When I tell people I’m studying a subject within the humanities, they usually jump to an eyebrow raise coupled with some iteration of the following:
What are you going to use that degree for? How are you going to make any money? Wow, I wish I had an easy major too…
By now, I’ve grown accustomed to the rude comments, the derisive laughter. But the question that never fails to amuse me is this:
What will your parents think?
The part they don’t know? The humanities have pretty much defined my entire existence. My parents can’t be surprised by my choice of study: throughout my childhood, my weekends were spent jousting with intrepid knights, traversing isolated deep-sea kingdoms while restoring magical objects to their rightful owners. Storytelling is, in essence, who I am.
The first book I truly loved – a tattered copy of Shel Silverstein’s collection Where the Sidewalk Ends – precipitated my lifelong obsession with all things literary. Reading underscored every aspect of my life, from books at mealtimes to books in the shower (yes, I know!). Once, I even begged my mom to log onto a private bookstore’s website at the crack of dawn solely to get me a coveted signed edition of my favorite author’s newest release. I would spend hours poring over catalogs, drafting a mental calendar of which new releases I could anticipate for the next few months.