Friday, April 10, 2009

Geography--like, WHY?

OK.  I'm probably going to expose myself as a HUGE ignoramus here, but I really see no point in having a Geography department and major at a university.

Honestly.  You study geography up through 8th grade or whatever and you know where countries are and things--but like, that's not enough?  You have to MAJOR in knowing where countries are?

I work as a TA, and our lab shares space with the Geography TAs among others and I was sitting in my office hours today listening to some pompous young male person go on and on about the weather conditions in the British isles and how you don't get snow and ice there and how in the winter it just rains and doesn't get below 40 and blah blah blah.  So I stuck my head in.  "Actually, you do." I said, and then some other random bit of information and the male person gave me this glare and then said "That's why I said 'very often'," and proceeded to ignore me.  So I went back to my chair--humiliated.  A whole other group of people had heard the exchange--and you know what?  


He's NOT.  

Why do I know I'm right?  Because I spent HOURS shivering in a tent in below freezing circumstances in JULY in SOUTHERN WALES, which is one of the vacation hot-spots of the British isles, and it wasn't just some freak weather pattern.  It was the norm.

So my opinion of Geography and its usefulness has taken yet another plunge.

The TA then continued to talk, spewing all sorts of stuff about different places, throwing out the words "Nation-state" and things like that the same way a athlete would flex his muscles.

Pardon my french, but what the Hell does a geography student know about nation-states?  Leave that to the political scientist, the historians and the anthropologists, hon, and go get a REAL major.

/end embittered rant


Rachel said...

Did you ask him if he has actually BEEN to any of these places that he is so eloquently spewing nonsence about?

I'll give you a hint. Big hat/no cows...

M.Lang said...

Well, people will spew anything they want.

K said...

Spew. What a gross thought. Big hat, no cows. HAHAHAH. How satisfying. Yeah, I ran into a lot of that in grad school, too - those who NEED to know everything. It's the intellectual equivalent of putting really, really big tires on your really really big truck to make up for - other things. And sometimes, it was even the professors - I mean, how manly is English Lit, anyway? Snicker.

Sasaki/桜咲 said...

I think there are people like that in EVERY major, not just the useless ones. They think that by talking about a bunch of useless facts, they'll make themselves look smarter, and the only end up doing the opposite.

On a side note: I think we should force that guy to go spend some time in the British Isles in a little flat (or tent) with barely any heating and THEN see what he thinks about the temperate climate that hardly ever gets really cold. I spent a New Years like that in Northern Ireland and I was freezing the whole time. We didn't get any snow, but we have rain-freezes and I don't think it went above 40 the whole time! At least that's what it felt like.

Ginna said...

feels good to get that out, doesn't it? Sometimes people and situations can be so frustrating, and you just feel like telling everybody you know about it to try to excise the frustration. It doesn't always work, but I hope this helped!!

Donna said...

I remember knowing "everything" when I was in graduate school. Amazing what a little real life can teach you!