Since the day I applied to Duke as an intended English major, I've fought the obnoxious stereotype that English is a "useless" degree. And professionally thus far, I think my major and my career overlap more than just about anyone I knew in school. In the absolute most basic sense, students learn to read and write and consume culture in that department. At the magazines and websites I love most, this is how the people who work there would describe their jobs. As for the novel, everything traces back to that department. Duke English was my training ground, absolutely. I took several seminars and wrote a fiction thesis. I wouldn't have had anywhere near the practice (and attendant confidence) necessary to take on a many-years fiction-writing project without the early guidance of Christina Askounis, Melissa Malouf, Joe Porter, Michael Malone, and co. Everything I do every day traces back to Duke English. I'd like to think that my career thus far is directly built upon the foundation established in that department.