What the future holds

This Newsweek column came out way back in November, but somehow we missed it. Recent grad Caitlin Petre ’06, a Philosophy major, wrote a piece called “The Lessons I Didn’t Learn in College”.

Summary: Taxes suck, we’re screwed.

Bonus: If you roll over the UPS ad, you get to watch an enthralling commercial about international shipping featuring the first 30 seconds or so of Such Great Heights by the Postal Service. Ha! Ha!

All this raises a disturbing question: when I spent a ton of time and money on my fancy degree, what exactly was I buying? The ability to think, some might say. OK, fine, that’s important. Still, my résumé would look odd if it read, “Skills: proficient in French, word processing, thinking.” The thinking I did in college seems to be of limited utility in the “real world.” The fact that I wrote a 30-page critical analysis of the function of shame in society did nothing to ease the sting when I spilled beer on a customer at the bowling alley.

4 thoughts on “What the future holds

  1. Anonymous

    Cait is a sweetie, but she kinda misses the point here and just ends up making Wesleyan grads (and their ilk) look petulant and helpless. Even more so, the irony is that a liberal arts education like hers (and mine) isn’t designed to prepare you for a services-sector job like the one she has. When 75% of her classmates will end up in grad school, it’s no small surprise that our liberal arts degrees are tailored to teach meaningless academic tripe — the very kind that means something only in post-grad arenas. But really, no one is taught how to fill out a W4 — they all just ask the person who handed it to them, and tend to get a decent response. Least that’s what I’ve done.I dunno, I feel completely the same way as she does, I just wish she had taken a different route than she did. And she has major balls putting herself out there like that, which deserves props.

  2. Anonymous

    Cait is a sweetie, but she kinda misses the point here and just ends up making Wesleyan grads (and their ilk) look petulant and helpless. Even more so, the irony is that a liberal arts education like hers (and mine) isn’t designed to prepare you for a services-sector job like the one she has. When 75% of her classmates will end up in grad school, it’s no small surprise that our liberal arts degrees are tailored to teach meaningless academic tripe — the very kind that means something only in post-grad arenas.

    But really, no one is taught how to fill out a W4 — they all just ask the person who handed it to them, and tend to get a decent response. Least that’s what I’ve done.

    I dunno, I feel completely the same way as she does, I just wish she had taken a different route than she did. And she has major balls putting herself out there like that, which deserves props.

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