Although the tongue weighs very little, very few people are able to hold it. -Anonymous
Question #45265 posted on 05/26/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

A while back was in the advisement center of the college of engineering and technology, filling out some paperwork for getting me into my major's program. Apparently, I wasn't going about it the right way, and the girl behind the desk starts talking to me like I'm some kind of idiot because I didn't know the proper procedure in filling out some dumb form. In the ensuing conversation I inquired as to what her major was (I naively expected her to be an engineer) and it turned out she was studying --- wait for it --- marriage family and human development. It turned out that all the girls working that office were "family science" majors, which almost causes me to think that they're only working in the engineering department because it's an auspicious place to meet lots of guys who'll have good incomes.

Anyways, I thought it was outrageous for some dumb chick who just came here for the sole purpose of landing a husband to talk down to a smart guy who's actually studying a legitimate discipline. In my opinion, people need to respect the BYU caste system (as mentioned in Board Question #8162.) If you have some easy, cop-out major like "home and family living", you cannot speak disrespectfully to someone whose major actually requires a brain.

Am I right or am I right?

A-Dawg

A: Dear A-Dawg,

The caste system is descriptive, not prescriptive; it offers no justification for the extent to which engineers consider themselves God's gift to the student body, it merely attempts to quantify that tendency (to which you've added another data point).

It's unfortunate that the secretary lost her patience with you, but patience can wear thin when you repeatedly have to explain a process to someone. It's also been my experience that engineers are more likely to jump into a project than they are to carefully read the instructions, so she may have had to deal with many engineers who screwed up their paperwork. (And if you can't properly complete some simple paperwork, you can't speak disrespectfully of the secretary who had to do your work for you.)

- Katya, who thinks it's a mercy your neck doesn't snap from the excess torque exerted by your huge head
A: Dear A-Dawg,

I'd also like to point out that just being a member of a certain major doesn't mean that person is smarter per se. I've met plenty of freshmen who were budding Chemistry majors who ended up dropping out later because the classes were too hard. While I do have more academic respect for people who do well in difficult classes, I don't think it makes them better people (although I admit that I am often similarly biased towards MFHD majors).

-Whistler
A: Dear A-Dawg~

I'm not sure if your question was serious, or if you just got a little carried away while you were writing it.

I'm a Russian major, and I'm pretty much the smartest person I've ever met*. So much for the caste system.

I bet the readers didn't think any more ego could be inserted into this question. I showed them.

*Katya excepted, naturally.

~Hobbes