1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby youngrat » Mon May 07, 2012 3:07 pm UTC

I can't believe I registered just so I can point out that the spelling is "agoraphobiac", and it doesn't anyway mean fear of the outdoors. But it seems I did.

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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby J L » Mon May 07, 2012 3:11 pm UTC

wolfticket wrote:
babble wrote:Is anyone offended by the Sophie's Choice reference, btw? Bit irreverent towards anyone who's lost a child?

The well known TV show Friends made the same irreverent comparison. Twice.


I didn't know the plot and was a bit shocked when I looked it up on Wikipedia. So no, not offended on a personal level, but I did think it was over the top. No matter how many people did it before.

But hey, rest of the comic was still great (no irony here).

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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby TrueNarnian » Mon May 07, 2012 3:21 pm UTC

Did any other Gilbert and Sullivan Fans sing the chorus part while reading this comic?

(The wiki page for physics major redirects to engineer
The wiki page for physics major redirects to engineer
The wiki page for physics major redirects to engin-engineer
)

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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby Echidnae » Mon May 07, 2012 3:27 pm UTC

Does anyone else find the total omission of foreign languages bizarre? Or is that just me and my translation internships clouding my judgment?

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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby Fire Brns » Mon May 07, 2012 3:37 pm UTC

I'm angry at you Randal. I can't sing the original straight now.

I'm one of those people who learned the The Modern Major General Song before hearing The Elements but I still learned my first bit from Modin which someone started but noone finished earlier.
Spoiler:
Typed out not copypaste:
I am the very model of a scientist Salarian,
I study species Turian, Assari, and Batarian.
I'm quite good at genetics as a subset of biology,
Because I am an expert which I know is a tautology.
My xenoscience studies range from urban to agrarian,
I am the very model of a scientist Salarian.

(Assari vorcha offspring have an allergy to dairy
and a doo do doo do doo do do do do do do do do do do....)
If you want to learn something like this get the script broken up into image blocks you can put as your phone screensaver then whenever you have time glance down and learn a line. Be carefull though to associate the next line with the one before it or you will sing out of order and repeat lines. My attempt got the whole song in less than 8 hours, plus 2 days of practice to iron out tounge twisters.
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Mighty Jalapeno wrote:It was the Renaissance. Everyone was Italian.

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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby opencity » Mon May 07, 2012 3:41 pm UTC

Music thirty years ago would almost have been cool, but the "real world" in music needs skills not taught in school
Sports is good for coaching when the rest is too complex
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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby Thrakhath » Mon May 07, 2012 3:48 pm UTC

Did you mean "geology" rather than "geography?" Or is there a joke that I'm missing?

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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby Роберт » Mon May 07, 2012 3:50 pm UTC

TrueNarnian wrote:Did any other Gilbert and Sullivan Fans sing the chorus part while reading this comic?

(The wiki page for physics major redirects to engineer
The wiki page for physics major redirects to engineer
The wiki page for physics major redirects to engin-engineer
)

They say there's no such thing as a stupid question, but there really is.

http://youtu.be/Gu1VhsNOwPU
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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby alanbbent » Mon May 07, 2012 4:00 pm UTC

Shockingly well done. The meter is tight and ruthless for Modern Major General, and every line actually has the correct number of syllables, which is surprisingly hard to find nowadays with amateur poetry/lyrics. Most modern pop artists can't write stuff that accurate. That's another discussion.

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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby Airbuilder7 » Mon May 07, 2012 4:00 pm UTC

Aerospace Engineering

...

With a minor in Creative Writing.


(Slightly miffed that the only direct mention that ENGE gets is in the same panel as Physics. :D )

I heard the comic in the tune of Good Charlotte's "The Story of My Old Man." And I have NO IDEA WHY.

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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby Fire Brns » Mon May 07, 2012 4:08 pm UTC

alanbbent wrote:Shockingly well done. The meter is tight and ruthless for Modern Major General, and every line actually has the correct number of syllables, which is surprisingly hard to find nowadays with amateur poetry/lyrics. Most modern pop artists can't write stuff that accurate. That's another discussion.

http://xkcd.com/79/ Real poets write in pentameter.
Pfhorrest wrote:As someone who is not easily offended, I don't really mind anything in this conversation.
Mighty Jalapeno wrote:It was the Renaissance. Everyone was Italian.

