between them. (Also, most of my favourite books would be rated as "cheap pop fiction" by literary critics, so I don't really trust their judgement).

A lot of people study it as undergrads because it's interesting and then go on to do something entirely different (like law school in the United States). There's nothing wrong with that, really.

Dark567 wrote:
Nat wrote:(I get why people go to business school, but why the suits?)

I love suits. I miss the days were I had to wear a suit everyday.
+1

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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby B.Good » Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:48 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Dark567 wrote:For some reason the word 'privilege' jumps to mind.

Mmm, yeah, possibly. A couple friends of mine who are Econ majors (not Business) are far more realistic about their coursework and the difficulty.

Actually, I'll just toss this out here: I think generally speaking the more willing to admit that a line of study is difficult FOR YOU, the less irritating I find the person. I've never met a physicist who said "Damn, neutrino oscillations are tricky to understand" but I've met assloads of Econ majors who say "Whoa, this math is way over my head, I need to study more".


Out of all of the majors that I've spent time with, physics majors are the most self-deprecating students I've ever met when it comes to knowledge of their own subject (i.e. I've heard countless physics majors say "I suck at physics.") and they're all really nice people. However, though they do occasionally bash literally every other major except maybe chemistry but a friend of mine who is a physics major doing research with some chemists treats chemistry as a lower science.

As for me, I am not above secretly judging people because of their field of study. Although I generally don't look down upon the humanities or the "soft sciences".
Last edited by B.Good on Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:53 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby The EGE » Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:26 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
Oh, and:
Lady Macaroni wrote:(cripes, Ender's Game and Huck Finn specifically said "Don't psychoanalyze this book, there's nothing there," and what did we do? We psychoanalyzed it.)

Sigmund Freud hadn't published a damn thing when Huck Finn was written.


Well, to be fair, my class did try to get a lot inside the authors' heads, and in fact at some points - particularly while preparing for the state standardized tests - I felt we left the realm of reality entirely. So although Twain didn't say pyschoanalyze, it was what I was forced to do. So I understand what she's saying, if not her wording.

Also, you can totally read Freudian shit into Beowulf. What with the battle between Beowulf and Grendel's mother. I actually owe my teacher an apology for horrifying my class...
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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:38 am UTC

Velict wrote:My university has a sports business program. It's actually a pretty good program in terms of placing people in jobs within the industry, but I still have a tough time looking at anyone in it as anything more than a jock (with all the connotations that stereotype carries with it).

A friend of mine went to Harvard law and 'focused' (emphasized? concentrated?) on sports law. He wants to own a baseball team, and figured it was the best way of going about doing it. I think people who are involved in the business side of sports are like people who are involved in the business side of anything: they either like what they're selling or know how to make money selling what they're selling, and that's cool.

B.Good wrote:Out of all of the majors that I've spent time with, physics majors are the most self-deprecating students I've ever met and they're all really nice people.

http://xkcd.com/793/
Is funny to me because it's happened virtually every time I've talked to a physicist about what I was working on.

Oh, I thought of a new one: speech pathologists. Every, single, one, I have EVER met (N=15-18) is a girl looking to follow her boyfriend to a new city and get married. Far be it from me to judge a profession aimed at helping people, let along a profession aimed at helping predominately children, but I have yet to meet either a male speech pathologist, or a female speech pathologist who does it for more than three years after her wedding.
/sweeping generalization
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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby B.Good » Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:51 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
B.Good wrote:Out of all of the majors that I've spent time with, physics majors are the most self-deprecating students I've ever met and they're all really nice people.

http://xkcd.com/793/
Is funny to me because it's happened virtually every time I've talked to a physicist about what I was working on.

I don't doubt that at all, as I said earlier, they seem to talk the most shit about other fields of study than any major that I know of. The purpose of that statement was replying to you never hearing physics majors saying "I'm having trouble with/I don't understand (insert topic/problem)" whereas I've heard physics majors say that much more than any other major. I can see how my statement could have been misinterpreted and I should probably have said " . . . self-deprecating students regarding knowledge of their subject."

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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby Dopefish » Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:57 am UTC

I figure how well people get along depends on how close they are on this scale (business and lit and the like being further to the left): http://xkcd.com/435/

As a physicist, lit folk tend to be made out to be a bunch of hippies basicly, sitting around playing hacky sack and occasionally writing about their opinions, instead of proving things through science and objective observation. I imagine physicists are probably made out to be barely literate people mostly disconnected from reality who can only think of things in terms of differential equations.

