May sweet Jesus, or God, or Buddha, or Vishnu or whoever is in charge up there, bless forever the fine arts department.
I look at my own school life, and the lives of my 40,000 or so close friends here at USF, and I realize that we are all being duped into thinking that college is the most important thing since eating, drinking, sleeping and relieving oneself.
I have a friend, a fellow poly-sci geek, who used to be an engineering geek. He even interned at this place where he spent a whole summer separating nuts and bolts. I asked him why he, obviously more interested in politics, was going into the art of building crap.
“For the money.” Do you like it? “Kinda, but I’ll be making a lot of money.”
One day, while walking, he tripped on a leprechaun and hit his head. The moneybags in his head were jarred loose, and he got up a political science major.
Actually, he just wised up and realized that engineering was boring and rather annoyingly tedious.
Why do people do that to themselves? If you tell me everyone in the College of Business is there because they really love mergers and acquisitions or can’t wait to do audits, you’re a damn fool.
The same goes for law students. No one wants to spend their life making badly produced commercials and leaving their business cards with admitting nurses.
Because people have had it drilled into their soft and susceptible heads that it’s better to make money than be happy with life. After all, making millions will give you time to make yourself happy.
Unfortunately, you’re not going to make millions. At least not most of you. Maybe two of you. To those people, I’m very happy for you. I’ll find you and hit you up for cash, reminding you it was me who prophesied your good fortunes.
For the rest of us paeans, waiting “until we’re financially secure” or “in a couple of years” until we are doing what makes us happy isn’t the way to go. That’s why I do this. I don’t make any money to do this. I’m no Bill Maxwell, Dave Barry or Carl Hiaason. I’m just a mediocre writer doing what I want to do.
The same goes for studying political science. I’m never going to get rich putting in 70-hour work weeks on campaigns and earning $45K a year. Why the hell do it?
Because it’s fun. Because at the end of the day, I can go out, buy a beer with friends and be happy.
Can an ambulance chaser do that?
The fine men and woman of the fine arts department are my personal heroes. Quite often, I walk by the theater and see them sword fighting or juggling. Sometimes there are people sitting around playing instruments.
Here I am, thinking about school, homework, work, my car, gas, inflation, war in Africa, global warming, the budget deficit, the price of tea in China, and they are there acting out the fight scene in Hamlet.
I’m not trying to sermonize, trying to convince people to switch majors to things such as dance or English or music performance or convince people to burn their books and abandon school. I just want people to realize that spending all their lives worrying about money is stupid. People who do such things are lonely, selfish and Republican in nature. There’s more to life than getting into a job where you make millions. You can’t put off enjoying life to further your law career.
The surest way to judge is to ask, “If I were to die in 17 seconds, would I be able to die happy?”
I think I would be able to answer in the affirmative. Would you?
Joe Roma is a sophomore majoring in political firstname.lastname@example.org