Hi, I'm the English major at San Diego State University. The one and only. Well, among transfer students for the class of 2017. Still, that's eight thousand students who were in the auditorium for orientation with me starting at 8am this morning and among them only I had decided to major in English.
The damned orientation ran from 8am to 5pm and, just as I suspected, nearly all of it was material that could have been covered on the web site or in the catalogue, particularly the hour that was spent by two spokespeople strongly advising students not to rape anyone.
They also provided advice on what to do "in the very likely scenario that a friend comes to you to report a sexual assault," which seemed a slightly roundabout way of saying, "A substantial number of you will be raped this semester." It's true, the statistics are terrible, the issue obviously needs addressing, but it goes to a new dimension of depressing when handled as part of the series of alternately zombified and teeth-grinding terrified speakers. Speakers whose main thoughts are either, "Let's get through this," or "Oh, God, please don't let me fuck this up," but whose words were mostly reiterations of, "Go Aztecs!" "Remember to always have a positive attitude!" "Don't rape anyone!" and "Don't smoke weed on campus!"
After this, at around noon, everyone filed into one of the big open areas for the barbecue that was included in the cost (just over a hundred dollars) of orientation. Since this fabulous meal consisted of hamburgers (apparently I was also the only vegetarian), I had to spend an extra five dollars in one of the three Starbucks on campus for a "edamame wrap" which wasn't bad but I was starving again two hours later.
We were then split up into sections that incorporated majors, I went with the ninety students who had majors under the "Arts and Letters" heading which included English, linguistics, social sciences, and others. Then the English students and linguistics students were culled and taken outside where the ten of us learned about various registration options and, finally, for a meeting with our academic advisor, my group was distilled to just English and English for Single Subject Teaching. There were just four of us and I was the only one who wasn't doing Single Subject Teaching.
The advisor brought us to a classroom and talked to us about how vitally important English is especially with the erosion of literacy and proper critical thinking by social media. He told us not to worry about the relatives who harangue or make fun of us at Thanksgiving dinner for choosing a major without a lucrative future, adding there were many fields opening where a BA in English was desirable. He said, yes, it's risky but the bottom line is we'll all be okay.
Well, I hope his hedged bet confidence is well founded. In any case, these could be a fun couple years if I can find a way of paying for the second one. Over four grand a semester, these classes! The website estimated it would cost me seven thousand, I wonder what kind of math makes that mean seventeen grand. Hopefully I can get some kind of paying job this fall. I sure wish that could be my comics though of course that's not likely though I have to say I am rather pleased with how my new comic is turning out and I received some very positive feedback to it at Comic Con. I intend to submit it to publishers once I've finished the last nine pages of the first twenty four though even in the off chance I get lucky enough someone is both interested in and able to publish it I'd still probably need to find another source of income. I'm hoping I can manage to work at a pace of three pages a week. Hopefully I won't be as exhausted at the end of every day as I am to-day.
I do love the look of the campus, the Spanish mission thing makes me think I'll be chasing Kim Novak up the bell tower.