Just Words?

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"Studying English taught us how to write and think better, and to make articulate many of the inchoate impulses and confusions of our post-adolescent minds. We began to see, as we had not before, how such books could shape and refine our thinking" (Chace).

English has taught me how to think better, which I'm grateful for. It has also taught me why I really wanted to go into English: to reach people through written words. Maybe it won't change anyone's life, but it might make someone stop and think about something a little differently or realize like I have through reading that I'm not the only one out there that feels this way. We read books to feel a connection that we can't always get from the people around us.

So in a way, I'd like to think that other people are out there not always going for the money, but to change people. Actually, I'm pretty sure that's what drove a lot of people to become English majors in the first place. Sure, money would be nice, but it really isn't that important to me. Something tells me I'll be rethinking that last statement though when I'm poor, but by then I'll hopefully have found some type of career doing something in English.

6 Comments

Carissa Altizer said:

I can't remember if you were in EL 150 with me last year or not. If you weren't, pick up a copy of "I'm an English Major -- Now What?" by Tim Lemire. It's one of the only books that I haven't sold because it was so helpful!

Melissa Schwenk said:

I've read the book, and it helped a little. See the problem isn't that I don't know what I want to do. It's that I do know, but I need to do something else to make money otherwise I will be living in a cardboard box (or like you said in your blog, maybe I'll marry rich). Either way, I can't figure out the other thing that I want to do in order to make enough to actually do what I want to do: write books.

Jessica Orlowski said:

Waitressing... and starbucks... and a cashier at a grocery store... and a sales clerk if you have time. Like Dr. Arnzen said last year, it's not an easy profession. Yeah- I'm one of those people who wants to make a difference in the people around me. That's why I chose English. Also, I know there's something more in Literature- something I haven't discovered.

Gladys Mares said:

Thats the same exact quote I picked out. I think this is a difficult major but in my opinion, this is the most helpful major for any career path you choose. You learn to read, write, and think critically. It boggles my mind that basic things like that are loosing popularity. I think english majors like us are less concerned with money... If we wanted money we'd be business majors. We like writing about ideas that stimulate new thoughts for others. I'm planning on going to law school and I think being able to write is going to be extremely helpful. Stock markets may crash but my ability to write never will.

Melissa Schwenk said:

Jess - That's probably what I'm going to end up doing...or even multiple things like that and writing on the side. I just hope it somehow turns out to be worth it, especially when my mother asks me why I haven't gotten a career oriented job instead of waiting tables.

Gladys - I totally agree with you. Writing will never go out of style because somewhere the words have to get recorded. It's interesting to think how important money is to other people instead of doing something they love to do.

Carissa Altizer said:

I just read over this and realized that you were in my class last semester. I feel silly for suggesting a book you already read. Well, if nothing else, keep it around to freshen your mind junior year for internships :)

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Carissa Altizer on Just Words?: I just read over this and real
Melissa Schwenk on Just Words?: Jess - That's probably what I'
Gladys Mares on Just Words?: Thats the same exact quote I p
Jessica Orlowski on Just Words?: Waitressing... and starbucks..
Melissa Schwenk on Just Words?: I've read the book, and it hel
Carissa Altizer on Just Words?: I can't remember if you were i
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