Monday, May 14, 2007

A Major Dilemma

Okay, so I've been thinking of changing my major, yet again, but am finding it almost impossible to let go of my current one. I've decided on weighing the pros and cons to each, and taking any input. Let's begin, shall we?

English Ed. (Current Major):
Pros: *I am already in this major and have started on some of my major courses.
*I would love to teach, especially between middle and high school.
*I love the history, imagination, and meanings found in literature.
*I love that prose and poetry are left up to the interpretation of the reader.
*I love to study about authors.
*I could take classes in journalism, and would not only be taught to do it, but would be qualified to teach it with just 20 credits.
*I've only ever had one English teacher I didn't like, well two, if you can consider Mrs. Dunbar-Kari a teacher.
*My philosophy is that if a student has a solid understanding of their language, all other subjects come more easily, even subjects such as math, that don't seem to have any link to language, but in reality are impressively affected by it. To teach remedial English would not be the most fun part of the teaching occupation, but I do think it would end up being one of the most satisfying.

*If I did go into teaching, which is most likely to happen, I would have to stop once I started having kids. (This is not up for debate, it's a personal decision.)
*I feel that it does, in some ways, confine or at least obligate me to be a teacher. (Look, it's a noble thing, but so is being able to feed, clothe, and shelter myself!)
*Although I love to read, I tend to be slow. Keeping up in class-assigned readings have always been difficult for me, and I can see those classes taking a lot out of me.

Communications, Emphasizing in Journalism (Major up for Consideration):
Pros: *I would love to write for magazines like Discover! or National Geographic. That would be freaking awesome!
*Freelance journalism would be easily workable from home, even after having children.
*Where I fall short in reading, writing comes naturally. I can (and have) research, write, edit, and cite a paper on almost any topic in four hours and still pull off nothing short of a B+.
*I absolutely love writing research papers. They're my favorites!
*I think that doing investigative journalism for, oh, I dunno, like The New York Times would be a lot of fun.

Cons: *The few education credits would not transfer over, and I would almost certainly end up having to apply for a credit extension and I would have to stay in school longer.
*I would have to, especially at the beginning of my career, cover the topics that no one wants to cover. (i.e., obituaries, etc.)
*I wouldn't be teaching, and that would kind of suck.
*I might not get to take classes on the literature side of it all.

Now, changing my minor is not an option at this point. I want to keep it Russian. I could look into double minoring, but that'd be hard with an education major. They are pretty adamant about making sure everyone who majors in education also minors in some field of it.


Calandria said...

look mal, i shouldn't be giving advice on this topic since i changed my major many times and that's one reason i just finally graduated.

something to think about: you don't have to have a communications major to write for magazines. you can do that with an english teaching major, too.

Keric said...

Mal, Here is the deal. Major in the latter of the majors and while you are covering the crappy stories you can teach creative writing or journalism at your local school. They are always looking for teachers. So look at it as getting the best of both worlds. I am just saying...

ML said...

If you have children you'll be teaching for the rest of your life whether you like it or not, so... oh, and it's "dilemma" sweetie.

Anonymous said...

Mallie Moe!
I'm not just saying this b/c I'm a Speech Comm major, but I think you should go w/ Comm-Journalism.
-you can do reading on your own (a speed reading course might help you get through all those classics faster).
-it is more marketable & you can do as much or as little as life allows.
-as your mum said, you'll always be teaching.
-you like school right, just stay around a while longer! :P
lots of love, Laura

Mallory said...

To Cal: Yeah, I've had 4 majors already. I know exactly what you're talking about.
To Keric: Yeah, I've thought a lot about that kind of thing too!
To Laura: A lot of people have said the same thing. They're all like, 'Mal, journalism is so for you!' and it's not like I bring up the conversation. But it is really hard for me to let go of English. It's been killing me!
To Mum: I knew I spelled it wrong! But I checked it on the spell-check and it said it was a word. It probably is, but I just don't realize what it means. I just couldn't figure it out!

ML said...

