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."


Cover Image Credit: wordpress

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Finals Week As Told By Schmidt

Schmidt Happens
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Finals week is finally upon us. The time every college student has dreaded all semester and there is no avoiding it. Let the stress, tears, and sleepless nights commence. Here's Finals Week as Told by Schmidt.

1. When you walk into the library and see that there are no more spots available because every freshman decided to start using the library now.

See Also: Finals Week As Told My Marshall Eriksen

2. You run into someone from your class and they ask you how prepared you are for the final.

3. Your first meltdown begins...

4. And then you get a call from your parents asking you why you've been so on edge lately

5. When you're three coffees deep at 2AM and believe everything will be okay even though you still haven't studied.

6. The day has arrived and it's time to take your first final so you give yourself a quick pep talk.

7. When you are the first one to finish the final early because you didn't study.

SEE ALSO: Finals Week As Told By Dwight Schrute

8. Trying to pack while studying.

9. And then you start wishing you didn't wait until the last minute to pack because now there is no way your stuff will fit into your car.

10. When you get your first grade back.

11. And you have to tell your parents how you did in the class.

12. When all of your roommates are done with their finals and you still have one left.

13. But then your time has finally come and you have finished your last final as well.

14. And you realize you have survived yet another hell week.

Cover Image Credit: tvmedia.ign.com

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I Stand Up To Harvard, And You Should, Too

Sororities, Fraternities, Students File Federal and State Suits that Challenge Harvard's Ban on Single-Sex Organizations

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A coalition of both male and female students are suing Harvard University in Massachusetts federal and state court over a campus policy discouraging private, single-sex organizations that blacklists students deemed to be members of single-sex sororities, fraternities, and Harvard-specific final clubs.

The federal complaint — filed by sororities, fraternities, and three unnamed College students — alleges that the sanctions constitute sex-based discrimination and violate federal anti-sex discrimination law Title IX and the United States Constitution. Harvard's sanctions — which took effect with the Class of 2021 — bar members of single-gender final clubs and Greek organizations from holding campus leadership positions, varsity team athletic captaincies, and from receiving College endorsement for prestigious fellowships like the Rhodes.

In the federal case, the plaintiffs are the international organizations for two sororities, Kappa Alpha Theta and Kappa Kappa Gamma; the parent groups for two fraternities, Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Sigma Chi; Harvard's chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon; and three current Harvard students who are also members of all-male social clubs. The undergraduates are not named in the suit.

The plaintiffs in the Massachusetts suit are the international parent group of sorority Alpha Phi, Harvard's newly reinstated chapter of Alpha Phi, and a management company for chapters of sorority Delta Gamma. Harvard has "succeeded perversely" in eliminating nearly every women's social organization previously available to female students at the school. Almost all of its all-women social clubs have closed their doors or renounced their status as women's social organizations and become co-ed, according to the plaintiffs.

Being in a sorority myself, Harvard's decision to ban members of Greek life from even running for campus leadership positions or scholarships is infuriating. Harvard has erased these empowering women's spaces, and it has done so paternalistically, without the input of these women and to the devastation of their organizations. These organizations have either had to renounce their proud status as women's organizations or commit to admitting men, which disrupts the very mission of sororities and tramples on students' rights to freedom of association.

The fraternity and sorority experience on campus, or greek life, carries many meanings and reputations for people. The way fraternity and sorority members are portrayed in society is unfortunate, especially given the amazing things these students do each and every day. College greek life typically includes social, professional, and academic groups that offer their members and constituents a sense of community and a rewarding co-curricular experience. Many, if not most, greek organizations offer networking opportunities to their members long after their college years. Many greek organizations are heavily involved in community service. These organizations have shown their ability to impact many people's lives throughout various outreach programs and philanthropic events. The leadership and professional attributes that are being developed throughout greek life affiliation is one that cannot go unnoticed.

As sorority and fraternity men and women, we should stand up to Harvard on behalf of all students, because we all have the right to shape our own leadership and social paths. Harvard simply cannot be allowed to erase the spaces members value for support and friendship, or ban members from opportunities as a punishment for being in Greek life. Stand up to Harvard.

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