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Old 01-22-2003, 08:06 PM   #1
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I am in shock.

First: My aspirations. I want to get through College, get my Bachelor's, and teach high school English. Not really necessary to go to graduate school or further.

My current situation: I'm doing well first year in College. I made 3 As and 2 Bs first semester, with two of the As being in classes primarily revolving around writing. Being an English major, that's good. So I took my advisor's course in films between semesters. I got an A on my term paper on A Clockwork Orange , and he's read 8 or so other responses I've written, along with my portfolio from first semester.

What he thinks I should do in the immediate future: I have two years to prepare a paper on Shakespeare. He then wants me to accompany him to a conference in New England, and present it. Like in a big conference. With lots of people. Shudder.

Problems here: I know very little Shakespeare.

What he suggests in the future future: Go to Michigan or Illinois and get my PhD. He says I could easily "knock their socks off". This astounds and frightens me. I don't really think I'm that good, and it's a lot to hit an 18 year old with. But hey, I'm not knocking his suggestion.

Problems here: I'll need to relearn Latin and learn French for the first time. He says in the areas he thinks I'd do best, they'd be vital. But I like language, so it wouldn't bother me. And then there's the issue of my willingness to do that much work.

Thoughts, comments?
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Old 01-22-2003, 09:04 PM   #2
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wow. Good stuff! It's always great to have someone have so much faith in your abilities.
I can't tell you to and get your pHd, but I will tell you that it could only open up great things for you. Shakespeare's great, but do you like him? I think that and perhaps *how* much you like him you must ask yourself before coming to any decision.

Oh, and you have the rest of your life to be lazy. Especially when you are on sebatacle in the Canary islands or somewhere as equally beautiful.
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Old 01-22-2003, 09:20 PM   #3
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Read the major Shakespeare sonnets and plays (Comedies, Tragedies, AND Histories)... You're still first year in undergrad, right? ... No problem. You have a lot of time to study Shakespeare. Besides, if you're the type of person with a strong command of the English language, and you like to play with words and puns... then Shakespeare's a cinch.

Major Shakespearean comedies I'd recommend: Much Ado about Nothing, 12th Night, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night's Dream

Major Shakespearean tragedies I'd recommend: Hamlet, Julius Ceasar, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Othello

Major Shakespearean histories I'd recommend: Henry IV, Parts Iⅈ Henry V; and Henry VIII

As for Latin,... If you know English grammar syntax inside and out... then Latin's a cinch... I learned a bit in high school; it was like cracking secret codes.

French: the international language of (no.. I'm not talking about romance, but) world politics. Good language to learn. I myself was never too good at it (being confused with so many languages growing up).

Another good language to learn, if you're an English major, (I know I wished I took courses in) is German. English, or at least, Old English has its roots in Germanic/Scandanvian origins. You could learn all the gutteral and visceral words in the English vocabulary as opposed to the intellectual Latinized words. (Oh yeah, modern English also has roots in French origin, since the Norman conquest in 1066, but you probably knew that.)

But overall, it seems like your professor is trying to set you up to go places... which is good. (You'll probably get further than where I got with a Bachelors in English.)...

My advice: Keep your options open, look into it, BUT as long as you know what you want, you're safe wherever you go. I've seen many colleagues go far because they knew what they wanted the moment they stepped into college.

Best of luck.
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Old 01-22-2003, 09:38 PM   #4
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Once you're out of school, you'll likely want to go back. I think a Ph.D would be great, and would expand your teaching options immensely. All the interesting stuff academically happens after your B.A. anyway.

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Old 01-23-2003, 12:33 AM   #5
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The Czechs have a saying that the more languages a person knows the better person they are. Take this to heart. Again, latin is kinda easy if you are an english speaker. I don't technically know any but as a medieval history undergrad I have had to use it alot, and it is way easier than you would think. As previously stated it is like cracking secret codes. French, being a romance language is pretty easy too, and with Latin under your belt it will come.

Two years is more than enough time to bone up on your Shakespear. Don't worry.

I am going at least through Grad school. Don't do it out of a sense of "having" to. Do it because it will give you an excuse to write a book on something that means alot to you. If you don't care, don't go. But I feel that the farther you go in college the more you seem to care as classes become much more specific.

