What Zadie Smith and Geography have in Common

For 2 years I walked past a display case  with the words “Major in Geography.  Only 39 units.”  Every time I thought, “Geography?  What do you do with that?  Who would study that?”   Me, apparently.  I, like so many college students, have changed my mind about what I want to do.  Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d be double majoring.  Over the years I’ve flipped and flopped, trying to decide what was right for me:

English?  No, no jobs there.

Journalism?  Yes.  Then I found out print is dying.  Too late, I’m already in too deep.  Then I found out online media is thriving.  Yay for me.

English minor?  Yes, it goes with journalism.  No, the classes teach me nothing.

Film minor?  I can be a screenwriter.  They make tons of money!  Nah, the classes sound horrible.

Environmental science minor?  Yes, this is awesome!  No, the (required) anthropology class traumatized me.   I’m shuddering in horror even now.

Geology!!!  See first post “A Geology Love Letter.”

Geography.  Ditto.

And so here I am a geography and journalism major.  Despite knowing how I got here, I still wondered how I could go from scoffing the message in a display case to loving it.

Well, I wasn’t alone in such thinking.  Thanks to my literary journalism class, I got to read an article by Zadie Smith, who went through a similar transformation.  One day she couldn’t stand Joni Mitchel.  The next she fell in love with her music.  An epiphany, a change of heart, an about-face, whatever you want to call it, it happened and we’re both grateful for it.

Zadie SmithImage from NewBlackMan blog.

Zadie Smith
Image from NewBlackMan blog.

Which is why I hope you can find yours.  It could be a small thing like taking that random offbeat class or it could be something big.  Don’t dismiss something just because you can’t see the good in it.  Some things are more than their display cases.

Want to know more about Geography?  Thinking Geographically


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