Of course, most people wouldn't actually believe those things, but both sides (the line roughly being whether you get a BA or a BSc from your field) certainly seem to have no issues belittling the other. More often then not it's people attacking the field though, rather then actually having ill will towards the people within the field. I think of it similarly to school spirit, in which your school is definitely better than all other schools, except with area of study. Harsh words are said sometimes, but it's mainly playful.

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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby Jahoclave » Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:17 am UTC

Nat wrote:my main problem with lit is that you can't prove yourself right in it, so it ends up being kinda like aristotelian science. Sure, it has a lot of brilliant ideas in it, but it also has a lot of BS, and there isn't a very good way to decide between them. (Also, most of my favourite books would be rated as "cheap pop fiction" by literary critics, so I don't really trust their judgement).

See, here's the thing. If you take a stereotypical view of the field from stodgy ideas from fifty years ago, maybe. But unless your favorite books are the likes of "Twilight" (which even then, good god does it get studied) you're likely not going to have them looked down on as much as you think. There's entire conferences on pop culture (even if a lot of the doctor who panels sucked). And there is such a thing as textual evidence. Not everybody in the field wears tweed jackets with elbow patches while smoking their pipe of disdain at such unpure literature, like hipsters before hipsters were a thing to be. And trust me, the pipe is important, as I do in fact occasionally wear a tweed jacket with elbow patches.

And, as for authorial intent: I'd like to introduce you to my friend Roland Barthes.

And, there kind of is a good way to decide between them. The good ideas are good and the bullshit is bullshit.

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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby fuzzycuzzy » Wed Jul 13, 2011 5:39 am UTC

Dark567 wrote:
Jahoclave wrote:As for worthless majors, a fair bit of the business college falls into that category, especially given recent reports about how business majors aren't learning diddleshit. Hell, management majors tend to have some of the lowest scores on the GMAT. And, given what that test is about, that's kind of fucking sad.
That might be saying something more about the quality of our business schools than the topics covered by those majors.

There are always questions of selection bias as well.

business majors don't go into business to do business
business majors go into business to do their business
those lines lined up... PERFECTLY!

but it's always "Business degree with a minor in [field] so I can start my own [who cares? it's never going to get off the ground - sorry, man]"

ok, maybe I'm VERY major-ist, but it seems like everyone thinks that they're going to be the head of something or other

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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby MonkeyBoy » Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:40 am UTC

I was a music performance major, and the other music majors I just could not abide were the Theory & Composition majors. They somehow managed to incorporate all the annoying stereotype behaviors of hippies, postmodernists and ren faire freaks, all at the same time. Not an easy task, but they pulled it off. I tend to imagine most of them are bitterly teaching music theory at community colleges by now.
Last edited by MonkeyBoy on Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:08 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby fuzzycuzzy » Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:43 am UTC

MonkeyBoy wrote:I was a music performance major, and the other music majors I just could not relate to were the Theory & Composition majors. They somehow managed to incorporate al the annoying stereotype behaviors of hippies, postmodernists and ren faire freaks, all at the same time. Not an easy task, but they pulled it off. I tend to imagine most of them are bitterly teaching music theory at community colleges by now.

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I resent that! Some have them have surely... given... up by that point... (and at least one has written a song for a pop star and become filthy stinkin' rich)

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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby MonkeyBoy » Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:28 am UTC

fuzzycuzzy wrote:I resent that!


Is that because you were a theory/comp major who resents the assumption, or a music ed major who resents the insinuation that they could do your job? :mrgreen:

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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby Fedechiar » Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:22 am UTC

Here in Italy there's kind of a feud between engineers (yay!) and architects, so that one of my architect friends constantly accuses me of loving concrete and pillars and killing brilliant buildings even though I'm a computer engineer and hopefully I'll never ever design anything made of concrete...

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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby KestrelLowing » Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:17 pm UTC

I am horribly major-ist, basically because I believe that college should be useful and allow you to make a living later on (don't go into debt if your major will not create a decently paying job for you). So basically, I don't understand the majority of humanities majors as what they do in college rarely lines up with what they do in their careers.

