I enjoy getting newsletters and magazines from my alma maters. They keep me connected, as they should. Schools taught us how to think–and that thought process continues for a lifetime. So it’s especially nice to read about the changes and research going on.
In a message from the Cal English Department Chair Samuel Otter, he said, “When I had the privilege of addressing the department’s B.A. and Ph.D. recipients and their families at commencement last May, I observed that it was typical for those involved in literary study to be ironic about their pursuits. I said then what I will write to you now. As chair, I feel neither ironic nor apologetic nor defensive but proud and determined, with my colleagues and with our friends, to fortify this great department.”
I wish I could have read that statement earlier. He points out something that a lot of liberal arts majors do, which is poke fun at themselves. I do it even now–almost 15 years from when I graduated–but I should stop. English was a powerful degree, and something I find more useful than my Biology major, Forestry minor, and on par with my MBA.