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For some reason, I found myself reading Overheard at Lancaster a few days ago.
Overheard at Lancaster is a Facebook group in which students make up quotes, attribute them to made up people, then pass it off as something they ‘overheard’ in the hopes that everyone will think that they’re the funniest student. And if by some miracle you’re not funny enough on Overheard at Lancaster, then you get life threatening diseases, accidents and familial bereavement wished upon you.
When members of the group aren’t laughing at the lower social status and physical appearance of their victims, they attribute their idiocy to their degree scheme. A girl in Pizzetta, for example, might’ve been overheard saying that she thinks beef burgers are made of natural yoghurt, and this air-headed ignorance is the direct result of her degree in Theatre Studies, which (of course) is widely ridiculed in the academic world because unlike REAL subjects such as astrophysics, chemistry and medicine, it doesn’t have compulsory modules in food tech and general knowledge.
Or maybe there’s a drunk lad outside Sugarhouse at two in the morning quoted as saying that blowjobs are fine so long as they aren’t from barnyard animals. All things considered, this is obviously because the poor chap studies Geography. Science has proven that Geography – and its focus on, amongst other things, natural sciences and the economy – is a degree scheme designed to accommodate stupid people and make them feel included.
With such perceptiveness, Overheard at Lancaster could – well, if it tried – be responsible for accumulating agreement on the topics that the G8 Summit and the European Parliament couldn’t quite handle, with such sharp-shooting conclusions as this one: Theatre Studies degrees are worthless because some of the people who study it say naïve things about politics on the 2A bus onto campus.
Simply put; Overheard at Lancaster is serious, serious business.
But, this writer wonders if Overheard at Lancaster will consider a referendum?
See, while some degrees are seen through the noses of most people for having no worth, you could ask yourself this – what constitutes worth? Is it its strength as a stepping stone to a profession? In that case, only Law and Science have any of this mystical ‘worth’.
In fact, let’s step back and put this in perspective for a moment. What are you going to do with a History degree? Does every History student fancy himself as a bit of a museum curator? What are you really going to do with that Economics degree? Fancy yourself as the next Chancellor of the Exchequer, do you?
These stigmas attach themselves not to degrees that are ‘useless’ – for what use is any degree other than to prove that you’re good at setting your mind to something? – but to degrees that happen to carry connotations with stereotypes: the Theatre student is a Glee loving, coathanger gobbed ’it’ kid; the media student is a scarf wearing indie who has decided he may as well write about what’s on television because he thinks he has something unique to say about it. If ‘worthy degrees’ were bought up in a word association game, then Business, Physics and Linguistics would churn out Warren Buffet, Richard Dawkins and Noam Chomsky as answers.
Well, heaven forfend that people might not see a vocation on the horizon when they write their personal statement. There will be blood on the moon if arts students don’t take advantage of Lancaster’s three-part part one and do a real subject at the start of second year. We must fling our arms in the air and yelp in despair if anyone is at university for any reason other than to boost their CV and find a job; Other reasons such as the proper ones like the discovery of self, the sponging of knowledge, being introduced to some facets of the real world, working out where you want to be as you go along and just generally having a three year glory period, just will not do now, will they?
Perhaps it’s time to accept that ‘inferior’ degrees aren’t making people stupid. After all, I once heard a Chemistry student say that he can’t change a tyre or boil an egg. Funny, that.
Overheard at Lancaster – WHY U NO UNDERSTAND?