My least favorite question on earth, one that has been repeatedly asked all break, comes after I mention that I am now a senior in college, majoring in English. (I haven't really mentioned the GLBT minor to anyone yet.) That's graduating in 3.5 years, by the way. None of this 4 and a half year shit. Everyone asks that question, from grandparents to my dentist to my mom's coworkers to guys looking for sex online to everyone inbetween. I assume most college students go through something similar, but they can start their own damn blogs to complain about it. (Actually, chances are they probably have.)
At any rate, my teeth grate and a forced smile comes on my face whenever I hear the following question.
"So, what do you want to do? Teach?"
I've always thought of teaching, but the fact that an English degree and teaching is so... synonymous in people's mind, that being an English major means you will teach high school English, makes me want to teach even less. I mean, I think I'd be a good teacher, and it's probably what I'll end up doing, but I just don't want it to be so evident.
I've been using this excuse lately, or a variant, and I've found it's a good conversation ender.
"So, what do you want to do with that?"
"What are you thinking about studying there?"
"Applied particle physics in the macroscopic world. Supersymmetric gauge theories and topological quantum field theories and stuff like that."
"Yeah, actually there's a lot of overlap. You'd be suprised."
Shuts them up every time. If anyone asks any follow up questions, well, I did read part of Elegant Universe back in high school, and most of the phrases I remember are enough to scare most people into talking about the weather. (We got sun yesterday! First time in 18 days!)
If not, well, most experts in the field of superstring theory admit that they don't really know what they're talking about, so I figure I should be able to fake it enough.