Merry Wanderer of the Night  + [TIME]

Intro to the English Major

Okay, I will warn all of you none University of Iowa English Majors that this is a hot topic here. Basically Intro to the English Major is a class that is required for all English majors. It spans the life of English literature, from Beowulf to present. It requires you to learn and memorize many things the English department decided were important, and then it tests you on them with these devils called Passage IDs. This means they give you a passage and you say who wrote it, what it was from, and what time period it was written in. It is basically death.

The thing that really annoys me about Intro to the English Major is that the way the class is set up is exactly the same way the major is set up. The English department requires that we take two classes in each of three time periods (16th &17th, 18th and 19th, and 20th & 21st) and that we take one class in each of the areas. So if I'm spending four years learning all of this stuff, then why do they have to jam it all into one class? It's important when talking about this class to remember that the professor isn't coming up with this stuff, it is the department.

I'm interested to hear from other English majors out there. If you don't go to Iowa then do you have a class like this? Do you think it would be helpful? I know that I did gain a few things from the class. I took it my freshman year and it gave me a much better understanding of what professors are looking for when they ask for close reading. Basically the class improved my grades. I think that element of the class is great, and maybe there should be some kind of class like that. I just don't think the way they are approaching it right now is quite right.