I think another reason I am not too fond of humanities or business majors is they always seem to be complaining about their workload when, at least at my school, they have it SOOOOOO easy. The ones that don't complain are the ones who dropped from engineering after the first year because they realize how easy they've got it. (That's another reason at my school - it's a tech university, so the majority of people who come there and get a humanities or business degree either dropped out of engineering/science or are looking for their MRS degree)

Finally, another reason I specifically hate English is that they never allow anyone to focus in high school towards what they'll be doing. I knew I was going into the STEM fields when I was 9. I still had to take loads of literature classes. I could see taking one in high school, but the rest should be focused on technical writing, or at least expository writing. Those who knew they did not want to go into a STEM field were allowed to take other math and science classes that were more useful to them, but the more useful option was not there for English.

We had to take 4 years of English and 3 years of social studies. We only had to take a total of 5 years in math and science. So, if you were a math and science person and wanted to exceed the requirements for that (say, four years of math and 5 yeas of science), you still had to take 4 years of English and 3 years of social studies whereas if you wanted to exceed in the humanities side, you only had to take 3 years of math and 2 years of science. So you got less choice if you wanted to focus on science and math.

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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:29 pm UTC

I think a well rounded education, especially in high school, is important. It's pretty appalling how many of my current peers think 'literature' means Harry Potter and Tuesdays with Morrie. Similarly, most of the people I did my undergrad had similarly ridiculous holes in their science knowledge... So... To some extent, I think a bit of generalization is good. By the time you get to undergrad, the requirements for generalizing are so incredibly simple they might as well remove them.
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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby Andromeda321 » Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:02 pm UTC

I went to a tech-oriented school where major elitist behavior was pretty common from the tech side versus the humanities and there was quite a lot of bashing about "hard" versus "easy" majors. I was a physics major/ history minor so I always defended the "easy" majors because they were, unlike us, smart enough to do a major where you didn't have to do homework until 4am every night. :wink:

Plus hey, I did history classes because they were fun and easy so they gave me a break from physics. Kept me sane.

What did annoy me though were the humanities folks on occasion who would claim they actually had it harder or knew more. Then I would do a theoretical thought experiment of imagining the humanities were wiped out suddenly so the tech side had to make up their curriculum because if you gave us a bit of time we could do it- it would have gaping holes for sure, but there would be some sort of system. Now do the same in reverse, and there is no way anyone can even pretend that would work.

Though if you actually illustrate the above, I'll guarantee you the person who made the initial claim in the first place is pretentious enough that they won't appreciate it.

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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby ShootTheChicken » Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:25 pm UTC

KestrelLowing wrote:I am horribly major-ist, basically because I believe that college should be useful and allow you to make a living later on (don't go into debt if your major will not create a decently paying job for you). So basically, I don't understand the majority of humanities majors as what they do in college rarely lines up with what they do in their careers.


I can't decide if I agree with this. I've never liked the idea of spending all that money and time and energy to learn something just because it gets you a job. I think it's time to learn what you want and what interests you and sort the rest out later. It's related to this I think.
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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby KestrelLowing » Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:44 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I think a well rounded education, especially in high school, is important. It's pretty appalling how many of my current peers think 'literature' means Harry Potter and Tuesdays with Morrie. Similarly, most of the people I did my undergrad had similarly ridiculous holes in their science knowledge... So... To some extent, I think a bit of generalization is good. By the time you get to undergrad, the requirements for generalizing are so incredibly simple they might as well remove them.


I agree with you that we shouldn't eliminate all English classes for future math majors in high school, but I would like the requirements to be more equal. I know I'm incredibly biased, but it seems to me that overall, basic understanding of science and math is more relevant in everyday life. Also, something that always bugged me was that except for the very occasional research paper (although most of those I had to do them on an author or poet), every single paper we ever wrote was about literature or some sort of writing. English teachers need to broaden their horizons! Not everything is about literature, so when you're taking a composition class, you shouldn't have everything be about literature. (One research paper we had to do we were allowed to research anything so I did it about duct tape. A large portion was about the manufacturing process. The teacher wasn't very happy about that because 'it was boring'. I had taken out all technical jargon, related the manufacturing as to why the tape worked so well, and even my mother thought it was somewhat interesting. Also, it's a research paper. Not exactly a novel here. Just trying to get information across! I later did another paper about LEGO. She tried to tell me to take out the manufacturing section. The next paragraph was about why the manufacturing process is the reason why LEGO is so popular - the tolerances are amazing and that's why they stick together! Ergh.)

