When you tell anyone you’re studying English, their first response is to say that you are doing a very simple course. Some of them might even imply that you are wasting your time because there are other interesting courses you can study. What a very wrong thing to say. This is a list of (some of) the frustrations faced by English students. The next time they complain, you will know that they have a valid reason to complain.
1. The list of texts to read for each course in one semester.
It never ends. 15 books for this course, 8 books for that course, 10 poems for the other course, short stories for that course. A total of 39 books for one semester. Please, how will I tell the characters apart?
2. When you feel like you’ve written heaven and earth in the exams and you still end up with a carry over.
Ah. After all the effizzy in my script? After the Alhamdullilahi and prayers I put on my script?
3. When your lecturer is trying so hard to derive meanings from a thing that looks meaningless to you.
“The character drank garri because she was broke. Not because her mother-in-law called her a witch. That’s what me I feel oh, but it is automatic failure if I write it in the exam.”
4. Decoding the rhyme scheme of a poem that seems to have no rhyme scheme.
Surely surely, this poet is cursed.
5. When you receive your reading list for the semester and it is filled with books of 400+ pages.
Books by Thomas Hardy, the Bronte sisters, Charles Dickens are sitting comfortably on this table.
6. Stylistics, Syntax, Pragmatics, Semantics, Semiotics, MAK Halliday, Stanley Fish, Tree Diagrams, Received Pronunciation, Consonant Chart, we could go on.
Just one word for all of them: sorrow.
7. ALL the literary theories.
Psychoanalysis, Feminism, Formalism, Ecocriticsm, and all the other -isms that were made to frustrate English students.
8. And then after all these things, someone will open their mouth and say, “What is in English? Is it not just parts of speech?”
May the fire of heaven consume that your rubbish mouth.