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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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

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I Chose A Major That Won't Make Me Millions, But I Would Not Want It Any Other Way

Because if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.

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As high school comes to a close, your parents, teachers and friends start to ask you what you want to do with your life. They tell you it's time to start deciding because you'll have to pick a major once you get to college.

Some people start their college career without declaring a major. Some choose a major, only to change it months, or even years, later. I went into college with a declared major. I may have changed my specific career a few times, but I have never changed my major.

I chose something that I was passionate about.

I chose something that I always enjoyed. I chose something that I knew I could make a career out of, while also knowing I can enjoy what I do because it is something I care about.

I may not have chosen to be a doctor or a lawyer. I may not be rolling around in money as an adult. I may not make a top-notch salary.

But money isn't the most important part of choosing a career.

I chose a career path that I knew I would enjoy. I didn't want to wake up every morning and dread having to go to work because I chose something just for the money it could bring me.

So, don't let anyone talk down on you for your chosen career. Every career out there has some kind of importance. Doctors, lawyers, salesmen, teachers, writers, first responders...you're all important and you all contribute to the building blocks of society.

My major may not lead me to make millions throughout my lifetime, but I will be doing something that I love. That is what is important.

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