Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of English
Why I Write for ELi
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Telaina Eriksen

When I was 17 or 18, I told my mother I wanted to be an English major. My mother then asked if I wanted to teach high school. I responded I didn’t think so, and she asked the dreaded question “So what are you going to DO with an English degree?” I thought about it for a few minutes and I said, “Well, I could be a journalism major.” My mother’s face relaxed. Her younger brother (before dying of cancer at a very young age) had worked as a journalist in New Jersey. He had been able to support himself and had been published in a newspaper almost daily. This was ideal to my mother. My parents lived paycheck to paycheck (to be honest, we almost never made it all the way to the next paycheck) and getting “a good job” was to her, the sole purpose of a four-year college degree.

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