Concerned About Majoring in English? Don’t Be!

by Alexander Daley
Far Western Student Representative, 2012-2013
Alpha Eta Gamma Chapter
California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, CA

I was truly astonished at the multitude of responses that my last article, Majoring in English: Do You Have What It Takes?, received. Some of you posted replies on the WORDY by Nature blog. The majority of those who responded took an extra step and found my profile on Facebook. First, thank you all for the messages. Second, I have compiled a list of questions and concerns from your messages that I will try my best to address. Out of concern for each individual’s privacy, I will not mention anyone by name.

1. Will my disability prevent me from majoring in English?

No! I can say this for a certainty, because I have mild cerebral palsy, and I am an English major. This question was specific to two different handicaps, but pertains to all students with a condition: do not allow your condition to decide your major for you. Whether English or Engineering, your university should have resources to help guide you. For example, at California Lutheran University we have the Center for Academic and Accessibility Resources (CAAR) Office. These qualified individuals work as intermediaries between you and your professors, making sure that the education you receive is equal to your peers and accommodated to your needs. Whatever your chosen major, I encourage you to seek out the disability resources office on your campus.

2. I want to be a Student Representative, how do I get involved with Sigma Tau Delta?

If your campus has a chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, then please join the club! I joined my chapter and quickly moved up the ranks to Secretary, and eventually to Co-President. It was during this time that I wrote a short story for submission to the Sigma Tau Delta Annual International Convention. The story was accepted, and while at the convention I was elected Student Representative for my region. Click here for more information about what student leaders do and how to run for regional or Society-wide office. All student positions will be open for election at our next convention in Portland, so come run for my job or one like it.

3. What if I don’t have anything original to say in an English essay?

Most likely you will not say anything that an academic scholar has not said before. If you come to a conclusion that someone with a doctorate came to in his or her own academic paper, take it as a sign of intelligence. You are doing your job right, as far as I am concerned, if you can intellectually match a scholar. For example, I am doing my Senior Project on Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. If I come up with a single original thought about the Great American Novel, I will be one happy English major.

Now to address the personal questions:

First, I do not have a blog of my own. WORDY By Nature is my platform for now, but I may create a blog of my own if there is interest from readers.

Second, my mentor is a Reverend in the ELCA Lutheran Church. He is an inspiration to many, and is willing to tell me when I am not thinking rationally. For his guidance, I respect him second most to my father.

Third (and I loved this question), no I have not met Patrick Rothfuss. I am not sure if he has even heard of Sigma Tau Delta. However, if I ever meet him you can rest assured that I will write about the experience.

Finally, I want to say – on behalf of the Far West – that our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Aurora, Colorado. Find strength in your community, and keep the spirit of Aurora steadfast.

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