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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Monday, February 26

Gapers Block

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Carrie / May 14, 2009 3:16 PM

Anthropology. I loved it! I had/have dreams of working in a museum and digging a few times a year. I have pictures hanging in my cube of me on my digs to remind me not to give up. I still look around for jobs in the field, look into getting my masters, look at volunteering on digs, etc

Clearly, I'm not in that field. I don't mind what I do and maybe down the road if I don't get to be an archaeologist, then I'll at least move into a more creative role at this job.

daruma / May 14, 2009 3:30 PM

I majored in English. Ever since I graduated from high school, for the past 18 years, I've worked for a CPA doing taxes. I shouldn't have even gone to college!

Sarah / May 14, 2009 3:42 PM

I had a really unusual undergraduate education; I attended the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU. We had the ability to design our own course of study, and were encouraged to treat our internships, work experience, volunteer experience, and travel as extensions of our education. They put a big emphasis on learning how to reflect on and synthesize our experiences, developing our written, oral and artistic forms of expression, collaborating with others, and approaching problems from an interdiscipinary perspective. These are all good life skills so I feel like I use my education all of the time. My personal goal at the time was to educate myself as a person while developing my skills as a writer and artist. Between my internships and all of the opportunities that my school gave to curate reading series, edit journals and work on arts festivals, I feel like I also came out of school with a fair amount of work experience.

To graduate, we all had to do colloquiums: two hour discussions with three professors on a topic of our choosing. The point was to demonstrate that we'd read broadly and could clearly articulate ideas that we'd taken from several disciplines. I did my colloquium on the dinner table in books, films and paintings. I wanted to look at how people acquire cultural practices (like manners) at the dinner table, found civilizations and debate philosophy, rebel against ideologies, and have political arguments.

e / May 14, 2009 3:43 PM

Went for BA and MA in Art. Working as an administrator for a community based arts organization and I still crate/exhibit on a regular. So, mine would be a yes although I've been hankering to go to culinary school lately. Go figure.

e / May 14, 2009 3:46 PM

opps! that was supposed to be create.

Lauren / May 14, 2009 3:48 PM

I went to NIU Art School- also worked the school paper as production manager. My first out of school job was designing ads & marketing at the suntimes and have been in the design field ever since.

alison / May 14, 2009 3:52 PM

i double majored in french and 'organizational communications,' which is an interdisciplinary communications major. i took speech classes, psych classes, soc, dispute resolution...

i double minored in music and 'history of ideas,' which is another interdisciplinary track that looks at texts and arts from all through history and puts them in context with the patterns of thought prevalent at that particular time.

right now, i'm in law school, and when i get out and pass the bar, i hope to be a prosecutor here in cook county.

so i guess in short... no, haha.

Michelle / May 14, 2009 4:02 PM

General Studies. I'd say I'm in that general field now.

Seth Anderson / May 14, 2009 4:07 PM

BA History, with minors in Film and Asian Studies. Umm, all totally non-relevant to my current job, except perhaps the research aspects. All part of my leisure time activities still, but that wasn't the question.

annie / May 14, 2009 4:12 PM

I got a BA in Organizational Communication..whatever that means. I wanted to work in radio ever since I was a kid, I always really liked (and still do) talking to people and getting them to tell me things, I would conduct mock interviews with myself in my bedroom or interview/interegate my parents about their childhoods. I would talk to just about anyone in any public place, particularly restaurant bathrooms..some things never change, I love talking to strangers. Anyway, I never did get that radio job, I took a job in marketing for the City and now I am in Community Development and working on my masters in Urban Planning so at least one of my tuition bills will go to some good.

JP / May 14, 2009 4:26 PM

Agricultural Journalism! Nope!

eee / May 14, 2009 4:32 PM

I majored in Rhetoric. The best explanation is that an English major will read other people's works and dissect them, whereas I wrote my own stuff and dissected it. Mostly writing, with an emphasis on grammar. I minored in Technical Writing, which I did do for a few years.

Now I'm a desktop publisher, which is in the same field as my first major, graphic design.

B / May 14, 2009 8:25 PM

Theatre. Bizarrely, yes.

Y A J / May 14, 2009 9:18 PM

Psychology and Criminology. I'm a lawyer now so yes & yes.

Leah / May 14, 2009 11:52 PM


Haven't used it for a second since graduation... unless I tutored someone along the way once or twice.

David / May 15, 2009 2:09 AM

I majored in a self-designed program: Social and Political Economy. Good stuff. I still find it pretty darned relevant.

