12 Things English Majors Know To Be True

12 Things English Majors Know To Be True

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Each time I say that I am an English major, I am met with virtually the same response each and every time. However, when I meet another English major, I immediately want to be best friends, as we have so much in common. Here is a list of things that we *bookish* people can relate to. (Yes, the pun was intended. Enjoy!

1) You are always asked what your favorite book/ who your favorite author is.

I should have this tattooed on my body for the world to see. I have far too many favorite books and authors that I like to pick just one. Like books, I have chapters tha (Although right now, I am LOVING anything by Emily Giffin.)

2) Your favorite class consists of less than twenty people.

It was awkward on the first day because of the small size. However, once we all discovered how psycho we each were individually, we came together like buttah.

3) You get slightly offended when another professor corrects your work.

I know that for me, it was just a few weeks ago when my Geology professor corrected a story I had written for her class. I thought that using Hurricane Katrina as a metaphor for adversity and the spirit of New Orleans was a good thing. Her? Not so much.

4) Reading is your homework most of the time, and you love every second of it.

One of the coolest things that I have discovered about being an English major is actually getting to immerse myself in literature completely. I love that I get to read forty pages of a novel or play for homework.

5) No, we don't all love Shakespeare.

I like Willy boy to an extent, but some of his work makes me want to do something crazy, like vote for Trump.

6) Puns are a second language.

My friends try to annoy me with their bad bird puns all of the time, but toucan play that game. My pun game is so strong, it's not even punny.

7) Listening and or reading other people's grammar is like a rollercoaster from hell.

See: cash me ousside girl. She has five million followers from a phrase that essentially means that she wants to choke a b***h.

8) You read with a highlighter or pen in hand, even if just for pleasure reading.

I never want to forget things, whether they be tidbits of life advice, or really beautiful things that I would not have thought about.

9) Your vocabulary is extensive.

I was recently on the phone with my cousin and used the word "serendipitously," and she had no idea what that meant. It is funny to catch people of guard with the amount of words that you can use.

10) You hate when people generalize English majors as a "bunch of liberals."

I know many liberal English majors, but there are also a good bit of conservative ones, too. It's all cool, we put our differences aside and read, and it's something that the world could really do right now.

11) People are genuinely shocked when they realize that English majors want to do more than write or teach.

Some of my best friends want to go to law school. If Elle Woods can get into Harvard with a fashion degree, then they can and do anything they want to with an English degree. They are true B.A.s (I said that my pun game was strong, right?)

12) You would not change anything about your major.

Being an English major is establishing a new connection with people, places, and things, otherwise known as nouns. It has allowed me to see the world from a new perspective, and I am eternally grateful for said perspective.

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When People Respond to My Major With 'You Better Have a Rich Husband'

The things I've learned working with kids are worth more to me as a person than any college class I've taken. Most days, the kids teach me more than I could ever teach them.

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This past week I have been working at the local elementary school's art camp as an assistant teacher. I've been helping with the camp for three years, and I've worked at a preschool as well. Now I'm in college at the University of North Alabama as an Elementary Education major. More and more lately, I'm getting a sour face when I tell people that I'm an education major." Be prepared to be poor," they say. "You better get a rich husband."

But I'm here to argue against the preconceived notion that I have picked my career based solely upon the fact that I won't make as much as a doctor or engineer. Is this the mindset that you want the people who are teaching your children to have? If so, good luck to you and your family. I've been incredibly blessed by my short time spent with kids so far. Working with children has greatly improved my life and I'll tell you why.

Working with kids is not easy by any definition; I think that's something we can all agree with. But isn't that what makes it so wonderful? I've always heard that being a teacher takes a special kind of person, but I wholeheartedly believe that working with kids makes you into a special person. The things I've learned working with kids are worth more to me as a person than any college class I've taken. Most days, the kids teach me more than I could ever teach them.

I know you could see this one coming: kids are patience builders.

Coming from a perfectionist who began teaching with a low tolerance for anything that went wrong, I've learned a lot about patience. Children are just learning, just beginning their lives. They haven't had enough experience to shape their conscious or moral standards. In their eyes, they have two models to form their foundation upon: their parents, and those around them. So how can we expect anything less than occasionally acting out or making mistakes? Maybe we're the ones they're modeling their silly behavior after at times. Kids may get into more trouble than we prefer, but we love them all the same.

Kids are, sometimes brutally, unquestionably honest.

If your hair is frizzy and sticking up everywhere, then they'll let you know that you look like a porcupine. Or why, they'll ask with a giggle, are those red bumps all over your face? I'm so thankful that I don't even have to keep myself humble; the kids do it for me… and I don't even have to ask! They will never hesitate to point out your flaws or mistakes, even if it's something that you're trying to conceal; you can never underestimate a child's observation skills. They continue to impress me every day.

They stay optimistic.

It doesn't matter if they've never painted before; they're going to paint a picture of a Tyrannosaurus Rex for their dad and he's going to love it. Being an optimistic person myself, it gives me high hopes to be around children who love life and look for the good in people. I think their optimism is quite contagious. If only I could catch onto being so excited about something that early in the morning.