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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby DJWLJR » Mon May 07, 2012 4:15 pm UTC

Here's a link to a MIDI file that can be used if, like me, you absolutely had to sing this correctly.

http://www.hamienet.com/midi31197_Pirates-I-am-the-Very-Model-of-a-Modern-Major-General-A.html

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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby of the way » Mon May 07, 2012 4:17 pm UTC

Calydor wrote:Registered just to point out there's not one, but two missing close-parens.


There is only one in the picture that I'm looking at.

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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby bmonk » Mon May 07, 2012 4:30 pm UTC

jonadab wrote:Actually, majoring in history does NOT prepare you for a job teaching history. If you want to get a job teaching history (or math, or any other subject), you have to major in education. You only take a couple of classes in the actual subject you're going to teach.

Yes, really. All your teachers in junior high and high school? They had 2-3 college classes in the subject they were teaching you (plus another 3-4 classes in "how to teach [subject]", all but one of which are the same ones the elementary-education majors also take, and one more course in "what the state standards require students in each grade to learn about [subject]", and believe me, if you'd only learned the things the state standards required you would NEVER have gotten into college, unless you count taking two courses per semester at a state university branch campus as "college").


That's the old format. The more modern teaching courses emphasize the subject material much more. And you aren't supposed to teach classes outside your major.

As for majors, how about Chemistry and Math, with minors in Philosophy and Latin? Still, it might have been fun to major in General Semantics.
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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby thesingingaccountant » Mon May 07, 2012 4:33 pm UTC

tuxedobob wrote:... am I the only one who hadn't heard of the Elements song but has seen Pirates of Penzance?


Negative.

Did anyone else imagine Levar Burton singing this tune? (Obscure ST:TNG reference.)

This comic, while making me chuckle, also made me think pretty hard. I earned myself a B.B.A. in accounting in 2008. My family and friends were thrilled that I was setting myself up for a "successful" career. Three years later saw me sitting alone in my apartment, having lost both my first and second jobs through no fault of my own, searching desperately for employment only to find that I was horribly overqualified for the jobs available to someone of my education and experience level. Hell, I don't even like business in general or accounting in particular. So I decided to do something I actually would enjoy with my life. Guess what I'm doing? I'm pursuing a B.A. in music.

You wanna talk about terrible majors? This, friends and neighbors, is a terrible major. What I'd eventually like to do is sing for a living. Sadly, female vocalists are a dime a dozen, and getting a B.A. in music won't increase my odds of establishing a career. Economically speaking, this is probably the worst thing I could have done to myself. I have at least two family members and one close friend who think I'm a complete idiot, and I can't prove them wrong. So why did I decide to do this? Because I bloody well wanted to do it. I love studying music theory and literature, I love making music, and I love being surrounded by people who share these loves. I'm already broke and unemployed; I might as well do what makes me happy.

Within the context of the typical American value system, Randall is absolutely right; every major's terrible. One cannot reasonably expect that earning a college degree in any field will necessarily lead to a satisfying career with lots of money. In my opinion, the only real value to be gained from higher education is personal enrichment and enjoyment. The philosophy majors already understand this.

Here's ten cents' worth of free advice: If you really want a college degree, by all means, go get one. But please don't get a degree because you want a good job that makes good money. Get a degree because you want to know more about something you love. Being happy is far more worthwhile than being rich, and it's also far easier to attain great happiness than great wealth.

Perhaps I'll pursue a philosophy minor. I can learn how to be a better thinker and a better person, AND I can annoy the shit out of the people who think I'm wasting my life by not chasing the almighty dollar. :D
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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby Steve the Pocket » Mon May 07, 2012 4:38 pm UTC

BroSciencePhD wrote:Finance offers you a chance you join the one percent
but at such odds where lotto tickets would work as an expedient.

