Major Class Limits Restrict Education

It’s that time of year again—the ‘run to your advisor’s office and set 18 alarms so you don’t miss course registration’ time of year.
This year, at my bi-annual advisor meeting, we did something new; we counted the amount of English courses I had taken in my three and a half years at Assumption.
I was at 14, which meant that any additional English courses I took beyond this point would not be counted towards my GPA, nor would the credits go towards the 120 I need to graduate. This would be totally fine, of course, if I didn’t still need to take my English Senior Seminar to graduate. And if I wasn’t already set on taking Professor Hodgen’s poetry class. It would be fine if I wasn’t an English major who really loves English and who wants to take more English.
The reason for this is, not surprisingly, all a part of the “well-rounded” Assumption education. I’ve thought of this when registering for my math class, for philosophy, for anthropology…all classes I never would’ve taken if they weren’t apart of Assumption’s General Education Requirements.
And I did so without complaining (too much). And I worked hard and I held back tears as I realized that my inability to think in numbers might have an affect on my GPA. By the end of it all, I actually kind of understood the whole thing. One day, when I’m networking (because my postgrad discussion always includes the word ‘network,’ as opposed to ‘career’), someone will probably bring up Rush Limbaugh and I’ll be able to nod along a little more knowledgeably than when I thought Rush Limbaugh was a country. I’ll know anthropology is more than just a store I long to be able to afford. And because of graphic design, Photoshop isn’t just a program I shame for making actresses look too thin on magazine convers. I’ll know a little more about a more and that is something I’ve come to like.
I’ve reached the point in my ‘well rounded’ education where I’m grateful that my knowledge isn’t major specific and my horizons, for lack of a better word, have been expanded.
And that leads me to my new gripe; why am I being told I cannot take any more English classes? Why, after I’ve begrudgingly registered for and actively participated in 15 Gen Eds, are even more restraints being put on my education?
The restrictions put on how many English courses I can take actually undermines my major as a whole. Essentially, this is saying that each and every one of these English classes haven’t contributed to my well-rounded education, when in reality, they have.
My literature classes introduced me to many epic eras of writing, as well as the history that influenced these classic works. My writing workshops reinforced just how much I love creative writing, and just how much I want to write for a career. Each of these classes have expanded my knowledge, have confirmed how happy I am to be an English major, have helped prepare me for my future career, no matter what it may be.
I would by no means consider myself a poetry expert; in fact, my high school teachers could attest to just how much I hated poetry units. I would get more than lost in the interpretation of twentieth century “poems” (aka 45 page long sad sob stories). And the highlight of my fifth grade poetry project was a rhyming poem addressing just how ugly Hilary Duff’s clothing line “Stuff by Duff” was. So, I’m not signing up for a poetry class next semester because I think it’ll be an easy class. Nor am I doing it because I prefer to stay in my English major comfort zone; for me, this poetry class will be anything but comfortable. Instead, I am doing this because the Gen Eds have allowed me to realize just how beneficial an unfamiliar and new subject can be. And as a senior paying for one last semester of college, I don’t think this curiosity and eagerness should be punished or discouraged.

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