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Kyle Malanowski

Dr. Childs

Engl 411

April 9, 2019

I Wish I Could’ve Started Sooner.

Pursuing an English degree as this university has been the most enlightening experience I

have ever had. I have loved every minute of it and unfortunately my only complaint is that my

English focused studies did not begin until my time at this university was nearly half over. I

understand having to get prerequisite classes out of the way, but in an ideal setting there would

be lower level or introductory classes available across a wider range of specializations. This

obviously would not apply to every student, but exposing students to a wider variety of studies

that English can encompass would allow student to more quickly realize what specialization they

wish to pursue, and have a degree that can be the most beneficial. Throughout my first two years

as a student the classes I took that truly interested me were very sparse, out of the total 30 credit

hours I complete I was only truly invested and interested in roughly 9 hours. This in my opinion

is an issue. An easy solution to this issue though would be to have students each year in the fall

take a single credit course similar to the capstone we are in now but less intensive just to identify

student’s interests and attempt to set them on the right path for what they want their career to be.
My junior year I consider to be the true start to my college career as this was when I had

to the opportunity to begin taking classes with a concentration in my desired field of study. I

sadly was still limited in the classes I could take but I decided to take Engl 483 (Theory of

Literary Criticism) with Dr. Boyle. At this point I began to realize that the skills an English

Major is supposed to teach you, I was actually developing. I was able to identify which areas

within readings were critical for discussions, and I was able to comprehend complex

information/ideologies and communicate them in more easily understood means. Being capable

of information translation if a crucial skill within just about career field. Communication is the

backbone for the survival of all companies and every career no matter what field it is in, involves

working as or for a company. The development of this communication skills has benefited me

immensely, not only can I see this when having to explain things to people without a deep

understanding such as mine, but I see it through my general communication skills. I have

developed a more concise, yet professional manner of interacting with others and it has even

helped me acquire undergraduate jobs. The spring semester of this same year I took Smith’s Engl

393 & 459 which both assisted alongside 483 to deepen my understanding and change the way I

think about things. Critical Thinking is a popular buzzword within English studies but I feel as

though these three classes truly instill students with the ability to critically think whether they

realize it or not. After taking these classes anytime I am forced to interact with reading material I

account for the style and form the text is written in, as well as outside factors that influence how

the document was created. These subtle nuances surrounding the texts creation most readers do

not think about when interacting with the text, but these factors can have a drastic influence on

the meaning of the text or the interpretation readers can gather from it.
Pairing with these abilities to closely read documents beyond the surface level text,

classes such as Engl 488 (Studies in World Literature) and DCD 200 (Digital Humanities)

expanded my understanding of what exactly “texts” can be and just how many different forms in

which reading can take place. Interaction with digital narratives, looking at historic pieces of art,

and creating a narrative through building a digital environment, which I did in my GEOG 456

(Gaming Worlds Class) demonstrated that reading can occur subconsciously and through visual

representation transgressing words on pages. Reading can be done through exploring digital

environments where physical creations displayed in virtual places can tell their own unique

narratives. One of my favorite aspects of finally getting to work in this area of study is how

much impact interactivity can have to ones reading experience. When the text becomes more

than words on paper and incorporates the use of more senses from the reader it is no longer

simply reading text, it’s experiencing a narrative. I have constructed a digital environment in the

past and am currently constructing another, and without any text through these spaces an

individual can theorize possible narratives just from visual stimuli in these spaces. Entire

narratives can be comprehended and enjoyed without a single word ever being written or spoken

and this specific literacy skill is something we all possess but I have been able to specifically

learn about and develop a proficiency in manipulating it to share my narratives. From these three

classes that have shown me the different types of literacy we demonstrate I have decided on what

I want to do with my life and pursue a career in a field where I can work to create digital

environments that share narratives through media. Personally, I want to work in the medium of

gaming and this results from my combined love for gaming and growing love of creating virtual

spaces (currently through Unity.)

Not only has my college experience helped me grow as an individual through increased

responsibility and being truly independent, but I have grown as a student both creating a passion

for learning and working within my field of study. I am incredibly excited to start my studies in

graduate school and be capable of moving beyond the classroom to hopefully land a career at one

of my favorite game development companies. I plan on taking a variety of graduate level classes

that will both assist in the development of my technical skills, and aid in further understanding

the nuances around developing digital narratives. I have loved every minute spent at this

university and as previously mentioned the only thing I would love to see change is students

given more opportunities in survey/intro classes and for professional/career development to be a

process spanning your attendance in college, not simply the very last semester.