Let’s eat Grandpa. Let’s eat, Grandpa. Punctuation saves lives.
This article was originally published for The Odyssey on September 5, 2016.
No matter if you’re already an English major, or are thinking about declaring, this article is for you. Are you super creative? Do you enjoy writing and reading? How about making up your own words? If you said yes to any of these questions, you’re destined to be a member of the English department. The major isn’t just talking about your favorite books, but also includes writing several page papers while downing several cups of coffee in a six to eight hour period, releasing steam by writing creatively or honestly in a journal, getting excited about your favorite well-written pieces of media and correcting people’s grammar. If you’re not an English major and are thinking about joining the major, you’ll definitely want to join our elite group after reading this article.
1. When people ask you if you can write their papers for them, you’re like:
2. You get a little too hype about writing workshops and visiting authors.
Being given the opportunity to work with an actual published author is such a riveting experience! How many times will you get this chance again? Who cares which movie will be playing in the quad tonight? I have to prepare my poetry for the visiting author workshop in three months.
3. When people complain about gen-ed English classes, you think that you’d like to see them survive Advanced Literary Theory.
Oh no, you have to write a paragraph summarizing the twelve pages you read last night? You also have to write a four page maximum paper about ‘The Great Gatsby’? Boo hoo. Let me know how you feel after you’ve achieved the mirror stage and also realized the gender is performative.
4. Writing papers is a natural habit for you.
5. You go through several packs of highlighters each year…from underlining books and articles.
6. You buy your books because you know you’ll mark them up.
I’m sure the bookstore didn’t appreciate my underlining of ‘American Pastoral’…but here we are. You live and you learn.
7. You plan/outline your papers weeks in advance.
You probably change this outline two to three times during that time too. Alternatively, if you don’t plan and outline, you probably write your paper all in one shot. Spending eight to ten hours on a paper is common for you.
8. You are the most organized disorganized person ever.
You have every single assignment in a folder with a page protector but you may or may not have misplaced several pencils, assignments and your laptop charger. Oops! I found them in my copy of ‘Jane Eyre’!
9. You do not hesitate to check Purdue Owl if you’re confused about literary rules.
10. You’ll send your rough draft to just about anyone.
In a group email to your professors, your peers, your tutors and your mom, you’ll ask for honest advice and constructive criticism. Here’s hoping they have different opinions. Sometimes you need to triple check that grammar.
11. Whether you are an education major or in the writing concentration, you know most, if not all, of the people in the English Department because of how often you see them around campus.
12. Spelling and grammar are really important to you.
If your significant other or best friend uses the incorrect form of a word, they better expect all hell to break loose. Grammar is seriously important for all aspects of life. I just don’t respect you as much as I could if you do not know the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’.
13. All-nighters are both your best friend and worst enemy. At first you’re like…
…and then you’re like:
One day you’ll learn time management. Today is not that day.