Officially, I became and English major in the Spring of 1996 during the second semester of my freshman year, but the origins of that decision are rooted deep within my primary school curriculum possibly as far back as Elementary school.
My journey began in fifth grade when I was fatefully placed, unknowingly, into the advanced english class. From there, I graduated to sixth grade and a whole new experience: the choice to take the classes I wanted. Of course, since all my friends that I had in fifth grade were now in all the advanced classes, my decision was clear. However, my skills and interest in art supersceded the desire to stay with my friends, so I abandoned my loyalties to the english language and my friends for what I saw as more creative pursuits.
In high school, I was given a much broader range of classes to choose from and integrate into my schedule. My juior year, I decided to take a friend's advice and get into the only creative writing course offered at my school. That class was the spark that set off an explosion of creativity. I realized that ideas could not only be expressed with shapes and colors, but with words as well. And after my fun-filled final two years of high school, the decision of what to major in was obvious; creative writing. But there were certain hurdles to conquer.
I knew when I first started filling out college applications that Ball State was the college for me for one reason; it was the cheapest college in the state. However, Ball State didn't offer a creative writing major when I first arrived. So I was forced to be content with a general studies major with only a writing minor; that is, until BSU caught up with the modern world and finally offered my major. But I still wasn't quite satisfied. Not only did I want to use words beautifully, but I wanted to know what they meant and where they came from; a field called linguistics. So during my sophmore year, after talking with some professors in the department and lighting a few fires under their perverbial rears, a linguistics minor became available.
So that is what led me to where I am now. But where exaclty is that? As I finish up my college career, I am asked daily by friends, family, co-workers and complete strangers what I plan to do with a degree in creative writing and linguistics. My initial answer is usually "starve", but the truth is: I plan to destroy. I plan to be a writer's worst nightmare; the editor. I want to tear people's ideas in half, force them to re-think what they originally thought was concise and logical and make them realize that nearly everything can be ambiguous and that they must understand the ideas words convey before they can understand what words are supposed to mean. And when it is all said and done, I will hopefully have forced them to be active learners rather than the passive learners they were in school.
Why an editor? Other than the cop-out answer of "it's what I'm good at," though true as that statement may be, I honestly think it's because of the access to the fate of the literature of tomorrow. I've never been too fond of literature, actually. It could be related to my dyslexia or my callousness toward most writers' ideas. Most of their stories seem to be trite and predictable, containing no profoundness or anything that makes you look at something from an angle you never considered before. I think that between my own writing on the side and being able to affect what others write, I can make the future of literature more of a learning experience rather than simply the entertainment source that it seems to be becoming.