English Majors in Their Own Words

Cory - Stepping Stone to Success

Cory

Transcript

00:09
My name is Cory Patato.
00:10
I graduated from Suffolk University May 2014.
00:14
I was an English major and I'm currently working
00:17
in the department as a teaching assistant.
00:19
I worked on Dickens' final novel,
00:21
The Mystery of Edwin Drood,
00:23
which was unfinished at the time of his death.
00:24
So I went through this mystery novel without an ending,
00:28
and I looked for clues that Dickens peppered
00:31
in throughout the book so that I could solve the mystery
00:34
that he was unable to finish.
00:36
It was a great experience
00:38
and it's prepared me for my future.
00:41
It's prepared me to be a TA in the sense that I have a
00:45
unique ability to help any
00:48
of the other students working on their thesis now.
00:51
And it's helped me to prepare for my graduate school.
00:56
I intend to go for my PhD and this is just a stepping stone
01:00
on the way to writing a dissertation

Gabby & Kate - Creative Nonfiction Workshops

Gabby-and-Kate

Transcript - Hi, my name's Gabrielle Wine,
00:11
and I'm a senior creative writing major.
00:14
- I'm Kate Hellman,
00:15
I am a senior, also an English major.
00:19
We are currently both taking
00:21
a creative nonfiction workshop together.
00:24
This is our second workshop that we've taken
00:27
with one another, the first being intro nonfiction.
00:32
One of the things that I personally, really enjoy
00:35
about the nonfiction workshop is that it's something
00:38
I haven't had much experience with before.
00:41
In the past, I think a lot of people
00:43
have encountered different classes
00:44
where they've had to take poetry classes and focus on that
00:50
or on writing short stories,
00:52
but this is about crafting personal essays and memoirs,
00:56
and I found that really interesting.
00:59
- Yeah. I think one of the great things about the workshop,
01:01
specifically the nonfiction, is when you first go into it,
01:04
there's a lot of fear of you sharing personal work
01:08
and how does that really come to fruition in workshop,
01:13
being that we've taken the class
01:14
and this is our second half together.
01:16
I can say that in our group, there's a very...
01:19
It's maybe six of us, it's very intimate and small,
01:23
we get to know each other on a personal level,
01:25
and you really start to feel comfortable
01:27
with your classmates.
01:28
And it's kind of nice and cathartic
01:30
to have your work heard, and read aloud,
01:33
and spoken about, and critiqued.
01:35
And we really have a great sense of community
01:37
within our class.

Jason - The Honors Seminar

Jason

Transcript

00:09
- My name's Jason Kleckner.
00:10
I'm a junior here at Suffolk University.
00:12
I am an English major
00:14
with a concentration in Creative Writing.
00:15
So the real beauty of the honors seminar
00:17
is just how challenging and intensive the work is.
00:22
We're really doing a very close reading of the material,
00:26
and there's a real intimacy
00:30
between myself and the other students
00:31
and myself and the professor.
00:33
And because it's such a small class,
00:37
there's a lot of opportunity
00:38
to work with the other students in our reading,
00:41
ask questions to the professor and get his feedback.
00:45
And in a way, it's really on par
00:47
with a graduate school class
00:49
because it is so intensely focused
00:52
on a very specific author and body of work.

Kate - Writing & Literature Courses

Kate

Transcript

00:10
- My name is Kate Hellman, I am a senior at Suffolk.
00:13
During my time at Suffolk, I've taken a number
00:16
of interesting literature courses, as well.
00:19
I took a honors seminar on the Beat Generation.
00:23
I took a class all about utopias and dystopias,
00:26
which covered everything from "Walden"
00:29
through "The Hunger Games."
00:32
I have taken classes on post-colonialism and decadence.
00:35
And all of these classes really help understand,
00:39
help further my understanding of literature,
00:41
which I think helps me improve as a writer.
00:44
And going through a semester
00:45
where I'm taking a certain number of literature courses
00:48
and then some that are more focused on writing,
00:50
they really do work together to help me improve the essays
00:55
that I'm turning in for my literature courses,
00:57
as well as the literary nature
01:00
of my own personal creative writing.

Mollie - Clubs: The Intertextuals

Mollie

Transcript

00:15
- So we have an English Major club.
00:17
It's kind of like a writing and literature society on campus
00:21
called the Intertextuals.
00:22
I'm the president this year.
00:25
And basically our main goal is to connect English majors
00:29
with each other.
00:30
And we do that through weekly meetings
00:32
where we'll have discussions about what we're reading,
00:36
what we're writing, or even just what we're interested in.
00:40
And I think it's a really great way
00:42
of allowing students to connect
00:45
over how literature is relevant to them
00:48
and to the world today.
00:51
And then we'll have other events and things like that.
00:53
So sometimes we'll hold a book club
00:57
where we read a work that the society chooses
01:01
and we'll discuss it,
01:02
and we can share our passion about books
01:04
and literature that way.
01:05
And then we'll have other events
01:07
for people who are interested in creative writing.
01:10
We'll have student readings in the Poetry Center
01:12
where professional authors actually hold readings as well.
01:17
And students can read works of poetry,
01:20
creative nonfiction and short fiction that they've created.

