What Makes a ‘Bad’ English Student?

A little messy around the edges, a avid poetry hater, and most importantly: a terrible speller.

As a self-proclaimed ‘bad’ English student, the title itself may be a little misleading. I was always a ‘pleasure‘ to have in class, never missed a deadline, and probably ranged into teacher’s pet territory multiple times while I was at school.

But I hated everything we had to learn. I couldn’t stand Shakespeare, or Austen, or Woolf. Don’t even get me started on poetry. Now, most students also hate these things too, don’t get me wrong. But I was supposed to love English. It was the only thing I had ever truly been good at. University was both a turning point in my studies but also an affirmation: I was a bad English student.

While my peers seemed to be able to detect meaning in Shelley, Byron and Rossetti I stared at it like it was a foreign language. When asked to note anything about the syllables in a line I simply couldn’t. My close analysis skills were dodgy at best, and without passion to drive me my ideas fell limp.

But when a fire is lit in me – when one image burned its way through the page and into the crevices of my brain – I couldn’t let it rest. Throughout my degree I have become fixated on things. Trains, windows, colours, trees. Too many objects and ideas to fit into summative essays. Too many untrained gazes, inconsistent arguments, and niches.

Within the confines of my degree I have stretched my ability to shape the course to my own passions – something fifteen year old me would have adored. But I want to go further.

And thus, this blog was born.

A place for unfinished ideas, treatises on the things no-one seems to care about but me, long-winded venting about the Canon and criticism. And primarily, a place to make mistakes. To test out the waters and see what works. To become the best English student by primarily being the worst.

  1. Same! I mean, I don’t hate Jane Austen’s books. I just don’t get the hype. They are very ‘meh’ just…

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