Ten Things You Shouldn't Ask the English Major

Ten Things You Shouldn't Ask the English Major

No, we don't all want to teach.
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School is back in session, things are looking up for me, and I am excited to start this semester with new responsibilities. However, one thing that has always been incredibly troubling to me is the societal perception of my major. So here's to us, English majors. We may always be reading, but sometimes, books are better than people anyway.

1) "Oh, so you want to teach?"

NEVER say this to an English major unless they have "licensure" after they state their major. No, not all of us want to teach, but some of us do wish to teach at the college level. It may be a long road to get there, but it is one that will be worth it in the long run.

2) "So, what are you going to do with that degree once you graduate?"

This is the number one question I get at family events. When I tell them of my ultimate goal of getting my PhD, their faces scream doubt. I hate that just because we aren't math or science minded that family and friends think we will not amount to much.

3) "Can you read my paper?"

I usually respond with a soft "no" to this one, but it is not because I don't want to read your paper. Most of the time, I am trying to read, write, and proof my own papers. It's not an issue of whether or not I like you, but the simple fact that there are not enough hours in the day.

4) "OMG, you must have the easiest major ever, right?"

WRONG. You would be wrong on this one. Just as I cannot type up a lab report without assistance, I am pretty certain that one would find it difficult to write the type of papers that I produce.

5) "How do you read all of that? I hate to read."

"All of that" usually consists of assigned reading for classes that I chose. As in, I knew what I was getting into before I signed up for the class. When people wrongly assume that I hate reading for class, they look like idiots.

6) "Are all of you liberal?"

I like to think of English majors as cakes in a bakery window. Each moist pastry is differently flavored, decorated, and filled, and have different tastes when cut into. No, not all English majors are liberal. Just as it is with most people, there are different tastes for different palettes, and my major is no different.

7) "What is the point of taking an English class when I already know the language?"

LOL, do you really want to go there? In the age of texting, it can be refreshing to go back to books. I find books to be like old friends that just never seem to get old. I get a lot from modern technology, but nothing quite connects me to the past like 200 year old poetry.

8) "Do you ever worry about not having a practical major?"

I don't know, Susie the Liberal Studies major, how practical is your major? When I get this question, I tend to get defensive because there are majors far less "practical" than English.

9) "Are you good at math?"

You're talking to the woman who sometimes plugs two plus two into her calculator as a precautionary measure. I am sure that if I was good at math, more careers might open up. However, I like my literature-minded brain just fine.

10) "If you had to redo college as another major, would you?"

To quote Hamlet, Act III, Scene III, "no."


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20 Simple Changes That Would Actually Make Students Go To Class

The college student's classroom Bill of Rights.

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Students, do you ever get the urge to grade your professor on how they taught their class? Do you ever want to email them a list of everything they did wrong in the semester? Well, here's some advice to all professors about what they can do to make classes better. If you're a student, share it and include your favorite points on course feedback surveys. If you're a professor, please consider doing these to make your class more enjoyable and engaging for everyone.

Let us use laptops in class

I know laptops can be distracting if not used properly, but as a professor who is not my high school teacher, it is not your responsibility to make sure I'm not distracted in class. I'm paying thousands of dollars to take this class, and I'm responsible for getting the most out of it. And sometimes, the way I can get the most out of your class is by taking notes on my computer because it's a lot faster than writing it out. Also #savethetrees

Give us at least a week to get our books

I know that I can look up the books for the class before the first day. However, those books are really expensive, so I'm never going to buy them before the first class because I need to ask you if I can buy a cheaper version. Give it a week to come in. You can even scan the first chapter, so we can still do the homework.

Put the schedule on the syllabus

When you give your class the whole schedule ahead of time, it means that I'll actually plan my schedule around your assignments. That means fewer vacations before I have a paper due.

Put the assignment sheets on the syllabus

When I know the assignment a couple weeks before it's due, I can manage my time more effectively. Also, you posting the prompt for the paper a couple days before it's due isn't helping anybody.

Teach your TA how to grade

Everyone has had a TA who thinks they're the greatest thing since sliced bread. They'll tear your assignments apart even in a 101 class. Everyone has also had TAs who don't care and give everyone 100%. If you have multiple TAs, they should all be grading the same way so that some people aren't penalized for having a hard grader. Give your grading TAs a rubric so that they'll grade a little more appropriately.

