D-I-Y majors: "Omigod, what is that? Like basket-weaving?"

Comment: Further reflection on my previous post

Can't Pick a College Major? Create One


When Pete Merzbacher chose to major in "globalization studies" at UMass, Amherst, his parents were happy to see how excited he was about it, says his mother, Peg, of Norwell, Mass. But they also wondered how it would look on his resume. "I spent one night Googling 'globalization studies' " to try to learn what direction he might take, Ms. Merzbacher says. While she has faith in Pete, she was a little worried that "people will look at 'globalization studies' and say, 'Omigod, what is that? Like basket-weaving?' "

Fields of Study

A sampling of some students' D-I-Y majors
  • Ethnobotany
  • Magic
  • Ethology (animal psychology and behavior)
  • Music promotion
  • Anthropology of mental health and illness
  • Peace and conflict resolution
  • Historical clothing
  • Sociology of fashion
  • Environmental racism
  • Complex organizations and informational systems
  • Neuroscience, human behavior and society
  • Asian-American studies
  • Bioethics in crosscultural perspectives

Comment: Anybody that wants to do research in the field of "Historical clothing" is welcome to visit my closet! Image. Some period clothing from The Kid (1921)


  1. Last Spring I paid two kids (pre-teens) from our church to sweep and hose out my garage. One kid was more fascinated with hose spraying than anything else but finally (it took a while for him to figure out that the garage slopes out towards the big doors!) they managed to have the job completed. Both were pretty soaked in the process. I asked both what they wanted to do when they grew up (neither said "clean out garages"!). The younger said, "I want to be a magician!"

  2. I sat through a graduation at the U a few years ago and was shocked at all the ridiculous degrees they were handing out. I wondered about most, what kind of 'truth' they were being told and how much was just the professors thoughts. Personally, I would rather be taught specific truth and learn thoughts and opinions after.

    I am grateful for my Biblical Languages degree even though it probably will not help in any secular field, it is hugely helpful spiritually.

  3. I remember the board at my dorm when I was graduating listed all of the names of graduating seniors. As a joke, we all put "majors" like "subaqueous receptacle construction" (my "major," underwater basket weaving) as well-deserved mockery of those whose majors.....were not exactly going to enable them to pay their school loans.

  4. One of my engineering friends told this to us on Friday at dinner:
    The graduate with a science degree asks, "why does it work?" The graduate with an engineering degree asks, "how does it work?" The graduate with an account degree asks, "how much will it cost?" The graduate with an arts degree asks, "do you want fries with that?"


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