Dunno how to fix the Poli Sci verse, but I felt compelled to fix the meter on this one:

A finance major offers you a chance to join the one percent
But at such odds that lotto tickets might be more expedient.
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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby super_aardvark » Mon May 07, 2012 5:08 pm UTC

This is awesome. I stumbled over "adherents"--the stress isn't natural--but everything else is perfect, so I'll cut some slack. The original does the same thing on "binomial."

thesingingaccountant wrote:
tuxedobob wrote:... am I the only one who hadn't heard of the Elements song but has seen Pirates of Penzance?


Negative.

Did anyone else imagine Levar Burton singing this tune? (Obscure ST:TNG reference.)


I don't get that reference, but I will say that I know Modern Major General not from Penzance directly, but from Babylon 5. I don't remember if that was before or after hearing the Elements song.
Last edited by super_aardvark on Mon May 07, 2012 5:14 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby Trickster » Mon May 07, 2012 5:12 pm UTC

Scorpio3002 wrote:Myself a music major, I just cannot stop from noticing
That music is unrespresented, even though the goal's to sing
The comic's words in correspondence to a certain patter song,
But then again a music majors' used to being trodden on.

I noticed that immediately too, then realized the entire comic was in song. It's almost from Music's perspective...

(Also, CS majors using Lisp for anything but fun? Undergrads virtually never touch it. (Maybe you need a bit of functional programming experience to get a grad degree, but even then not likely for the thesis or dissertation! But I know this is to Randall's chagrin, and I like Lisp too.)

And yeah, I just did that on purpose. :twisted:

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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby Pops1918 » Mon May 07, 2012 5:14 pm UTC

Business admin undergrad, current Econ masters student. The undergrad, yeah, that was more or less accurate - as close to a degree in "college" as you can get and still appear to have graduated with a 'serious' major. Econ, though...

It's not that we're lying, usually; it's just that you can't always tell with us. There is a fine line between extrapolation and wild guessing, since the field is so dependent on what people perceive.

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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby super_aardvark » Mon May 07, 2012 5:17 pm UTC

Trickster wrote:(Also, CS majors using Lisp for anything but fun? Undergrads virtually never touch it. (Maybe you need a bit of functional programming experience to get a grad degree, but even then not likely for the thesis or dissertation! But I know this is to Randall's chagrin, and I like Lisp too.)


Au contraire. In my undergrad CS program, several core courses were taught in Scheme. ...Though they may have switched to Java by now, so maybe this only proves your point.

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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby J Thomas » Mon May 07, 2012 5:19 pm UTC

thesingingaccountant wrote:Guess what I'm doing? I'm pursuing a B.A. in music.

You wanna talk about terrible majors? This, friends and neighbors, is a terrible major. What I'd eventually like to do is sing for a living. Sadly, female vocalists are a dime a dozen, and getting a B.A. in music won't increase my odds of establishing a career. Economically speaking, this is probably the worst thing I could have done to myself. I have at least two family members and one close friend who think I'm a complete idiot, and I can't prove them wrong. So why did I decide to do this? Because I bloody well wanted to do it. I love studying music theory and literature, I love making music, and I love being surrounded by people who share these loves. I'm already broke and unemployed; I might as well do what makes me happy.


It's good to make a living too. You think that getting a BA will not help you do that. So would it make sense to pursue a career while you get your hobby BA?

You don't want to be just a female vocalist. You love studying music theory, and making music etc. Maybe you could do composition or something, and also look for ways to market whatever it is you wind up doing?

If you watch for opportunities, it's possible you could make a start at earning your way even while you're in college. And you might find a niche that your college experience helps you with too. It could happen.

And if it worked out, think how your loved ones who think you're an idiot will feel. They'll be happy to be wrong, right?
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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby Cervisiae Amatorem » Mon May 07, 2012 6:14 pm UTC

BRAVO! Best comic in a while.

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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby thesingingaccountant » Mon May 07, 2012 6:27 pm UTC

J Thomas wrote:
thesingingaccountant wrote:Guess what I'm doing? I'm pursuing a B.A. in music.

You wanna talk about terrible majors? This, friends and neighbors, is a terrible major. What I'd eventually like to do is sing for a living. Sadly, female vocalists are a dime a dozen, and getting a B.A. in music won't increase my odds of establishing a career. Economically speaking, this is probably the worst thing I could have done to myself. I have at least two family members and one close friend who think I'm a complete idiot, and I can't prove them wrong. So why did I decide to do this? Because I bloody well wanted to do it. I love studying music theory and literature, I love making music, and I love being surrounded by people who share these loves. I'm already broke and unemployed; I might as well do what makes me happy.