English and Communications both are very flexible majors--as far as I can see they will not keep you from doing anything that you want to do. Coming at it from [almost] 50 years of life (yes, I'm pulling that card on all of you), go with what you feel. If you're having that hard of a time letting go of English then don't let it go. The important thing is to get the formal education now (believe me, the "informal" education will never let up). It's not that you can't do it later, but it's so much easier to get the college work done now in whatever subject you choose than when the more important things of life (i.e., raising a family) begin to take over. (I'm sure Calandria and Auntie Lee can attest to that!)
With almosst any major you can teach, do freelance writing, consult, be an editor, or a myriad of other professions. Dad got his degree in Political Science, works as a professional consultant in engineering, but uses the principles he learned in his study of poli sci all the time.

Auntie Lee said...

For the love of Pete!!! stick to what you are doing!! Finish your first major then continue with the communications. Why do you think you have to choose? Don't fall into the trap of thinking of your future as if it will happen the way you think it will. Finish one thing and if you want continue in school in communications. Why can't you get a BA in one then a MA in the other. All your majors fall into humanities dept. and are compatible. What is NOT compatible is not finishing anything. A lot of education without acknowledgement sucks.

Your mother is right in that teaching is a mother never ending task. Anything you learn about teaching will be valuable ESPECIALLY if you decide to be a stay at home mom. Furthermore...being a stay at home mom is not something you can always manage. If you are lucky...Great...but don't think life always gives you what you want. That is luxury thinking.

You were raised in Young Womens. Remember the program and stick to it. There are more reasons to getting an education than just teaching your kids. Life is much bigger than that.

Why is it that only Americans change there major every 10 minutes? At this rate you will never get your MA let alone your doctors title. Think big!!

Mallory said...

Quite frankly, I don't really want my doctor's. I think that unless I was going to use it for something really specific, it would really just end up being a waste of time and money. (Unless of course, I felt that I should, but then the only time I can imagine ever feeling that way is if I was going to use it for something specific, like I said before.) I would really just like to get done with school in a fairly reasonable amount of time, and even though a few of my credits wouldn't transfer over to journalism, they would still be required for my minor, so I really wouldn't be too far from graduating when I wanted to in the first place, if I were to change.

Also, I know that teaching is a never-ending task, just like learning is, whether I'm a mother or not. However, I will be a stay at home mom, when I do start having kids, which could not happen for another 5 or 10 years, who knows! But unless my husband dies or leaves me (but who would do that?!) I plan entirely on being home when my kids are. I'm not saying your a bad mother if you don't, but I'm saying I want to, and so I will. You may call this luxury thinking, I call it unswaying determination that only the Creator could change, not some glitch in the demo game.

I have been fretting over my major so much because I have been thinking too big. There's so much I want and am able to do, but haven't been sure about how to go about getting it done. That's one reason why I was interested in the opinions of my friends and family - being older I was hoping they would be able to give me some suggestions. Of course I was hoping for it to be done in a not-so-condescending way, but hey, I can't choose my relatives, or how they communicate. I can just be grateful for the sane ones.

Auntie Lee said...

Oh Sweetie I am not trying to be condescending at all. Its just that the Conner family has a way of going to school for ever and never finishing. Look at me. I am 42 and going to school. I don't want you to go there. The only other students my age going to school here are getting their 2nd or more degree as a carrier change. I am not. When I say think big I dont mean high. I mean the world big. You just never know what will happen no matter how determined you are. Determination is only helpful on a personal level. When you are in the world or a relationship(whatever the situation) compromise is sometimes more important.

I love you and care very much about you. Don't ever think I am condescending (at least not on purpose). I just know the dangers of not finishing school.

They say knowledge is power but it seems that papers are more important now.

You are very smart and beautiful to boot. Whether you finish school or not that will never change. Don't let anything I or anyone else says make you think otherwise!!

ave said...

Your goals are very admirable Mallie. I had those goals too before JW and I got married. Everything is right with your plans, but sometimes life has a way of throwing a wrench in those plans. I would love to be home with my kids, JW and I were too imature and wild acting to get through school in our early twenties. I regret it, but some people just have to learn the hard way. Now that JW is 31, he is a much better student, gets all A's and really knows what he wants to do for the next 15 years or so. I will have to work until he is finished with school and that is just the way it is. Just marry a rich dude, or one who will be financially successful in a matter of years after you get married, and you won't have to worry about any of this blah blah blah. I think that the major isn't as important as making it to the graduation point. Don't sweat it.