Big ups to all my college homies. WHAT WHAT??
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Old 01-23-2003, 03:13 AM   #6
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unforgetlemon: you have no idea who cool your advisor is to be so highly on you. mine was always very cautious (when i was a freshmen), and cautious isnt really exciting. if someone can give you a goal to work towards, like he did, i think that person is commendable.
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Old 01-23-2003, 04:14 AM   #7
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yes, i agree with deathbear--it's wonderful to have a professor/mentor who genuinely thinks so highly of you and sees your potential!

on that same note, don't allow yourself to get too overwhelmed. it can be a fine line to walk in college--you don't wan't to go unchallenged, nor do you want to burn out. so don't look too far into the future and don't be unrealistic when you set goals for yourself. for now, i would suggest that you just focus on your immediate, specific goals at hand (which is working to attain a BA in english, correct?) and put your heart into that. should you find that while working towards this goal, you have the time and are up for more of a challenge, then go about tending to that shakespeare paper. if you honestly feel like there is too much pressure being put on you, don't feel an obligation to please your proffessor. the only obligation is to yourself. it may just be that your proffesor hadn't encountered a student of your calibre in a long while, and in a moment of elation, talked ahead of himself. but you know yourself better than anyone else; you know your capabilities as well as your limits. that's not to say that we shouldn't push ourselves...we just shouldn't push ourselves so hard that we end up completely burnt out, fed up, and/or highly disillusioned in the end.

i hope you have a blessed college experience
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Old 01-23-2003, 10:33 AM   #8
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Well, I do actually have three years of Latin under my belt. I just need to refresh myself. My college is a small liberal arts college, and doesn't have Latin. But Dr. O'Mara (advisor) said he could help me with that. And this stuff is stuff I'd really like to do. It's just that I don't get big-headed when people show faith in me, I feel too much pressure to succeed. I didn't start making straight As in high school until my parents stopped bugging me about it.

In all actuality, I do know a little about Shakespeare. I've seen performances of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, and A Comedy of Errors.

I am also familiar with Julius Caesar, Hamlet, MacBeth, Much Ado About Nothing, and a handful of sonnets. But it's still a lot of stuff to take in before I even start deciding what to write about, specifically.

Noti, your thing is Medieval History, eh? Dr. O'Mara has spent most of his life, when not active in the civil rights movement, (yet another reason I admire him), studying the middle ages. He goes to a huge conference in Kalamazoo each year, and has offered to take me along.
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Old 01-23-2003, 01:16 PM   #9
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you've reminded me of my dear friend from high school Tim. ty.I remember seeing him after his 2nd year at Uni and he told me he had presented a piece on Shakespeare incorporating music and using keyboards. He has been a professor at a Uni in Japan for years now. He's very rich, very in love with his Japanese family and very happy...GO FOR IT!!! U-lemon... work hard and have fun too. it pays off. Congratulations on your achievements so far.

One of my friend's children who have known since before she was born achieved a mark of 99.1 ( out of 100) in her 2002 Australian NSW Higher School Certificate. My neighbours son just completed his micro-bilogy degree and has a tasty PhD grant to study blue-green algae. His little brother just got 96.4 in his 2002 HSC ( he feels he could have done better....4 unit physics!!)
I am very impressed and very proud of what you young folk can achieve. Thanks for sharing your good news. Good luck.
I agree with what melon said....school /uni days are the best, full of opportunity.

I had a great high school English teacher, he made Shakespeare very enjoyable.
May you knock many a pair of brightly coloured socks off....to be or not to be..? BE!!!!
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Old 01-23-2003, 01:27 PM   #10
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shakespeare is great

My favourites: Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, King Lear

And for ye olde English- Chaucer!!
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Old 01-23-2003, 03:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by UnforgettableLemon
And this stuff is stuff I'd really like to do.

Noti, your thing is Medieval History, eh? Dr. O'Mara has spent most of his life, when not active in the civil rights movement, (yet another reason I admire him), studying the middle ages. He goes to a huge conference in Kalamazoo each year, and has offered to take me along.
i think you just answered your own question there. if you would really like to do it, then do it.

I am thinking of attending said conference next year actually. My Prof is trying to hook me up in two years to read my thesis there. Nothing like being one of the only people who studies the black death. It's really easy to coem up with new and exciting ideas cuz no one else does it. Whoo. nothing like translating Czech so you can write about new stuff. it's a good time.
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Old 01-23-2003, 03:54 PM   #12
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Re: I am in shock.

Quote:
Originally posted by UnforgettableLemon
First: My aspirations. I want to get through College, get my Bachelor's, and teach high school English. Not really necessary to go to graduate school or further.
In some states, you have to have your MA to teach or at least get it within a certain number of years.
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Old 01-23-2003, 04:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
Once you're out of school, you'll likely want to go back. I think a Ph.D would be great, and would expand your teaching options immensely. All the interesting stuff academically happens after your B.A. anyway.

Melon
Yea I agree with melon, having your Phd would give you so many more options.
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Old 01-23-2003, 04:07 PM   #14
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on a related note, im find that even a ba, a simple ba opens so many more doors than no post secondary experience does. i can only imagine what a phd would do.
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she gotta be strong to fight them
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it be tragic
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Old 01-23-2003, 04:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cow of the Seas
on a related note, im find that even a ba, a simple ba opens so many more doors than no post secondary experience does. i can only imagine what a phd would do.
Put me over $50,000 in debt.
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