Doublemajoring in Literature
I came to Loras College intending to major in Biochemistry and only Biochemistry. I was prepared to be very serious in my studies, focused on facts, and determined to work as hard as possible to succeed, but I realized in my first semester Critical Writing: Poetry course the importance of feeling and expression in my life. I poured over chemistry and biology books, studying, rewriting, memorizing, and reveling in science; but I can remember the release and the emotional experience poetry was able to provide for me. I recall telling Dr. Bauerly that I decided to double major in Biochemistry and English Literature because I wanted to read without feeling guilty for neglecting my other homework. English Literature studies have allowed me to bring feeling and emotion to the side of me that I sometimes recognize as a skeptical and cold scientist.
I always felt that I have been slightly different from other students majoring in English Literature. I never really considered myself to be creative, artistic, or insightful. I can remember my first few English Literature courses, in which I questioned whether I would really have anything of significance to add to group discussions. One of my strengths, however, as a major in English Literature has been my ability to be open and interested in new things. I try to be open and learn new ideas, styles of writing, various opinions, and critical strategies. I love hearing other people’s opinions about symbolism and theme, and I think it is interesting to consider why they see the image in such a manner. Color and Eveline and I represent my strengths as an open minded and curious person. I was skeptical about imitating an author’s style and about the significance my life experiences really have in my interpretations of texts. However, because I was willing to try a new writing style and a new critical strategy, I was rewarded with two essays of which I am very proud.
Not only is my openness in trying and learning new things one of my greatest strengths as a literature major, but my empathy while reading and listening is very important as well. In reading an author’s words, I can also feel the emotions conveyed by them. I can feel Eveline’s fear and paralysis, and I can feel Jean Toomer’s frustration with racial categorization. Many authors’ images so vividly express their situations that I often place myself in their shoes, hoping to understand a little better. I feel my skills in seeing and understanding images and opinions from various points of view has been even more greatly intensified by studying literature. Such a skill, I believe, has been one of my most prized achievements at Loras College. Though I may not remember quotations from Toni Morrison or Shakespeare, I know that learning to identify and empathize with others is invaluable for any profession I decide to pursue, and especially if I choose to become a doctor.
Color and Eveline and I further developed...