Why Major in English?
Kate Mesic, 2004
People would hear my heavy accent and then scrunch up their brows and repeat, “English major?”
an English major. Growing up in Moscow, I was fortunate to be
surrounded by my parents’ friends who were artists, writers, and actors.
I grew up with a real appreciation for literature and the arts. But I
knew that the real creative ability rested only with my father, who was
an actor and a writer. My dad has always put an enormous emphasis on
language, both in writing and speaking. I guess this is why my Russian
is still in good shape. My father always said to me that language is the
foundation of anything you will do or become, and I now know that he
was and is right (as he still drills it into my head!).
immigrated to the United States in 1997, and at UNF, at first, I was a
psychology major, but one lucky day, I wondered into the UNF Pre-Law
Program, and after speaking to the director Professor Martin Edwards, a
former attorney, I was convinced that I was going to law school. He
told me that if I was going to be a lawyer, the only major for me would
be English. He was right.
As an attorney now, I look back and
realize that the skills that I acquired at UNF made a tremendous
difference both in law school and in the actual practice of law. My
English classes taught me to both analyze literature and express myself
in a way that I could not before. With the ability to write, comes the
ability to speak, which is essential to a lawyer.
class was and still remains Professor Kimball’s Literary Interpretation.
That class changed the way I looked at literature and more importantly
changed the way I looked at any text. Two years after I took that
class, I was seating in Torts at the University of Florida’s Law School,
thinking how glad I was that I was used to reading complex texts and
making sense of them because I was prepared to survive reading enormous
amounts of material.
I graduated number one in the Department of
English in May of 2004, and I still wonder how that happened. I worked
hard, but I know that the professors in the Department made it possible
for me to succeed, because if I needed help, they were there. They took
the time to teach a Russian girl how to make English her first language
and I am eternally grateful.