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Defy Expectations



From the time I was small, my family, but specifically my grandma, wanted my life to turn out a certain way. She wanted someone she could be proud of, someone she could brag about, someone that was “worth something” to her.

I imagine that she put the same sorts of expectations on my mom earlier in her life. I wonder what she thought about my mom when she agreed to run a window tinting business in Ogden, Utah. Though my mom was excellent at what she did, my grandma did not exactly consider it admirable work.

Utah window tinting became my mom’s passion for a while. She was amazingly adaptable with managing her company, and she could offer the best Utah window tinting warranty in the industry.

Though the company eventually lost its charm for my mom, it was successful while she had her heart in it, and I do not think it was fair for my grandma to stick her nose up at such a thing.

My Relationship with Her

Recently, I invited my mom to a poetry reading. Apparently, my grandparents also invited themselves. I had prefaced the reading with a disclaimer that it might or might not contain adult themes, depending on the people reading that night.

They also asked me to read some of my own work before we left, and my grandma was appalled at the things she heard. First of all, I am not some fluffy, make-you-feel-good, happy nature poet. My stuff is much more realistic and blatant. On top of that, I often approach characteristically “taboo” themes, which also set her off.

To make it all worse, her constant question is: “What are you going to do with your English degree?” It is a question that all English majors resent. We are probably one of the marketable majors in the world because every job requires writing, and, though the work might not be glamorous, we are still useful.

My Contribution to the World

In my case, I am contributing to the literary community, giving my work to those who might become livelier, more thoughtful after reading my work, even if only for a moment. I am contributing to a more awake consciousness for the human population, and that is some of the most admirable work I could possibly think of.

And, even though I am not training to become an engineer, a chemist, a doctor, a nurse, or whatever, I am an intelligent, capable person who deserves to have space in this world. The words I write are valuable enough to remain.

Plus, writers have to know a little bit of everything. We are the glue between the areas of increasing specialty, in a world where no one has a clue what anyone else is doing. We are the thinkers and creators. We are the philosophers and the educated. We are important.

And, if my stance on this issue was not blatantly clear from the beginning, yes, I definitely believe that the humanities need to be taught to everyone who goes to college. It is the only well-roundedness we get as students.