When An English Major Encounters A Rat
Lifestyle

When An English Major Encounters A Rat

There is a story in everything.

54
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.
Swoon

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

We have all been there. Mindlessly scrolling through social media and then we see that post. We see someone we once saw a future with creating it with someone else. However this time it was really different. A lot of times when we say we are happy for someone we don't really mean it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Samuel Branch on Unsplash

Affirmations affirm beliefs that we are in need of strengthening. They help up to focus on goals that we are striving for or on a powerful part of ourselves that we need a little reminder is within us.

They specifically focus on positive outcomes or belief systems that we're working to solidify, rather than solely focusing action on eradicating something "bad" or "wrong" from your life.

Keep Reading... Show less

About a year ago, I began my own fitness journey. Growing up, I had played soccer and kept busy, but after an injury cut my soccer career short I suddenly became very inactive. It took years of misfires before I finally found a new active passion for weight lifting. Getting started is never easy, and setting up for success is the best plan of action to assist anyone in your life who is thinking about starting their own journey. These are a few items you can gift for the fitness rookie in your life:

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Nordstrom's Biggest Sale Has The Most Legendary Deals On Luxury Beauty Brands We've Ever Seen

Counting down the days to the Chanel box set gracing my front door.

I oftentimes (excessively) use the excuse of my job as a writer to justify my excessive spending habits.

I needed the new Huda Beauty palette before anyone else in the name of journalistic integrity. It was my job to test out the new Francis Kurkdjian fragrance to make sure I could tell people whether or not it was truly worth the splurge (it was).

Keep Reading... Show less

Some people are so good at downplaying their sadness that even they don't realize how much they do it. When you ask them how they are they will always say that they are good, even when they aren't. They exhaust themselves by plastering an energetic and carefree persona in the spaces that you watch them in because at least to you they can control how they appear. They can pretend to be the happy person they want to be when everyone is telling them how funny and bubbly they are all the time.

Keep Reading... Show less

Mental health is not an easy endeavor. It's not a fad. It's not a bandwagon that you can hop on and off of whenever you want to. Your yearly dose of sadness is not depression. I'm not here to define what depression — or anxiety, or any other type of mental health issue looks like — but I will tell you what it's not.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Sonnie Hiles on Unsplash

Whether it's dealing with a global pandemic or getting fired from your job, the fear of not knowing can become consuming if it isn't controlled. Below are some easy ways to take back control and establish a peace of mind.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

My South Asian Roots Inspire My Future Career As Both A Scientist And Journalist — Here's How

Being born to culturally diverse parents, I feel like I have the best of both worlds!

Erikka Chowdhury

To all of those who don't know me, I'm an American girl with South Asian parents who have carved their own niche as immigrants in the USA.

Keep Reading... Show less

The beaches are starting to open up. At least in Cape Cod, where my family and I were able to vacation this week. Near our house, we have a bit of a private beach, which is great.

Keep Reading... Show less

I sometimes look back at the days when I had anorexia and think to myself what would have happened if I had taken another bite? Nowadays, I spend days dreading over my figure and wondering if the old sundresses and outfits even fit. I tell myself that they do, but I feel like reality holds a different truth.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments