Major majors --  03/31/06

Remember the character in Joseph Heller's novel Catch 22 whose last name was Major and his parents endowed him with a first name of Major and his father added a middle name of Major and then he joined the army and ended up with the rank of Major and thus he was Major Major Major Major.

That just always cracked me up. (Well, the character names in that book registered with my personal warped sense of humor: for example, Milo Minderbinder and Lieutenant Scheisskopf) but in this case I am just free-associating on the word major because of a quiz about determining your ideal major that Clarence at Can You Hear Me Now? had linked to. So I tried it for myself

You scored as English. You should be an English major! Your passion lies in writing and expressing yourself creatively, and you hate it when you are inhibited from doing so. Pursue that interest of yours!





























What is your Perfect Major? (PLEASE RATE ME!!)
created with QuizFarm.com

There is actually a certain amount of sense in that. Consider that I have a B.A. in English (SUNY at New Paltz) and an M.S. in Systems Science (Thomas J. Watson Graduate School of Engineering and Applied Science at Binghamton University). The top quiz majors -- English, Engineering, Journalism -- would seem to fit in with that. There is a bit of amateur journalism in my background to go with the English major as I have been a writer and editor of various non-professional publications (ranging from a college literary magazine to union publications to PTA newsletters).

I'm not quite sure why Linguistics and Anthropology are there -- I don't feel much affinity for those fields. And as for Dance... all I can say is that I dance as badly as I sing. Yes, all the cliches come out for those areas: I have two left feet and I couldn't carry a tune in a wheelbarrow. Theatre? Yes, I can see that. I love live theatre and probably see twenty plays a year. I've actually studied theatre and done a little bit of directing. However, I have no acting talent whatsoever and am terrified of being on stage. (I have no problem in speaking to groups of people, even large groups of people -- I rather enjoy it, in fact, if I am talking in some area where I feel I have some expertise -- but I am no good at all at being an actor playing a part and saying lines.) I would not want to be a biology major. Philosophy is interesting but I would not want to major in it. Psychology and Sociology also make sense because my original college major was social psychology.

Wednesday of last week I had to go up to the Boston area -- Lexington, MA -- for a day of meetings and seminars. This was a career planning program put on by my employer, an attempt to encourage people to explore various ways of expanding their skills and competencies and career aspirations. This makes sense for the company -- it makes for happy employees, which yields greater productivity and retention. The company has lots of tools and programs to help with this, but it can be difficult for employees and managers to be aware of all the possibilities. I thought it was a worthwhile way to spend the day and when I got home I sent my manager an e-mail thanking him for suggesting it to me.

But that Boston area traffic!

What a nightmare!

Okay, I admit that I am spoiled by working at home and only going to the office once or twice a month, but I cannot imagine how anyone could drive on route 128 on a daily basis and retain their sanity.

I-95 comes up from Rhode Island but then merges with 128 to loop around Boston before continuing on to the north. For some strange reason, instead of a relatively normal interchange, I-95 squeezes down to become a feeder road of ambiguous size -- that is, it suddenly shrinks from three lanes to one unmarked lane that traffic treats as if it were two lanes. This road crosses over 128 and then loops around 270 degrees clockwise and briefly runs parallel to 128 and then merges into 128 just as some of the traffic on 128 is attempting to exit. The morons of the Massachusetts highway department (I admit it is nice to see that the Rhode Island highway designers are not the worst in the nation) not only designed this mess, they have a policy that during rush hour, it is legal to drive in the breakdown lane. Honest. We have to have signs on all of our roads coming in from Massachusetts telling drivers that it is not legal to drive in the breakdown lane. (Gee, what happens during the heaviest rush hour traffic when somebody actually breaks down and needs to park their disabled vehicle in the so-called breakdown lane?) So, two lanes of heavy traffic trying to merge into four lanes of heavy rush hour traffic plus the breakdown lane, plus just a few hundred feet ahead is an exit so you have two lanes where some cars are trying to exit to the right and other cars in those lanes are trying to go straight and two lanes are trying (within that same few hundred feet) to move in to the left. Arrrghhh!!!!

Ah.... it's almost the weekend.... and I may not have to face that kind of traffic for another year or two.

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