October 6, 2009

My Trifecta of Useless Information by J.T. of Bibliofreak

I am out of the country at my sister's wedding in India with a quick stop in London on the way back! While I am gone some lovely bloggers have stopped by with guest posts! Woohoo!

Today the incredibly nice J.T. from Bibliofreak, a blog I discovered in the past couple of months and totally heart, shares with us a journey in books. Thanks, J.T.!

My Trifecta of Useless Information

In college I double-majored in English (emphasis in Creative Writing) and Comparative Religion and I minored in Anthropology. I worked hard and graduated with various Greek and Latin titles.

Yes. I am smart. Yay for me.

But that hasn’t gotten me a lot. In the past four years since I graduated, I have not had a job that required a college education. Part of that is my fault (shock of graduation, grief over the loss of my father), some of that is the economy (nobody is willing to shell out money to train employees), some of it is probably bad luck and misjudgment.

I just found out I didn’t get a job I was really hoping for.

So you know what I did? Well, O.K., I spent the day in a funk feeling sorry for myself. But besides that?

I walked to the post office in the U-district to mail out my BBAW Prize Packs for my blog. Then I went to a bookstore. I was, in particular, looking for books on CD, but struck out. It’s getting to the end of the month and I have challenges to finish. I’m wondering how to best pull that off.

Instead of buying anything for that, I bought a handful of novellas, both to read and give away, as I’m planning on hosting a novella challenge in November (called the November Novella Challenge—cute huh?). Then I walked to Half Price Books, where I wanted to pick up Clan of the Cave Bear (for one of the challenges that ends soon), but they didn’t have it. I actually considered going back to the first bookstore and spending eight bucks to pick it up, but I was tired.

Clan of the Cave Bear was the only thing I felt like reading. I don’t know why. I have never read it but always meant to. I think it will be a good combination of my interests—my majors and minor—which I affectionately refer to as my Trifecta of Useless Information.

I came home, sans CotCB, and picked up the book I was reading. I put it down again. I picked up another book, was interested in it, but felt I needed to be immersed. I went over to my review/ARC shelf, and picked up Everything Sucks by Hannah Friedman. What can I say, it fit my mood.

I chose English because I’ve always wanted to be a writer. As you can tell from above, books are important to me. But so are words in general. I remember when I was in high school and Y2K was coming…My mom and I watched a multi-part series on PBS highlighting the most important people from the last millennium. My mom corretly guessed that Johan Gutenburg would be number one. Even before that I knew I wanted to be a writer, but I’ll never forget that special. Words and stories matter long after we are gone.

I majored in Comparative Religion because I’ve always been fascinated with Religion. When I was in 2nd grade, I was Aphrodite for Halloween. One of my best friends groing up was Mormon, so spending the night at her house on a Saturday meant going to church for four hours the next day. It was not until I was in 11th grade though that it really sunk in—the importance of religion in the human experience. That year I took A.P. English and also my aunt died of cancer. The doctors said of my aunt that she made a liar out of them several times and that, combined with the symbolism I learned in school, solidified in me the importanee of not just religion, but faith and ritual. I grew up in a loose sort of Catholic household, but still, to this day, consider myself Catholic.

I’ve always been fascinated with evolution in general. Quite frankly, I don’t get cultural anthropology You’d think I would, what with my interest in religion. But to me, cross cultural, symbolism, genetic similarities, and linguistical history are far more important than spending time with just one cultural group. I love the ideas of evolution and wish to God that I could go back thirty thousand years to be a fly on the cave of the ancestors of humanity.

So even though I whole-heartedly disagree when I see headlines like “The MFA is the New MBA” and roll my eyes when honors societies ask me for more money because, Heaven forbid, people are majoring in Liberal Arts less and less, and even though after four years I still don’t have a definite career path, I’m feeling pretty good.

I’ll always have my books. And I’ll always be evolving as a better person because I have various interests, which, might not be lucrative, but have intrinsic value.

Now, if I could only find a way to put that on my resume.

Thanks for sharing this with us, J.T.! For the record, I think you are fascinating and intelligent and nice and anyone would be lucky to work with you! Now we just have to figure out a way to show how your love of books translates into usable on-the-job skills to the powers that be (as in the powers that be able to hire!) And I will be sure to share with you all about my visit to a Hindu temple and the ashram if I get a chance to go!

Come back tomorrow for another fab guest post! See you soon!


  1. "I’ll always have my books. And I’ll always be evolving as a better person because I have various interests, which, might not be lucrative, but have intrinsic value."

    Thank you for this. Being in a very similar boat, I needed to hear it.

  2. Awesome post. I enjoyed it thoroughly mainly because it reflects a lot of my own sentiments as far as the extensive education I got and I am not doing anything with it (8 years later). You do sound a lot more hopeful than I feel very often and I was glad to read what you had to say.

  3. Nymeth: There's a lot of us in this boat, I think.

    Lilly: My optimism goes up and down five times a day.

  4. I can understand where you are coming from, when I graduated (9 years ago) I had a bit of a meltdown. What am I going to do with my life! I ended up finding a job in marketing where my skills came in handy (I am, too, an English major).

    I'm hoping that all my hard work now will pay off later and I can get a job at a book store when I don't need as much money. Isn't that everyone's dream job? Recommending books all day :)

  5. If I hired people, a love of books would be the number one criteria I would look for!

  6. Tracie Yule: My husband majored in Poli Sci and is an internet marketing analyst now. I've tried to pursue copywriting but you seem to have had to have done it to get hired. Part of the problem is that in this economy, nobody wants to train anybody anymore.

    bermudaonion: Me too!!!!!

  7. I was a Journalism major because I thought that would be a "practical" English major but it didn't really do all that much for me in the long run. The most helpful course I took in college was one class in desktop publishing. But I agree that having an active mind is worth more than any old job ... provided you're making a living!

  8. I feel ya. I have a MA in art history and right now I'm currently inspecting boats at reservoir. The majority of people I work with don't have college degrees. So, yeah. Go humanities.

    But have faith! Some day, you're going to get a job that's perfect for you. =)

  9. Jenners: I'm actually hoping to get an internship at a weekly paper soon.

    heidenkind: O.K., I kinda LOLed at that one. :)

    BTW, my review of Everything Sucks is


    And my interview with Hannah Friedman is


    I think that this post informs those...

  10. I think you're gonna love Everything Sucks!!

    Soooo hilarious and fun- very easy to relate to even though the circumstances are so bizarre at times!

  11. Kristine: I did enjoy it, but sort of hate Hannah Friedman for being just out of college and having a book out. ;)


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