Hop / May 15, 2009 8:45 AM

Majored in theater. Now I work for a non-profit as the membership coordinator. I still act as much as possible and have dreams of someday quitting my job, but as my main source of income is from my np job, I'd have to technically answer "No... ish"

paul / May 15, 2009 8:49 AM

I majored in photojournalism. I shot for local newspapers for awhile, then weddings and babies.

Nowadays I do a fair amount of Photoshop work so maybe all of that darkroom time is applicable.

David / May 15, 2009 8:53 AM

English lit. Now working at an architecture firm.

And, on a tangent: Fuck Northwestern. I could've had the exact same education almost anywhere else in America, and then had enough money left over to buy a damn island. Not the least bit proud to be an alumnus, won't get a dime from me now.

Sorry for the rant, but that shit was expensive!

Dan / May 15, 2009 9:53 AM

BS in Computer Science. Getting close to completing a part-time MS in Computer Information Systems.

Been working in IT since college, currently doing mostly programming and random projects, so I guess that means I am working in my field.

The majority of my friends from undergrad did not end up in their major field.

Guy Smiley / May 15, 2009 9:59 AM

Journalism. Not right now, but, yup, for a long time. Made those dollars pay off.

karen / May 15, 2009 10:01 AM

Got my BFA in Visual Communications... still plugging away as a designer. Ligatures, kerning & pantone, oh my!

flange / May 15, 2009 10:06 AM

print journalism.


mikely / May 15, 2009 10:39 AM

Journalism. But it was a specialization, under the major of 'Communications,' whatever that is. I went straight into marketing and now do interactive marketing for a nonprofit. One of my friends graduated a year ahead of me and landed a great job reporting for a local "Pioneer Press" type publishing group. She was making $16,000. I didn't want to live at home forever. When I was in school, we had an annual journalism-themed lecture sponsored by the Writing/Media Dept. During my senior year, the speaker was Jonathan Yardley, an old-school news dinosaur. When the chair of the department asked him what advice he'd give to journalism students, he said, "switch majors ... anyone can learn to write a lede or a wrap-graph in five minutes. Major in something meaningful like political science or history. Journalism as a major is a complete waste of time and money." Yes, Jonathan, but there are no FINAL EXAMS. I love to write, so my senior year was a breeze.

Andrew Huff / May 15, 2009 10:44 AM

Wow, buncha j-schoolers around here. Count me as another. And I guess "professional blogger" counts as a form of journalism, so yeah, I'm still at it.

kvg / May 15, 2009 10:51 AM

I was just thinking that about j-schoolers. I'm another one; my concentration was News-Editorial.

An arguably terrible idea, yes, but I'm still in it. I'm an editor at a business news aggregator, and I freelance here and there.

whet / May 15, 2009 10:57 AM

English major. I knew I wanted to do journalism, and I went to a school that didn't have a j-major, so I did something where I could read novels.

In retrospect, something with a bit more practical application (law or religious studies) would have been helpful, but Web editing is such a patchwork job that being freed up to screw around in the newspaper office and spend time talking to people was handy.

Brubeck / May 15, 2009 11:02 AM

Majored in music. Dropped out after three years, I was sick of books and classrooms and studying non-related crap like introductory geology.

I'm in IT now for a tiny company, the pay is just OK but it feeds my family, and the freedom is incredible. Other people with office jobs envy mine when I tell them about it.

Outside of basement jams with friends, I haven't played in a band in years. I keep meeting musicians who are more focused on drinking beer and smoking pot rather than playing and improving as a musician. I don't mean 22-year old kids either, it's guys in their mid-30s like myself. It's sad to see.

Frank / May 15, 2009 11:02 AM

Sociology and history major, and now I'm an organizer. It was a pretty good fit I suppose, though it is wildly irrelevant to just about anything else I may want to do.

Luke / May 15, 2009 11:55 AM

I majored in futility: English (concentration on Faulkner), Psychology (concentration on research/statistics), and a minor in philosophy.

But my liberal arts education has served me well, even if I haven't directly applied what I studied. My first job out of school was writing copy for a small ad agency. I taught myself programming and we morphed into a dotcom, and I have been in the tech industry ever since.

Justin / May 15, 2009 12:41 PM

English and Religion. I finished two courses shy of an art minor and worked in design and web development for student media. Broadly, I'm interested in the various ways we "read" and communicate, and the power dynamics that emerge as a consequence.

There aren't many jobs for that; marketing, parasitic as it is. I've moved around design, production, and development shops since and before college, and I'll probably wind up there again when I'm done at the Divinity School.

