April 22, 2004

Englishy me

The blessing of being an English major is that I can write. The curse is that I love writing so much that in every facet of my academic life, I must apply what I have learned, usually going beyond what the assignment calls for, which can be very time consuming.

In my corporate communications class, for instance; instead of just addressing a well-known company for my crisis analysis, I chose to report on County Market, which involved personal interviews, several online searches and the creation of a website. These are things that I associate with reporters and web writers, both of which I am familiar.

In addition to doing more than the assignment asks, I have to edit, revise, and generally drive myself nuts striving for English excellence within that project. I am not surprised by my craziness at the end of the semester. I have wasted so much time being an English major perfectionist.

However, my English background has been very beneficial. In that same class: Principles of Corporate Communication, I was the only one who knew how to cite sources correctly in MLA style (thanks Dr. Jerz). I was even asked to give a short presentation on the subject, teaching them MLA with the assistance of the Bib Builder.

I have also been a more analytical when it comes to statistical evidence; for instance, one woman in my communications class today gave a statistic from Rosie O'Donnell that said that 20% of American women and 21% of men are gay. She was citing an unreliable source: O'Donnell on a statistic that was substantiated by a Gallup poll. The presenter made it look like a fact, when in reality, the poll was based upon "Americans...best estimate of the American gay and lesbian population." I wanted to get up and scream: "THAT'S NOT RIGHT." Of course I didn't, but I now know to be more critical in what people feed me.

Overall being an English major has called me to rise above being an "ok" SHU student. As Barbara Miller, my librarian pal and novelist said, "You can't give yourself permission to write badly." I think I suffer and excel with that mentality, but right now I think the suffering is more acute. Perhaps I will feel differently in a few weeks when grades are distributed.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at April 22, 2004 3:56 PM

Oh dear. I think we're too alike in the "English perfectionism" field... is that a bad thing? Anyway, I think that you should be proud of all that you've accomplished; despite the stress you've endured, you're succeeded in each of the courses you've allowed in your repetoire. Although I think applying the said "English perfectionism" in your French class may be a bit dangerous to your health since it's impossible to expect perfectionism in a language that you've only begun to learn. ;^)

Congratulations on all your accomplishments, dear Amanda--you have every right to be proud of yourself. Wait until next year :-D

Posted by: Karissa at April 22, 2004 9:28 PM

Thank you so much for that, Karissa. You have been my greatest blessing this year. When I am down (often), you pick me up without even thinking. I hope, in some small way, that I have done the same for you. I always feel like I am getting the better end of our friendship. :-)

I don't need to say anything...you are my best friend. Beyond all the weird things we do, or hang-ups with perfectionism, the crazy things we say, and the crap we endure, we have each other. You brighten the darkest winter day with talk of blue flip-flops and I talk about excessive microwaves. My accomplishments are based on my mental state-- My sanity is based on happiness. A huge chunk of that is attributed to you.

(Insert sentimental tears here)

Posted by: Amanda at April 22, 2004 11:15 PM

You two are like the Vickies. "Congratulations dear Amanda." I myself strive for the "Fist" mentality, the end justifies the means. Screw around and do the paper crappy at the last second, add intellectual analysis to a crappy paper=An undeserved "A" paper with serious grammatical errors and poor format. So why am I an English major if I put no real "umph" into my papers? Default major? Nah, I like writing, just laziness...this laziness isn't just in school...for sure.(insert wink)

Posted by: Puff at April 22, 2004 11:55 PM

You just like making me mad. No Diamond Age metaphors allowed on this blog! (insert reserved smiles of Vicki-like proportion)

Posted by: Amanda at April 23, 2004 12:41 AM

*sniff* that was sweet. -tears-

Puff, you couldn't be a "Fist"--you're too nice and philosophical.

Posted by: Karissa at April 23, 2004 9:37 AM

Do I detect a third entering into the world of Amanda and Karissa that goes by the name of Puff?

*Questioning Look*


Posted by: Tiffany at April 23, 2004 2:16 PM

He was already there, and you are too. You will never escape our clutches!!!!

Posted by: Amanda at April 23, 2004 3:20 PM

You forgot evil laughter permeating that last comment, Amanda--I'll help you...

Mwhahahahahahaha! ;^)


Posted by: Karissa at April 24, 2004 12:15 AM

Thank ye. You are, after all, the queen of evil theatrical characters. I need to learn a few things from you. I was always the "fairy princess" or the "happy dwarf." It sucked being myself in plays. :-D

Posted by: Amanda at April 24, 2004 12:42 AM

That I am, that I am... evil may be my middle name. Only, I guess that can't really be true since my middle initial is "J." lol. Jane isn't anywhere close to "evil."

Posted by: Karissa at April 24, 2004 10:06 AM

I am glad that you have accomplished so much during your freshman year at SHU. I do look up to you because you're an excellent writer and extremely helpful when needed. Its ok to be a "perfectionist," I'm not really one when it comes to school work, but other than that, I am one overall. Although when I was not a procrasinator and a perfectionist in high school, I made high honors, rather than the terrible grades I am making now in college.

Maybe I will straighten up my act during this summer before I begin my sophomore year.

Posted by: Firefighter Chica at April 25, 2004 9:50 PM

I know what you mean about the perfectionist thing. My papers usually always have to be perfect. It's funny because I understand grammar but I don't. I know how to fix my papers, where to add the commas, or fix a run on, but I really never new how to pick out a subject of a sentance and stuff like that. I feel really stupid to come out and say that. I don't think that my teachers ever really did a good job teaching that stuff. I really don't want to be that kind of teacher too. I'm going to spend a lot of time this summer just going over the basics.
Anyways, I'm sure you don't want to look on this comment and find that its all its all about me. I just wanted to tell you that I think that you are a terrific writer. I always look forward to reading your blogs. Keep up the great work. I really think that you will go far in life as a journalist, I'll probably look in the paper someday and find your name in there as a famous writer, I'll be able to say I knew her! :) Anyways, keep it up!

Posted by: Sue at April 26, 2004 4:46 PM
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