There’s a good chance most of you science snobs on campus know of an arts student or two. Yeah, that kid you took a couple of introductory science courses with who never quite mastered titration, pipetting, or, you know, chemistry.
They were majoring in….what, again? Political sciences? Women’s studies? Basket-weaving? This is the point where you laugh, pat yourself on the back for choosing engineering, and go back to writing that 30 page lab report on the physics of springs. Yeah, you have fun with that.
Hi, I’m Julia, and I’m part of the nameless rabble of HUB-dwelling, Java Jive-chugging, art history-studying people you save your best “How many arts students does it take…” jokes for.I am not, however, as stupid as you are convinced I am.
I live with an engineer and come from a family which counts amongst its members your other favourite Wanderer writer, child genius Sydney Rudko. There’s no room to be unintelligent or lack a healthy appreciation for science, despite what you’re pretty sure my faculty choice says about me. I identify mainly as a biological anthropology student. This major usually elicits an absolute torrent of weird assumptions and questions, because let’s be honest, when I tell you my major you have no idea what the hell I do in school. So, in the name of education, I’ve compiled a list of the top 7 honest-to-god questions I get asked on a regular basis about my schooling. After this piece you can all feel a little enlightened, and you can stop asking your friendly neighbourhood arts student how frequently he practices saying “Do you want fries with that?” in the mirror when prepping for a job interview.
1. “Anthropology? What in taaarnation is that?”
On its most basic level, anthropology is the study of people.
2. “Ooooh okay, so like psychology?”
No. Psychology is a totally different discipline in which people are scrutinized on a personal level to determine whether they subconsciously want to kill their fathers in order to have sex with their mothers. Or something.
3. “Right, right. Freud and stuff. So more like sociology then?”
Nooooo, no, no. Sociology is a discipline invented solely to bore to death anyone who needs that one last arts credit for their degree.
4. “So what the hell do you do in class then?”
Okay. Anthropology can be broken down into four main focuses: sociocultural, linguistic, biological, and archaeology. My interests, and thus most of my classes, fall somewhere between biological and archaeology. So for the most part I learn about the excavation and analysis of bones.
5. “Bones? COOL! You study dinosaurs?? I loved Jurassic Park!”
Human bones. Why does everyone always go straight to dinosaurs?! You’ve got the wrong -ology. You want paleontology, where they’ll still mock your poor movie choices.
6. “EWWW, human bones?? You touch DEAD people?!”
Why you gotta go there? Why you gotta make it weird? I handle human remains in my labs for entirely scientific purposes. That’s right. I said science.
7. “So…you’re not stupid/a trust fund baby trying to please their parents with a cop-out degree/lying to me and actually studying dinosaurs, then?
No, I’m not. I did well enough in high school to take my pick of faculties and chose one where I knew I could learn something I loved instead of spend four years of my life sleeping through linear algebra classes to end up in a job I was really half-assed in my enjoyment of. My parents certainly don’t pay for me to get an easy degree intending to marry me off, Bachelor of Basket-weaving degree under my belt, to a wealthy suitor with a cushy life of housewifing to offer either. I’m tits-deep in student debt with the rest of you and housewifing is really a plan B, if anything. I just happen to have fallen madly in love with a very obscure science. So count yourself informed!
And no, I have no idea what colour pterodactyls were.
Julia Rudko is a third year Anthropology student with a deep love of old dead people, cooking to procrastinate, and caffeinating herself into oblivion.