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Here's a story you never heard


Replies to: Here's a story you never heard

  • EngProfMomEngProfMom Registered User Posts: 257 Junior Member
    I second the various suggestions that you've had in response to your question. English is a good major to choose. Learning how to write and communicate really well is a time-intensive activity that deserves the sort of focus that's involved in an undergraduate major. English is also, for good or ill, one of the two most widely understood languages in the world. Many people major in English, for all sorts of reasons. Usually they enjoy reading and talking about books; they are interested in the past as well as the present. They're passionately interested in culture. Not all English majors write well, coming in: that's something of a myth. An English major does not get "out of date," and if your first or second language isn't English, having an undergraduate major will be a form of certification of your abilities.

    Possible career directions with an English major: anything involving extensive verbal and written communication.
  • boysx3boysx3 Registered User Posts: 5,164 Senior Member
    Mom2three, it's obvious great minds think alike! and have the perfect number of children!
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 32,045 Senior Member
    Isn't Latin what they speak in Latin America? ;)
  • mochamavenmochamaven Registered User Posts: 878 Member
    If it's possible, a double major could help ease their discomfort. I have a friend who wanted to major in English, but his parents were very much not ok with it. So he doubled up with Econ and satisfied them, while still pursuing his favorite subject.
  • meepomeepo Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    Thanks boysx3 and mom2three! It's so mind-boggling but I actually have never thought of it that way before, the whole non-native with an Eng degree is more marketable angle. I TOTALLY AGREE! :)

    My uni. is kind of a tough place to double-major, but it will not stop meeeeee!
    I think they got rid of having minors years and years ago because (they thought) people would be compelled to do minors, which is probably true.
  • boysx3boysx3 Registered User Posts: 5,164 Senior Member
    Meepo, do you want to say where you will be attending school?

    no matter where you will be, i am sure that with your attitude you will thrive! And your parents will be very proud of you
  • meepomeepo Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    I am very happy to say I will be going to Yale! :)

    I don't have spectacular stats, it's just they get very very few applications from my poor third world country. And I know only because the admissions person came by this year and we had a chat.
  • 50isthenew4050isthenew40 Registered User Posts: 357 Member
    Congratulations meepo! I'm sure you will be very successful in English Lit classes at Yale. Your English is strong, but more importantly your motivation is very high-that will make all the difference.
    My daughter is also starting at Yale, so we were just looking at the distribution requirements. You can take 2 Lit classes for your Writing requirement, and 2 more for your Humanities requirement. Your parents will certainly understand that you must fulfill the distribution requirements! You can take one Lit class for each of the first four semesters, before you even declare your major.
  • mythmommythmom Registered User Posts: 8,305 Senior Member
    Meepo: Two dear friends of mine studied American literature in the Soviet Union (while it was the Soviet Union) and left when the higher ed infrastructure fell apart. They ended up teaching American literature to Americans.

    I can never quite get used to Dimitri thunderously orating American literature in his very Russian style in his very accented English in a classroom near me. It just sounds like Russian literature, but it isn't. His students love him.

    I have taught South Asian literature to a room full of Indian and Pakistani college students. It was scary, but I persevered, and I did know more about the literature than they did, and I meticulously researched the pronunciation of names.

    Don't worry. It will be fine if your parents don't freak out too much.
  • demeterdemeter Registered User Posts: 1,367 Senior Member
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was always under the impression that the English department at Yale was one of the best in the country. With that said, another argument that you can use is that you're only trying to squeeze the most out of your education by taking classes in a renowned department. Furthermore, to put it in more pedestrian terms, you're getting more for your tuition dollars by taking more classes and double majoring. That's what convinced my parents to "let" me double major in bio and English!

    Also, don't let your anxieties about your background stop you from doing what you want. There will be people who have read more widely and are well versed in non-English lit. The ideas they have will be influenced by those experiences, but you have your own to draw on. When I took my first college lit class, there was someone in my class who was always going on and on about Lacan and the concept of "jouissance," of which I had no knowledge. I was terrified, but I soon realized that that didn't make me a weaker reader.

    Congrats on your acceptance and good luck at Yale!
  • SchmaltzSchmaltz - Posts: 3,114 Senior Member
    Tons of people have a "working knowledge" of a foreign language. Far fewer have completely mastered one. Tell your parents that whatever field you go into, you will be more valuable if you are completely fluent in English, and know enough about English literature to chat up business associates and their spouses at social events. You will be seen as much more of a well-rounded person if you can drop a Shakespeare reference now and then.
  • silvervestersmomsilvervestersmom Registered User Posts: 710 Junior Member
    For what it's worth (FWIW), one of my sons had an Asian girlfriend in an American boarding school. She went on to major in English Literature at Wellesley, then returned to her native country where she is an extremely succesful entrepreneur. Her fluency in English has been very useful.
  • katliamomkatliamom Registered User Posts: 12,875 Senior Member
    You can always tell your parents, that an English major, especially at highly selective schools like Yale, offers excellent pre-law preparation. Students have to quickly read and analyze a great deal of complex written material, and write about it on a very high level, often under tight deadlines. I know several lawyers - including two Yale grads -- who majored in literature as undergrads.
  • bessiebessie Registered User Posts: 1,818 Senior Member
    Major in what you love (English) and take the basic core classes in Economics. Then, if you feel you must, get your graduate degree in Economics. You do not always have to have an undergraduate degree in the same area as your intended graduate degree major. Or, since you are going to be at Yale, call the counseling department there and ask them how you can work things out. I'm pretty sure their counselors would love to help you figure out a solution. BTW, do you have to declare your major in your freshman year? If not, try both majors out and see what you like better. Good Luck!
  • northeastmomnortheastmom Registered User Posts: 12,379 Senior Member
This discussion has been closed.