Callie Miller

Callie Miller

MA American Literature and Culture

Summary: Callie moved to Leeds from Northern California to pursue her love of Literature. Here she talks about the incredible support she has had whilst studying her MA in the School of English.

I am from a small town in the Northern California foothills. I grew up reading under the covers at night, hiking along the American River and playing card games with my family. As an undergraduate student, I went to Biola University in Southern California to study Literature and Creative Writing. I hope to become a teacher, in order to pass on the love of reading and writing.

I have loved my time as an MA student at Leeds. The courses have been challenging and so interesting, bringing my critical-thinking and writing skills to a whole new level. I have read a wonderful set of books, participated in fascinating discussions and learned to expand my research and academic writing skills. My undergraduate classes gave me the basics, but my time as a postgraduate student definitely deepened my knowledge and love of literature.

I’ve most enjoyed the deepening in my research and thought processes. By the time my dissertation is complete; I will feel like an expert in my subject. I also love the topic I am researching and have researched it from the ground up –– the hard work has been beyond rewarding.  I’ve found my supervisor to be extremely supportive and he takes the time to know my strengths and weaknesses. He encouraged sensitivity in my writing, while helping me push through the struggles in my research.  He was able to fill in the gaps in my understanding, calm unnecessary frustrations, and ask the right questions to guide my thoughts. Because of his guidance, my writing and thinking skills were pushed to whole new levels.

The University is very obviously set up to foster the best education for each student. There is help available for any problem or question you might run up against. I found the School of English department as a whole to be incredibly helpful, prompt and extremely warm.

As a city Leeds is energetic –– full of vibrancies and life. I have found the people to be friendly and the atmosphere to be upbeat. My favourite part of Leeds is its northern location and access to breathtaking countryside. There’s no better place for inspiration and rejuvenation than in the nature surrounding Leeds, and the city has its own unique culture and beat.

In the next few years, I would like to pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing in order to teach in the future, hopefully at the university level. I also plan to teach overseas for a time, but hope to eventually return to the California coast.

For anyone thinking of studying an MA in English I would say you will grow academically more than you know! Whether it is a stepping stone for PhD research, or a way to deepen your love for literature, you will be challenged and changed.