Mollie & Cory - Variety of Focuses: Courses

Mollie-and-Cory

Transcript

00:20
- So, I've been able to take a really wide variety
00:23
of classes during my Suffolk experience.
00:26
Some of my favorites were definitely
00:29
my freshmen seminar, Monsters and Nightmares,
00:33
and then I was also able to take Ancient Rome,
00:37
and I've taken,
00:40
probably my favorite class was Literary Theory,
00:43
because I'm also really interested in philosophy.
00:45
So, I was able to take a class that was pretty much
00:48
the philosophy of literature.
00:52
And then we have a lot of classes that catered
00:54
to various subject matters that you might be interested in,
00:57
like I'm really into women and gender studies,
01:00
and I was able to take a class,
01:02
Henry, Alice, and William James,
01:04
on the James family and Alice James,
01:07
who most people don't talk about,
01:09
one of the siblings to Henry James, the famous novelist.
01:14
So, I've had a really cool and diverse experience
01:17
when it's comes to the classes at Suffolk.
01:19
I don't know.
01:20
What about you, Cory?
01:22
- I've taken a wide variety of classes,
01:24
everything from medieval literature,
01:27
straight through to things about utopian dystopian lit,
01:31
that was my honors seminar,
01:33
where we studied everything from Plato's "Republic"
01:37
straight through to less known sci-fi works
01:41
like Ursula Le Guin's "The Dispossessed".
01:44
I've taken all different types of classes,
01:47
and as a teaching assistant,
01:48
I took this as an opportunity to learn more,
01:53
take classes that I didn't have a chance to take
01:55
while I was at Suffolk,
01:56
so I'm working closer with professors in that sense, too.

Mollie & Robert - Life of an English Major

Mollie-and-Robert

Transcript

00:19
- I would say a question I get a lot
00:21
as an English major is like, is just,
00:23
oh what are you gonna do with your English major?
00:25
Why did you choose that?
00:26
You know.
00:28
And I think that as I've been here at Suffolk
00:32
and I've talked to my professors
00:33
and I've kind of grown as a student
00:35
and as a reader and kind of as an adult even,
00:41
I've realized that there's really just a bunch that
00:43
or a lot that you can do with an English major.
00:48
- Yeah.
00:49
I would agree.
00:50
I think that it's made me feel confident
00:52
in entering a lot of different areas of adult life.
00:57
I feel prepared for a career.
00:59
I feel prepared to kind of embark
01:02
on furthering my education.
01:04
And I also feel like a very conscious interactor
01:09
with the world around me
01:11
because so much of the information
01:13
that's being thrown at us all the time
01:14
requires us to interpret it.
01:17
I just think it's a really enriching field of study.

Robert - Why I Chose Suffolk

Robert

Transcript

00:09
- Hi, my name is Robert.
00:10
I'm an English major here at Suffolk University.
00:12
I'm a junior.
00:13
So I chose Suffolk University
00:15
because it's a, it was a smaller school
00:16
compared to my other options.
00:18
And I thought that here I would have more interaction
00:22
with my professors.
00:22
The smaller classes would make me a more valuable student
00:27
to the university.
00:28
And that's really been true throughout my experience.
00:32
A lot of the classes I've taken
00:34
I've gotten to talk one-on-one with the professors.
00:36
I would say usually within the first week, or, you know
00:41
sometimes within the first day the professors know my name
00:44
and I know their name.
00:46
And I would say that just the small class sizes
00:50
allow for a lot of exchange of ideas,
00:53
a lot of interaction between the students themselves
00:57
and their professors on a professorial level
01:01
but also on an equal level a lot of the times.

Robert - The Variety of Classes

Robert

Transcript

00:09
- Hi, my name is Robert.
00:10
I'm an English major here at Suffolk University.
00:12
I'm a junior.
00:13
So every, every semester when I go to
00:15
when I go to choose my classes,
00:16
I usually go up either to the department open house,
00:19
or to talk with my professors
00:20
about what they're teaching the next semester.
00:23
And there's always a really interesting, you know,
00:26
amalgamation of different classes
00:27
from really classic, you know,
00:29
mid 20th century American fiction, to stuff more like the,
00:34
the literature of the Iraq and Vietnam conflict.
00:36
We have classes, I've taken classes
00:39
on the grotesque and the Gothic.
00:40
I've taken classes on Irish literature,
00:44
American short stories.
00:47
One class I'm taking right now is all on the,
00:52
the middle of, the middle of the 20th century in America.
00:56
I've taken classes on Virgil's Aeneid.
01:00
I've taken classes on just like, on just really
01:04
anything that the professors are interested in teaching.