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As many of you can see, I've been a pretty terrible blogger lately! What can I say...Life.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

How do I Identify an English Major?

Well, I am heading back to that place of higher learning tomorrow. It is my last semester before I can graduate with a bachelor's degree in English with a concentration in creative writing and two minors in both art and history. It all sounds so fun and grand. I'm so very close! However, I feel that this is going to be hardest semester EVER! because I have 3 literature classes (Shakespeare, World Literature, and Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature) and then I have and Advanced Creative Writing class. Basically, that boils down to hours upon hours of reading and writing (almost more than humanly possible)! I'm willing to accept all the luck I can get!

And, just in case you were wondering how to identify a poor soul such as myself, here are 20 ways to identify an English major...

1.  They usually have at least one book on their person at all times.
2.  They always have to buy the most books for their classes at the beginning of each semester.
3.  Everyone assumes they want to teach for a living.
4.  They get annoyed when everyone assumes they want to teach for a living.
5.  They look up on the Internet “What can you do with an English major?” just so they can answer that question to the best of their ability every time it is asked!
6.  They read and write more than they eat.
7.  Their idea of homework is a 3-10 page essay, not short answer questions.
8.  Their idea of an exam is a timed essay, not multiple choice questions.
9.  Their textbooks are written by Poe, Chaucer, Dickens, Melville, Shakespeare, Irving, Coleridge, etc. and not Pearson Education or Prentice Hall.
10.  They consider using TextSpeech outside of texting a sin.
11.  The words "interpret" and "analyze" are very familiar to them.
12.  They laugh inside when people have trouble interpreting modern day English let alone a 600 year old translation.
13.  They find subjects like grammar and syntax to be fun.
14.  They find APA to be uselessly redundant and superfluous.
15.  They like to use several synonyms in the same sentence and insist that each one means something different!
16. They can interpret what someone is trying to say and then explain it to others better.
17. They write the best BS on the planet.
18. They write the best BS on the planet.
19. They write the best BS on the planet.
20. They enjoy making lists.

Now, are you in school?
If so, what is your intended major or (if in high school) what do you like to study?
If not, what did you major in in college or what did you enjoy studying?


  1. I have taken all of those courses and am taking Shakespeare this semester. Incidentally, I understand that CMU is one of the few schools that requires Shakespeare and even the British are teaching "simplified" Shakespeare. I don't know how CW classes are conducted at your current institution, but the advanced ones at CMU are essentially the same as lower level.

    I can add something to the list: My parents seem to think that journalism is synonymous with being a creative writer. I do not wish to write articles about news, I wish to write fictional pieces. Albeit, the lines can often be blurred between the two, but for the most part, journalistic writing is non-fictional.

    Good luck with your studies! Will you be visiting other blogs while doing your makeover?

  2. I studied non-Christian religions college. Fascinating! Still not sure what to do with my degree:)

  3. Matt...You'll have to let me know how your Shakespeare class goes. I actually started taking Shakespeare at CMU (with Ronnie Apter) and I had to withdraw from it becasue no matter how hard I tried to write the way she wanted me to write, I just could not get my grade up. I rewrote papers, did extra credit, had meetings with her, and NOTHING! I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have passed. Then, Apter had to go and retire after that semster. I was so upset! (There went about $950 down the drain!) So, I am giving it another go here at NMC.

    I don't know how this adv. creative writing class will be run, but I'm extremely curious. Actually, the professor that is teashing it, I had as a freshman for my composition course.

    When I took adv. creative writing at CMU I had Roberson again, and he taught it very differently. I think I told you before. It was pure workshop. So, the new guy teaches it the same as intermediate?

    Yes, I would consider creative writing and journalism to be vastly different. Although, I know plenty of people who studied creative writing and then went on to be journalists. I can see how it would help. But, like you, I don't want to write about the news, or even nonfiction. The only nonfiction I even enjoy is blogging and I don't even know if that counts.

    As for your question, I probably won't be doing a ton of visiting what with the makeover and school at the same time. I know this semester will be really difficult so I want to concentrate on it. I'm thinking that my own blogging is going to slow down pretty dramatically as well. I do love posting everday and I don't want to give it up by any means, but school is the number one priority. I HAVE to graduate after this semester!

