Open Mouth… Insert Foot…

This past Friday I had an appointment with a guidance counselor up at the university.  I had originally tried to schedule one with my usual “Undeclared Major” department, which I’m sure is full of all sorts of folk who have a hard time picking which cereal to eat in the morning.  I’m not only a member… I’m the club president!  When I called, though, the chic who answered was sure that I needed to make an appointment with a counselor in whose department I was thinking of majoring.  “You’ll like get so much more help… like… I ate Frosted Flakes this morning!”  That put me on the spot, because I’ve really only had 34 years to decide what I wanted to do when I grow up… way to put on the pressure, chiquita burrita.  😛  I blurted out that she should transfer me to the English counselor’s office.  English is real safe.  I speak it daily…. except for that year when pig latin was big at the middle school.  The lady in the English counselor’s office insisted I become even more specific because there were at least 3 different branches of an English major and each branch had a different counselor.  Oh Miracle Whip on the Sahara, people… who do you think I am?  Anne Landers?   I asked her to go through my choices of cereal English majors… English teacher… English – Creative Writing… English – Technical Writing.  I think there was one more, but the fact that I don’t remember what it was means that I wouldn’t be good at it.

Let’s be honest… I would rather dump a pile of cow crap on my noggin than stand in front of a class of kids or teenagers… Teaching… OUT!  Secondly, pretty sure the last time I became rich creative writing was… oh… NEVER!  PASS.  That left me with Technical Writing, so I blurted that one out and then asked if she had a bowl of Wheaties on hand.  Boring and bland… blah, blah, blah, blah.  It’s the technical word that makes me want to put my head through a brick wall.  I was determined to make the most of my appointment, though.  I went in with an open mind and an empty wallet (stupid wrists are expensive, yo!).  The counselor was super nice… she talked 8000 words per minute, which might be a requirement for writing technically, but I’m not sure.  Before I knew it, an hour had passed and I was walking out of her office with a print out of my hypothetical schedule for the next FOUR years… that’s how long it will take me to get a degree if I go part time, every semester, including summer.  I did the math… in 4 years I will be pruning in the eye regions and will probably need a walker to walk around outside campus in the winter.  Who am I kidding… I needed a walker to walk around in the winter at the age of 12…. stupid clutz genes!    Oh yeah…. she also told me that there was not an online program for such a degree, so I’d need to take classes on campus.

To sum it up… I’m now the semi-proud owner of a technically boring major… but I’m still going in with an open mind.  The classes I need to take this fall will determine whether or not I’ll love or hate the topic… I’m crossing my fingers for semi-like.  I can handle that.

Question of the Day:  Did you enjoy what you chose to major in?  

PS – Thank you, again, to the family and friends who came to see me last week.  I appreciated your sweetness in going out of your way to make this chic smile… and that be the truth!




Filed under School

20 responses to “Open Mouth… Insert Foot…

  1. 21ladybug

    Dear Whitney,
    I think it’s important to tell you that most people do not actually get a job that has anything to do with their college major. Employers just want to see that you took the time to get a degree. So no sweat there. Even with technical writing, you’ll still get to take plenty of interesting classes along with the writing ones. 🙂
    I loved my major (chemistry) and got to take art classes, philosophy, native plants, piano lessons (yes, really), etc. Go for it!
    Congratulations on your stage performance! You have left that comfort zone far behind!

  2. Amy

    My major has been such an absolute blessing to me in so many aspects. Most of the times, I can manage on the blunt end of the needle well enough.

    So I’m thinking English is a fab major for you and I have actually wondered if any of those tech writers ever try to throw off folks by inserting any great sentence enhacers i.e., fligflabbed n others I should prolly not mention on a family site like this. Think of how great it would be to read that quality when flustered over swing-set assembly or cell phone instructions. When you get rich n famous, throw some in your writings just for me. Please n thank u.

    • You were my favorite nurse when I had to stay in the hospital overnight one time. Definitely a great match for you, madam! Also, no doubt about throwing in fligflabbed and various swearing words in instructions. You know the parents are saying them anyway when they can’t get it to work right! 😛

  3. cl2

    Major? I did go to college for 2 quarters at USU (quarters at the time) and then I became a secretary, which is what I always wanted to be anyway–and I LOVED IT. I don’t mind this job either–have done it for 26-1/2 years now. I know you’ll do great at whatever you pursue. I didn’t get to see you perform, but I think it is great that you put yourself out there, GOT THE PART–wow, that showed how talented you are just by listening to the story of your audition.

  4. Avster

    Yup, I’m enjoying my major… Professional Bum!

    If I went to college I have absolutely no idea what I’d major in…

  5. Louisa

    Question of the Day: Did you enjoy what you chose to major in?

