This semester is my last as an undergrad. I have been in college now for five years and I am still not near the finish line. I will soon be handed a diploma and walk the stage, only to descend into a year-long credential program. There, I will no longer talk about the romanticism of De Forest, or the Bi-nationality of Cooper's Hawkeye. I will not ponder the captivity narratives of the white women in frontier America, nor the significant differences of the slave trade between native Africans and the colonialist. There will be little talk about Self Reliance or Walden's pond.
And I will not be drinking with my professors and fellow students.
Being an English major has been fun while it has lasted. I feel that I have only studied the subject with any concentration in the past two years, and as such, am still deficient. I have a library of literature not yet read. My rhetoric is not fully polished. It is only my diction that I part college with, knowing it is as strong as ever. I have so much left to learn.
I think of my courses now as individual subsections of English. They are fields of study in an anthropological art. My language arts have included linguistics, literature of all kinds, rhetoric, creative writing, and literacy studies. I perceive those classes as merely introductions to fields I must further study. I am unworthy of the post as the teacher I know I can be. I want to be more than a student can ask of me. I want to be authoritative in that I am an authority of my discipline.
I suppose I have a year left to learn. It isn't that learning is something to be isolated in the confines of a classroom. The majority of the credential program ahead of me will consist of satisfying state requirements and nothing more. I come from several generations of teachers and the craft, if you will call it such, is something refined with the apprenticeship of those relations. I plan on dedicating the majority of my time reading more authors, writing more arguments, telling more stories, and studying how children learn to read and write.
It is not something I've graduated from, but to.