Hi guys...I'm Heather and I'm an English Lit. major. Next year I'll be starting my graduate work in ESL, so lately I've been preparing for the GRE. By "preparing" I actually mean "slowly going insane", as the math section of the test is killing me.

Math is evil.

Anyway, I was hoping that some of you who have taken this damned test could tell me how heavily English Grad programs weigh math would be absolutely wonderful if they mostly focused on English, since that is what I'm going to be doing, and since math has absolutely no relevance to my career. !!! Hate math, hate math.

Or, if anyone has any inspirational stories on how they took their GRE and lived to tell the tale, that would be good, too. Because right now I'm seriously if I will.

Oh, and the hardest part of being an English Lit. major, for me,(don't throw rocks!) is that I am now aware of all the wondrous lit. written by women and minority writers that is largely ignored or at least overlooked by my classes and university classes all over the country. It's maddening.
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Hello! I'm currenty half-way through my hBA in English Language and Literature at the University of Toronto. I've always done best in language classes, but during my first year of university I decided to enter a realm which is now referred to as "the dark ages." I decided against taking an english major and took forensic sciences. That was a huge mistake. I went from getting 4.0's in my language classes to failing my chemistry course.
So here I am, back with my beloved english. Loving it as always. I am especially interested in theory of literature and I hope to enter graduate studies concerning theory and criticism of modernist and post-modernist texts.
I also had a question concerning minors. I am specializing in english, which means that 14/20 credits towards my degree are ENG courses, but I am still able to take on a minor. Right now I am considering both Latin (it's been suggested this is vital to graduate and post-grad studies) and Sociology. If anyone has any experience in these fields in conjunction with an English program I would be very interested in their feedback. I would really like to take a minor that is seperate but applicable to my degree.

Desperate cry for attention


I am acting the lemming and introducing myself now that I've just joined. For one, I major in biochemistry and molecular biology, but I am intensely interested in the written word nonetheless. I speak three languages and am a lover of all sorts of genres, predominantly European lit. (e.g., Joyce, Yeats, Eliot, Shakespeare, etc.) and analytical philosophy (e.g. Russell, Wittgenstein, Kant), although I'd like to think that I'm a good dilettante and thus have pretty much read at least a little bit of everything. I am always reading at least one book in my leisure time regardless of my "real" duties. I personally think (arrogantly, perhaps) that to some degree every adult of average intelligence and above should be concerned with literature/philosophy; it really irks me how little people read today, and that the height of culture for the average girl I meet in a bar is "Punk'd" with Ashton Kutcher... but I'm sure all of you as good English majors were already aware of that and have probably wept hundreds of pints of brine over it.

OK, well, I am a huge fan of polemics, and have sincerely believed all my life that the truth gains more by the diligence of one who, with due study and preparation, thinks for himself, than by him who holds the true opinion only because he does not suffer himself to think. (Oh, you recognized John Stuart Mill? How nice to be around English majors! I would have put it in quotes but I don't think it's verbatim...) Being a lover of polemics has, quite naturally, brought me my fair share of unpopularity, so I'd like to say in advance that I never intentionally hurt anyone's feelings! Take that for what it's worth.

My first question is a timeless one, and I'm sure many of you have turned it over in your head a thousand times ... and it is this: as rational (or irrational, depending on your opinion) creatures, shouldn't the truth be our highest desideratum? Or should we be more concerned with maximizing happiness, or something else, regardless of what the "truth" is? In other words, if we're not seeking the truth in everything we do, then are we wasting our lives? What does everyone think?

Before you start thinking (or writing, whichever you do first), realize that I'm taking two things for granted here - 1) absolute truth exists (for you "relativism" people, although this is really absolutely true by tautology) and 2) this is an "ideal" situation, although after you answer the question for the ideal case, you can mention "practical" concerns as an afterthought. An important side question is this - if we're meant to realize truth in all of our actions, then how do we recognize what is and isn't the truth? "Logic" is a useful (the only?) example. I'm curious to know what everyone here thinks, given the predominant "humanities" background.

(BTW, this is not a homework question of any sort, so please don't accuse me of scrabbling for homework help... that's what AOL is for.)
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Harold and Maude

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Hello all,
Im fairly new to University life, this being my first year and all, so I don't have much experience as to what being an english major is like. Actually I am still debating whether to major in psych or english, either way I know I will continue with english all the way through. I especially enjoy the poetic works of Thomas Hardy and Emily Bronte.
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In this morning's Globe

I've never been to MLA, but as a relatively conservative member (you don't have to step too far to the right to be conservative to this group), I can't bring myself to be crushingly sorry to have missed this session. My SIL went and probably had a good time. This was an interesting article about the goings-on there:
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Stumpwork butterfly


I'm glad to have found this corner of the name is Nicole, and I have a master's in English from Boston College. I'm applying to Ph.D. programs now, and mostly selling myself (I thought twice about the phraseology, but apps feel remarkably like doing a mating display a la Zoidberg most of the time) as a theorist, though I feel like a fairly stupid one most of the time. I'm into Austen and her era, Hitchcock films, Futurama, Lacan, Zizek. Have read and liked some Barthes, some Foucault. This year, I'm adjuncting. Officially, I love teaching. Unofficially, I wouldn't be sorry never to set foot in a freshman comp classroom, or a community college in any capacity, again. But that's the end of the semester talking. That and missing school. I'm so ready to go back.

I don't so much get "What are you going to do with that?" from people, as "What's that?" Scholarship seems to be poorly understood by most people. I try to explain--I read and write and do research. Yes, they pay me for that. But I say I teach, and the lights all go on, "Oh, you're a teacher!", vaguely as if they were saying, "Oh, you're an overpaid moron who's ruining American youth!" and that's it, they're satisfied. At times, I'd really rather say I was a writer. Then, if you make money from it, people seem envious, and if you don't, they just think you're a damn fool, which I can live with.

Glad to meet everyone.
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the obligatory intro

Hey all--My name is Susan, and in about a week (eee!) I'll have my B.A. in English with an Identity Studies Concentration. At my university, that basically means that my focus is on theories of literature and culture. (instead of creative writing, or teaching secondary ed.) So yeah, I'm a theory dork--but this concentration has also allowed me to deeply explore some genres which I've grown to love: Immigrant literature/documentary, Postmodern American fiction, and Native American fiction. Curriculum aside, I'm fond of literature that deals with damnation (Eliot, Dante, Milton) and I'm semi-obsessed with Oscar Wilde. :)

The worst part of being an English major, in my experience, has to be the ridiculous amount of people who assume that I'm some grammar guru and the embodiment of a Webster dictionary. I mean, I DO write a lot of papers, but it's not like I go to class and learn the finer points of the conditional tense. I think that so many people misinterpreting what I have a passion for learning is just a tad disheartening.

But I still love being an English major! ("Go Team!" and what not). Okay, back to my finals.
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