English Lab? - I've been inspired.
So, I've been interning this week for a publishing company called, Just World Books, LLC. I was lucky enough to secure this position through Bryn Mawr's externship program and fortunate enough to be welcomed by the company's wonderful founder Helena Cobban.
Perhaps this is still premature, because on my limited experience, but publishing seems right for me. I want to share this with you all since, first off, this is an English class, and second... there is so much I was unaware of, and this whole experience has got me thinking about English as a profession.
Most people won't admit it, but we very often claim to know more than we do. We nod our heads, pay close attention and interject when it seems safe. This is helpful in many situations, and I'm glad I've learned to do it. After all, "knowing" is a key to gaining opportunities- a necessity when trying to climb whatever ladder you set before yourself. But anyway, there comes a time when "knowing" can only take you so far. Eventually, when it comes time for you to take the reigns, asking questions is more important than just saying "yes". We've all heard this before and it seems obvious, but practice in doing is very different than learning how to appear knowledgeable. A fact that hit me like a hammer this week when I learned where ISBN numbers come from! Did you know you have to buy them? Anyway…
So why am I writing this here? Simply because, in our classes, including this one, we talk a lot. we theorize, debate, discuss and debate again. I love to theorize-I honestly do a lot of living in my head-and debates do lead to progress. However, I am wondering if there is a way to combine the field work that accompanies the sciences and social sciences and the theory studies that accompany more of the humanities like English. How could we create field-English-work? Is that the equivalent of teaching English? I don't think so. I think there is so much more to English, Philosophy, etc that people often over look. What would a philosophy lab or an English lab class look like?
I would like to create one. It would take a very long time talking with others, thinking to myself, and out loud (which I very often do), but there is potential here. A lab where those interested in English use their knowledge of Austen or Cavendish or Vonnegut in a hands-on, active way to test the boundaries of literary application. Again, what would a lab like that look like?
But I'm inspired, and if anyone is inspired by reading this, please join me in my project. I feel something great could come of this! Yay, inspiration.