Misconceptions of an English Major

It has come to my attention that I really must dispel some rumors that have been circulating about English majors. After extensive research and first hand experience I offer these thoughts about what it means to have received the highly prestigious and incredibly practical degree of a Bachelors of Arts in English.

Not all English Majors . . .

1) want to become teachers. And if someone asks me one more time if that is what I want for a career, I will have trouble responding politely.

2) sepll eveyting corect and alway say prefect grammer. So the next time I have a typo in an email or say “I” instead of “me,” please don’t remind me what I spent four years studying at college.

3) can successfully complete any crossword puzzle. In fact, I’ve had crossword puzzle tutors and spent plenty of bored hours at various jobs attempting to become better and it’s still a struggle. Even the puzzle in the Jackson Hole Daily was challenging, but I’ll let you know when I complete one in the Sitka Daily Sentinel.

4) have read all the classics. I have never started, let alone finished, A Tale of Two Cities, The Grapes of Wrath, or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Do you think less of me?

5) perfectly understand Shakespeare. And let’s be honest, I never read Shakespeare that I didn’t have the SparkNotes website open on my computer to read the watered down version of 15 lines I just spent 10 minutes trying to figure out.

6) appreciate and comprehend all poetry. Don’t even get me started on Emily Dickinson.

So I hope that helps clear up any confusion. And just for the record, yes, I have worked odd jobs, volunteered, and been unemployed at various times since graduation 🙂

3 thoughts on “Misconceptions of an English Major”

  1. Well, I was going to quibble about your title (Might be more accurately called “Misconceptions ABOUT an English Major”.) But after reading it, I apologize for that impulse. (Although I do think it is better syntax!) And you might appreciate this from Wallace Stevens: “Poetry should almost successfully resist intelligence.” An English degree should, too! xo

  2. As a History major I would add: 1. know everything about everything that has ever happened. 2. Be able to recite the declaration of independance and the Constitution by heart. I think we have had this conversation at some point. And yes I hate being asked if I am going to teach.

  3. Ha, I love it! Point one brought a tear to my eye, it rang so true (if I wanted to be a teacher, I would have been an education major). And point two warmed my heart… I’m sick of people asking me to spell obscure words on the spot (memorizing the dictionary was not one of our courses). Very nice, friend, very nice.

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