Do you know that there is no undergrad thesis in USA?

"Liberal Arts"

That's what I tell people when they ask me what I major in college.

Liberal Arts? What's that?

Oh, I study some stuff like history, politics, maths, geology, English...


(It is a fancy name for "Undecided", really. I take the General Education requirements during the first three semesters, which is why I am allowed to declare myself as a Lib Arts major)

So....I am in the middle of a predicament here. My third semester is coming and by the middle of spring 2012 (or latest by May 2012), I should have declared a major already.

Some folks suggested not to fret about it, saying "you'll know it when the time comes", but I should know better.

Declaring a major is like getting a girlfriend. If you declare the wrong one, you can still break it up and take a major in another, but then you're stuck with wasted credits and may have to repeat a semester or two.

And if I didn't find the most suitable major for me, I would graduate with a degree that provides me a pathway to jobs that I disdain. By then it would be akin to having a annoying, bossy, jealous, hen-pecking wife.

Therefore, following my mother's advice, I explored several majors and their possible career choices...

1. French. I know I would love and savour every minute of studying this in college, but admittedly the career prospects are pretty dim. My family would have spent at least US$35,000 in university tuitions by the time I graduate in 2014, and the starting average pay for French grads is not even half that. Hence, no.

2. European History. I can't take this major know, for the same reasons as above. However, it would be a great major to take a Master's thesis in.

3. English. Oh please, this is America. They don't even speak (proper) English here.

4. Finance/Business. Dad suggested this one, due to my preference in not dealing with customer service in my jobs. I can become a financial analyst, accountant, economist, and the likes with this major. I am still not too keen on studying Economics though (it has always been my weakest forte amongst all Social Science subjects), hence I am putting this as a second-in-line.

5. Computer Science/Information Technology. True, I have neither experience nor knowledge in this subject. But so does most CS/IT students I know of. The one that allures me most is the very fact that people in this major end up graduating to take high-paying jobs (ranked No.5 most lucrative university discipline by CNN money). So I am thinking...what the hell, why not?

6. Business Informatics. This actually combines the two majors I mentioned above: Business and CS/IT. I would reckon that it would be more sought after than the last two, since it combines the financial acumen of its graduates with their fluency in programming language and software cognition. But I also would reckon that the level of difficulty would be high, since two different disciplines are meshed together to make a fiendishly tough stuff to study.

What about the final thesis? Do you think you can do the final thesis of CS/IT or Business or whatever tough stuff that you're gonna study? I bet it's gonna be a tough, tough one

Thesis? Art thou jesting me?

There are no such thing as thesis for undergrad students in USA, darling. In most Asian countries, yes, there is a thesis examination (or dissertation or "skripsi" in Indonesian language in case there is a term confusion here). On Asian undergraduate thesis, you have to write a 50-100 page research paper which has to be defended in front of a committee.

But not in USA. Thesis/dissertation in USA is only for those taking Graduate school or Doctoral schools.

There is a final paper for some US majors, yes. But even then, it is only practised at some private colleges and does not normally have to be defended in front of any committees whatsoever. Your paper is to be graded by one or more university instructors, but still, you don't have to defend it.

That's the best part of it, I guess. I would very much prefer making a speech in front of a podium. Defending a thesis in front of a committee, where four years of toil and sweats and $35,000 student loan sits on it, would make me (or anyone, for that matter) very, very nervous.


Eid musings

Every year during the month of Ramadhan, I always fast for one whole day of my choice.

It was a ritual I started during my late years of primary school (10 or 11 years ago). I stayed at Uncle A's residence for a prolonged two-week Ramadhan vacation. His entire family is Muslim and hence, they fasted for every single day I stayed there. There were, however, no qualms about making my meals. Since I was the only one who was a non-Muslim, Uncle A and his wife made sure that the housemaids cook breakfast and lunch for me anytime I wanted to eat.

Until one particular day, I decided to take up fasting with them just for the sake of trying it out. I was struck with hunger pangs for every single minute of it. But I decided to wait it out until sunset, indulging myself in PlayStation until the mosque drum rolls came thru the telly.

Yes, I did it. It was my first day of Ramadhan fasting, and I decided to do it again the next year.

And again. And again. Until it finally became an annual ritual.

There had only been three occasions that I failed to fast, namely 2006 (due to final exams), 2008 (I got lazy and complacent), and this year.

Yes, I know that today is not Eid yet, but I don't think I am able to stand it out this year due to my overwhelming schedule. Plus, it's in the middle of summer which means that the sun sets at 9 p.m. everyday.

Until next year, I guess!


  © Blogger template Shush by 2009

Back to TOP