Being a BA/Humanities student sucked!!


All images by: Vuyisile Kubeka

I finally gathered the courage to write this blog/rant. Well, it took a whole series of events to get me here. I watched my airtime blow down Woodstock main road and then realized I punched in the wrong digits(I have no more money), then I had a really bad cup of tea, made by someone who promised that they make really great cups of tea and then I got this email as I took my last sip of the ‘conjuring’ :

Unfortunately, I have to inform you that you have not been chosen for this position. We think that you do not have the experiences that this position requires yet. You are still at the very beginning of your career.

Firstly, I studied a BA in communications. Okay, actually just a BA. I had to add something spicy to it. You know, so people could actually take me seriously.However, don’t give up on me yet! Most of my majors were communications.

Throughout my varsity experience, I was constantly reminded that I did not make the cut. The humanities/arts were considered the least of all degrees. Like, what do you mean you want to be a writer?It was equivalent to, well it wasn’t equivalent to anything. Because for the most part BA students were considered to be the least brightest crayons in the box. If you weren’t doing science, law or a business degree, then fam ‘What are you doing?’. At first, I laughed off, but things got a bit touchy when I was bombarded with the pizza joke:

What is the difference between a BA degree and a Pizza? at least a Pizza can feed a family of four.

When I heard this over lunch, from a fellow law school friend, who didn’t even contribute to the gatsby! I nearly cried. Was this the root of it? It made sense. I mean most law/science/Bcom students are of the opinion that they can do our degree over the June holidays. That we read Cosmopolitans and Elle magazines as textbooks and that we probably would end up on their admin team one day. I always got the crappiest lecture theaters and if I was lucky, on the odd semester I’d get a tutorial in the Life science building. I wanted to live there, but the arrogance in the atmosphere would disrupt my photosynthesis.

I always wanted a law school boyfriend, because I was so eager to ‘up’ my status.But whenever I wanted to engage in political, racial, or law debates. My opinion would be skipped in those conversations. I had to pitch why what I was doing mattered. Even though, what I really wanted to do is punch them in the face. My dignity was more important. My dad’s friend once said to me ‘Well you don’t have what it takes to be a writer’. I wish you guys could see the grin on my face right now!(Hahahaha)

Why in the world are you writing this blog Tatum?

Thanks for asking. I’m writing this blog to set the record straight. I really get it. Your degrees are more prestigious and the paycheck is quite impressive. I am not gonna lie and say ours are. But I want to say this…When I decided to study the arts, I did it because my passion outweighed my hunger for money. I wanted to wake up every day, excited for work. Not accumulating leave days or complaining to my parents about getting a new job. I have never felt more alive than I do now.

I don’t know what tomorrow holds. I am currently a graduate, a writer, a blogger, and poet. But as I type these words, my heart is pacing so intensely. This is my freedom. I’ll never be found looking for life on the moon or be able to balance your accounts. Heck! Please don’t ask me to advise you on anything related to law, because we’d probably end up in more trouble than what you bargained for.

But ask me to write you a story about how my BA degree, taught me inter-religious dialogue and Greek mythology, how I can break down a sentence and show you what each ligament represents. Ask me to show the ecocentric environmental approach in a poem or the effects aphasia has on the multilingual brain. Ask me, the value of literacy in South Africa or to explain the digital age and how sub-cultures of people exists, that you’ve never dreamed about. Ask me how to me get rid of your ignorance and I’ll tell you to re-establish your truth. Because what we see and what we know, are at times, completely different things.

I said this was a blog/rant thing. But now it’s turned into a diary entry! Yay don’t unsubscribe ne! 🙂

Can you see that ‘I don’t have to come back here’ glow?

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