Do you remember wondering how your high school education was actually going to apply to real life? I certainly do, especially in English class (or Language Arts, as I hear it's called these days). What do I care if birds appear in a scene of Tess of the d'Ubervilles? The whole book didn't make sense to me in the first place.
Though I haven't developed any more affection for some of the novels I read (I'm looking at you, Light in August), becoming a professional artist has made me appreciate English much more than my seventeen year-old self did. That's because English is essentially about communication—understanding the meaning another person is trying to convey.
And what am I doing when I tell a story during a concert, talk to a potential client, or write a blog post? Communicating. I'm trying to relate a story through words effectively so that the stories I relate through music are even more powerful. Therefore I thank you, English. You were worthwhile after all.