05 February 2008

Why Occidental Needs an English Writing Minor

Occidental College has an under appreciated English Writing department with amazing professors and awesome classes. If the department were expanded to add more professors and classes, an EW major would be possible. As it is now, a major isn't quite plausible. A minor, however, is totally doable.

Most departments require five courses in the department for a minor with perhaps one or two required classes.

According to Professor Deborah Martinson, a certain other department that shall remain nameless (but goes by the acronym ECLS for short) feels that all things writing and English belong to them. ECLS should embrace EW as their colleagues and equals, brilliant people who can complement the courses ECLS offers. ECLS has a few writing classes, so those classes could count toward the EW minor as well. While there are certainly not as many EW classes as there should be, there's no shortage that would prevent the completion of a minor. ECLS has a "creative writing emphasis" in the major, but writing can encompass so much more than just "creative writing."

I'm a history major. While the major requires a lot of writing, the wonderful human resources people who read my resume for any job probably won't make the connection between history and writing. They'll probably ask me who the 9th president was. I don't actually know who the 9th president was. (William Henry Harrison. Who??) With a minor in English Writing on my resume, it shows potential employers that I am, in fact, a good writer. An ECLS minor may just suggest that I can analyze literature 'til the damn cows come home.

As I prepare to enter the workforce, I want my potential employers to know how much I love writing and how capable I am by stating that I do indeed have a minor in English Writing.

2 comments:

frontrowseats said...

William Henry Harrison was made out to be a hero when I was growing up in Indiana, largely because of the Battle of Tippecanoe, a skirmish in which Harrison and his troops fought a band of Native Americans. The battle site is now a state park just north of Lafayette, IN. I wonder how this somewhat ugly chapter in Indiana history is taught now?

H R Paperstacks said...

Youre right, as a sophomore I have no access to EW at all unless ive done a bunch of prerequisites. Laaaame.
I want to minor in EW too.