I was very surprised by my first English class at UW, ENGL 109. Was it the fact that my professor majored in physics and has two stem degrees? Or was it how we had portion of the class dedicated to yell “fuck” and we wrote a story to try and bullshit our professor? Anyhow it was an awesome change of pace that has rekindled my love for the English language.
Rekindled, you might ask?
Well you see, I was a ESL student back in the day. And there is a lot of nasty things I want to say about every time it’s brought up. It tried its hardest to make us new immigrants to hate the Canadian schools. Our classes had a whole bingo of bad choices by the time i got out of it. Teacher not trained in ESL or anything related to language, and is actually a PE teacher? Check. Created artificial barriers which the only way to move up from ESL1 to ESl2 was to either pass the once-a-year exam or to really beg the teacher? check. Conspiracy theories and rumors spread that the school is intentional keeping students “stuck” in ESL to collect more funding, that how bad it was.
But I held on, because of the promise land of English 11 and 12, where none of these things happens and you get pizza in class everyday.
Enter English 11, where most of my dreams did not come true. Out of the ESL hellhole, and into Lord of the Flies. I could not understand the lazy attitude of my peers at first, come on! You are in English! The mythical beast ! The one I had to do 3 tests just to be able to enroll in !
But quickly I started to understand the lack of enthusiasm. The formula of writing about the same “controversial Issues” like year round schooling and legalization of weed really gets old. Looking back, I am glad that Trump was not in the picture yet. Bless high-school students today who has to probably write essays about our Orange Melon.
So image my surprise when I was taught about how to write resumes and write math papers in English 109. None of the time was dedicated to analyzing whether the blue curtain reflected the Author’s depression or sorrow. I had to double check the course syllabus and it read:
ENGLISH ACADEMIC WRITING (FOR MATH FACULTY STUDENTS)
God bless the math faculty.
I had loads of fun in that class, all the assignment were packed with interest and a call back to our backgrounds in maths and sciences. I wrote my research paper on epidemic computing, inspired by the Ebola outbreak at the time. How cool is that!
With that being said, I do miss some of the happier moments of high school English. Acting out Shakespeare and the Crucible by Arthur Miller was a load of fun. We pretended we were Aragon ( from lord of the rings) Screaming “Because It’s my name!” for hours. It really made me appreciate English in its flexibility and expressive prowess.
Noting that my experience is unique and each teacher has different styles and strengths, I’d say that all is well in the end.
Judging from the experiences I’ve had with English 119 so far, It is going to be a blast. Meme-ing for marks? Outrageous