Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I Just Graduated College!!!!!!!!


Guess who graduated college last week?! Yes, folks, I stand (actually I'm sitting right now) before you a certified, papered, stamped, signed, English Major.

There are two kinds of English Majors: those who study Literature (by far the most common) and those who take the more time-consuming route and write their own version of English.

Now, naturally, English majors will study both of these subjects, but in different quantities. I know there is a lot we can learn from dead people--a lot--but I was never a historian (although I can now list our first five presidents in order), and I don't ever see this being my unique ability. All I learned from Charlotte Perkins is that I don't like yellow wallpaper, and Hawthorne simply elaborated on what the Bible already taught me--immorality brings death.  To top it off, forgive me if I am the only writer who does not pause at the sacred shrine of Shakespeare and bid respect to his glorified soap operas. In short, I find many "celebrated" authors a trifle scandalous and definitely not uplifting.

**Don't get me wrong, my love of reading has spawned my writing passion, and I hold many classic wholesome authors in high regard. Among these being, Alcott, Dumas, Dickens, Montgomery, etc.

I believed the idea of college is that you learn something (although sometimes I wonder if this is truly the case), so when faced with the options of learning about works that frankly shouldn't have been written, or learning about how to become a better author myself, I chose the latter option.

This brings me to a short deviation: English majors are faced with a difficulty. As soon as I mention my major, I find my speaking, my writing, and even my book choices under close scrutiny.

Goodness gracious, what a trial!

I find myself forgetting classic author's names, having to be reminded what on earth defined the Romantic Period (love? kisses?), and biting my tongue when I say "drank" instead of "drunk" or vice versa.

Then there's this blog . . . don't even get me started. I know I can spend weeks editing the grammar of a single post, but then, the task would be too large so I would never post. If you struggle to ignore the glaring grammar glitches (yes, successful alliteration), please view this as a public journal. You don't edit your journal, nor do I edit mine. Here it is. Raw. Full of mistakes. From the heart.
What we hope will be a Pyramid of Success (Johnson Cousins)
Ah! That brings me to another point.

So, you tell a well-meaning person you're an English major.

"How nice. Are you going to teach?"

"I was planning on it, but now I don't think so."

"Oh!" {surprised face} "Then what are you going to do?"

Well let's see. Maybe I'll write. Maybe I'll use this skill of communication to write letters, stories, to share what I learn, to journal my life for my future children (or lack thereof). Maybe I'll pursue writing the books I have wanted to write for the past few years. Maybe I'll use the statement "I graduated college" to calm any worriers who feel it is their duty to make sure every child on this green earth has a "good" education. The possibilities are endless. Really.

But about that "good" education.

College taught me a ton about making deadlines, writing . . . how to be a "good" tester (a.k.a. guesser) and a professor's pet.

However, self-discipline, making good grades, the value of hard work, creatively figuring out solutions, doing my best, and being efficient were taught by my parents. Sure, I applied these skills in college, but I had them pounded into me as a kid. I'm not saying I structured my time as well as I should have or never was pushed to excel by my professors--those things happened. But overall, if I have any good character traits, it's because of my parents and God's grace.

Oh yeah, about family. They have been an amazing support. My parents provided time to help me succeed, but also proved that "work fills the time allotted." They encouraged me to keep going when I wanted to quit, and encouraged me to take breaks and be a teenager when literature became to deep. And let's not forget, they paid for the whole kit and caboodle.

Kyla. Klarabelle (our milk cow).

Dear girls, 

I know every member of this family heard me rave on and on about Sigmond Freud's theories, famous statues, cellular functions, and stogy professors. But you both took listening to a whole new level. Kyla, you quizzed me on Steinbeck's life, the states of child development and everything in-between. Between squirts of your milk in our tin bucket, and lashes from your tail, Klarabelle, you listened as I told how I scraped by on a test, or "deserved" a better grade. I am indebted to you both forever. 

Your confidant

Sooo, there's a few things I should confess here. I wish I could say I'm a straight A student . . . but, I've nearly hit both extremes of the grading spectrum.

 I CLEPed all of my general ed, which means I basically bought a book, and took a two hour exam at a local college to collect credit. It didn't take me long to realize that these tests were pass/fail and your grade did not contribute to your GPA.

Cool, huh? I thought so.

I may have skipped the entire section of art in Humanities, and taken one week to study three grades of math I had never used (let alone pronounced). I may have studied for two days and passed Sociology with an "A," and studied for three months to pass Western History and Natural Sciences with only two questions of the 120 question tests to spare (that was an adrenaline rush).

I should have strove for excellence in every area. But, I look at it this way, I became great at going with my gut, closing my eyes, and picking the right answers. ;)

Well guys, this is a long, seemingly formless post. I have no thesis, my topic sentences are confusing, and my professors would roll over in their graves (if they weren't still living) to read my grammar. That's freedom. I'm a writer now, not an English student--although always a student of life--I can do what I want and call it "my style".

Here's to sticking with your goals and seeing them accomplished! Little steps go a long way, and years fly by! Let's make them awesome!


Kathryn Joy Johnson, child of the High King, child of Chad and Jenise Johnson, and child of learning with a Bachelor's of Arts from Thomas Edison State

P.S. Stay tuned for a new blog I'm starting!