What to do with an English Major? Throw a Knuckleball, of course.

We always get the most laughs, and not always the kind of laughter we invite. “You majored in English? How’s Burger King treating you?” In a recent segment on Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion, he suggested the health care industry for wayward English majors. One man recited from Hamlet: “tis a consummation devoutly to be wished” he delivered as a man on his deathbed took his last breath, to comfort the grieving daughter.But what other careers require creativity, thoughtfulness, intelligence, grace under pressure, compassion, all mixed with an unpredictable personality? Sure, you can become Michael Eisner, former CEO of Disney. I have a better suggestion–learn to throw a knuckleball.

As reported in the New York Times last week,English Major R.A. Dickey(perfect author’s name) has written a memoir about his life in baseball, in addition to his struggles and transformations through spirituality. In this era of overstocked shelves in the Memoir section of the bookstore, this is one I am looking forward to reading. “I’ve always been pretty good at journaling, and blessed with a pretty
good memory,” he said. “I figured, once I started the knuckleball
journey, it was a good place to put some form to it, dating way back to
childhood and leading all the way up to this year.”

But then I started thinking about who might write their Red Sox Memoir, or who ought to? As David Foster Wallace points out in his essay, “How Tracy Austin Broke My Heart,” the sports autobiography can be heartbreakingly disappointing. After all, he argues, it is their physical genius we truly love, not their literary prowess. Therefore, my nominee is none other than a player with a sparkling wit and verbal acuity. He was also an Interdisciplinary Studies Major at Arizona State University. (Go ahead, make a joke about IS majors, I know you want to.) The other day, Professor Abraham featured the Dustin Pedroia Moment of the Day on his blog. Imagine a years’ worth. Imagine five years worth. Dustin’s Dirt: Five Years at Fenway by Dustin Pedroia. Coming soon??

dustin_pedroia.jpg

“To Laser or not to Laser”

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One comment

  1. blithescribe

    Yeah, as a history major (of science and medicine no less and don’t think explaining that in job interviews outside of academia hasn’t been fun 😉 ) I am familiar with the jokes. I think we get the second most laughs after English majors.
    Hmmm, a knuckleball pitcher blessed with a good memory and a habit of journaling decides to write a memoir. Strike Three instead of Ball Four? A Dustin Pedroia memoir would certainly be something…and at least that something would not be dull. I love your photo caption. He could call the memoir Inflicting the Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Laser Shows.
    Kristen
    This is a very simple game…

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