I’ve been getting a lot of mail lately. Some of it was solicited (TEXTBOOKS!!#$%!) and others was not (dear playhouse that I purchased musical tickets from you 2 years ago, you’d think because I haven’t bought tickets in 2 years, that would be a hint to stop wasting paper). Unfortunately, I’m still unable to intercept the mail so my dad always sees it first.
Dad: Why are you getting mail from [insert name of local community college]?
Me: I applied there.
D: long pause. What program?
M: Their 4 year nursing program.
D: longer pause, I can practically see the wheels churning inside of his head. Is it the same program as at [insert name of big university/the one that I attend]?
D: hands over the envelope, finally. Okay.
Because even nearly 5 years after I graduated from high school and even after he even admitted that trades was an “appropriate” career choice, he still has a problem with smaller schools, or not internationally recognized institutions, even if they’re public, government funded & approved schools.
My sister J started school this week. She graduated from said Big University in either 2006 and is just going back to school now for a trades program. Granted, it’s a medical-relate program, so it’s not like she’s becoming a mechanic. But J is the Golden Child™ and can never do anything wrong. So because she applied (and was accepted into) a trades program, suddenly trades is the Best Thing Ever.
And my father had the nerve to ask me:
D: Why didn’t you go into trades as well?
Well, dad, maybe it’s because you spent the first 17 years of my life telling me that I need to go to university and get a degree because it’s what I’m fucking supposed to do. That and I get to live rent-free at home provided I stay in school, so it was kind of no brainer. But I have friends who graduated on time (unlike me) and are woefully unemployed. A friend of my sister’s has been out of university since 2006 and just got a full-time job in her field (she has an education degree and spent 5 years being a substitute teacher, filling in when people were sick or on maternity leave and having very uncertain employment). Having a Bachelors, regardless of what it is in doesn’t mean a whole lot these days. Mostly because a lot of people have a Bachelors degree. Which is really depressing to think about, considering I’ll be graduating with one at the end of May. And it’s going to be fantastic. The word “Science” will be mentioned on that piece of paper 4 times in my degree title. Not because I wanted them to emphasize how much I love science, but because of what my program was. (A lot of science.)
But really. Having my dad tell me when I’m 9 credits away from finishing my BSc that I should have gone into some sort of trades instead? Like a knife through the heart. Maybe he should have been pushing that for the first 17 years of my life instead. Or maybe he should just keep his opinions to himself.