How to Succeed as an English Major Without Really Trying: Some Vastly Oversimplified Pointers

By the time I roll off this hill in May with an eminently practical essentially useless literature degree in hand, I will have taken exactly one dozen collegiate English courses. Now, dear professors, you know I did try to soak up most of the knowledge you imparted and to write essays that you hadn’t read a hundred times before—and yet I think that much of what I have learned over these years about examining prose and poetry can be boiled down to Ten Simple Rules of Analysis.

Maybe I’ll be jinxing myself by publishing this, given that I have yet to take my comps test (I see you, March 24, I see you), but like some guy in some novel must have said at some point, “Whatever.”

So herewith, a cheat sheet to help you analyze the crap out of that book that just couldn’t compete with your Words with Friends winning streak. Read more…

10 o’clock list: Ways to Stay Awake in Your 8:10

Someone get this man a starting pistol! (

Every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 8:10, I trudge into International Relations and proceed to spend the next 80 minutes terrified that I’m going to fall asleep and be judged by my classmates and professor. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great class, and I love David Rowe, but the Tomsich lecture hall is so gray, and 80 minutes is so long. Thus, here are a few of my favorite ways to maintain at least the minimum level of consciousness.

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