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Change Your Major
by Michael Giardina

Believe it or not, Michael Giardina -- that mysterious English major you all have come to love -- initially came to this university as a computer science major. I wanted to be the next Bill Gates -- with style.

But one terrible dream changed everything. Cuddled in my cozy bed, I started dreaming in code. Thousands of pages of computer jargon flooded into my unconscious like a bunch of frat boys into a nudie bar on dollar night. Terrified, I resolved to leave the world of technology behind and take up the ancient art of language.

At the end of this quarter, I will have my bachelor's in English. I will be a certified intellectual with a fancy degree signed by the biggest intellectual of them all: Arnold Schwarzenegger. Gloating aside, I want to share with you an intimate discovery: English is the best major at Davis. Seriously, switch your major on Monday, or if it's early enough, today.

First off, an English major requires 64 units. An aeronautical engineer requires 191. With all these free units, I can take classes like tractor driving, horse husbandry, mushrooms molds and society, nematode management and other such spiritually inspirational classes.

Furthermore, English is the only major at Davis where it is technically possible to get a lower grade if you read the textbooks. The more you read, the less time you can cultivate what we English majors like to call "making crap up." Go craft some ludicrous theory and you can acquire yourself some B.S. in addition to your B.A.

As an English major, you will quickly fall in love with your eclectic group of classmates. In no other major do the students sit around before class, read the dictionary, and actually laugh at what they find inside. No joke! For example, did you know that it is perfectly acceptable to say that many old women are "hoary"?

Only an English major can fall asleep in the middle of class and suddenly wake up, only to have the teacher proclaim: "Now that was my intensive explanation of infant eroticism." I prayed for nights that I wouldn't have to write on that topic for my next midterm. I probably would have been sent to the nearest behavioral psychologist.

Only an English major will rejoice when he receives a reading assignment that is so complicated that even de Saussure would wince uncomfortably at it. You see, if the assignment is too hard to read, you can usually make any argument you want. It's generally harder for the T.A. to prove you're wrong than it is for him to give you a decent grade and move on.

The joys of majoring in English are only doubled by the option to take a "creative writing" emphasis. In these classes, you are required to do nothing but sit in a room with a bunch of creative and ambitious people and pour your heart out onto every page.

It is not uncommon to see a fellow classmate write a 20-page story about the life-and-death struggle of running out of coffee or even an 85-year-old hermaphrodite with a keen love for milking cows. Now that's creativity.

Oh, and of course the number-one reason to be an English major: no math!

So the next time you're toiling away at that degree in economics, next time you find yourself bored to tears at every lecture, next time you find yourself drawing a little stick figure hanging himself on the end of your calculus radical-sign, just remember: even though a B.A. in English only guarantees you a cardboard-box house, you still have time to double major in philosophy.



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