Also, with children comes continuous laughter and fun.

Working with them brings out the 5-year-old in me (not that I don't act like I'm five years old all the time). Whether it's bringing inanimate objects to life or imaginary friends, kids know how to have fun no matter the circumstance. You have to be creative with them, constantly making up games and characters to keep up with their imagination. You kids keep me young... or age me twice as fast. You decide.

Their innocence is refreshing.

They haven't experienced the world yet to spoil their minds, and I continuously wish that I could be so innocent minded. In the words of Patrick Rothfuss, “When we are children we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind." You took the words right out of my mouth, Rothfuss. It's nice to be around little ones so untainted.

They're always there to lift you up.

There is truly no better feeling than a child making something for you, because they used their time and their resources that they could've spent doing anything else. When I have my own classroom, I'll be eager to display all of the gifts my kids have graciously given me. They love seeing their work hanging up because they know we treasure it. But the tangible gifts are only a small portion of what truly matters, which is the sentiment that I so often receive from kids. If I'm down and out, they can tell. If they run up and give me a hug or a smile so big, it never fails to brighten my day.

Lastly and most importantly, kids are authentic.

They're completely themselves, because the cruel world hasn't given them a reason not to be. They're unashamedly bold and that's something that we should all strive for. Kids are friends with whoever they want, and they don't distinguish each other by race or beliefs, but simply see each other for who they are. It's OK to be different. As the older generation, it's our job to set an example for our kids to be themselves and to love life.

Now you understand how interacting with students has shaped me as a person, and I'm sure those who have been around kids would agree. My passion for teaching has given me so much more than I ever thought it would, and I've barely gotten started. I can't wait to see how much I've grown as a person at the end of my journey.

So next time you cringe at the life decisions one has made because of financial reasons, consider that they have a huge heart for teaching and all that it entails. Maybe they're in it for more than simply the money. Never discredit an individual's passions because of your worldly attitude.

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What Is The Point of Finals?

Yes, this is a rant about the pointlessness of exams.

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I feel like anyone who writes an article about how examinations aren't a good assessment of a student's intellect always start with: "I'm such a bad test taker..."

Ya, no.

I'm a great test taker. Even if I do not study, I do not get anxious before a test, I do not feel like throwing up. I am completely calm and confident and I go in thinking I shall ace the test and then I do.

Yup, you heard right. Tests are great. I always do good on them because, and if you know me you will know this to be true, I can bullshit my way out of practically anything. It's so satisfying doing something really well because then, you start thinking that you are good at that.

And I did think that. As I aced subjects in high school, I thought I was great at them, so good in fact that I did not need to study. Most of the time, funnily enough, the lesser I studied, the higher score I got. And what would any self-respecting person do then? Yes, you guessed right. I stopped studying hard and I convinced myself that it was because of my inane talent in the subject that I continued to get high marks.

Does that mean that you are reading an article written by a genius? Definitely not. I do not remember anything I have studied and I probably will continue to forget what I have learnt the moment I come out of the examination hall.

I have never actually absorbed the material thoroughly. The moment I am done with my exam, I completely forget anything I have ever learnt about that subject and I move on to the next subject. Rinse and repeat.

That does not sound like a good method for judging a student's capacity to learn; it mostly looks like it judges a student's capacity to memorize and then release onto the exam paper. Memorization is not knowledge and if students cannot apply the material learned, what good it it? Simply put, exams are not true indicators of one's intelligence and often times, limit students ability to actually comprehend the material rather than to just memorize it.

A test, by definition, is intended to measure and assess student's knowledge on a specific subject. They are simply taken by students regurgitating facts they spent hours memorizing but not actually absorbing any of the concepts or understanding what they actually mean. Not only that, but exams don't allow for any creativity or profound responses. Many times questions are looking for a single correct answer rather than a different outlook or idea on a certain concept. This causes students to only focus on specific exam questions rather than the topic as whole.

Studies have found that in today's society, students believe that good grades are more important than a firm understanding of the material. And yes, I am not ashamed to say that I feel this way too. Only last week, I was thinking of changing my major to something mathematics related so I could get those A's, because as much as people say you cannot memorize mathematics, I've been doing it for years and it hasn't let me down yet.

The problem with this is the testing itself. Testing has shown to hinder creativity and original thinking, create stress among students and teachers, and fails to consider the growth/ improvement of the student as a whole.

Not to mention, it takes the fun out of learning something new. If I had to learn astrophysics for fun, sign me up! But why haven't I taken a single astrophysics class at college? Because having tests on it, no thank you. When you take away the stressful testing and the constant peer competition and the horrible self esteem issues that occur due to exams, you are left with the actual knowledge of the subject.

Yes, I get why testing is important. It makes sure that a student has learnt something, but most of the time, that student will learn even more if they did not feel the need to prove themselves constantly.

We lose too many talented and intelligent people by defining intelligence through tests that are wholly inadequate and constricting. We need to look wider and encourage the entrepreneur, the inquisitive, the creative, and the downright cussed in our schools to make the most of who we are and to bring out the richness and diversity of thought and ideas in our society.

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