    When I went to college at the ripe old age of 17 I thought I wanted to go into Sports Medicine. After a semester of the required classes to even get pointed in that direction, I decided it wasn’t for me after all.
    Over the next couple of semesters, I found that I liked alot of my electives.
    I liked my Mythology class, my Pottery class, my Photography class, and my Psychology class…
    The guidance counselors tell you to pick a major out of classes that you really enjoyed. Well I didn’t see myself teaching mythology ( because what else would you do with that major?) or taking up pottery as a profession. I would have loved to become a nature photographer / traveler but that profession already seemed saturated with talented people and although I love to travel…I am a home-body. I know this about myself.
    I decided on Psychology and I did enjoy the classes. After graduation, I got jobs in the field. I worked in mental health facilities across mid-Missouri.
    Like someone else mentioned above, just because you have that degree doesn’t mean that you will necessarily work in that field. Turns out that my degree and my medical background led me in another direction and I got on with a lab as an account manager. I really liked that job and I had my own route, clients that I took care of, my own company car, and benefits. I set my own hours and had a lot of flexibility in my day. I kept that job for a few years.
    I met my husband and we got engaged and I worked up until the very day that I had our daughter. I took my maternity leave and never went back. Motherhood suits me. I have held seasonal jobs over the years for some extra cash or to get out of the house more.
    Having a degree has helped me get a job doing anything I have wanted over the years. It has opened doors for me, my husband, and even my kids. Once people know ( and word does get around in church or clubs or other jobs ) they start wanting you for committees and boards and help in the decision making process. It is amazing the doors it opens. Of course you can then take that open-door and consider if it is right for you or if the timing is right. It is nice to have that opportunity present itself for your consideration…whether you decide to take it…or not.

    • That sounds like an interesting major, psychology! At least it would never be boring! Sounds like you’ve been blessed to enjoy all of your jobs… even up to motherhood!

  6. jen

    I didn’t love nursing school but it was tolerable. And I like my career now. I have 0 regrets about coming to see you sing even if it was a long drive. So happy that I went.

  7. Dessa wade

    I am so happy you were able to see the guidance counselor and declare your major.

  8. Lindsay

    Whit, Now you can say someone in Germany is reading your blog. Congrats on declaring a major. I have an idea. You can WRITE A BOOK! Thank me later for that idea, or I can just take a certain percentage cut from your book sales. Anyhow, I am QUEEN on getting 2 degrees and NOT using them! But, I don’t regret either of them. They have both helped me in the current job I am in and I would do it all over again. You will never regret getting a degree! We sure miss you! Hope you miss me too!

    Love you ! Lindz

  9. Kale

    It’s all about the transferable skills, my friend, and writing is certainly one of them! I, too, was an English major (only I went for the wacko teaching emphasis!) and it was so enjoyable. I loved reading so many different books I would have never known to read, and I loved writing about what I thought and why this book was great and why that poem was trite and on, and on, and on. (If you didn’t already know, I’m a pretty huge nerd.) Plus, if you change your mind, no big deal. You’ll just end up learning more new things in a new subject!

    The biggest thing, way to pursue a goal. Like you’ve said, goals are worthless unless you’re doing something to make them happen. So way to seize the carp! Or carpe diem, but that doesn’t sound as exciting.

    PS. What an awesome talent you have, and thank you so much for sharing it! Loved, loved, loved your performance. You were so in tune to that part emotionally. I had shivers the whole time!

    • I still need to come and have tutor sessions from the awesome Kale! I will trade babysitting services… and I promise I will try not to scar your adorbs chillins! :p You are too sweet. You guys going out of your way to come down was the highlight of my Monday… for sure! Thank you so much, again!

  10. Alena

    Whit, way to make a decision! (Those are just the worst, aren’t they?!) I think technical writing sounds like a great major–you will be fabulous at it! My major–well, just like every other big decision in my life I wonder, did I make the right decision? I think I have finally made peace with it being a good decision on my part (it only took me 8 or 9 years to get to this point 🙂 ) I know you can relate to my way of thinking 🙂
    I have heard such rave reviews of your performance and am so bummed to not have been able to see it! So just plan on making it a habit and I will hope to be in Logan during one of your performances, okay?

  11. Hello!

    I am here to encourage you– I LOVE technical writing. I took it as my concentration inside English. I just graduated in December, but the technical writing arena has so many places you can apply yourself.

    Technical Writing itself just means taking something complicated and writing it in an understandable way for readers. It does not have to do with technology. Actually the word techne means “how it works.” If you love knowledge, and have a desire to learn about things you don’t know, then this major is perfect.

    Another great thing I found out is that technical writing does not have to be boring. My professor always encouraged us to make our writing creative, flavorful, humorous, and catchy.

    I have been writing in my blog while looking for a job:
    Don’t hesitate to ask questions!!

    OH, and I eat lucky charms as much as possible for breakfast.


    • Thank you for the post. It puts my mind at ease to know there can be some humor and creativity in technical writing. Congrats on your graduation and good luck with your job search. I will for sure holler your way when I have questions!

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