Apr 30, 2016

the ~real world~

In twelve months, all I've ever known will come to an end. You've translated the entire Funeral Oration of Pericles from Greek to English. You can write a ten-page paper about the religious practices and beliefs of the Qin dynasty. You could tell someone the distance in kilometres that their apple travelled to get to this supermarket, and how we could lessen our carbon footprint. No one cares. Suddenly it's all about employability. I come from a liberal arts college; I know nothing about marketing or business strategies or finance management... I can make a nice poster on PowerPoint? Point out the grammatical mistakes on a document? Make tea?

Suddenly you have to crawl out of this lovely hole of books and dead languages and ancient religions and... do something that matters to other people. I've been crawling around like a little toddler going to whatever caught my attention - a learning trip to Jerusalem! a course on Tamil poetry! a job at a bubble tea store! a video documentary project! - and now it's time to grow up and Be A Useful Citizen. Suddenly all I've known counts for naught. I've been getting by pretty easily, taking the subjects and courses I loved, studying when the time came and Getting Decent Grades, but it's time to be thrown to ground zero again. Luhong has been spending the past few days in my suite sending out résumé after résumé. Recent NUS Philosophy grad! Hire me! But why would a company care for a fresh grad when they can hire interns, who probably know as much and cost much less?

As I'm on the bus contemplating the lonely disorientation of a liberal arts History major in a capitalist world, a guy diagonally in front of me calls out to an older man in a heavy Chinese accent: "Hi prof! I took your class last semester." "Oh, are you staying in UTown?" "No, I'm in Eusoff." They then proceed to converse in Chinese - gosh, bilingualism fascinates me every time. And I realise - aha. There is yet another way. I could stay in this lovely bubble of books forever. I've always felt more inclined to teaching secondary school kids but, ah, I'm sure to feel suffocated by the system - but there's no way I'm getting a PhD, loljokes - maybe if I were to start my own creative writing school - but NO ONE CARES FOR CREATIVE WRITING BECAUSE IT'S IMPRACTICAL AND LOFTY LIKE THE LIBERAL ARTS ARE -

anw back to studying for my Greek exam i mean what is the point even -

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