Ah, 299. What a whirlwind, right?. When the class first started off in January, I’ll be honest and say that I thought I was going to be in way over my head. I had just declared my English major at that point, and my mindset was something like, finally, I’ll just get to write some poems and call it “homework!” And then, right off the bat, I was handed the Theory Toolbox and Sue Im-Lee. Yikes. These things were dense and intimidating at first, which I’m sure most of us would agree on, and I was having a hard time connecting Lee’s mind-boggling vocabulary and the idea of “recuperating the universal” to my own aspiration of being a writer. I understand now the importance of a theoretical basis for any major, English especially, and while digging into these things was a little painful at times, I see why it was necessary. It definitely helped when it came to looking for different perspectives and ways of approaching research for the final project, particularly when it came to the critical views and different types of literary criticism. On the subject of the independent research paper, I feel that that assignment did the most to develop my skills in multiple areas and extended my confidence in papers of that sort, which I’m sure I’ll be writing often throughout the remainder of my time in college (and beyond?). I liked that we were able to explore a topic that was actually of interest to us (I can now tell you anything you’d ever want to know about Maya Angelou and her writing style), and I did find it beneficial to hear what everyone else had been working on by the end, as well as how they had explored ideas I had not considered. This class definitely taught me that English is way broader a field than I previously understood it to be – for example, I didn’t have a clue that things like film and video games could be scrutinized under the same general umbrella as classic novels, but I kind of loved learning that they could. Overall, although this course was very time consuming and demanded a lot of intense critical thinking, I think it definitely solidified me in the foundation I needed to move forward with this major.