My Geneseo “English Class” Rule

When I first decided to double major and add the English major to my course schedule here at Geneseo, I was told by a friend who was an English student to take your English classes slowly. When I asked her why she stated, “English classes are all different, the professors are different they ask for different things, you expect different things from each class”. So that is precisely what I have been doing, since my freshman year I have been taking one English class a semester, slowly getting through the English major and very quickly getting through my Communication major. So here I am, close to being done with the communication major and for the first time in my Geneseo experience taking what I was told would be one of the hardest things- two English classes at the same time.

It was safe to say that I knew that this class was going to talk about Slavery. Maybe it was the fact that I had had Professor McCoy before or maybe it was the title of the Couse “Medicine and Racism” but I kind of knew what I was going to be getting myself into when I registered for this course. However, when I registered for Creative Nonfiction, I never would have imagined talking about slavery. Probably because I have never experienced slavery and I would hope any of my classmates would have any experience with slavery either. But as we sat down during the first day of class, we were talking about slavery. Well not so much the idea of slavery in the context that we are talking about in “Medicine and Racism” but more the words “slave” “slavery” and “master” and the way that we use all of them in our day to day lives.

What I learned from this class is that these words that we chose to use back when slavery was legal, are still around today and they do not seem to be going anywhere. We talk about working hard as “slaving” over something and we talk about the biggest bedroom in the house as the “master bedroom”. We use these words not because the person in the house who is cooking dinner is a slave while the one who sleeps in the biggest bedroom is their owner, but because they show wealth, status, and work. By integrating these words into our lives on a day to day basis, we sort of dilute what the words mean and what they used to stand for. I think about this in the way that we think about medical research in their balance with Racism. I know for myself, I think that these ideas of racism in the medical field is behind us, but the truth is that getting rid of these words and these connotations really might be easier said than done. By taking the

What I learned was that by taking two English classes with two different professors at the same doesn’t have to be a big struggle, it could quiet possibly be a good thing. By having two different classes, you have two different professors teaching you and two different sets of students to bounce ideas off of. By having two English classes at the same time I was not discouraged by the amount of reading, but excited by the amount of intellectual experience I was and am able to absorb in such a short amount of time.

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