11.21.2005 | New major

So as it turns out, I've been taking so many upper-level French classes to get my minor (you don't benefit from placing further ahead early on, as I did with my Grade 4 AP transfer credit) that after this year I'm only 9 credits away from a degree in French. That means if I took all French courses next semester, I could graduate a full year early (wow). So instead of spending time on internships and becoming a news reporter for two semesters (which means I'd have to give up my position writing opinions at the school paper), I'm going to switch majors and just finish up my French degree. I still intend to double major, but I'm switching the concentration of my international studies portion from Western European studies to international relations. As it turns out, area studies focuses on anthropoly, a subject I know very little about, whereas intl. rel. will let me take all the politics-related classes I desire, and with a world focus to boot.

I don't know how I feel about being a French major. I never wanted to be one, and I don't know what I would do with a French degree. I had always wanted a degree that gave me credit for being able to write, along with a touch of design experience. I've gotten all this from working on my school paper, but I don't know if it would be enough for a prospective employer if, say, I wanted to design their company newsletter. Or as one opening at the American Red Cross offered, to become speechwriter for the organization's president.

But as much as I want to get a degree that gives me credit for writing, I feel that journalism is too much "do" and not enough study. An English degree on the other hand, at least at VCU, requires too much reading. I'm more interested in the mechanics of lanugage – the grammar, the usage... the subjunctive mood. So maybe a French degree is more appropriate after all in that it reflects my interest in linguistics in general. Still, I'm not happy about all the anti-French sentiment out there since the Iraq war. But then again, most people now believe Iraq was a mistake anyway (but will they ever forgive the French?). No matter, if no one likes a French degree here in the U.S., who knows? I might actually be able to use it in France...

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