When An English Major Encounters A Rat
Start writing a post
Lifestyle

When An English Major Encounters A Rat

There is a story in everything.

60
When An English Major Encounters A Rat
Max Pixel

Early one morning, I left my car and approached the door of the “convenience store” where I often stop for tea before school. As I reached for the door, something in the nearby bushes caught my eye.

I took a quick step back in order to take a second look. I was shocked to see a rat in the bushes. It was not a cute rat like the one I used for this article. That was simply a ploy to encourage you to click and read the article. No, it was a dead rat - yes, dead as a doornail rat.

I stood for a moment before taking a giant step sideways toward the door. I wanted to be as far away from the cadaver as possible. My mind jumped to images of the rat suddenly springing back to life and running across my feet. I wasn’t taking any chances. After my purchase, I took an alternate door to return to my car.

As an English major, we are constantly analyzing, interpreting, dissecting or creating different styles of writing. My emphasis in school is creative writing which means I much prefer creating as opposed to the analyzing, etc. I began to laugh as I realized all the random thoughts and stories I had created around the rat.

The first story I created was strictly fiction. I first questioned why the rat had died. What if it had escaped from a nearby lab after contracting a new strain of virus that could migrate to birds, therefore, making it possible for the virus to attack humans. I began to ponder how long it would take for symptoms to appear.

I was getting over an upper respiratory infection, so questioned how I would know if any new symptoms appeared. The story went as far as all the English majors in my lit classes at Clemson being quarantined in one of the fallout shelter areas. I wondered how we would be able to find an escape path to allow us to get the food and water.

I soon switched into creative nonfiction. The rat must have a story of its own. He was a rather large rat so obviously had come from an environment of privilege. Why had he ventured away from his home and safety/security?

Had a beautiful young rat broken his heart? Perhaps the food source in his home environment was dwindling due to climate change and he had set out to find a new food source. Whatever his reason, he had encountered some difficulty leading to his untimely demise.

My next genre of thought was memoir. The rat obviously symbolized the people in my who had abandoned, neglected, hurt or simply pissed me off. The death of the rat represented the end of a period in my life that had been destructive or unfulfilling. The fear of the rat was, of course, my concern for the future.

I could take this one step further and attempt to find a way to integrate the story of the rat into canonical literature. Shakespeare certainly had a lot of “rats’ in his plays. Just read Hamlet to see an example. I don’t think I will pursue this line of thinking much further. You can see how far one might be able to go with this one.

People often question what one can do with a degree in English. I think I have shown that English majors are creative, intelligent, quick thinking and courageous people. The options for life work for English majors should be endless. Sadly, not everyone recognizes this potential. Perhaps this article will change their minds. The next time you see a dead rodent (or another carcass) and simply go on with your day, remember that an English major somewhere is giving new life to that lifeless figure.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Black Friday: Explained

Time to question this unofficial corporate holiday.

1577
Flickr/John Henderson

On a personal level, Black Friday has always confused me. Everyone just ate a ton and spent all day with their families—why would we want to go out and vigorously shop, fighting crowds? I totally see why other people want to go do it, but I’ve never quite understood the concept myself. While I’ve been Black Friday shopping once or twice, I don’t get that excited about it unless it’s an opportunity to spend time with family or friends. Don’t get me wrong; I am the queen of bargains. Still, I never seem to have the energy to go out into the jungle of shoppers early the day after Thanksgiving, or even immediately after Thanksgiving dinner. Many people, though—including my loved ones—are enthusiastic about Black Friday shopping, and it seems most other Americans are the same way. So, it’s worth looking at the reasons for this commercially-driven, unofficial American holiday.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

#OptOutside This Black Friday

I am opting to go outside this Black Friday, and I hope you do so as well.

4725
Ross Woodhall

The day after Thanksgiving has always been regarded by many as the beginning of the Christmas season. While not a federal holiday, many people take off work, spend time at home with their families, and enjoy the beginning of the holiday season. This Friday off turned into a prime opportunity to begin the never-ending chore of Christmas shopping. Soon it became one of the busiest shopping days a year, which companies capitalized on by bringing the best deals of the year to this day we know as Black Friday.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

7 Moments You Only Experience As A Night Owl

Cereal never seemed more appealing than at 10 pm.

6364
7 Moments You Only Experience As A Night Owl

There is almost nothing more annoying in the world than waking up to the sound of an alarm. From the moment you get up until the time you get to bed, you are bombarded with responsibilities. You have to go to work and school, run errands, and do favors. But if you're a night owl then you have an advantage of getting a few more extra hours in the day. Here are seven perks to being a night owl:

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

17 tasty foods to cook in an air fryer

Air fryers are becoming a staple in all health conscious households because of its delicious, yet grease free way of cooking your favorite dishes! We all love a good fried chicken dish, but this is a great alternative if you are eating mindfully.

There are plenty of places that sell air fryers such as Target, Bed Bath and Beyond and Amazon.

5217
Air Fryed Avocado Fries
Photo by: Tatum Oblonsky

Keep Reading... Show less
Wallpapers Pro

The Thanksgiving season is a time we spend with our loved ones giving thanks for the blessings we are given. Here are 20 Bible verses that remind us of what Thanksgiving is all about:

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments