My Brother is in Afghanistan, the Dog Poops in the Afternoon, and I am the Government: in which all your tax dollars go to Twilight marathons.

Prepare to feel deceived.

The title of my blog, “Musings of an Unemployed English Major,”* is a lie.

…okay, “inaccurate” might be a better word than “lie,” and as much as I loath to toot my own horn, I don’t think this inaccuracy injures my overall credibility. At the time of the blog’s inception, I was not telling a lie when I proclaimed myself to be unemployed (save for occasional, few-and-far-between house-sitting gigs, and getting paid under the table to escort the neighbor’s dog around the block for his midday bowel movement). It wasn't until last September, when I went into the payroll office at my school and filled out a bunch of paperwork, that the title officially became inaccurate. These days, not only do I work…

I work for the government.

I tutor English at a community college, which is financed partially by student fees, and a-lot-ly by those crazy kids in Sacramento doing their darnedest to run the state. If you were to do something highly illegal (which I wouldn’t encourage at all), and sneak into Payroll to rifle through their files and find the paperwork I filled out that day, my government employee status might be especially evident to you when you find the oath I signed to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

I want YOU to identify the independent clause.
My very best friend, the Anarchist, asked me if this meant I was to physically assault any unpatriotic nebbish I might encounter on the street. And, well… no. Just, no. All the violence stuff is more up my brother’s alley, who made a VERY SIMILAR PLEDGE when he joined the army about two years ago. But I'm an English tutor, and English tutors don’t suit up in fatigues and polish guns when they defend the Constitution.

Even though I can confidently assert how not to do my job, I can’t confidently assert how an English tutor properly fulfills the “Oath of Allegiance” required for employment at our fine a-lot-ly government-funded establishment. I’ve been helping students defend their papers from scrambled theses and run-on sentences, but when it comes to protecting the Constitution, I am amiss.

The oath is worded with such authority and idealism, I’ve often found myself in a tailspin of endless guilt for neglecting the duties it prescribes. This provokes the grandiosity gland (a close sister of the eject button for any rational conceptions of how the world works) in the tempestuous organ that is my brain, and the thinking mutates as such:

I work for the government. Therefore, I am the government. Or part of it. Well, this is a democracy, so, ideally, everyone’s participating in government affairs. The government belongs to the people. I think I’m mostly a person. I am the government. This calls for a Slurpee. (Can you follow that? My shrink couldn’t.)

Therefore, America, your government is not working for you.

Your government is not defending the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic.

Your government would prefer to watch the Twilight movies with her fellow, floundering, twenty-something chum to mock the poor quality of cinema and abysmal emotional intelligence of its characters so that they may feel superior and compensate for their shortcomings.

Your government is on Team Edward.

BUT NEVER FEAR, AMERICA! My priorities will shift! I will start exploring how an English tutor is to go about supporting and defending the Constitution in a new blog! Although I currently teem with ambition for departing on this odyssey of wholesome patriotism, I’m sure I will publish posts far less than I wish to if I have any modicum of a healthy desire to pass math.

UPDATE (May 30, 2013):  The proposed project has since been pronounced dead.
ANOTHER UPDATE (May 31, 2013):  The title of this blog has been changed to something more accurate.


  1. You are so freaking awesome. (Ooh! Ooh! I just identified an independent clause!) I CAN'T WAIT to read your irregular new blog. (Irregularly updated? Sporadic? Random? I'll stick with fantastic.)

    1. Thanks, Noel! I'm looking forward to writing the blog! ...whenever that's going to happen. Bwa ha ha...

      (Gold star for the independent clause! Now all you need is a prepositional phrase and a gerund and you will be crowned... SUPER GRAMMARIAN!)