It's good to make a living too. You think that getting a BA will not help you do that. So would it make sense to pursue a career while you get your hobby BA?

You don't want to be just a female vocalist. You love studying music theory, and making music etc. Maybe you could do composition or something, and also look for ways to market whatever it is you wind up doing?

If you watch for opportunities, it's possible you could make a start at earning your way even while you're in college. And you might find a niche that your college experience helps you with too. It could happen.

And if it worked out, think how your loved ones who think you're an idiot will feel. They'll be happy to be wrong, right?


It turns out that I already intend to pursue the career while working on the B.A. The degree, in and of itself, won't provide anything that can be put toward the career except voice lessons. Sure, I'll be hanging around people and making connections, but I don't have to pursue a degree or take any classes in order to use the music department as part of my network. In fact, taking classes in pursuit of a degree will take time and energy away from pursuing the career. The point I wished to make is that I am getting this degree for no other reason than that I want it, and I can prove this because I have nothing to gain from it but my own enjoyment. And I'm good with that.

Yes, making a living is a good thing. This (among other reasons) is why I'm going to marry a guy whose passion is lucrative, who encourages me to do what I find pleasing and is willing to support me while I do it. If, God forbid, the bottom falls out of this plan, I'll find a way to support myself. But right now I have an opportunity to do something I really want to do, that won't be possible if I also have to worry about drumming up cash for room and board. I'll be damned if I'm going to let this chance slip away.
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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby eran_rathan » Mon May 07, 2012 6:29 pm UTC

I've got one that will probably be difficult to rhyme to:
Spatial Information Engineering with a minor in Geology.
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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby Korbl » Mon May 07, 2012 6:30 pm UTC

Culinary Arts isn't so bad.

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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby ToadofSteel » Mon May 07, 2012 6:50 pm UTC

Randall, I think Mass Effect beat you to the punch on this one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC1JvhtNBGI

Regardless, epic results.

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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby drainbramaged » Mon May 07, 2012 6:51 pm UTC

This is from a theater major friend of mine. Apparently there are people who consider Major-General parodies serious business...
It's a really good Maj-Gen parody - a lot of them suck but this one scans very well. No theatre major though

Props, Randall, on impressing the theater majors in the house
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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby pakruse » Mon May 07, 2012 7:05 pm UTC

This was a fantastic comic. I'm something of a G&S fanatic, and I've seen a LOT of parodies. This is easily one of the best.

I've been singing this all morning. My wife has demanded a performance when I go home.



Randall, I doubt you read the forums, but you consistently outdo yourself.

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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby Barentanz » Mon May 07, 2012 7:10 pm UTC

Just wanted to say: love the shout-out to Reed College! (Underwater basket-weaving? Yes please!)

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Re: Every Major's Terrible

Postby jonas » Mon May 07, 2012 7:33 pm UTC

davidad wrote:I understand I am owed at least six internets?

http://youtu.be/Gu1VhsNOwPU


Great! Thank you for the performance. That's one more internets you get.

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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby treelobsters » Mon May 07, 2012 7:45 pm UTC

I have it on authority that Nicole from "Hello The Future" is working on an arrangement.

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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby jc » Mon May 07, 2012 8:10 pm UTC

Invisiblemoose wrote:The rhyme only seems to work if you mispronounce "comparable"...

That's depends on which dialect of English you speak. This is actually an example of an interesting bit of English grammar that is rarely taught in schools: There are a lot of (mostly) 2-syllable words that have initial stress as nouns or adjectives, and second-syllable stress as verbs. An example is "record". The most interesting part of this is that which words take part in this pattern differs from dialect to dialect. The pattern appeared 7 or 8 centuries ago, as determined by studying a lot of poetry, and most dialects have applied it to a few words at a time since then.

My wife kids me about how I often stress "address" or "cement" on the first syllable. She doesn't do that, and I've spotted a few words for which she does it but I don't. I grew up speaking an American west-coast dialect; she mostly grew up in various cities in the northeast US.

