When I was 16 or 17, my family had dinner over at the home of some friends. As I was browsing the bookshelf, I came upon a textbook: Acting Is Believing. My hostess mentioned that she had been a theater major in college.
"Were you an actress?" I asked.
"No, I didn't really want to act," she said. "I was just interested in theater."
Believe it or not, it had never occured to me that you could study a subject at college without intending to pursue a job in that field. I'd always seen college as a glorified vocational school, and I wasn't at all interested in teaching, which is what my acquaintances with English degrees did (English degree (noun): that catch-all program for kids who like to read). But here was a real person who'd studied theater (something I was truly interested in) not because she was an already accomplished actress or planned to do movie work, but just because she liked theater. And though I still didn't know what I wanted to do, I decided that I would study theater, and even chose Franciscan University of Steubenville because of the conservative Catholic colleges I'd heard of, it was the only one with a real drama department. And so I went to college and met Darwin within the first few weeks at one of the ubiquitous freshman mixers.
I knew plenty of girls who went to college to get their MRS degree, and even some who dropped out of school to get married. Once they'd found a mate, college had served its purpose, and since they planned to stay at home with the children, they didn't need any further vocational training. And what better place to meet a good Catholic guy than at an orthodox Catholic college? (Oddly enough, none of these girls were engineering students or Computer Science majors, which would have been the most useful places to be if you wanted to attract the attention of a bunch of future wage-earners.)
Now I'm a stay-at-home mom with a heavy debt load and a firm grasp of intentions and objectives in scoring a script for acting. I'd always intended to stay at home with children when I became a mother, and I figured that one day I'd get married. But for me, going to college was not about finding a husband, although I did that. College was where I learned to think well -- to encounter an idea and examine it on its merits; to express concretely why elements of the faith had always felt right to me; to formulate a logical argument for why I believed that certain things were wrong; to read critically. I don't see a dichotomy between staying at home with a family and having a well-honed, educated mind -- though perhaps the good bishop would disagree, since
to attract a man so as to marry and become a mother, to nurture and rear children and to retain their father, she needs superior gifts of feeling and instinct, e.g. sensitivity, delicacy, tact, perspicacity, tenderness, etc. by which her mind will correspondingly be swayed, which is why no husband can understand how the mind of his wife works! For to do the work of generation, i.e. to ensure nothing less than the survival and continuation of mankind, God designed her mind to run on a complementary and different basis from her man's. His mind is designed not to be swayed by feelings but on the contrary to control them, so that while his feelings may be inferior to hers, his reason is superior. And reason being meant to rule in rational beings, then he is natured to rule over her (Gen. III, 16), as can be seen for example whenever she needs to resort to him for her feelings not to get out of control. (Bishop Williamson, Girls at University, Sept. 1 2001)In my opinion, the bishop could have taken the opportunity at college to hone his writing and reasoning skills. That's why I went to school, sir.