I found this blog on WordPress & felt it was worth reblogging as every word is true!

Wayfarer

I have a confession to make. I was a theatre major in college (yes, complete with the snooty but appropriate “re” spelling). I’ll wait for you to stop snickering. Judson University (it was Judson College when I attended), the small liberal arts college outside of Chicago labeled the major course of studies as “Communication Arts” which is what I tend to put on resumes and bios because I realize that “theatre major” tends to elicit thoughts such as “Do you want fries with that?”

When I chose my major, I had no pipe dreams about becoming a professional actor. I did it because more than one wise adult had advised me that my actual major in college would have less impact on my eventual job search than having the actual degree. “Study what you love” I was told, “not what you think will get you a job.” I listened for once…

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10 thoughts on “

  1. So very true…especially the “improvisation”. Gives you the ability to adapt to any situation, have conversations with people who are very different from yourself. I have to do that in dentistry…I am working one on one with patients all day, from the trash collector, to PhD’s at our big pharma firms, to scared 3 yr old kids. Still haven’t mastered “teens with ennui” but I think that’s impossible 😉
    I loved, loved, loved my theatre years in high school and college(is this the part where I mention that I was in Thespian Society with Laura SanGiacomo? LOL). I’ve never been sure if I’m confident being “on stage” because of my theatre training, or if I’m drawn to the theatre because it’s innate. Either way….it was a wonderful education.

  2. @Jeannie LOL I think you have a point there!Thanks for re-blogging Charlie.When I left school my MOm said “study something” even if you don´t use it later in life., and she was right !

  3. Actually, every word is true for a lot of majors in the liberal arts, not just theatre. While my experience treading the boards was limited to school assemblies, talent shows, and foreign language festivals, certainly I sometimes feel like a performer when I’m in the front of the classroom, entertaining the masses and hoping they will leave remembering something from what I have tried to teach. While my bachelor’s degree was in history and Spanish (with secondary teaching certification), I have found this liberal arts background to be extremely useful in both the private and public sector, both inside and outside academia. I have worked with limited budgets (at one job, we collected bottles and cans for recycling in order to get money to purchase toilet paper), coordinated presentations (it’s fun when guest speakers forget to come), and learned how to put out fires (both figuratively and literally).

    As someone who advises history majors, (and not just those who intend to become school teachers), I remind my students that college is a place to learn, to follow your passion, and to learn skills that will enable them to make a positive contribution to society. Several graduates have applied the research skills to work in the private sector doing title searches for real estate companies. Others have been hired as management trainees because as historians they know how to read, write, and think critically, skills that are more likely to be taught in a liberal arts classroom than in a business program. All of our classes require students to make public presentations, to work in groups, and to learn how to gather information to make the best decision. And, as I alluded above, teachers use a variety of improvisational skills in the classroom, as the expectation is that you engage the students in different ways depending on their learning style.

    Thank you for sharing this blog. I am going to share it with the other faculty members in my department (which includes history, philosophy, and political science), because the arguments Wayfarer makes apply to these disciplines as well. Unfortunately, my university disbanded the theatre program a couple of years ago (ironically, the president who did this was an actress by training; I kept thinking about the movie “Dave” when I saw her making decisions and wishing that our president was as effective as Kevin Kline’s character was).

  4. Great blog! Thanks for sharing. I couldn’t help but think that perhaps we should choose our politicians from amongst theater majors as opposed to attorneys. Just sayin’!

    • Jeannie–Or business majors? Of course, some of our best presidents were history majors (both Roosevelts and Wilson), although so was Nixon (maybe that’s why recorded Oval Office conversations…he knew he was preserving the historical record of his presidency).

      • Yes, Karen, or business majors! It does look like it will probably be a businessman vs. attorney for president in 2012. If Charlie were a natural born citizen, we could have a law school graduate with both business and theatre experience be our president. Perhaps that would be ideal! 🙂

        • Romney has both a law degree and a M.B.A. from Harvard…but a B.A. in English from BYU. And honestly–as long as it’s not the historian, I’m okay with it (bet you never thought I would say that!). My “ideal candidate” would have a background in political science and business/economics so that the person would know how the government should operate and can balance a budget and understand how the economy works (although it would be a plus for the successful candidate to have the skill set Wayfarer describes in his blog).

        • THat would be great Jeanne! But were all presidents University educated? I don´t think Reagan was? I may be wrong then correct me.
          I think this blog really has nothing to do with academics, but what ever one acies it can be used for other things.
          I have known many academics who mastered in this and that but are /were so far away in this world they couldn´t have applied anything they learned only what they studied, a couple even got the Nobel Prize!

          • Liane–Reagan graduated with a degree in economics and sociology from Eureka College. Quite a few presidents didn’t have a college education, the most recent one Truman.

        • O.K. I must apologize for turning this innocent blog into a political discussion. I really was just joking. I am sure with my previous very serious political arguments on previous blogs, it is difficult to see my sense of humor (especially in writing), but it really is more a part of me than my political persuasions. My mother still struggles with my personality and constantly asks, “Can you ever be serious?” Perhaps I should have her read some of Charlie’s previous blogs.

          I think this blog was wonderful in that it showed how education benefits us in so many ways. Education is one of my passions in life, and this blog is more evidence of its value. I have a son (actually I have two, but this is only about one of them) who is currently in college. He struggles immensely with the requirement that he has to take classes that in his assessment will not benefit him in his career goals. I have attempted to express some of the sentiments found in this blog to him. I think I will just have him read Wayferer’s blog. In the meantime, maybe I’ll write a blog post entitled “10 ways Being a Mathematical Science/Physics Major Prepared Me for Success.” Hmmmm! I wonder if I would first have to achieve success for it to have any validity.

          Thanks, Charlie, for sharing this blog. It will be very useful in my discussions with my son!

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