My Father Reviews My Liberal Arts Education

Concern is often raised when discussing the practicality of a liberal arts education. Student Jordan Barber solicits a review of his curriculum from his father, who expresses certain misgivings regarding his tuition payment’s return-on-investment.

Physics 299: Ancient Astronomy

Let me tell you a story. One day, some people from forever ago realized there were stars in the sky, and then they looked at how they moved. People cared a little bit. But then came along science, and now we know everything. The end. This isn’t even a subject. You’re learning to what–draw a sun dial? Goddammit, I can’t believe I’m paying for this worthless school. Are you going into the sun dialing business? Are you going to be a master sun dialer? I think there’s a good market for that right now. I mean, it’s a giant clock made out of stone. There’s a huge demand for that. It’s called a garden. Your mom probably has one outside. I think it fell over a long time ago. I’m sure she never looks at it.

English 360: Sarah Orne Jewett and Edith Wharton

Who are these people? You’re going to be working at a car wash when you graduate. Literature is worthless. It’s all about people complaining, “Oh, I’m poor, so I’ll write a book and cry about it.” These people were probably homeless or crazy. In the real world, when you’re working for a company, you won’t be able to recite poetry to get a promotion. What, you think my job sucks, that it’s soulless? My job is amazing, actually. It’s dynamic, and I make tons of money. I like insurance brokering; I like the talking and dynamic thinking. It’s all about getting to know the clients. Not crying about being poor.

English 351: Shakespeare

Oh good lord. This is it. This is the last straw. This isn’t a drama course is it? Cause I’d probably jump out of this window I’m sitting next to. Or I’d run upstairs and jump out of that one, just to make sure. We used to beat up kids who were in Shakespeare plays; we would hang them up by their turtlenecks. I used to be on the football team in high school, did I ever tell you that? Well I did. I was the quarterback, actually. You don’t think that’s very impressive? Well it is. You’ve just never seen football. It’s very impressive. It’s better than Shakespeare. The English language is all gobbledygook anyway. Like, “hamburger,” for example. There’s no ham in a hamburger. There’s just ground beef, if you do it the right way, and not like your step-mother who uses turkey instead. And there’s no egg in “eggplant.” We should just call it “grossplant” because it tastes terrible. I bet that’s as impressive as Shakespeare. If I wanted to, I could gooble all my words together: “Thou hast brought embarrassment upon thy familee, now thou shalt eat this here grossplant.” Jesus.

Chinese 305: Advanced Chinese Literature

Are you going into business? Cause that’d be a good idea. China is a good place for business right now. I don’t know why you aren’t a business major. They’re the smartest. You’re going to be making them mocha lattes one day. But at least you’re learning Chinese and not French like some Euro-pussy.

Jordan Barber is proud that the internet allows him to criticize, admonish, and irritate people from his own living room. And though this immense power only comes to the few, he promises to wield his hammer of judgment with a standoffish, thoughtful outlook.