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Nicole Capuano: From Dentistry to British Literature

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I am reminded every day of why studying English was a wise choice. Before I came to Moravian, I knew I always loved to read and write, but I never embraced it. I often just lumped all writing in the academic category, being too ignorant to understand that writing can be about anything.

When I was a freshman, I registered as a biology major, with the intention of being a dentist. Deep down I knew that science was not a strong subject for me, but once again, I let my ignorance get the best of me and marched on to the path of being a DMD.

With success comes trial and error, and I failed enough to finally find out what I was meant to. I truly believe that I was meant to major in English and study its language and literature, but there is a small part of me that wonders if I had actually attempted to show up to chemistry lectures, maybe I would have made it as a dentist.

As I was studying for chemistry one night, I had a true, legitimate epiphany that my calling at college was to be an English major. From that moment on, I began taking classes that satisfied the English major requirements. What really sold me were the professors in the English department at Moravian. I had never met individuals who genuinely cared so much about their students and their students’ success. Their dedication and willingness to help reassured me that I was making the right choice. I always tell people that I would rather hang out with my English professors than my friends on the weekends . . . and I’m not joking. Ultimately, I majored in English because I enjoy reading, writing, speaking, and surrounding myself with individuals who share the same values and philosophies that I do.

The English courses  I have taken all reflect genres that I want to become more familiar with. For example, I wanted to know what Native American literature was like, so I took that course at the beginning of my junior year with Dr. Tabor. Not only did I learn a lot about Native American culture, but I also got to read many great pieces of literature, poetry, and drama that all had to do with Native Americans.

I took creative writing with Dr. Hinnefeld because I wanted to get a better understanding of what creative writing is, and I wanted to be given the opportunity to write creatively and receive feedback on how to improve.

Perhaps one of my favorite English classes  was British Literature with Dr. Dougal. I found that I really enjoyed the writing that was produced and circulated during the 19th century. If I were to study one area of literature more, I would choose to focus on British Literature, and in particular, study the life and the world of Mary Wollstonecraft.

I have learned that English studies is very dense. Specifically, I took classes that were all different from one another. I wanted to experience as many different types of literature that I could while an undergrad student, so I took it upon myself to move out of my comfort zone and take classes that I wasn’t familiar with. I was always intimidated by the English classes because I was so afraid that I wasn’t going to understand the class discussions or the readings. Dr. Tabor always tells me that I need to trust myself and trust that I understand what I am doing, and I know that I will always carry those words with me as I continue my journey with English post-Moravian.

As I mentioned in my opening paragraph, I always had visions of being someone that wasn’t always realistic for me. During the spring semester of my junior year, I reached out to the editor of Moravian’s e-newsletter to see if I could write some pieces that would count for my Hands-On Learning Assignment. That project opened my eyes to a completely different angle of English that I am so glad I got to experience. I never even considered writing for a magazine to be a possible profession for me, but when I got the hands-on learning experience (pun intended) with writing for Inside Moravian, I knew right away that I could see myself being a journalist.

Writing for the Marketing and Communications Department  opened many doors for me. I interned for the department this past summer to get more writing experience, and I got to see all the behind the scenes work that writers and editors go through to launch a new issue of their magazine. I love creating layouts for new stories, and I love getting to interview students, faculty, and alumni for a potential story.

I am very thankful that I have found a major that defines me. I have failed countless  times, but I am certain that having a Bachelor of Arts in English will help me achieve my aspiration of becoming a writer. Special thanks to the Moravian College English Department for assisting and believing in me for the past 3 years.

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