If you ask an English Major to read over your essay and they give you this look
Don’t take it personally.
English majors write. We write a LOT. And we are damn good at it, so we understand if we’re the ones you go to for help.
But keep these in mind:
- We can have as little as five and as much as 15 writing assignments every term (or even more if we are in honours or taking more than five courses at a time)
- We have to read perhaps 25 books (approx 5 books per course) on top of that.
- Those readings can include such masochistic texts as Shakespeare, Atwood, Soyinka, Derrida, Plato, Woolf, and much MUCH more.
- You are not the first person to approach us, nor will you be the last.
- No one can help get a good grade more than your course instructor.
If you finish reading this and you still want our help, please be considerate and ask us politely. Don’t force us, or else we will purposely edit it until it is worse than before. That is a promise.
Also, it never hurts to show some gratitude in the form of coffee and cookies. If you do this, we might help you again in the future.
Important addition: Your college, in all likelihood, has a writing center! Use it! The students working there are paid for their time whether or not students choose to use the writing center, and on most days, the students who work their would prefer that that time actually be spent tutoring students.
I have no problem fielding brief writing and citation questions for my friends, but if they need more extensive help, I feel no shame in referring them to see me or one of my coworkers in the writing center.
The other day I emptied my pockets and gave what was in them
to a homeless man: some bobby pins, a little bit of loose change,
a few ticket stubs, and a handful of notes written to various strangers.
One of them I found taped to the hood of a car;
it said If you’re reading this, I’m probably long gone by now.
On another, which had been floating in a bottle
by the side of the beach, was scrawled
For Lorna, the only woman I ever loved. You were my reason
to get up every morning; now you’re gone and I’m left
with a thousand reasons to sleep.
This man accepted all these little trinkets, all these odds & ends
of my soul with open arms, and never said a word.
When I was in ninth grade I moved through more hospitals
than my own skin; my mother once joked
that I should have a permanent collection of hospital gowns
in my closet instead of dresses.
She never understood how much that hurt,
or how, even to this day, I long for one of those anonymous notes
to be for me, just for me, for once,
for ever. How terribly beautiful it would be, I think,
if I were at the library one day and found a book there
with a folded piece of paper tucked inside, something that said
Dear Stranger, You think you deserve all this pain,
but one day you’ll wake up to the sound of someone showering
in the other room, and they’ll kiss your mouth full of soap,
will be beautiful again.
things we said in school
- i’m tired
- i’m hungry
- i don’t get it
- i’m cold
- what time is it?
- i wanna go home
yes hello I would like to return to the age of 9 instead of the current age of 19