Survival tactics 101

The following tips will help current and/or future English majors survive the whimsical nature of the administrative procedures here in the NIU English department.

1. Each English teacher has their own official MLA style.

2. Don’t write an 80,000+ word fiction manuscript and expect to get credit for it—although it’s exactly the type of thing that the department “likes to encourage,” they won’t give you credit for it in ENGL 495 or in any other way.

3. If you do want credit for something other than classwork, work as a secretary for a summer, and turn in your stack of memos and/or letters for credit in ENGL 495. They’ll be happy to oblige.

4. It’s never anybody’s fault, it’s the department’s.

5. Just because a class is listed in the fall schedule book doesn’t mean the department has to offer that class. Trust me on this one.

6. Be nice to Joyce in the English office—she’s cool and can help a lot.

I hope these tips will help some of the unfortunate, but I won’t be around to see if it will. This fall, I’ll (hopefully) be heading south where English departments give you credit for doing English—type stuff, administrative folks are willing to help students get an education, and the classes listed in the books are all actually offered. (Hmm … strange concept!) See ya NIU! (UNI?)