Hannah Poturalski

In my final semester at Miami University, I’ve begun to reflect on a number of things. What should I have done more or less of? What impression will I leave Miami with and what impression does Miami have of me?

In terms of “academic excellence” I have come miles compared to where I was after my first semester in 2006. I’m more serious as a student and student-worker. That being said, I’ve also been reflecting on one of my two majors, English (creative writing).

Within that major I’ve had some fulfilling classes, great professors, heated debates about the symbolism of an apple in a poem and have written short stories that before just floated among my thoughts. But in the end, I’ve been harboring some resentment toward my creative writing major – many of my co-workers can attest to this as I type this angrily with my fists in the air.

Let me just say I am not a fan of literature, but I do know how to appreciate it, interpret it and dissect it. As a creative writing and journalism double major I did foresee some literature courses in my Miami career, but I did not predict the mass amount.

Let me just ask, what do you think of when you hear “Hi, I’m a creative writing major!” Was your first thought, “That girl must do a lot of writing,” or was it “That girl must read a lot of literature?”

Most likely it was the former and I would agree with you. I signed on for creative writing to think more creatively and hone my writing skills, not to read thick books about how Gawain defeated the Green Knight and Tristan loved two different Isoldes. Plain and simple, there is far too much literature within the creative writing major, and I don’t think it’s fair.

Now before you say my complaint isn’t justified, let me illustrate just how many literature classes creative writing majors are forced to take. First I had to take Introduction to Poetry and Introduction to Fiction as prerequisites to my literature courses. No offense to the professors, they were nice, but those classes didn’t prepare me in the least for any literature course. They were unnecessary and a waste of tuition dollars. After those two classes, I had to take three British literature courses and two American literature courses. On top of those seven courses, our required genre class and the contemporary writing class also had nothing to do with creative writing. Lastly, I was stuck taking a literature capstone class, because of time conflicts with the creative writing capstone. So that’s a total of 10 classes, or 30 credit-hours, strictly dedicated to reading fiction and poetic works from before 1700 to the present day.

Now I thought that was excessive, but across the three literature courses I am taking, I had to buy 23 novels. That’s just ludicrous! I’ve never had to buy that many books. As is typical within every major, my literature professors think their class is the only class I’m taking, therefore 13 books for one class is completely kosher. Well, it’s not. We are students, not superheroes.

After completing those 10 literatures courses, guess how many classes are actually applicable to the major I signed up for? Only a mere four classes within my entire major were dedicated to creative writing. WHAT? That makes absolutely no sense. That fraction of four out of 14 is so completely skewed. I feel deprived by Miami. All of those literature courses took away from the creative writing classes I should have had the opportunity to take. Please Miami, revise the creative writing major so it is equally balanced and more distinct from the English literature major.

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