The Liberal in Liberal Arts

By Jeremy Hubble
The Battalion

Joe Ag and Bill started A&M together.

Joe Ag majored in engineering. His best friend, Bill was in to liberal arts.

Joe scoffed at the pansy classes Bill as taking.

Secretly, Joe was, however, a little jealous.

While he was struggling through problems that had more Greek letters than fraternity mixers, Bill was watching Clueless- for his English class!

Joe knew that he'd have the last laugh.

$40 grand.

The average starting salary for his degree would make it worth it. If Bill could even find a job, he'd be lucky to pull in half that.

Joe suffered through freshman chemistry. He breezed through the three-hour lecture class. However, the one-hour lab always seemed to take twice the effort. After spending hours trying write-up a lab he tried asking Bill for help on Hess's law:

Bill muttered something about Steppenwolf "Not that Hesse!"

Oh well. Bill was too wrapped up in his world literature class to be of any help. Bill really enjoyed what he was studying. He would often read other books that weren't even assigned in class.

Joe was still trying to finish all his reading for class. He knew for sure that nobody in their right mind would ever pay $60 for that engineering book if they didn't have to.

Unfortunately, he had to.

> Joe was still trying to figure out how all these classes even related to his eventual career as an engineer. He thought about taking a few foreign language classes; maybe even getting a double degree. Luckily his advisor talked some sense in to him, and he rededicated himself to his engineering classes.

Meanwhile Bill branched out and took free electives in other areas that interested him. He even willingly subjugated himself to freshman science classes, and liked them!

If Joe had free electives, he'd have taken a few more foreign language classes. Then, he might be able to figure out what his TAs were saying. They all seemed to find a loophole to sidestep the English proficiency requirement. It became clear that the all his lab and engineering fees never trickled down to real instruction improvement.

A few years down the road, Bill graduated. He was even lucky enough to find a non-teaching job that paid over twenty-thousand a year.

Two years later, Joe finally graduated. Bill had already received a major promotion, but he was still earning less than Joe's starting salary. Joe did still have all those pesky student loans to pay off, though.

A few more years went by, and Joe received his first major promotion.

At the same time, Bill's company is paying for him to go back to school and get an MBA.

Suddenly Bill was earning a little more than Joe; but Joe knows that by his next promotion he'd pass his friend again.

After time, both got tired of their jobs. Since he started Bill, had lived frugally and with his savings, his family moved to a quaint country house. He decided that now he'd really like to teach.

Joe set his eyes on a great foreign job, but without language skills, he decided to just stick with his same job.