When Dumbledore left me on the doorstep, his instructional letter said to name me Chase and shield me from the spells of Dark Wizards. Or something like that. I’ve always been a little fuzzy on the details.
Passing up an opportunity at Hogwarts, I earned an English degree at a muggle university and now I spend most of my time convincing people that you can do things with it other than teach. I’d love to pretend that I’m hacking away at writing the Great American Novel, but today I work in surgical equipment where people are more concerned about saving lives than Haruki Murakami’s depiction of women.
Studying English is much more about sharpening your communication skills and developing an understanding of textual analysis than it is about grammar and spelling, and you can apply those skills to nearly any art form, whether it’s books, films, TV, or even music. I interpret popular culture through a mostly cultural and emotional lens: Was there a phenomenal World War II movie released in 1998? Yes, and it’s The Thin Red Line, not Saving Private Ryan.
One of my heroes is Chuck Klosterman. I love his blend of high and low culture and his diverse writings on all aspects of pop culture. I’m a reverent disciple, and I can only dream of writing like him. I’m equally comfortable with Shakespeare or Star Wars, 12 Angry Men or 30 Rock, Kanye or Kubrick. I know the difference between what’s good and what’s just really freaking enjoyable. My personal thesis is that the culture is what unites us, but the current diversity of options is actually isolating us. Furthermore, Americans need to spend less of their time being offended.
Like I said, I work in an operating room so writing essays gives me a good vent for the artistic/cultural side of my personality.
Overall I’m a fellow of infinite jest, a lover of the oxford comma, and hopefully a future Jeopardy champion. Strap in – it’s adventure time.