Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Major Change - or - How a Pun Can Ruin a Blog Post Title

    Today I walked right up to my Spanish major and was all like, hiiiiYA!  I dropped it like a hot potato in a game of hot potato.  I am now solely an English major with a Spanish minor (more like a Spanish minor x 8).  This semester was set aside to complete the last three required courses in Spanish and my very last English course. 

    Instead, I karate-kicked those Spanish classes right out of my schedule and added in two TESOL classes (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), one focusing on Theory and Practice and the other focusing on Cross-cultural Issues. 

    The third English class I picked up is a course on U.S. Latino Literature and Culture...taught in ENGLISH.  I’m so excited for this class.  Holy crap.  It’s taught by the same woman who heads up the ISU journal that publishes in a number of different languages.  I’m hoping she’ll include some publishing information in this course. 

    And lastly, the cap to my English Studies career, a class called Senior Seminar.  We’re reading a great variety of super interesting-looking books, refining the writing we’ve done throughout our career at ISU, and finishing with a writing portfolio at the end of the semester. 
    I had been dreading this semester, my very last semester at ISU as an undergrad, for a long time now.  Pretty much right after I signed up for the classes I needed and the reality of what my last semester was going to look like sunk in, I started feeling icky.  It took me until last night - LATE last night - to actually admit that I wanted to drop my Spanish major and that it was OK.  I think my worst critic about this decision is going to be myself.  Partly because most people don’t give a damn, and partly because I always worry that I’m making a huge mistake - a mistake that I’ll regret for the rest of my life.  But also, when I think about it, I just don’t want to have to defend my decision to every single person who questions it. 

    “Why didn’t you just finish?  You only had THREE classes left?”

    “What are you going to do with only an English degree?”

    “So all those extra Spanish classes you took were for nothing?”

    And honestly, these are my questions to myself.  I need to be nicer to myself.  I’m kind of like the mean girl and the nerd all wrapped up in one.  Maybe that’s where all my bruises come from - they have fights when I’m not paying attention.

    In spite of my own negativity, looking back on my Spanish career at ISU, I’m impressed by what I’ve learned and what I’ve accomplished… and all of it in Spanish!  I’ve studied linguistic issues that affect native and second language speakers of Spanish, I’ve read some great works of literature in Spanish, I’ve researched and presented information in front of classes in Spanish, and best of all, I wrote a beautiful 16 page linguistic research paper in Spanish.  Dang, I’m proud of that puppy.  These are great things and I can take all of this with me when I graduate whether or not I have SPANISH written in giant letters on my degree.

    It’s time to cut myself a break, accept this gut decision and soak up everything I can from my hopefully awesome English classes in this last semester of my undergraduate career.  The fact that I’m no longer dreading the next 16 weeks is already a win in the Emily column.

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