Funny funny. Oh big ha ha ha with the constant jokes about how my degree won't pay the bills, won't get me a job, isn't worth the sheepskin. Worse were the comments that made it sound like I should be tracking a man rather than chasing down my education like it was a big mean toothy snake, and jumping on it until it was harmless and could safely be called mine. What the fuck do you mean, it won't keep me warm at night? I didn't expect it to; it doesn't keep me particularly happy during the day, either. It's something I do. Let's all stop making fun.

So, freshman year. Before I stopped going to all the stupid events on campus, before I got picky about who was in the same room as me. I went to everything, then, every snide gallery opening, every driedup lecture, every kegger. You might be surprised which of those three was where I first saw the handsome man in the vest. Usually that's a contradiction in terms but this was an exception, maybe because he looked foreign and studious. Wavy hair. I admit it, that's what swung the vote, wavy hair is a man's free pass.


Q. Did we talk?
A. Yes, but not for very long.

Q. Did he kiss me?
A. No. But we kissed.

Q. Did it go any further? Am I going to tell the dirty details?
A. Neither. He was full of dirty details, he suddenly turned very verbal and descriptive, expectant. Had he not said it out loud, we might have done the things he said out loud. In a private spot but still in public, his heavy kegger breath in my ear, leaning in, clammy hands up my shirt groping - it was classless; even with my then nondiscriminatory policies, it felt icky, and I shrugged him away. When would I discover he was a T.A. for Philosophy?   A. The day after I declared it as my major.

Philosophy won't keep you warm at night?

It was my primary study while pursuing a bachelor of arts. It developed my capacity for critical thinking, analysis and perspective, as well as making me much more efficient with communication, both written and verbal. The methods of thinking which one encounters and learns to emulate whilst reading the works of such masters as Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, Soren Kierkegaard, Emmanuel Kant, Friedrich Nietzsche, Arthur Schopenhaur, Bertrand Russell, Jean-Paul Sartre, Francis Bacon, Roger Bacon, Saint Thomas Aquinas and Ludwig Wittgenstein will assist you at least as much in a quest for gainful employment as a BBA.

Most employment comes down to getting your foot in the door and showing your abilities and skills from there, rising through promotion.

Having a typical computer knowledge, and able to program only VBA and MS Access, I made my way from Technical Support to Database Administrator to Database Analyst to Chief Technical Officer in the course of two years. Sending memos that are polished and clear, being lucid and knowing how to cut through the slew of buzz words lobbed at you count for a lot, as does being able to quickly grasp new ideas. If you were able to understand Kantian morality after your first read, you'll have no trouble at all in picking up on such simple concepts as viral marketing and N-tier architecture. It is the development of the mind as much as the knowledge crammed into it that allows you to be effective.

When you're living, you should do what you want and trust that somewhere there will be a niche for the talents you possess. It is a global marketplace, and you can be sure that if you are willing to commit to learning something, somebody else will pay you to either teach them, apply your knowledge or learn something new.

There's not much point in going through the motions just to satisfy parents or perceived job markets. The one that matters is you, and while you can pass that title onto somebody else, it should be for better reasons than job security

On the contrary, I found that the collected works of Kant were essential when the power company cut off my heat and I had to build a bonfire in the middle of the kitchen floor.

(I'm a philosophy major, folks. I'm at liberty to make disparaging remarks).

Besides, all you really need to stay warm at night is a sleeping bag and someone willing to share it with you.

Nothing makes you colder than giving up your passion; there are no creature comforts that can remedy this sense of loss.

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