Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What do English Degrees and Teaching Have in Common?

It's the same conversation over and over and over again...

Friend: So how is it with all the kids in school now? Enjoying your free time?
Me: *Maniacal laughter* I'm a Senior in college.
Friend: Ooooo how wonderful. What are you studying?
Me: English and Creative Writing.
Friend: So are you going to be a teacher?
Me: O.o

Next day. Different friend. Same. Exact. Conversation.

Can someone please explain to me why people always come to this conclusion? When I ask my teacher friends what they majored in, they didn't say English. And certainly not creative writing (except my Creative Writing professors). :)

They majored in Education. Or Early childhood education. Yes, there's an actual college for those studying to become teachers. Yes, I know a few English majors that plan on becoming certified to teach. My dear beloved sister is one of them. But she didn't always plan on being a teacher. She loves to write. Now she just wants to teach kids how to do the same thing. And my own husband got his PhD in Chemical Engineering so he could do research and one day teach.

I have so much love and respect for teachers. In fact, I've taught many a Sunday School class over the last 20+ years, and appreciate the heavy responsibility for a classroom of students. But I haven't taken on the beautiful task of molding and shaping them each and everyday, taking very little pay for so much work.

Unless you count motherhood. In which case, I have the best teaching job in the world!

So what I'm wondering I guess, is what do I say? Do I say, "Thank you so much for the compliment, but I'm not strong enough to do what you do"? Or do I continue to laugh politely as I have done and say, "No, I'm studying Creative Writing," in which I get the O.o response back.

"So you want to...write? As in..."
"Books," I answer.
"Oh. How exciting!"

Only some don't sound very excited. More like they're still trying to reason out the long toiling hours for even less pay! :) But yeah, I kind of thought it was exciting, too. That's why I'm majoring in English and Creative Writing. Maybe I'll just say the Creative Writing part from now on. Though someone is likely to misunderstand me again and ask me what kind of creative riding I do. Motorcycle? Horses?


What about you? What response do you get from others when they hear that you're a writer?

1 comment:

  1. Ya know, I don't talk about it much. Writing is intimate and I've found only writers understand when you say, "My characters are talking to me" or "Hang on, I've gotta jot down this bit of dialogue."


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