The Eighth Page


Nestled into a rolling hillside beside the Borden Gym is one of Andover’s most beloved structures: that pillar with the Chinese writing on it. Oh, and behind that is the English building, Bulfinch.Within those handsome brick walls the mind is taken on an adventurous ride that English professors call “literature.” At times, the material can be confusing. Old English, Greek mythology, religion, communist Russia, and sex may all be found in a three line poem you thought was about a guy painting his house. What makes these far fetched ideas sensible in the minds of irrational teens? The faculty, of course. The teachers in the English department act like the bridge between San Francisco and Oakland (the students are the cars). At first, nobody wants to cross the bridge into Oakland, because it’s kind of a lousy city compared to San Francisco. But then the bridge appears, and the passage seems easy. It takes a while, and when you get there you realize Oakland is actually pretty lousy, and you question why you left San Francisco in the first place. A great selection of courses also contributes to the English department’s popularity. We all know about the classics, English 100 and the Odyssey, English 310 and Shakespeare, but what about the lesser known electives? English 569: ‘Discussions of The Male Anatomy’ is rarely full and English 588: ‘Communist Literature’ has yet to attract a single student. Due to lack of interest, English 502: ‘Hobo Memoirs’ was canceled, dubbed “about as depressing as the Holocaust Rel-Phil…just with more booze.” In summation, I love the English department (even though the building doesn’t even have outlets). At my old school, the homework would be, “Read the first four chapters and write a page about your favorite character.” While here at Andover I’m more likely to hear, “Read any four chapters in the book, just not in order, then write about what colors you smell.”