Name, dorm, major. The stereotypical Notre Dame intro which we all point out as lame, but cannot help but continue to use because of it’s relevance to our lives.
Emma, Lyons, English. Most people wince when I say English, and I have grown accustom to the wince. So much so that last Spring, I was talking to this boy at a party, and when he nodded knowingly at my being an English major, I aggressively demanded to know why.
Me: “Did you know I was an English major? You’re not an English major, how did you already know I was one? Dammit, have I met you before and already talked about my major?”
Partygoing Male: “No, I didn’t know you were an English major, I just figured it was something like that, that makes sense.”
Me: “Oh, yeah…wait actually what do you mean?”
Partygoing male: “Because you can do anything with an English major, it’s really flexible.”
Me: (chuckling) Yeahhhh that’s just a nice way to say there’s no career path for an English major.
Partygoing Male: No I didn’t mean that. I’m sorry, I just meant, English is like history or philo, it’s one of those majors where it would be really easy to do a job where you could have kids. You’d probably want to have a family…
Me: (thinking) and English majors make the best wives! Man, this guy knows just the things to say to bed me.
While this kid was a bit naive and immature, he brought up a line of thinking I had never considered before: choosing a field of study, and potential career path, to facilitate future motherhood. Freshman year Emma would have said that was crazy. She’s 18, she’s not going to sacrifice her passion for literature for a hypothetical family. Senior year Emma thinks that job placement is probably worth downsizing some of her literary passion. What if 28 year old Emma, wishes she’d thought about child rearing when she was picking a major, or applying for internships?
I’m just saying, the tool from that party might have been on to something.
Enter Alison Leddy, Cavanaugh, Mechanical Engineering and Sociology. I met her last week, and she had actually thought about thinking about the will this major impact my hypothetical family’s life question. She told me her mother, a stay at home mom, had encouraged her to look at certain careers because of their relevancy to motherhood. Think Pharmacy, or Pediatrics, Teaching, etc. Ultimately, Alison says, “I chose my major for me and what I want at this time.” We got to talking, and topics that none of my friends ever really want to discuss came up. We talked about Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist. We talked about how women in leadership positions are often described as “scary.” We talked about shifting gender and marriage dynamics, and how likely it is we might some day be a primary provider for our families, and how we’re afraid our friends and family might think this is weird. Basically, we had some big talks.
Big talks are actually the main idea behind a club Alison is starting with her friend Bri Prusakowski (Psychology, PE). Last week the “Notre Dames” debuted at Activities Night with a huge reception. They will be hosting weekly Talk It Out Tuesdays in the Dooley Room in Lafun between 6-8 p.m. Our Lady’s ladies are encouraged to stop in to talk about recent articles circulated in the club’s emails, and on their facebook page, as well as relevant issues on campus. The club will be hosting female alumnae speakers throughout the year, and holding free Starbucks filled bonding events during Midterm and Finals weeks. More than anything, the club wishes to be a discussion platform for issues that affect women. It’s a place for big talks. The Talk It Out Tuesday topic next week will be dorm parties and a discussion of this article from Cosmo.
I’ll be there, and I’ll be talking pretty big (maybe I’ll even continue my rant about the impact of procreative pressure on our course of study, on extracurricular activities, on the interests we allow ourselves to cultivate).