A personal anecdote

A comment on today’s post over on Mad Genius Club reminded me of a little anecdote.

When I attended the University of Akron, I was the only person to ever be exempted from both the required English courses for a bachelors in the College of Arts & Sciences. First step was to take the second course, with the idea that if I did that and passed with a good enough grade I would get “back credit” towards the degree requirement.

The first assignment was to write a piece about the Declaration of Independance and whether or not it was still relevant. Listening to the other students talk about their pieces I silently screamed in the back of my head, “I’ve got to get out of here!”

As a result, I took my then published material–a few stories sold to Analog and the late Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine (this was before certain information about Ms. Bradley came to light), an article sold to The World & I, and another sold to High Technology Careers–to the department chair and basically got an agreement that “yep, you’re English comp skills are good enough that this course would be redundant. Then he realized that I was doing the “take the second course in the hope of not needing to take the first” approach. He was a little flummoxed by that but in the end went ahead and rolled with it giving me the check marks on the “what’s needed for a degree” for both English comp courses without having to take the courses.

People in the past had been exempted from one or the other of those two courses. I was the first, the only so far as I know, to be exempted from both.

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