Imagination in Motion: English Majors

In college, what is the one major that is given the most grief for supposedly being the least “helpful” in terms of obtaining a career? I’ve heard of several, but none of them compare to the one on so many people’s lips. Then let me tell you now that most people will tell you it’s English. Why major or minor in it? People don’t seem to understand it very well. They come to me and say “You won’t make money with English”. It’s when they tell me this that I wonder if that’s what society has become.

I recently read a study that was posted last week in the Houston Chronicle about the passing scores of different subjects in Texas schoolsl. Would it surprise you that the math and sciences are on the rise? Both of these being over 85% each surprised me a little, but my real shock was yet to come. Reading and writing passing rate was just above 35%. My mouth dropped, and indeed I almost dropped the paper. That few? That means out of 10 students only 3-4 pass reading and writing. I’m not even talking about getting good grades in it, this is just passing the class period. That my friends, is a disturbing thing.

So I pose a thought to you all. Perhaps American society as a whole, disrespects English majors/minors because the career fields are becoming more focused on a science and mathematics  based society rather then one based on… imagination and creativity.

There are few who acknowledge dreamers. Who dreams the greatest dreams? A writer, or a scientist? Both can have imagination, but who’s is more inspiring. Does anyone look into history and remember many scientist that impacted their childhood with their works? Personally, I’ve never done that. The authors that gave me a childhood filled with adventure was Arthur Conan Doyle, Terry Brooks, T.A. Barron, Brian Jacques, Charles Sheffield, J.R.R. Tolkien, Ray Bradbury, Howard Pyle, Issac Asimov, and oh so many more.

I love reading and writing dearly. I couldn’t live if I couldn’t do them both. For that reason, I feel saddened to see those scores from the Texas youth. I would ask parents why. “Oh parent of children. Why does your child fiddle with numbers? I see them as they do their homework. They complete the work and write the bare minimum, read only what they must, and then watch T.V. Why do you not take them to the library? Why are they always playing video games? Why have they never heard of Sherlock Holmes? Why do I have to explain to them in college why Issac Asimov was a genius? It makes my heart weep for that inspiration they never received but for time lost to frivolity.”

If one would say “Oh by the time they get into college it’s to late to be inspired by writings”, then I’d tell them they were wrong. In both of my English classes, there were, indeed, only 5-6 people in a class of over 20, that actually cared deeply about what they wrote. I count myself among them. To all English majors or minors I would tell you to be headstrong and know that you aren’t *in* your major to obtain capital at obscene rates… no, your real career is to inspire people with your work. To bring a smile to the face of someone who had never seen such a well thought perspective or piece of literature. THAT… my friends, sounds like a respectable career in my mind.

Advertisements

What You Never Heard

Question Mark

Question Mark (Photo credit: higgledy-piggledy)

To obtain knowledge is to have a key. Keys unlock doors, and thus the more keys you have, the more doors you can open. Behind those doors is opportunity to make one a more successful/fulfilled individual. The best way to obtain keys is going to the library. Unlocking doors should begin at a very young age and should never end. So here begs the question.

 

Were you ever told that  a book in a particular section was “to big” for you?

 

As a child, how did that make you feel? Were you offended, determined to prove them wrong, or did you accept it at face value? I visited the library yesterday, and a parent was leading their child through the books in the children’s library. Suddenly the child picked up a non-fiction book about the Egyptian culture. I smiled faintly, but it was short lived. The parent took the book, and told the child that it was “to big” for them. I was flabbergasted. The child’s disappointment was clear, but made no fuss.

I wanted to tell the parent; “You can read it if you feel that’s the case, but depriving a child of knowledge of culture at a young age devalues their appreciation for it.” Of course, as fitting human nature, I said nothing because it was appropriate to say nothing. I never heard those words as a child. When I went to a section in the childrens library wherever I was, any book was fair game. If I couldn’t read it, I tried my best anyway. To this day I think that determination helped me read, because my curiosity was so great. When I saw a book with a catchy title or a nice picture at the front, I *HAD* to have it.

