Saturday, February 6, 2016

Blogademics: My Degree Doesn't Mesh

My degree has ABSOLOUTELY NOTHING to do with book blogging. The closest I get to reading novels in any of my courses is getting particularly well written textbooks, or maybe a newspaper article about climate change. Let's talk about what my degree doesn't cover:
  • Anything to do with literature. 
  • Anything to do with coding.
  •  Anything to do with running a blog or business.
Folks, I study everything but the above. I'm doing my bachelors degree in Environmental Science (which I'm capitalising because it is Important). I study geography and biology. I study policy and government. I study chemistry and economics and map making.  You see where I'm going with this? I dabble in just about every imaginable fields, except for anything remotely bookish or blog related.

If I could, I might take courses that made me a little more tech-savvy. I don't like that I'm dreadful at coding! But I honestly don't think I'd want to go anywhere near university English, much less do a degree in it.

Because here's a thing about me: I hated high school English. Well- that's not entirely true. I liked writing essays and exploring storytelling. But I hated reading books in high school English, with one or two notable exceptions. I came out of my high school education with the overall perspective that if you liked reading after you'd gotten your English credits, you liked it despite English class. The Kite Runner and I shall be eternal enemies after what it put me through in eleventh grade (seriously, high school teachers, PLEASE find something else to make your students read).

Everything is a learning experience though, and I learned several things about myself:
  1. I don't like being told what to read. I don't mean recommendations- I love when people recommend books to me! I mean being given a reading schedule and then being told "okay, now read chapters 1-5 of The Kite Runner and discuss!"
  2.  I despise being told what to think about whatever I am reading. No, I don't need you to tell me all the reasons that I am going to love this hideously depressing novel. And no, you are not going to persuade me to love it.
  3. I don't like super depressing books. English teachers (or, at least, my English teachers) have a gift for choosing novels that are just range from dreary to relentlessly miserable. They seem to be under the impression that such novels are a deep and meaningful portrayal of the real world, and that a bunch of teenagers really need to be sad more often. Here's the deal, English educators of the world: if that's what the real world looks like, I'm perfectly happy over here with my dragons.
  4. Possibly I'm not deep enough for Great Literary Masterpieces. (Capitalised because Importance.) I am a simple creature, I read primarily for enjoyment. If I can't enjoy a book, chances are I won't read it, whether it is a Great Literary Masterpiece or not. There may be books that fall under this category that I do enjoy, but I refuse to pretend I enjoy reading something I don't.
My experience with the English curriculum really taught me one major thing about me: that I wasn't going to succeed and be happy in a university English program, despite the fact that I loved books as much as I loved pizza and read a novel every two days. I didn't even consider applying for an English program when it came time to think about what I wanted to do after high school. Too many required readings, too many people telling me what I ought to think about said books, and far, far too many Great Literary Masterpieces.

I love books. I think I could happily spend the rest of my life talking about books. But I have never really regretted closing the door on the more academic side of books and reading.


  1. My degree has nothing to do with books or blogging either haha. I'm studying Veterinary Science.

    Omg being told what to read in English sucked. I also hated the technical side of it (how to structure a sentence, etc, etc) but enjoyed other aspects of it and was relatively good at it. Science was always my thing though.

    1. I've heard vet school is really tough, so that's pretty amazing!

      I definitely preferred science to English (and every other course) in high school... that was when I found myself most engaged, even if English actually took me less effort to do well in.