Monday, January 19, 2009

The Class That Changed My Life: Accounting 101

I've asked everybody I know to contribute to this series so it seems only fair to post an entry of my own.

I was a blue-collar kid. My parents thought of college as a foreign country with rules they did not understand. ("There's an application fee?!") The one thing they were certain of was that a college degree could lead to a good job--and a good job, in their opinion, meant accounting.

This is how I landed in the back row of an Accounting 101 class at Hofstra University. By the third class, I knew that I would never be an accountant. Luckily, I was still within the drop-a-class window.

What did I take instead? With some wrangling, I landed a spot in Women's Literature--taught by
Ruth Prigozy. I had a great time reading and discussing The Awakening, Sula, The Women's Room (for a look at commercial fiction), The Yellow Wallpaper, and a slew of other books. At the end of the semester, I changed my major to Literature, and I have never regretted it.

Years later, Dr. Prigozy walked into Harper's booth at the American Studies Association's annual conference, and I got the chance to tell her what a difference dropping out of Accounting 101 had made in my life. She said, "Well, it's nice to see one of my students doing something in publishing." Today, I'm still doing something I like to do. Thanks again, Dr. Prigozy.

(Note that I have great respect for accountants. Actually, I love one--my brother, the "good" child.)

No comments:

Post a Comment