In the current case, "compare" normally has 2nd-syllable stress, but many dialects have shifted the stress of "comparable" to the first syllable, and they often also drop the second vowel, giving the 3-syllable "COM-pra-ble" pronunciation. But many dialects, including most in the US, say "com-PAR-a-ble", which would be the original pronunciation.

It is curious that this stress pattern is mostly not understood by native English speakers, because it's rarely taught in school, but we all do it for some words. We just don't realize we're doing it, and think that people are mispronouncing a word when they stress it differently than they do.

One of the curiosities about this pattern is that the American "Southern Mountain" ("hillbilly") dialect, which is generally one of the more conservative English dialects, shows this shift in nouns/adjectives more often than most other dialects, often using it instead of a suffix. Thus, speakers of that dialect will send some one "an INvite" rather than "an invitation" to a party, etc. This may be where I picked up "ADdress" and "CEment", from relatives on my father's side that speak with Arkansas and West Virginia accents. Or maybe I just internalized the pattern more strongly than others, and use it in cases where it makes sense.

Anyway, you might ask friends from far away how many words with this shifting-stress pattern they know. Chances are that within a dozen or so words, they'll list one that you don't agree with.

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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby JohnTheWysard » Mon May 07, 2012 8:56 pm UTC

walkerm930 wrote:It it quite Difficult to say the lyrics in the comic at the tempo of Modern Major General. Because, logically, this is the first thing to try.


So? It is - and always has been - difficult to sing the original lyrics up to tempo. That was the whole idea - it's a patter song!

THat said.... Bravo! Bravo! Well done!!!

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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby iChef » Mon May 07, 2012 9:13 pm UTC

Korbl seems to feel good about a Culinary Arts degree
With visions of an ancient noble French pedigree
But I think there is something that just occurred to me
while watching Gordan Ramsey explode all over the TV
Most of us won't be wearing a big white floppy hat
We'll be teaching history majors to ask "would you like fries with that"
Last edited by iChef on Mon May 07, 2012 9:17 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby dan_dassow » Mon May 07, 2012 9:13 pm UTC

awatk wrote:Try as I might, I can't sing this to anything but the theme song in the Barney & Friends opening credits. And now its stuck in my head. For the love of all that is holy, someone post it to another tune.

Although the cure may possibly be worse than the disease, I found that singing a few verses of "This is the Song That Never Ends", the closing song from "Lamb Chop's Play-Along" will cure one of any song repeating in one's head. :roll: On second thought, the only thing worse than having the Barney & Friend opening credit theme repeating in one's head is to hear the Teletubbies Theme in one's head. :shock:

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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby mtn335 » Mon May 07, 2012 10:09 pm UTC

Alt alt-text: "For it is, it is a glorious thing to be, of major, general."

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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby SmilingJack » Mon May 07, 2012 10:27 pm UTC

babble wrote:the anti-literature & history panels are weirdly proud of not learning things aren't they. maybe if the writer weren't so proud of not knowing anything about culture, they wouldn't have to refer to well-known operas by way of terrible parodies.


Ok, was with you for the first part of the sentence, but then you insulted Tom Lehrer, soooo, I believe you lose by default.

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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby knight427 » Mon May 07, 2012 10:33 pm UTC

Vi Hart, please turn this into a music video.
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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby Araenna » Mon May 07, 2012 10:35 pm UTC

Not as good as others, but I had to do it as soon as I saw it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgSBMEiL81A

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Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Postby Chanticleer » Mon May 07, 2012 10:44 pm UTC

I love this - especially the Gilbert & Sullivan reference.

Although I should point out - I graduated with dual bachelors degree in literature in theatre arts a year ago. I was not only in the half of graduates in my class that were employed (at a college graduate level of pay) at all, but I've been employed consistently since graduation, first as a freelance theatre technician and now full-time in education administration (in data collection and analysis... still not sure how that happened).

So you can get a job with a lit degree, you just have to have marketable technical skills like "I can count," "I can look at what you're doing and find a way to do it better" or "I can hit this light with a crescent wrench until it points where you want it."


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