College of Arts and Sciences

Department of English

Department of English

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Sally Yim

Yim photo

1. What drew you to the major?

When I enrolled at Case, I had a four-year plan that involved the words “Pre-med” and biology. Though I enjoyed reading and writing, I had pushed them aside to pursue a career in the medical world. Ironically, what changed my mind wasn’t a great book I read or a sudden burning passion for writing but simply the professors I met.

The world often casts its spotlight on Case’s science department but Case’s English department is filled with rock stars. Not only are they highly-qualified, they love what they do and are more than willing to help us do our best. We have published professors who are fun (I met one who jumped on tables), professors that have countless best-sellers under their belt, and even professors that have been in movies.  Simply put, when I entered my first English class, I felt a breath of fresh air—the engagement, the debates, the “let’s take apart this book!” attitude—it was all so fascinating and so much fun. I knew I had found my calling.

2. How has your English major prepared you for life after graduation?

I’m planning on pursuing a career in health law so Law school is my next big step. Obviously, my degree in English equipped me with the writing and reading skills required by Law schools but most importantly, the in-class discussions I had transformed my shy-introverted personality into an out-going, interactive one. Every class is large enough for a variety of thoughts but small enough that each individual gets a chance to speak up—a must for people like me.

3. What is it like being an English major at Case in particular, with its perceived focus on the sciences?

We’re special and our experience at Case is different from that of other majors. Our classes are more intimate and smaller in number (100 vs 10) so that each student is individually acquainted with both classmates and professors. It’s true that most Case students automatically assume you’re a science major but it’s also a lot of fun explaining the interesting things we learn and the amazing things we do in our classes like screenwriting, taking apart films, or writing our own Wikipedia entries. In the end, we’re face-to-face with professors who have accomplished more than we can imagine and are able to engage and learn from them.

4. Why would you encourage a prospective English major to sign on?

It’s a great experience. The different courses offered are enough to make my case. Where else will you ever learn how to write poetry like Robert Frost or analyze a film like a professional film critic? The professors we have are stellar and have so much to offer, and I’ve improved my writing and reading skills so much that I’m sure I’ll never worry about writing again. Our professors are the best at what they do and are so much fun while doing what they do best. It would be a mistake not to experience what the English department has to offer.