Thursday, January 14, 2016

You Know You're an English Major When...

It was to my great excitement at the beginning of this Quarter, two weeks ago, when I realized that for the first time ever, I had a fellow sorority sister in one of my English classes! Whereas you might have bought into the stereotype that every in the Greek Community is a Business or Humanities major, my sorority is practically full to bursting with predominantly STEM ladies... which makes it kind of a pain when you're looking for someone to peer edit a paper.

This serendipitous occasion made me reflect on some of the awesome friends I had made in other English classes throughout my undergrad here at the University of Washington... in particular, a conversation I had with one back last Quarter, where our comedic genius knew no bounds. We had joked about making a list of "You Know You're an English Major When..."s, and I thought, why not turn it into a blog post?

Yes, the beautiful Reading Room in Suzzallo Library on campus. I've studied here maybe twice, 'cause it's always packed!

  • You have very specific opinions about Ernest Hemingway as a person, and can argue the point thoroughly using multiple details from his life that you never learned in a class.
  • And in conjunction with that, you've had a lot of time to think over the whole authors-as-authors versus authors-as-people thing. (Here's looking at you, Johnathan Franzen.) 
  • Not only do you have a favorite Shakespearean work, but you have a favorite adaptation of that work too... same with Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. 
  • There's been a time where you've gone through an entire assignment misspelling a tricky minor character's name. 
  • You are the de facto editing expert of your friend group, and sometimes spend more time editing other people's papers during Finals Week than your own. 
  • You could never understand why people think plagiarism is okay. Ever. Same with illegally pirating ebooks off of the Internet. 
  • Your classmates' taste interests can be easily sorted into "pretentious" and "proletariat," and depending on the ratios of such, usually leads to how much fun discussion in your class can get.
  • Your teacher is able to get derailed by cultural commentary easily enough to forget the main point of the entire lecture. That's a regular Tuesday for you. 
  • Sometimes they get derailed by the notes on the board left by an earlier, completely unrelated class, too. That's also normal. 
  • They've not only given book recommendations to the class before, but you and your classmates have likely returned the favor. Especially if your prof. has young kids. 
  • Characters from either Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings have most likely been brought into completely unrelated class discussions before. Those are also probably the discussions you've liked best. 
  • You've had more than 200 pages of reading and 50 pages of articles assigned in a week before. And that was just during midterms. 
  • Someone has actually told you that "Gosh, I haven't read in forever!" (As if it's something to brag about? Like, we all have heavy workloads, and we're not begrudging you for it. But why do you feel like it's something you need to declare?) 
  • People have asked if you write fanfiction before. to be honest, you're pretty sure a lot of your classmates do. 
  • And, of course, more recently - because I'm graduating - "Do you ever regret it?" Yes, there have been times where the terror of my impending graduation and the stagnation and decline of the job market for people like me has stressed me out beyond belief. But I try to never regret pursuing the things that make my life unbelievably happy. 

Are you in the major? Have you had any of the above experiences? Let me know, in the comments below! 

1 comment:

  1. I'm not majoring in English, but omg, some of these are hilarious and wonderful!! And omg plagiarism is NEVER okay for sure. It riles me up whenever I hear of an instance of it. Like how can people be so rude??? Sheesh.
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!