It is much more prudent to say “that book is hard to read” rather then “it’s to big for you”. Why? Because it spreads the book’s *responsibility* of difficulty and lays a standard for fairness in saying just in general that it is hard to read. While the latter is a direct and clearly aimed gripe about the child’s ability, only barely concerning the book as “it’s”. There has been a steady drop in the reading and writing scores of children across the state, while math scores remain high and dry. Schools aren’t taking reading and writing as seriously as they used to, and I think that is an American dilemma. We love science, so of course the ability to read and write is redundant in regards to high mathematical prowess. Or… is it?

You’re thoughts ladies and gentlemen?

Oh Audience: A Cordial Intro

Hello Audience,

To some, I’m a familiar face. To those who recognize me, I tip my hat to you. It’s wonderful to see you here. My fellow writers have introduced themselves in their unique fashions, now I will introduce myself, briefly.

 

I have been writing, creatively, since I was a small child. I loved the thrill of imagination that I would rise whenever I created such a character that even I looked at and wished I could be. My writing grew more towards the analytically side of things. I like to take things apart, and see how many ways I can look at it before I arrive at my own. I love reading, I like video games, cycling, rollerblading, and tennis. I’m always interested in hearing how other people see the world. Meeting people who enjoy a bit of civil discourse is always a pleasure for me. It’s an opportunity, to see another angle. To think differently about things that seem obvious.

I have blogged for over a year, on and off as time permitted. I go to University of Houston and my major is in business. I had originally intended to major in history, as history is something I enjoy talking at length about and generally enjoy. However, as the tide changes through the day, so to do the plans of mankind. Circumstances led me to a place where it became prudent of me to major in business instead. My focus will either be marketing, or management. I haven’t decided. It it strange to me that I used to be so sure of what I could do, and suddenly the unexpected flashed in my vision. I saw an opportunity for adventure that wasn’t previously there. A lure of the uncertain that promised a tomorrow I had never thought about previously. How could I refuse?

 

I wasn’t very brief, but it’s much better then I expected myself to do. Audience, this blog is not just about the authors. It’s also about you. We like discussions, so we might comment in each other’s posts. I encourage anyone and everyone to do the same. One of our goals, is hearing your thoughts audience. To a brighter tomorrow, and the learning eternal. I will thoroughly enjoy being apart of this new thing. It will be my joy to captivate you.

Looking for Lighthouses’ Introduction :)

Hello readers!

I’m Looking for Lighthouses, and I can honestly say that I am grateful to be part of this new form of internet expression (new to me anyway), so thank you for taking the time to read our blog!  First and foremost, I am not a person of single interest.  I become bored easily and am easily entertained, so anything could become a topic of conversation (written or otherwise) for me, so feel free to send a message my way if you feel the need.  I am an open mind, a listening ear, and an opinionated voice who most likely day-dreams more than I should.  I have been writing as long as I can remember, and I generally write in the fantasy/science-fiction genres, as I find unexplored worlds fascinating.  I would love to venture into realistic fiction someday – sometimes, I think, the most interesting world is one’s own mind.  Of course, I plan on publishing a book (or many) one day, so I will keep y’all updated!

To cover the basics, I am a Christian (please do not assume that means that I am judgmental – you may be surprised by my beliefs), I love rock music (among other genres), and my favorite band is Aerosmith.  I can, and will, talk about music for an eternity, as I have played the viola since I was six, and my love for music is endless.  My favorite book is The Once and Future King, and although I read newer novels, I tend to read much more classical literature.  I am starting at Baylor University in the fall as a University Scholars Major, which basically means that I have no required classes, that I design my own major with an advisor.  This allows me to study not only English/Literature, but Medical Humanities and Engineering.  Quite a lot of work, yes, but I want to follow my dream of being both a doctor and a writer, and I have faith that with Help, I can live out my desire to both help others and express that burning creativity that resides in me.

To conclude, thank you again for taking the time to read our thoughts, and I humbly and with gratitude invite you to delve deeper into our blog.

– Looking for Lighthouses