I think another problem is that most teachers, and more importantly administrators, are in the humanities realm. This means that they will always be more partial to humanities, just as I will always be more partial to STEM fields. So, at least in my school district, humanities was the best thing ever and STEM was just a sideshow. It made me quite bitter. (Obviously!)

This probably isn't the case with all schools, but it was with mine. I guess I'd just really like to see a good technical/expository writing course offered instead of endless literature.

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Re: Are you Major-ist?

Postby Jahoclave » Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:12 pm UTC

Andromeda321"
What did annoy me though were the humanities folks on occasion who would claim they actually had it harder or knew more. Then I would do a theoretical thought experiment of imagining the humanities were wiped out suddenly so the tech side had to make up their curriculum because if you gave us a bit of time we could do it- it would have gaping holes for sure, but there would be some sort of system. Now do the same in reverse, and there is no way anyone can even pretend that would work.
[/quote]
Well, since the humanities have, well, done exactly that before, it's not really a thought experiment. Just saying. :wink:

[quote="KestrelLowing wrote:
I know I'm incredibly biased, but it seems to me that overall, basic understanding of science and math is more relevant in everyday life.

So is communicating those understandings.

Also, something that always bugged me was that except for the very occasional research paper (although most of those I had to do them on an author or poet), every single paper we ever wrote was about literature or some sort of writing. English teachers need to broaden their horizons! Not everything is about literature, so when you're taking a composition class, you shouldn't have everything be about literature.

Want to have a little fun, get your rhet comp professors and your literature professors in the same room and bring up that debate. You're in for a real fun time of enjoying the show. But, for the most part what you're going to see among people who are actually focused on composition is the idea that you shouldn't have literature in a composition classroom. One of the reasons you get that though is because of who gets stuck teaching the comp course, which is, a lot of times literature graduate students and lit professors, especially in smaller departments. So they, especially the grad students, don't have a lot of training in how to teach straight composition. So literature is a bit of a crutch. Now, the university I'm at has a rather good program to help GA's teach composition with a dedicated comp prof in charge, so we tend to stay away from literature. So it's not really a matter about horizons, so much as it is universities allowing for proper training and faculty. Then again, the broaden your horizons remark could be generally applied to the mass amounts of bitching about having to write an essay about a book.

(One research paper we had to do we were allowed to research anything so I did it about duct tape. A large portion was about the manufacturing process. The teacher wasn't very happy about that because 'it was boring'. I had taken out all technical jargon, related the manufacturing as to why the tape worked so well, and even my mother thought it was somewhat interesting.

Wow, your mom? Gee, I'm so glad your mom liked it. /sarcasm. You ever think that perhaps the teacher wasn't happy with it and suggested changes was because it was, in fact, boring, and that you lacked audience awareness? A general audience may have been bored to tears by it.

Also, it's a research paper. Not exactly a novel here. Just trying to get information across!

There's more to a research paper than just getting information across. Sorry to burst your bubble there.

I later did another paper about LEGO. She tried to tell me to take out the manufacturing section. The next paragraph was about why the manufacturing process is the reason why LEGO is so popular - the tolerances are amazing and that's why they stick together! Ergh.)

So they have a good manufacturing process that leads to the success. That doesn't mean you need a section explaining that process.

I will commend you on choosing a topic other than sports and legalizing weed.

I think another problem is that most teachers, and more importantly administrators, are in the humanities realm.

Well, given traditional emphasis of what universities were--still, if you ever deign to pick up the Chronicle of Higher Ed, it's not like the humanities are making out like bandits at universities, and certainly not at the behest of other fields. And, for what it's worth, my university's current interim president was the universities legal consul and has no education background. But some of that has more to do with the shit going down in the state.

This means that they will always be more partial to humanities, just as I will always be more partial to STEM fields. So, at least in my school district, humanities was the best thing ever and STEM was just a sideshow. It made me quite bitter. (Obviously!)

Yeah, see above. Also, are you just referencing high school here?

And, quite frankly, high school English instruction has no real bearing on this discussion. I'll be the first one to admit that it's shit. I mean, really, teaching Shakespeare to a high school class? It's important and all, but there's no way in hell they're going to relate or really understand the language all that well.


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