Tag Archives: school

Monthly Writing Challenge – August

Yeah, I know I’ve missed a couple of these, but I still have a little while left before it’s midnight my time (EST)!

It’s the last month of summer break and you have just a few weeks left before school starts. You can already feel the anticipation growing inside of you and you have no idea if it’s dread or excitement. But you don’t focus on that, rather you focus on the fact that you can still make it the best month possible before school starts up again.

What do you do for the first and last weeks of school break? Do you hang out with friends? Go to the beach? Find summer romance?

Respond to the prompt in no less than 150 words and keep it rated PG-13 or under.

Monthly Writing Challenge: May 2014

Welcome to May Day! It’s the beginning of May and we hope that all these April showers will bring some May flowers, but that may not happen anytime soon. Any who, time for the monthly writing challenge!

  1. The theme this month: end of school excitement.
  2. You can reply to the prompt anytime during the month!
  3. Keep your content rated up to PG-13, please!
  4. 100-750 words for the prompt should be good, I think.

Okay, so here’s the prompt:

You’re in a class in high school, and you’re a senior, and the stupid bell won’t ring. You’ve only been staring at it for the past, oh, hour, and you only have another five minutes left before the bell rings. You can feel the anticipation in the classroom as the teacher tries his/her hardest to get the attention of the class, but to no avail. As you continue to stare at the clock you think about all that you plan on doing this summer: from preparing for college or trying to get a job, to hanging with friends at the beach and going on trips, you’ve got it all figured out. Tell me your thoughts and plans for the summer, plus tell me what happens when that bell finally rings.

Leave a comment with your prompt response! Have fun and enjoy!

The Pains (and Joys) of Being an English Major

Do you know how much of a struggle it can be to be an English major?

People expect a lot out of you: “can you proofread my paper?” “What’s the definition of ____?” “You’re an English major! I thought you were supposed to know how to do a, b, and c!” And the list goes on and on.

And it’s true. As an English major I feel compelled to correct other’s spelling and grammar mistakes, but even I get it wrong sometimes. And I don’t want to help constantly on every single paper my friends write because I have my own to worry about.

But in all honesty, I do enjoy it. I enjoy being able to say, “It should actually be this!” And to be able to share that knowledge with others and see their joy (or distaste) is rewarding enough.

Also, we’re expected to read everything under the sun, from the Bible, to Shakespeare, to Mary Shelley, to those of modern times. We’re expected to have read epic novels and short little fiction stories. It’s actually really annoying when I talk to fellow English majors and they say, “But haven’t you read ____?” Most of the time I haven’t. My focus is more on writing than literature, but that isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy it.

It can be a pain to be expected to do so much for such a broad major, but at the same time I do feel honored to know that my knowledge in the writing field can be useful to others who need the help.

If you’re thinking of becoming an English major, ask yourself these few questions:

  1. Do you enjoy reading and writing in your spare time? You’ll be doing a lot of this, so make sure you’re prepared to lose your life to writing and literature.
  2. Are you able to write pages of research or creative pieces without much effort? Yes, research is a process and can often be a struggle, but once you get the hang of it it’s actually fairly enjoyable. You will be writing research papers, there’s no avoiding it.
  3. Do you feel this urge to correct people on their spelling and grammar on social media sites or text messages? For some reason, this seems to be a big thing for a lot of the English majors I know. I personally can’t stand text speak or when people use the wrong version of “there,” “their,” or “they’re.” It drives me up a wall.
  4. Do you have an idea of what you want to do once you graduate? Even if you’re starting out as an English major, having an idea of what you want to do once you’ve graduated can be a big thing in order to help lead you in the path you want to go. I’m unsure of what I want to do – and I’m graduating May 17th! You’ll save yourself some stress if you have a general idea of what you want to do.

Now you may be wondering, “what kinds of things can an English major do outside of teaching?” Or “what kinds of concentrations can you focus on within an English major?”

There aren’t a large variety of jobs, as far as I know, but there is a wide range in which many corporations, such as AmeriCorps, look specifically for English majors? Why? As English majors we have use of critical thinking skills, how to use spelling and grammar and punctuation properly (or close to it), we’re literate, and more. We have qualifications that other majors may or may not help to develop.

As far as concentrations go, I know my university offers professional writing, literature, teaching, and drama. Other colleges and universities may offer different ones, but this way you have a broader look into what interests you rather than just English.

My concentration, specifically, is Professional Writing. I have taken a lot of creative writing courses including fiction, non-fiction, and creative writing courses. I have also taken classes in journalism, writing for the web, online magazine, and lots of literature classes. I’ve also had to take a speech class, so don’t think you’re free from public speaking!

Since it’s my concentration I can look for jobs in being a lobbyist, a secretary, author/writer, freelance writer, librarian (with a masters), etc.

It can be scary to think of what might be entailed in being an English major, but it’s a really rewarding major. I have learned to critically think about and analyze literature, I have learned to better my creative writing by showing, not telling, I have learned that there are possibilities at doing what I love and not have to be a teacher for it.

Of course the pains of being an English major can sometimes outweigh the joys, but looking at the bright side of it all is really rewarding, for sure.

Think about what you enjoy doing and if you think this would be an ideal major for you. It’s a hard path, but definitely fun if you allow it to be!

Making an Impact

schoolAs the semester has begun, I have already become stressed. Now this is not to say that I’m ready to throw in the towel by any means (it is my last semester, after all), but I am already finding myself to feel as though I have bit off more than I can chew.

That aside, let me talk about the classes that I believe will have a huge impact on me: On-line Magazine and Writing for Business and Technology.

Even though I’ve had one class so far in On-line Magazine, I can already tell I’m going to enjoy this class. Why? I’ll be able to publish more pieces of my work to be able to have a stronger presence not only online, but also when it comes time to apply for a job. The professor wants us to learn the importance of this small fact of publishing, and so she wants us not only to branch out into a blog atmosphere like this, but to also send stories to various companies, including the university’s online alternative magazine, Detour.

It’s a great feeling to think that more of my works will be published, and therefore I will be able to, hopefully, grasp the attention of potential employers in the upcoming months.

That is also why she wanted us to create a portfolio on a site like WordPress. I’ve added some of my better works to my current portfolio page, as was a requirement of the assignment, but also to say, “Hey, I can do this type of work, too!”

As for Writing for Business and Technology, the professor doesn’t want to focus on just learning how to write resumes, but rather she wants to be able to help the students to reach further and beyond just the entry level job. And so we get the task of rewriting the course description to better fit the needs of what it means to actually write for a business or technology.

Sounds pretty cool, right?

So far I’m enjoying the class and have learned about six literacies that are fundamental to not only the classroom, but also the workplace: basic, rhetorical, ethical, social, technological, and critical. Though each can be taught individually, it is more important to teach them in a much more collaborative sense as each is of equal importance.

These two classes in particular, I believe, will help to drive me into my future. I hope that whatever may come of it, I will be impacted by it in the best possible way.