December 15, 2006

Two in one week? Well, aren't you lucky.

Why I should have been an English Major: reflections on could-be regrets.

Way back in high school, when I was contemplating what I wanted to be when I grew-up, I had two options in mind for college majors: Youth Ministry and English. I ended up graduating college with a B.S. in Youth Ministry, so now you know which one I chose. However, lately I have been wondering why I didn’t choose English; this is probably due to a friend of mine who is graduating today with her Masters in English. So, here are my top reasons why I should have been one, followed by the reasons I am not.

Should have:

1. I devour books like they’re candy and have three bookshelves PLUS 2 boxes of books that don’t fit on the shelves.
2. Writing, though it is a practice I seldom partake in now, used to be my passion and outlet for emotions stuffed inside. It was such a large part of my life that I chose Creative Writing class over Calculus as a high school senior, even though the majority of my friends went with math instead.
3. I used to dream, and still do on occasion, of being a great author that everyone raved about. The genre of the book usually changed year to year, but in my mind, it was a #1 New York Times bestseller.
4. I wanted to pass on my passions. I didn’t really understand those in my life who hated picking up a book, whether for fun or school. I figured if I could just teach them how great reading or writing was, they would be in my camp. My camp usually felt attended by just one (me), and I got lonely.

So, perhaps I would have made a fine English major. However, when choosing, these are the reasons I gave up my English major dream:

1. I hate grammar and my spelling is atrocious. This could be evident to everyone if you could read my work on Microsoft Word before I go back and fix the red and green squiggly lines. In fact, in my first attempt with this sentence, I spelled grammar, first, and sentence wrong.
2. My patience would wear thin with teaching. In my mind, people should come to English classes already wanting to read and write, and I certainly don’t want to waste my time teaching them grammar. This is probably how my class would go:

“Welcome, class, to the Joy of Reading (or Writing, depending on the semester). Here’s the syllabus for the semester.”
“Uh, all we’re doing is reading....”
“And there are spelling errors in the syllabus...”
“What’s your point, freshmen?”
“Well, I don’t like reading...”
“WHAT? Then WHY are you in my CLASS?”
“’s required?”

If it was my Joy of Writing class, it would include remarks on how I was not about to teach them grammar, and to come back when they learned not to care about dangling participles.

I would be a terrible teacher. Children would cry, parents would yell, and the administration wouldn’t know what to do with me...okay, they would know what to do with me. Kick me to the curb, that’s what.

The moral of this story is, it’s a good thing I went with Youth Ministry and left English as a hobby. Three cheers for the Social Science majors!

Hip, hip, hooray!

Rats. Guess I should have taken more math.

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