Don't make homework due right after break

It's called a "break" for a reason.

Curve grades

If the average grade is a C or lower on an assignment, then the problem probably wasn't the students. It was your teaching. Try to understand common mistakes and how you can prevent that in the future, but don't give your students a bad grade for something that wasn't their fault.

Actually be in your office during office hours

What's the point of giving us those hours if you don't even show up? Send an email out if you won't be in your office during your regular hours.

Email back promptly

Students usually have a lot going on, so they will inevitably put things off until the last minute. Understand that and check your email often (because we have to check ours every five minutes, too).

Answer all the questions in an email, not just one

You can't pick and choose what part of an email you should respond to. Read the whole thing and answer all the questions in the email.

Stop telling people that they can come talk to you after class if they have questions

I have 10 minutes to walk from this class across campus to my next class. I can't wait in a line of students to talk to you. Give more options for times to ask questions.

Just cancel class the day before break

You're not an idiot. No one is going to come, and I know you want that day off just as much as we do. At least make attendance optional or extra credit.

Leave comments that explain why we got a grade

Getting a grade back on an assignment gives me an idea of how I did on the assignment, but it tells me nothing about what I did wrong. I need feedback if I'm ever going to improve.

Leave positive feedback, too

When you're telling me what I can do better, let me know what I did well, too. That way, I can be sure to do that again in the future.

Grade things promptly

I know you have a lot to grade and grading takes longer when you give a lot of feedback, but when the time it takes to grade is twice as long as the time I had to complete the assignment, that's ridiculous.

Set a date for when you'll have things graded

If I have to have deadlines, you should, too. That's all I'm saying.

Set our deadline for when you'll actually start grading the assignment

There's no point in forcing us to have an assignment finished on Monday if you're not going to even look at it until Thursday.

Set a late assignments policy

And “no late assignments accepted" is not a policy. I know that we need to learn how to meet deadlines, but as someone who gets overwhelmed and stressed to the point of paralysis at certain points in the semester, I really appreciate even the smallest partial credit on late assignments.

Set an absence policy

And “students must attend every class" is not a policy. Jobs have a set amount of personal days and sick days, so classes should, too. I use my skip days to see more of my family or to see the doctor when I'm sick.

Be understanding

I know being a professor is stressful, so I'm willing to accept things when you mess up sometimes. But I expect you to be understanding with me in exchange.

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What Is Really Wrong With The Lori Loughlin Scandal?

This scandal has really caused a debate on multiple platforms on whether or not justice will be given to the rich and the famous.

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Last week, news came out with a report that actress, Lori Loughlin, along with other important lawyers and doctors paid or cheated their way for their children to attend prestigious universities. So, what is really wrong with this scandal? Surely, the primary thing is that she considered herself at an advantage to paying $500,000 to the University of Southern California for both of her daughters to be accepted there. Due to both of her daughters' academic situations, the girls would not have been accepted as their grades meet below average qualifications. However, because of this bribery, they were put on as recruits for the university's crew team and accepted into the college as athletes.

These girls took away opportunities from other hardworking students who possibly deserved to be accepted into the university. Athletes who have trained for years and years were not put on the crew team because of the bribe. The girls, however, were allowed entrance to this elite school without ever having to compete in crew to be accepted. Students who have studied long hours and tried their hardest are being unjustly rejected because they can't pay their way in. Meanwhile, in one of Olivia Jade's videos, she complained, "I don't really care about school". She only wanted to go because of parties and friends as she states earlier in the video. Also, these universities aren't really considered credible to the fact that they have partaken in bribery. This produces a rippling effect that affects those who actually worked hard to get into USC or any other school. It causes people to question whether it is reputable in the admissions process.

Also, with Lori Loughlin, it seems as if there will be no harsh charges brought up against her. With her money, she was released on bail which cost $1 million. Many seem to believe that there will be almost no jail time at all for this crime because of the fact that she is rich and famous. That is something to be considering as this scandal continues to shape itself into a wake-up call from America's elite to the public.

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