  4. Poekitten...I always wanted to take a class on non Christian religions just so I could become more educated on other peoples' beliefs. Especially those from the middle east what with all the conficts that have been going on. I could really get into learning about it. Especially since I have got almost the entire history of the Catolic church and then the protestants and other christian religions just about down what with all my stuies in Medieval history. About half of that course is focused on religion.

    It would have been niced to learn a bit more about something different.

  5. I'm taking it with McDermott, who is the missus of Professor Berk, whom I have taken courses with before for Myth and Folklore. His classes were quite enjoyable, so I'm imagining hers to be similar. She even allows for creative projects for essays, rather than a list of formal topics.

    Doyle is straight workshop with minimal reading of published works involved, but I remembered Roberson's 391 being similar. One thing I liked about Doyle's class was his various writing exercises, which spawned much of the flash pieces you've seen on my blog.

    I hope you don't get too stressed out and have more ulcers. Just remember to take some time to chillax and hang with people. I definitely would like to see you in town sometime.

  6. I am one of those English majors who ended up teaching, and it's not so bad. Even though I am about 6 years removed from college, your list still made me chuckle.

  7. Hi AubrieAnne!

    English BA here, and I find the list hysterical. I love #14! APA. Hmmmmph! All the extraneous commas.....ugh! And no knowing what the author's first name is. PC BS.

    And I'll add another point, but this is more for bloggers: How do you know a blog is written by an English major (or former English major)? There are no grammar errors and paragraphs are used. In my short time as a blogger I've seen some sites that make the English prof in my cry.

    But the best is the agent who had this sentence on her webpage: Most important, make sure the grammer is correct. I'll let the lack of the adverb to begin the sentence slide for now, but misspelling grammar when you're chastising writers about their writing? LOL

    Hope your week was good and your upcoming semester is a great one!


  8. I, too, am one of those englsih majors who teach...though I sort of fell into it inadvertantly (in other words, I didn't pick teaching; it picked me!). Eventually, I'd love to work on the other side of the classroom, in academic affairs or recruitment for a college, but for now, I love my teaching job! :)

  9. Matt...Nah. I'll be fine. I've been feeling really good for a while now; however, that flu I had over christmas really messed my stomach all up again. If I can't eat anything then the acid in my stomach just eats my stomch. (Not a lovely picture. Sorry about that.) So, as long as I can eat regularly and I keep taking my medicine, I feel normal.

    Keeping the stress down does help, but I think I'll be ok.

    Jessica...I think teaching would be fun (especially teaching college.) I just don't like that people assume it is about the only thing you can do with an English major. I'm happy you got a good chuckle out of it.

    Selena...Yes! Paragraphs a dead giveaway. it's just so hard to read a big chunk of words with no organization! I have to have paragraphs or the post has to be sectioned off in some way. Thanks for the add on.

    Natalie...I love it when things just find you. It feels more right.

  10. Yes Aubrie, not only do they write "the best B.S. on the planet," but they also do it three times in a row, and nobody gets or appreciates the irony... proving point 17, 18, and 19.

  11. Look at that! You're closed down two days already and I'm still here!

  12. Patrick...Well, I am very happy at least one person touched upon that! I do have a bit of an ironic side now and then, but it's only worth it if others notice and can share in the fun. :)

    JJ...Ha ha! Good to know tha I haven't scared everyone off with my artistic chaos! I just have to get it out of me every now and then and little projects like a blog makeover is great for doing so.

  13. LOL, this list made me laugh because well, my degree is in English, and I totally identify with it! Love the blog and am your newest follower-drop by and say hi if you get a chance!

  14. kristin...I'm glad you got a good laugh out of it. Plus, I am very excited to meet another English major in the blogging world. I am heading over to your blog right now to check it out!

  15. The BS part is so true.

  16. I just discovered your blog & I will definitely will follow. I'm going to college in the fall and want to be an English major too! (: Hope to get some tips from your blog.

  17. Anonymous...Yesiree!

    Kelsey...Congrats and good luck! If you ever have any questions, just let me know. I would be happy to help!

  18. Hello Aubrie,

    I'm a English major out on the West Coast. How does one go about finding a job as an English major? Getting out of school and not being able to find a job that pays enough to cover rent is my worst nightmare.


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