Student and Alumni English

Michael Castano

What kind of professional work have you been doing since graduation?
Professionally, I have taught elementary, middle and high school. I am currently a high school English teacher. 

To what extent has the English major helped you  do this work?
As a teacher, language makes up a huge part of my day. I am responsible for teaching a reading workshop, writing workshop, and a word study block. In addition to teaching students, there are many adults I must communicate with daily. Communication can be oral or written, and in both occasions, word choice is incredibly important. Failing to present information in a serious and succinct way could jeopardize my credibility or occupy so much of my time that I would never get anything else done.

Have you earned any advanced degrees since your undergraduate graduation? If so, what are they? If not, do you plan to pursue graduate study in the future?
I have earned my Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from Merrimack. I have toyed with the idea of getting another degree in Administration with the goal to be a principal one day.

What did you like best about the Merrimack English major?
The professors. They are some of the most literate, passionate, and creative people I have had the privilege to learn from. Their courses are designed to showcase their strengths and authentically highlight all the unique areas of the English major. Additionally, you are not only getting a degree in English, but you will inevitably walk away with a deeper understanding of social commentary, history, philosophy, psychology, and occasionally wit.

What advice would you give current English majors?
Copying an “A” will get me an “A,” so I will paraphrase a quote Dr. Scherwatzky told me when I was an English major. The books we read do not exist in some sort of vacuum. They have a very real importance, and they continue to hold a universal message—some deeper truth that if approached sincerely will help us become more conscientious and compassionate human beings. The English major is more than a book club. Oh yeah, it is also important to actually read the ENTIRE book you are studying. Finally, if these courses are still offered, I cannot recommend them more strongly: “Restoration and Eighteenth Century Literature,” “Gods and Monsters: The Shelley Circle,” and “Studies in Beowulf and Old English Literature.“