English Major Spotlight: Drue Schwitters

This University of Minnesota honors student is preparing for a career as an English teacher
Image of Drue Schwitters drinking ice coffee outside at a table

Year: 4th year
Hometown: Clara City, MN

Why did you choose to major in English?

I wanted to pursue something I was passionate about, and books have been that for me since I was young. I also was not sure what I wanted to do originally career-wise, and I knew the possibilities with an English major were endless, contrary to popular belief. Now that I have decided to become a teacher, I know my English education has helped me learn important curriculum and knowledge I will be able to pass down to my students. The variety of courses has introduced me to literature beyond the standard education requirements, and I am excited to include more diverse literature in my classroom.

What has been your favorite part of your experience in the department?

The close relationships I have with my professors and my classmates. The size of the department allows for closer connections and more opportunities to get to know both professors and peers. I have loved going into a classroom for the first day of the semester and recognizing other students and having the professor greet me by name. 

Are you pursuing any majors, minors, internships, or interests outside your English major?

I am also in the DirecTrack to Teaching program studying to become a teacher. The small size of classes in the English department has allowed me to discuss my ideas and learn from others so I can apply that knowledge to the curriculum I will teach in the future. Learning from other students what learning styles work for them and how they study has also helped me learn how to approach my future students and their potential learning styles instead of my own. 

What is a favorite book you read for an English class?

My favorite book I read for an English class was Severance by Ling Ma, which I read for “Modern Fiction.” While it was a compelling story about survival and disease on its own, reading it during a pandemic was especially eerie and mind-opening. 

What English course would you recommend for majors? For non-majors who want to take an English class?

An English course I would recommend for majors is ENGL 3741 “Literacy and American Cultural Diversity” with Eric Daigre. My own literacy is something I have taken for granted most of my life, and the community-engaged service-learning component was something that enriched my experience. A course I would recommend for non-majors would be “Children's Literature.” It was fun to study books I had read as a child and discuss them seriously instead of in a nostalgic context. Children's literature shapes young people's minds, and I am grateful I got the opportunity to study it in an academic context with others who valued these books as much as I do. 

What is your favorite place to study on campus?

My favorite place to study on campus is the lounge on the third floor of Pillsbury Hall or the cafe in Northrop!
 

Category
Undergraduate Students
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