Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

English Insights with Olivia Corso

Courtesy of Furman Athletics

What comes to your mind when you think of English classes? Maybe your suppressed memories of trying to comprehend Beowulf and The Crucible in high school arise, or perhaps you recall your third grade teacher that replied, “I don’t know, can you?” when you improperly asked if you could go to the bathroom. Or maybe you are a grammar fiend who loves reading and writing, but you are unsure of what path you could take with an English degree. Regardless of your writing abilities or fondness of literature, I think everyone should get a glimpse into all that the English department has to offer. I caught up with Olivia Corso, a sophomore English major who is following the newly established creative writing track. Here’s a look into our conversation:

What initially drew you towards the English major?

I was originally a Chemistry and Studio Art double major, but Chemistry and I were not clicking. I wanted to be challenged creatively, I wanted a chance to take my writing seriously, and I wanted an excuse to read. The English department was beckoning me.

The creative writing track is new to the English department. How has your experience been so far?

I have only taken two writing courses: Nonfiction and Creative Writing, both with Dr. Tevis. But so far they have been my favorite experiences at Furman. Nonfiction Writing changed the way I write and read; that is: thoroughly, constructively, passionately. The English department offers a variety of fun and challenging courses – I am so looking forward to completing the major.

If someone is interested in majoring in English but wants to test it out by taking a class before declaring, which class would you recommend and why?

I am, of course, biased, but I think writing courses are a great way to get a taste of the English department. They are interactive, a bit quirky, and generally equal parts writing and reading (though considerably less reading than a literature course).

If you could describe the English department in three words, what would they be?

Creative, encouraging, insightful.

How do you feel that being an English major is preparing you for your future aspirations?

No matter what you do in life, you will have to write at some point – an email, a project proposal, a speech, something that involves knowing the basics of grammar and syntax and prose. Personally, I plan on taking it a step further, building a career around writing, so the English major is crucial for me. Also, writing is a passion of mine, and the English major allows me to cultivate that in my academic life, which will hopefully transfer to my future life.

If you are curious about becoming English major and want to know more, visit Furman’s website or stop by the English department on the first floor of Furman Hall!

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