Class of 2017|Major English & Philosophy|Minor Linguistics
“Write passionately, edit soberly” —Alex Slotkin. Alex is a native Floridian and a member of Drew University’s class of 2017. Within the English major, Alex is concentrating on writing and communications, which led him to be apart of Drew’s New York Semester on Communications and Media. He is a Writing Center Tutor and a Writing Fellow for Drew University, helping students develop into better writers. As a lover of the written word, Alex is also a contributing author to numerous literary magazines. His philosophical work, “On the A Priori: Conventionalism and Rationalism,” is pending publication in the academic journal The Drew Review.
How did you choose your majors and how have they shaped your view of the world?
I came into college not quite knowing what I wanted to do, so I decided to take a miscellaneous sample of courses in the hopes of stumbling upon my passion(s). Turns out, I love English and philosophy—as well as linguistics. The three overlap perfectly in that they are all attentive to how language interacts with our daily lives, regardless of whether or not we are aware of this interplay. My majors have taught me to observe in the world in terms of the language we use.
How does your interest in language connect with the NYC Semester and how do you intend on incorporating this passion into a future career path?
A reoccurring theme in the New York City program is communication, since it plays an integral role in media and everyday life. While a lot of communication is nonverbal, the communication between an advertiser and consumers, for example, is verbal. So my interest in language we use plays nicely into communication. Our words matter; understanding the language we use can make for great communication. This also spills over into my career goals. At the moment, I am interested in any profession that will allow me use and better my communication and marketing skills. Naturally, my passion for language (along with my writing skills) will fit in nicely.
What life experience do you credit most with having shaped who you are today?
I had some early learning issues growing up, which delayed my reading a bit. Although it isn’t something I always readily share, I don’t think I could have answered this question truthfully without mentioning it. The twentieth century philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein once said, “I don’t know why we are here, but I’m pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves.” Of course, we should enjoy everyday of our life, but what I think Wittgenstein is getting at is that struggles, not pleasure, present us with the most abundant opportunity for growth. How we go about overcoming the obstacles in our lives shape who we are. Incidentally, how I overcame my difficulties with reading made me into an avid reader and a lover of communication.