… was the original title for my first column of the year. Due to editors, space requirements and the fact that no one would have got my joke anyway, it was changed to “Majors: What’s Really Real?” Yeah, a little disappointed, but what can one do? It’s currently the second-most popular article on the Diamondback site, so click through and put me over the top. Also feel free to join the Hobbesian battle royale that is the Diamondback comment threads, it’s just starting to heat up.

Apparently I only have one major. Here I was, thinking that I was completing two different programs, when a business major standing by the bus stop informed me that I only had one “real major.” Odder than the fact that he was a complete stranger, I knew which major he thought was real. For some reason, English is fake, while government and politics is real.

The demarcation between “real” and “non-real” (Unreal? Imaginary? Hyperreal?) majors enters into all of our subconsciouses. Quantitative majors are all real: Engineering, math, chemistry and the like are generally valid fields of study.

It gets a little more complicated with non-quantitative majors. Government and politics counts, but not sociology. English isn’t real, but criminology probably is. American studies? Forget about it.

Real majors have right answers, while doing well in other majors consists of adding suffixes to words until they don’t appear in the dictionary. Anyone who thinks this has never tried to write a Lacanian analysis of The Great Gatsby. Majors that have no “right” answers still have good answers and bad answers, and there are a lot more bad than good ones.

Enjoy

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