English Major

I am English Major, Hear Me Roar

Not unlike many of my university friends, I came into college with a completely different major than I currently have.  I came into college as a Communications major, with every intention of becoming a broadcast reporter someday.  In high school, I was heavily involved in my school's journalism team.  We became a tight knit group and I was convinced that journalism was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. While decided what classes to take for my sophomore year, I realized that all the classes that I wanted to take were English classes.  None of the classes in any other major were as appealing to me as the English classes. 

Now, over a year after making that decision, I couldn't be happier.  Unlike a large portion of English majors, my parents were and are very supportive of my switch.  My dad was an English major, among other majors, in college and has found what he learned as an English major more useful to him as an adult than any of his math or chemistry classes.  I am of the opinion that being an English major prepares you for almost any career.  Being able to write well and express my thoughts clearly in writing is a skill that will take me far in whatever career I end up in.  

People tell me all the time that getting a degree in English is basically getting an MRS degree or even pre-unemployment.  But I have learned so much more than I would have in other fields.  I have learned how to analyze writings and read closely to glean from the text all that I can.  I enjoy learning different trends in writing and being able to categorize something that I read as Realist or Transcendentalist or Romantic and know what that means.  Most of all, I have learned how to study different texts and how to use those texts to formulate an argument and support my ideas.  

Being an English major means that I am not only learning skills that will benefit me no matter what career I choose, but I am doing it while studying things that I love, such as Shakespeare and Jane Austen.  Being an English major means that my learning is fun learning, because I can honestly think of nothing better than an entire class dedicated to my favorite author. 


Call Me Dabs

My name is Miranda Dabney, more commonly known by my friends as Dabs.  I am a junior majoring in English and minoring in Communications.  I am from the wonderful small town of Claremore, Oklahoma, the county seat of Rogers County and the home of Will Rogers, a fact of which we are incredibly proud of.  Though I've only lived in Oklahoma since my start of high school, I consider Oklahoma my home.  Oklahoma is a great place to be from!  I have enjoyed the last six years in Oklahoma more than anywhere else that I have lived, which includes North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Iowa and Missouri.  

The University of Tulsa is a school that I didn't even consider attending until the very end of my senior year.  I had already verbally committed to attending Oklahoma Baptist University to be a member of their track and field team when I came to visit TU's campus (at my father's request) and met with their track coach.  On my visit, I fell in love with the campus and with the idea of being a division I athlete.  About a week later, I signed my letter of intent to be a Golden Hurricane! Even though I'm no longer competing on the track team, TU is my home and I am so happy that I made that last minute choice to come to TU.   

My journey to the English field and thoughts on technology

I've been somewhat of a wandering soul when it comes to majors. I am a fairly new English major; as a freshman I came in as a psychology major but quickly became aware I wouldn't enjoy all of the research involved. I switched over to elementary education for a semester or two and then finally realized that I'd prefer teaching English at the secondary level where I could, at a deeper level, share with students my love for written expressions of thoughts. Being fairly new to the major, I haven't been involved in very much research so far, though I did enjoy spending an extended amount of time last semester in my modernism and visual culture class researching the implications of Stevie Smith's blending of text with sketch drawings in her poetry. 

In academics, I find myself relying on technology to help me think more than I wish that I did. With the internet and google in particular, gone are the days of sitting down with paper and pencil to scour my brain for original thoughts and ideas. Instead, I'm much more prone to take an assignment or subject topic and let the easily accessible ideas of others on the internet influence and develop my framework for approaching the topic or subject at hand.

English, Education, and Technology

I have absolutely loved my time majoring in English and secondary education here at TU. Before starting college, I’d known that I wanted to teach for several years, and when it came time for me to pick a subject to teach, English was the obvious choice. Throughout my time at TU, I’ve done quite a bit of research. My most extensive research occurred last semester, when I looked into the way that T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land incorporated elements of Norbert Weiner’s philosophies of relativism and cybernetics. For this project, I used a wide variety of online databases, books from TU’s library, and the Inter-Library Loan service. I’ve also done some research/archiving with items in Special Collections, spending the most time on the diary of a World War I soldier.

My relationship with technology has changed over the past few years. Coming into college, I basically hated computers. I found them beyond frustrating, and couldn’t stand when teachers made technology a large part of a class. Today, while I still prefer taking notes in a physical notebook, revising essays by hand, and marking up hard copies of books and essays, I’ve grown to be much more appreciative of technology. This is due, in part, to an education class I took last semester called Education Technology in the Classroom. From this, I figured out that part of my distain for technology probably stemmed from lingering frustration with former teachers who had not been educated on the proper way to incorporate technology into their classes. I’ve had a number of teachers who attempted to use technology in lessons simply for the sake of using technology (with no real pedagogical benefits). After this education class, I have the confidence that I can use technology in my future classroom in ways that will provide real benefits to my students, not just the novelty of using a computer. 


Getting online to read other people's Intro posts, I just realized this assignment on the syllabus is distinct from the lab we did yesterday, so...

In high school, my senior English teacher and my senior Spanish teacher, completely separately from one another, each recommend that I at the very least go for a minor in their subjects. Within a month of entering college, I knew I wanted to major in both. I'll just talk about English here for now. My first college English course was Major American Writers, and that class totally shocked my perception of what it meant to do literary analysis. In high school all we tried was New Criticism (it's ALL in the text!), so even just the fact that there are different, and just as legitimate, ways to extract meaning from a text was a huge newsflash for me. I was shocked, but I was curious. Second semester, I was invited to take a course on Modern Literary Theory, which intimidated me the whole semester, but which also never failed to fascinate me and capture my interest. That was probably my favorite class content-wise I've taken at TU, and I have since found (in both English and Spanish courses) that I enjoy reading, learning about, and analyzing literary theory about as much as I enjoy reading (etc) the literature itself.

I've become a less cautious person in college. I've definitely grown into a more creative writer since high school. By that, I don't mean I write more poetry than essays--I'm actually in a creative writing class for the first time this semester--but that my essays, which I quite enjoy preparing and writing, make stronger/more creative claims and I feel more like I own my work and that I'm contributing something to the intellectual world by writing the things I write. In other words, I take pleasure in rereading analytical essays I've written in college. In high school, essays were nothing more than assignments. Now, they're more like projects. I love the feeling of turning in original and very thoughtful work.

As for research, any that I've done has been within the context of the classroom. I have used technologies in the form of online databases at least as often as I've used print materials to do research. I'm not sure I can say I use technology "to think with," unless you count looking up online instructions to substitute for my memory of how to start a crochet chain. However, as noted, I'm less cautious now, and more willing to try to use technology to think than I might have been three years ago. Maybe an English major isn't the most practical for the immediate (high-paying) job market, but if I graduate able to think better or in more ways than other people know how to do, I think I'll call my college years time well spent.