Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Student Seeks To Be An Anthropological Tourist Before "Getting Serious" About Life

Dear Tazi:

I am finishing high school this year, and it is my lifelong dream to travel the world for a few years before getting serious and deciding on a career path. I have been saving money from my after school job – my parents think it will be used towards college – and I could work as a migrant fruit picker for extra cash, as/if needed. Being American, I grew up privileged and I want to learn how “the other half” lives. My parents are completely against my dream and have told me that if I follow it that I can forget about any financial assistance from them when I decide the time is right for me to go to college.

I would love to tell my parents to keep their money, but I am not certain I will be able to finance my own college education and I do not want to compromise my future by stringing myself out on student loans. Tazi, can you think of a way that would allow me to follow my dream and please my parents at the same time?

The Seeker

Dear The Seeker:

It appears that you want the best of both worlds – or at least the best of your world while exploring the worst of other worlds. Do you realize how dehumanizing migrant work is? Those who work such jobs are paid a pittance so Americans can eat affordable fresh produce, and they do it so they can put food in the mouths of their families, not so they can follow their dream of seeing how “the other half” lives. The “other half” is not a living documentary for your curious mind to explore; they are people and I refuse to approve of your dream to exploit them.

Don't be this person!

If you are truly interested in other cultures, societies, and people of different socioeconomic backgrounds I suggest you go to college, as your parents would prefer, and study Anthropology and Sociology. This major will not only allow you to explore the world (travel is a requirement of this major); it will also teach you how to professionally study cultures that are different from your own so you do not act the part of the Ignorant American, insulting people with your extreme candor and embarrassing your country on a world stage.

I am a cat; extreme candor is expected of me. You are a human; gentrified manners are expected of you. I suggest that you look into colleges with a strong Cultural Anthropology program (Brown University is one) and learn more about the job opportunities in this field.

Perfunctory Snuggles,

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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