Why study English?
The quick and easy answer is: because it’s required. If, however, you’re a conspiracy theorist, you might attribute your English studies to the fact that someone (i.e. parents, guardians, counselors, the Illuminati, or my favorite “The Man”) made you take it. The question is much more complex than many students realize. I prefer to couch my answer with one word: HUMANITIES. It has multiple definitions, and I’d like to believe all of them apply in our work and studies. (Look it up! Trust me. Would I lie?) Therefore regardless if your post-secondary plan involves a T, a 2, a 4, all of them, or none of them, English is a course definitely worth your time and effort.
Our studies in English differ depending on your grade level. Juniors mainly study non-fiction to help them acquire the skills needed to be a well-read citizen or consumer and communicator of ideas with their studies guided by the three keywords: rhetoric, bias, and fallacy. The main reading focus for seniors is the analysis of fictional works ranging from Greek philosophy to modern science fiction, while the writing focuses on the modes of discourse (i.e. E.D.N.A.). Regardless of your grade level, the writing assignments include in-class essays as well as formal process essays with opportunities for revision. There will also be many opportunities to hone your writing skills through various writing workshop tasks. Many of the readings are challenging, provocative, dense, and sometimes controversial. Therefore, steel yourselves. It could be a bumpy ride. As upperclassmen, you are expected to rise to the challenge, and come to class prepared to test yourself and others with interesting discussion points.
** Many, many thanks to my friend and mentor Erik Powell for information, advice, support, grading guide, etc. I shamelessly borrowed many things from his website because he's super-smart, AND my students and I can only benefit from his years of experience. I encourage you all to randomly drop by his room and say, "Thanks Big Fella!" **