generalities

>I always wanted to major in Generalities. I think I’d be good at that. I don’t like to specialize, although I’m afraid that’s what I’ve gone and done. Specialization leads to pigeonholing, compartmentalization, and eventual extinction. One sees it in nature all the time. Someone inevitably comes along and destroys whatever you need in order to do your thing. It doesn’t matter if it’s a life or death issue. This could be a woodpecker disappearing when all specimens of its very favorite tree to peck at have been chopped down and made into widgets. Or it could be a number-crunching human losing its job to a sassy new computer program. On the other hand, if you stay general you are rewarded with a larger territory (witness the common sparrow), or a fatter salary with less responsibilities (witness the common executive).

But beyond just reasons of pure survival, I enjoy the general because it’s easy and fun. I’d much rather know a little about a lot, than way too much about the same boring thing. I’m okay with learning a fair amount about one thing as long as I get to move on to something else after the boredom sets in. [I just noticed that I’m using the word “thing” a lot. I don’t really care. Point of possible interest: in Texas they use the word “deal” in place of “thing.” It might actually be more rampant in common conversation than “thing” now that I think about it. I’m not sure why. I think it’s interesting, anyway].

To kind of wrap this up, I don’t remember having the option of studying Generalities in college. I don’t know if that’s even a choice anymore. It certainly doesn’t seem like it would get you a job. I can only imagine the interviews…”So, Mr. Blah, what did you learn in college that you feel prepared you for this job?” “Well, I majored in Generalities so I learned about stuff, in general, but I can’t really get into the specifics of the stuff, so…”

Honestly, though, I think I would’ve excelled in Generalities. I mean, how are you supposed to know at age 18 what you want to spend four years studying in preparation for a lifetime of work in that field? It’s preposterous, really. Absurd. Not that it matters anymore what you study in college. Someone told me the other day that “they” are calling the bachelor’s degree the new high school diploma and the master’s degree the new bachelor’s degree. Why is it even called a bachelor’s degree? Can’t you be married and get one, too? And what about all the unmarried bachelorettes? What do they get? But I digress. Whenever I hear people saying such and such is the “new” something else, I feel physically ill.

In conclusion, I would love to be able to answer the annoyingly ubiquitous question of “So, what do you do?” with “Oh, I’m a Generalist.” And not just a Generalist, but a career Generalist. Let me know if you hear of any openings.

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