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How to make people dumber without even trying

Recruiter: Hello, welcome to the University of Wisconsin-Superior! Would you like an English degree?

Student: What?

Recruiter: I’m better than I’ve ever been! Thanks for asking! How many English degrees can I put you down for? Seven?

Student: Uh, let’s start with none.

Recruiter: The holidays are quickly approaching. Do you have any relatives or friends lacking an English degree? Sign them up now and get this free English degree promotional t-shirt!

Student: I’m here to study journalism, not English.

Recruiter: Great! Not to worry, we have you covered. You’ll have a lot of options in journalism with our English degree! Just sign here.

Student: English degrees are a bit generic, and wages are considerably higher when you specialize in a particular field. I would prefer to specialize in journalism.

Recruiter: At UWS, you can specialize in anything! Choose from English, Science, Math or English! Those are our value menu degrees. Graduate students can super-size any of those options except Science and Math.

Student: That’s seriously all the degrees you have?

Recruiter: Well we used to have Journalism, Broad Field Science, Forensic Chemistry, Media Studies, Political Science, Sociology, Theatre, Art History, Computer Science, Earth Science, Geography, Global Studies, Health and Human Performance, History, Legal Studies, Media Communication, Photography, Physics, and Psychology, but we got rid of all that tedious and confusing nonsense! Now everything’s really simple so stupid kids like you can understand it! You’re welcome!

Student: How much do these very vague diplomas cost?

Recruiter: Sixty thousand dollars! Are you from out of state?

Student: Yes.

Recruiter: Ninety thousand dollars! You’re so lucky! Larger state colleges that your future employers will have actually heard of cost $150k! Look at you with that sweet deal, only paying sixty grand. You sure are a rebel, sticking it to The Man like that! You’re so much smarter than everyone else. But you’ve always known that, haven’t you? You’re so very, very smart. You’re almost like a god. Almost. Sign here.

Student: Can I at least minor in journalism?

Recruiter: Ewwwww, god no! That would make you different from everyone else. We want you all to be the same so everyone can do anything! We’ll sign you up for an English major and minor so you don’t make any waves. Sign here.

Student: If colleges continue following this path, won’t there come a time when even an English degree is too specific and we’ll all just agree to lifelong debt in exchange for a participation trophy degree?

Recruiter: Maybe! Who knows what creative ways we’ll find to totally screw you in the future! We’re super greedy and unpredictable. But who cares? It’s just a degree. It’s a formality these days. As long as you have one, it doesn’t really matter what it says. You’ll have a super easy time securing a career as a mid-level manager for a telemarketing company. Hooray!

Student: I plan to be a journalist.

Recruiter: Yes, but after you realize how hard that is and how meaningful careers require years of selfless dedication, personal sacrifice and shameless ass kissing of literally every person you meet until you just hate yourself for being such a disgustingly fake person, you’ll give up on your dreams like everyone else and settle for an easy, path of least resistance job at the crappy telemarketing place, using it to fund small hobbies that make you feel unique. You won’t be happy, but you’ll be content. Sometimes you’ll daydream about selling everything you own and building a makeshift cabin in the woods where you spend all day hunting your dinner and fortifying your home for when the government comes to take your guns away, but then you’ll remember that Star Wars Battlefront 2 comes out next week and quietly kick the can down the road for a few more months. But the good news is the telemarketing place pays one percent higher wages than the average job in this region! You’re so smart! You’re so much smarter than other people! No wonder you make $13 per hour! You are so special and unique and everyone else is so dumb. I don’t know how you stand it. Sign here.

Student: Couldn’t I save a fortune by dropping out of UWS and going to a community college that charges literally pennies on the dollar for the gen ed classes in this overpriced dump?

Recruiter: Haha, that certainly sounds like a thing old people might say. You’re young! You should only be thinking about getting drunk and laid. Ain’t nobody ever gotten laid at a community college!

Student: I’m pretty sure community college students have parties. Couldn’t some people just attend a technical college and skip expensive schools? Not only are technical colleges cheap, but they provide real life training for specific careers. People could skip all those useless general classes and learn an actual skill.

Recruiter: Shut your goddamn mouth! Oops. I mean sign here. La la la la la la! Nothing to hear here! Crazy person rambling incoherently! College is great! It’s exactly like Animal House and all those movies from the 80s where nerds become campus heroes and get laid. You won’t get laid at a technical college! They’re a real sausage party.

Student: Didn’t UWS used to be like three grand per semester? What caused prices to double so quickly?

Recruiter: We built a new sports training facility. Sign here and give us all your wages for the next 30 years!

Student: No.


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