As a third year English student, I’ve started to notice a recurring theme of things people say to me, or have asked me in the past. So, fellow English students, join me in a light-hearted look at those questions and remarks you hear all the time…
1. I hated English
That’s nice. There can be no conversation stopper quite like this. You wouldn’t stop someone who was talking about their favourite anything else with ‘I HATE THAT’, so why is a hatred of literature an acceptable interjection?
2. I was good at English, I got an A/B/C at G.C.S.E/A Level
Much as above really, that’s genuinely nice though. But still, what do you reply to this? Ask for a breakdown of their results?
3. I should have done English at university, I got an A at G.C.S.E.
An extension of above, but a lovely one. A stranger told me this on holiday once.
4. Shakespeare is shit
Cool. We have a couple of other writers/playwrights too though, so it’s alright. We’ll use one of the other three.
5. Do you just say whether you just like a book then in your essays?
Yeah, I pretty much have a template for writing essays now. I just fill in the blanks. I liked/disliked it when [insert name of character] did [insert main plot event]. It made me feel angry/happy/petrified/hungry/bored/all of the previous.
6. Couldn’t you just watch a DVD of the play or book?
I find the Harry Potter series to be an invaluable resource, in fact, it’s practically on my reading list.
7. So, you want to be a teacher then?
My personal favourite, and one to which I have nothing to say to anymore other than no. I think the idea of being a teacher is a lovely one, but frankly, I personally couldn’t think of anything worse, and so my polite ‘I’ve thought about it, but no’ has now turned into something more similar to ‘I boil children for fun, no.’