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What was Tara studying?

WillowFromBuffy

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Poetry (with Buffy, though Buffy drops out), literature (with Buffy and Willow), sociology (probably took it before Willow) and art appreciation.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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I think a strong case can be made that Tara is a homeless person who loiters around campus, and isn't actually a student. But seriously, Tara is a manic pixie dream girl who exists only for Willow's benefit in 4 & 5, by the time she becomes a likable character in season 6, college is so far off canvas that nobody really cares. So, her academic plans were unknown.
 

Priceless

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I really don't understand the American system, but my guess is that English Literature was what her degree would have been in . . . if she hadn't been murdered 😳
 

Taake

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Black Thorn
Lol, while it would be kind of funny if Tara was revealed to have not be a student, she does appear to have not just a room - but a single room at that - and I would imagine that campus living is not exactly easy to come by, meaning that you would have to verify your status as a student to qualify for that type of housing. But the theory is fun, maybe they should've made Tara the covert government operative.

As for what she studied, I would also imagine courses within the humanities, but I'm not sure what her major would have been, I can just imagine her being interested and drawn to so many different topics!
 

WillowFromBuffy

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We see her take all the courses that I mentioned above, except for sociology, but it is implied that she has taken it before from her reaction to Buffy not enjoying Mike and his quick fire round. I don't remember her major being mentioned, but Priceless's suggestion seems plausible to me, considering that she has two courses in literature, one that deals exclusively in poetry and the one they read The Ringer in Notre Dame for.
 

TriBel

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Sounds to me like a Humanities degree. Is that Liberal Arts in the US? Kinda of in keeping with her humane personality. LOL! Our Prime Minister was born in the US and has the archetypal Humanities degree (albeit with a Latin name - 'cos Oxford). All things considered, I'd prefer Tara in Downing Street - dead or alive.
 

DeadlyDuo

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I think a strong case can be made that Tara is a homeless person who loiters around campus, and isn't actually a student.
Whilst I don't think that is the actual case in-show, especially since Tara would need to be on registers to attend classes and the college would want their money rather than giving her free room and board, I could easily see Tara being a homeless person. Given her family situation, her running away during the night and getting as far from them as she can afford would make sense. It would also explain why they didn't turn up until Season 5 because they had only just tracked her down. Also, imagine how vulnerable she would be as a homeless person in Sunnydale (we know Spike and Dru killed a homeless man on a bench) especially during the episode Hush which is Tara's first appearance.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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Of course Tara isn't a homeless person. But she has no visible means of support, we never see her life outside of Willow's girlfriend, she dresses like she shops at thrift stores, which is probably just a fashion statement, but could also mean poverty. I mean, that what's Cordelia would say. ... Now that's a ship. We see her dorm room almost as much as Buffy's Sophomore Dorm, but probably more. Her class attendance could be handwaved, I mean, if Faith can hang out at a high school for six months without raising suspicions, so can homeless Tara. And let's pretend she's not actually a witch, she just keeps talking about witch stuff, and Will thinks she's legit. Now, in all fairness, a lot of third tier characters on television have little in way of backstory (See Anya) and let's face it, how many girlfriends of a friend's friend that you hung out with in college, did you know all the details of their life? Adult wise, there's always a co-worker or PTA member or Church congregant you may have known for a decade, but really have no knowledge of, so it's not unrealistic, but it's still like something out of Arrested Development.

US College System: Don't worry, every American school is different, and has its own course offerings. The courses being offered at UC Sunnydale have no rhyme or reason. Buffy as a freshman would never take a media studies course, and Psych would never be a science requirement.
 

WillowFromBuffy

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Maybe none of them are actually enrolled.

By the way, I've kinda wondered how easy it would be for an average American student to make it just on loans and scholarships. I didn't work the semester I lived in America, though I got support from my home country and got my tuition halved and didn't have to pay that insane insurance. Back home, I could have managed without a job, though it would have left little if any money for play.
 

garfan

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I think a strong case can be made that Tara is a homeless person who loiters around campus, and isn't actually a student. But seriously, Tara is a manic pixie dream girl who exists only for Willow's benefit in 4 & 5, by the time she becomes a likable character in season 6, college is so far off canvas that nobody really cares. So, her academic plans were unknown.
that was when I started finding her unlikeable.

