Whenever I tell people that my master’s program is for a master’s in English, I’m always surprised at their reactions – or their lack thereof, really.
I do not see myself as an ‘English type’.
My family and I (on my mom’s side, that is) are really rather scientific and math-y about things, and we are total nerds and dorks about the things that interest us… and we also do loads of research on things just about all the time.
If we love something, we also are semi-experts on it – that’s how much we look into things with our research and how much we love learning.
Tonight, I happened to mention that I have read 45 books so far this year (It was relevant, but I don’t presently recall why.).
My friend said that I was and English type, because those were all [insert super famous, depressing-topic novels from around the world that have at least a version in English], and I made a face, cutting her off with, “No, not that crap.”
We both halted at what I had just said, and saw that I had unconsciously called what is considered some of the most important things in the world to an ‘English type’ crap.
I wasn’t intending to be rude to those books or those people, but it was straight from the heart and head, what I said – I love to read, but just not much of that stuff that everybody seems to say is necessary and kind of the only part for caring about literature.
I had even given an ‘ugh‘ of distaste at an overheard conversation earlier on, in which someone was naming some of those famous novels (thereby making me mentally gag).
Just as anyone likes one thing over another, I like certain books and book genres and styles over others – it isn’t that I see no value in the famous novels – many of them certainly are the foundation for modern-day styles and rhythms and topics on a regular basis – , but it is that I see value in other novels, too… more value than the English buffs ever seem to give them.
That’s why one teacher wasn’t sure what to do about my thesis idea – there is no teacher at our school who has a background that is entirely relevant to the author and books I’ve selected to research and discuss as valuable, because they are too new and too radical in the world of English buffs and, therefore, degrees in English.
That’s okay – I’m part of the tiny minority of caucasians at a black university… I’m accustomed to doing things differently and making them work.
P.S. Is it weird to anyone else that we’re almost finished with 2018 already??…. I mean, it feels like the end of September right now, maybe early October…