Like so many of her fellow students, Abby Smolinski started at MCC unsure of what she wanted to major in. She was tentatively thinking about studying science, but an interest in English always stuck in the back of her mind.
“I decided to take a literature class—Greek and Roman Mythology—just for fun,” said Smolinski. “Through that class, I realized that literature was something that was always changing, with more interpretations found each read, and that evolution was something I loved observing and participating in.”
The following semester, Smolinski took a Shakespeare class—then a creative writing class.
“What surprised me the most about each class was the discussion of each text,” she said. “Everyone could read the same lines or stories and interpret something new from them, and each interpretation was right to that person. Despite the age or unrelatability of the material, it was easy to connect with and learn from the literature. I was also surprised by just how much I enjoyed reading and analyzing the writing; I’d never felt very passionate about literature before, but these classes sparked a dormant interest within my mind and allowed the classes to become fun.”
Her favorite part of each literature class was the discussion of each reading or book.
“I found it so interesting to share and discuss ideas, not only sharing what I thought but also listening to and evaluating what others said. It was always an open floor and students were free to express their thoughts on the text without feeling like others would judge them for their responses.”
Students can gain many things from a literature class, she added.
“Reading new material can really inspire you. Even if it initially seems uninteresting or old, the passion behind the writing and the teaching really enlightens the text.”
She had this experience personally with Shakespeare’s writing.
“I wasn’t interested in Shakespeare before I took a Shakespeare class, but I found each play to be quite interesting once I’d thought more about it. Even if a student isn’t considering majoring in literature, or anything to do with writing, it’s still fascinating to go outside of the box for classes; to do something fun, and explore the varied classes that MCC offers to see if any spark a new interest.”
Abby plans to continue her schooling in the fall of 2022 to pursue a bachelor’s in English and potentially continue on to earn a master’s degree.
“Although I’m unsure of exactly where I’m continuing my education, I can confidently say that I understand where my path is leading towards, thanks to taking a literature class at MCC.”
For more about MCC’s English program, visit www.mchenry.edu/english.