College was likely mainly a way to get away from her family so her future plans weren't a huge concern for her
 

Priceless

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that was when I started finding her unlikeable.

College was likely mainly a way to get away from her family so her future plans weren't a huge concern for her
Or . . . her future plans were such a concern for her, they gave her the impetus to escape her family
 

TriBel

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I think it's quite possible Tara's a "homeless" person...inasmuch as her function's to provide a "home", a safe retreat, for Willow. It's interesting that when she breaks up with Oz, Willow gives his lack of rootedness as a partial reason: WILLOW: "I missed you, Oz. I wrote you so many letters... but I didn't have any place to send them, you know? (Pause.) I couldn't live like that".


666 Southern Gothic Drive
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'MURICA
Love it! 😄 Dare I say "Great"!?
 
WillowFromBuffy
WillowFromBuffy
Very well put!

AlphaFoxtrot

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Tara's motivations in college would require me to know what she was like in high school. File not found.

Now, we know that Tara's mother and grandmother were exceptional witches. We also know that the women in Tara's family are descendents of a Demon, and undergo metamorphosis in their twenties, or so it is said. The men in her family perpetuated this lie. The only way for all these to be true, is if her parents were siblings. Which was probably not the intent, but death of the author.
 

TriBel

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Tara's motivations in college would require me to know what she was like in high school. File not found.

Now, we know that Tara's mother and grandmother were exceptional witches. We also know that the women in Tara's family are descendents of a Demon, and undergo metamorphosis in their twenties, or so it is said. The men in her family perpetuated this lie. The only way for all these to be true, is if her parents were siblings. Which was probably not the intent, but death of the author.
How so? If your mom has a condition like Huntington's disease, because of the way the gene is inherited, you'll have a 50-50 chance of also getting the disease. So...following this pattern, if Tara's Gran was a witch there's a 50% chance her mother inherited the gene; if her mum was a witch, there's a 50% chance of Tara inheriting it. No? (genuine question).

If there's a possibility of matrilineal or distaff* power, it makes sense the patriarchy would perpetuate a lie that demonises it. I'd want to tie this tangentially to the Shadow Men, the Watcher's Council and also the appearance of the Guardian (a female history is kept secret until the last moment so it can't be appropriated and used against women). There's nothing to say that Tara's brother doesn't also have the condition but it's actively quashed in him because he's male (and it's a female "thing") or he unconsciously quashes it by identifying with the father.

*LOL! BUFFY (Get it Done) "I knew it. It's always the staff". Conveniently, Dawn mentions her Grandmother in this episode: of the Slayer bag - "Smelled weird. Kinda like Grandma's closet, but worse".
 
Priceless
Priceless
I love how you tie everything together

garfan

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How so? If your mom has a condition like Huntington's disease, because of the way the gene is inherited, you'll have a 50-50 chance of also getting the disease. So...following this pattern, if Tara's Gran was a witch there's a 50% chance her mother inherited the gene; if her mum was a witch, there's a 50% chance of Tara inheriting it. No? (genuine question).

If there's a possibility of matrilineal or distaff* power, it makes sense the patriarchy would perpetuate a lie that demonises it. I'd want to tie this tangentially to the Shadow Men, the Watcher's Council and also the appearance of the Guardian (a female history is kept secret until the last moment so it can't be appropriated and used against women). There's nothing to say that Tara's brother doesn't also have the condition but it's actively quashed in him because he's male (and it's a female "thing") or he unconsciously quashes it by identifying with the father.

*LOL! BUFFY (Get it Done) "I knew it. It's always the staff". Conveniently, Dawn mentions her Grandmother in this episode: of the Slayer bag - "Smelled weird. Kinda like Grandma's closet, but worse".
sorry to resurrect and old post, but Tara believed she was part demon and that all the women of the family were part demon. There's no explanation as to why she doesn't think this also happens to the men. All of Mrs MacLay's kids would have the same X chromosome.

To perpetuate that story the entire MacLay family would have to believe it, Tara's mom would have to never have told her differently. They don't have to be siblings, but I don't see how they could keep that maintained without being cousins
 
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