I’m a PhD candidate at Louisiana State University, where I specialize in translation, postcolonial theory, and Arthurian literature. I can read three languages (and several dialects of two of them) that are no longer spoken. You may think research interests and skills like these do not serve much purpose. But you’d be wrong in a couple of ways. For starters, as my dissertation director likes to tell her students, knowing Latin makes you a better person. It also means I know why words like candidate means what they mean. More importantly, when I was a teaching assistant (I do something else now because of budget cuts at my university rather than because of my classroom performance), students enrolled in my courses were not nearly as interested in reading medieval literature as I am and just as often lacked a good point of reference to undrestand what they were reading. This meant I not only had to teach them how to read material written in an unfamiliar style and to write effective, concise, and clear arguments about the reading, but also to deal with subjects well out of their comfort zone, as well as to acknowledge and appreciate the beliefs and traditions of cultures that were not their own. This cannot be a bad thing in today’s world, where the next person you meet is probably markedly different from you in one way or another but no less human.