Friday, April 20, 2012

Things I've Learned as a Philosophy major

I graduated today! After four years (plus a spring term), I finally got my Philosophy BA. Well, I actually think I have a library fine on my account, which means I won't officially have my degree until I pay it, but formalities.

As I look back on my time as a Philosophy major, I'd like to offer some advice as well as some unapologetic nostalgia:

1. If you are declaring a Philosophy major, or any major in the Humanities for that matter, figure out a way to break the news to your parents softly as these kinds of degrees are usually seen as just a step above underwater basket weaving.

2. If you think you know the difference between analytic and continental Philosophy, then you don't actually know the difference between analytic and continental Philosophy.

3. If you ever say that formal logic isn't *really* philosophy and that it shouldn't be required, a piece of me will die.

4. Take classes from as many professors as you can. Although I enjoyed my Dr. Carter minor, I wish I would have gotten over my distaste for certain professors' specialties and just signed up for their classes. In fact, I think the best classes are the ones from professors with whom you disagree substantially.

5. Every professor expects different writing styles. Therefore, TA's are your best friends for your first paper.

6. Speaking of being a TA, logic TAing was the best job I ever had. Which kind of sucks because I'm only 22 and all of my employment opportunities can only go downhill from here. If there was any chance of BYU approving a petition for me to be a logic TA without being a student, I would do it until the day I died.

7. You get to tell the nerdiest jokes as a Philosophy major. Also, a lot of XKCD starts making a whole lot more sense.

8. Studying logic is both a blessing and a curse. You learn this fantastic new way of understanding rhetoric, but you have a mini aneurysm every time someone commits a fallacy.

9. You stop getting personally offended when someone disagrees with you, and you have to remind yourself that other people still do that when you disagree with them.

10. When all else fails, make up a word.

1 comment:

Jim F. said...

Congratulations, Shelley!