Franny / May 15, 2009 1:35 PM

Graphic Design at U of I in Urbana. I've worked at different companies but even after 20+ years I still love my job as a graphic designer.

Jim / May 15, 2009 3:47 PM

Physics... aside from rollercoaster rides I don't use it... but I suppose all that logic and theory went somewhere into space?

Dennis / May 16, 2009 12:59 PM

I double majored in Psychology & Secondary Education and have been teaching for 17 years. I still love it!

Edna / May 16, 2009 8:41 PM

Computer Science, still doing it, and still pretty much liking it. Now, is it just me or is odd that nearly everyone here was a liberal arts major?

Guess I expected more engineering / science folks somehow? Maybe yeah I'm just skewed.

Benjy / May 16, 2009 10:38 PM

Majored in International studies with minor in Economics... work as web designer/web marketing manager, so not really using the skills from my major at all.

Jill / May 17, 2009 8:17 AM

English/German. I'm a writer now (albeit struggling), so I'm using the English part somewhat. I did use German in my old job a fair amount when I had requests from German offices and then worked in Munich for 6 months.

@Edna--haven't there been stories over the last few years (or longer) bemoaning the fact that America's not producing enough engineers? Maybe that's why they're not responding (I might be wrong though).

@David--My husband wholeheartedly agrees with you on Northwestern. He'll be paying those student loans for freakin' ever.

tony / May 17, 2009 10:41 AM

Edna -- I was thinking the same thing.

I was an electrical engineering major. I don't consider my current occupation (software programming) to be directly related, but there are elements of my work that make some use of my education (physics/math).

I am decidedly not following this path in the long-term, however. I suspect at least some of that is because working for a large corporation is just absolutely soul-crushing rather than a dislike of the work.

Ann Marie / May 17, 2009 9:59 PM

My major was marketing. Today, I'm doing marketing and web initiatives for a small company. Prior to that, it was pretty much all technology and project management.

fluffy / May 17, 2009 10:48 PM

I have a BFA -and don't use it for "work" but it's nice to sell a piece or two every once in a while.

dan / May 18, 2009 9:10 AM

Got two journalism degrees. It was the only thing I wanted to study and the only thing I wanted to do with my life.

Now I sell fruit.

Cinnamon / May 18, 2009 11:28 AM

I got two B.A.'s. One in photography and one in journalism. Now I do print production work for a textbook publisher. I use aspects of each area in this job. But I like having my creative energy reserved for my own work.

e_five / May 18, 2009 11:59 AM

BA Journalism/Public Relations, MA Urban Planning.

Did communications for a planning agency for two years, then internet marketing, then public relations.

jima / May 18, 2009 12:12 PM

Cinnamon's got more B.A.s than B.A. Baracus.

I did my study in Comp Sci and Mathematics, and now I work in The Computer Industry, so I guess that counts.

Andrew / May 18, 2009 12:33 PM

BA Music, BS/MS Computer Science, MA Social Sciences. I spent a couple years working admissions at a music school, where a large chunk of my responsibilities involved database management. Now I'm in a music PhD program, and teach university students about popular and world music. I do my best to steer clear of technology now -- aside from writing papers, the only computing I do is obsessively reorganizing and retagging my iTunes library. So... half and half?

Martha / May 18, 2009 2:48 PM

Major in philosophy; minor in dance.
I quit dancing in 1993, spent 14 years in various editing/publishing fields, and then a few months ago landed a freelance job for which my dance minor was the qualification that sealed the deal. I called my parents and crowed.
As for philosophy . . . . lately I've been wallowing a lot in existential despair. Does that count?

Bill / May 18, 2009 7:16 PM

My major was English and I've been lucky enough to work as a proofreader and editor for more than ten years. I'm on the verge of landing a very cool job this week. Wish me luck!

Mike / May 18, 2009 7:22 PM

English/English Education/ Evolutionary Biology

Landed in the first two fields, teaching English, writing, publishing, but alas, there is no gene sequencing or exciting evolution papers in my immediate future.

However, I'm excited to note, I will be going to the Galapagos next month.

In the end, what you study does not necessarily have to translate to what you "do." Education becomes a part of you; it's more important than a day job.

crystal clear / May 18, 2009 10:07 PM

English lit. various jobs afterwards. in grad school for ms in education/secondary ed. taking time off. will resume hopefully in sept, and managing/owning a cafe now. like it better than my student teaching experience.

I agree NU is a waste of money. Learned the hard way in my master's program.

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