Hitting the Books with Famous Book Characters
Celebrate National Book Month by exploring what College of Liberal Arts degree some of your favorite book characters would pursue at Texas A&M University.
Story by Rachel Knight ‘18
Illustrations by Dana Dang ‘23
October is National Book Month! The College of Liberal Arts is celebrating by reimagining some of our favorite literary characters as students here at Texas A&M University.
Celebrate reading, writing, and literature by indulging with us in dreaming up Aggie versions of some of the fictional figures who make books fun.
Favorite Texas A&M Tradition: Muster
Nancy is not the only anthropologist who uses anthropology skills to solve crimes. Vaughn Bryant has used pollen found in honey to solve crimes from his lab on campus. As a student, Nancy loves piecing together history by digging up clues and artifacts from the past. Her favorite tradition is Muster. She finds the displays set up each year in the MSC to honor the reunion class fascinating. Each display gives her clues as to who these Aggies were, and she loves learning more about the Aggie family.
Favorite Texas A&M Tradition: Saying “Howdy!” (aloud and in her web)
Charlotte in the famous children’s book Charlotte’s Web brilliantly exemplifies Marshall McLuhan’s statement that the medium is the message. Her genius in spinning words into her webs saves Wilber’s life. As an Aggie, she’d be a selfless servant studying health communication under Lu Tang. The messages she’d help create would save millions of lives by clearly explaining seemingly complex health information in a way we all could understand.
Favorite Texas A&M Tradition: The Big Event
Ebenezer knows the value of money from the beginning of his story, but attending classes taught by economics professors like Jonathan Meer (whose work focuses on philanthropy) shows him the value of friendship and serving others. His favorite Aggie tradition, The Big Event, fits his favorite Aggie core value, selfless service.
Favorite Texas A&M Tradition: Midnight Yell
In The Help, Aibileen’s son says there’s going to be a writer in their family. By the end of the book, it’s clear that the family’s writer is Aibileen. As a student at Texas A&M, she studies English to become a children’s book author like Kathi Appelt. Her books teach children that they are kind, smart, and important. Her favorite tradition is Midnight Yell, because it unites Aggie voices and makes sure everyone is heard.
Major: Hispanic Studies
Favorite Aggie Tradition: Fish Camp
In Esperanza Rising, Esperanza Ortega lives a reverse rags-to-riches lifestyle, which teaches her what matters most in life. As a student, she’d soak up the college experience and make friends who feel more like family; after all, family is what grounds Esperanza. Her favorite classes would be the classes taught by professors like Eduardo Espina, who write and publish their own literary works. She’d be a campus leader by serving in student government and she’d play a major role in making every Aggie feel welcome by serving as a Fish Camp counselor.
Favorite Tradition: Silver Taps
The Mirabal sisters in Julia Alvarez’ novel In the Time of the Butterflies were based on the actual Mirabal sisters who bravely opposed Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Trujillo (El Jefe) in the late 1950s. Minerva, the third sister and ringleader of “the butterflies,” has a sixth sense for justice. As a student at Texas A&M, she’d study history as an undergraduate before obtaining her law degree. She’d study hard in classes taught by faculty members like Violet Johnson to better understand how the legal system changes over time, so that she can continue to change and improve legal systems in the future. Minerva’s favorite Aggie tradition is Silver Taps, because she understands the importance of honoring students who are unable to finish their academic journeys.
Interdisciplinary Critical Studies
Favorite Texas A&M Tradition: The Century Tree
For as long as she can remember, Hermione Granger has been able to count on books to help her find the answer. You might say her favorite pastime is learning, but she does more than learn. She applies every ounce of knowledge she absorbs to her life and the life of those around her. When it came time to pick a major, she didn’t want to limit her learning possibilities. Interdisciplinary Critical Studies was the right choice for her. Her major enables her to take a wider variety of classes; for example, this semester she’s taking Alain Lawo-Sukam’s intro to Africana studies course as well as Leroy Dorsey’s communication and popular culture course. Her favorite tradition is walking under the Century Tree with Ron Weasley.
Major: International Studies
Favorite Texas A&M Tradition: Holding up a Gig ‘em for photos
A major part of literature is storytelling. Where’s Waldo books challenge you to make up your own story about where you find Waldo. When you find him on campus, you’ll probably catch him in Evans Library hiding in plain sight between book stacks, studying for classes like Federica Ciccolella’s world literature classes, or in the crowded Starbucks line talking to other students. More often, though, you’d find him studying abroad as he expands his worldview as an international studies major. Throwing up a Gig ‘em quickly became his go-to pose for photos after starting school at Texas A&M.
Major: Performance Studies
Favorite Tradition: MSC OPAS
Jo grew up writing plays for her sister’s to perform, and now she’s a performance studies major at Texas A&M University. Rayna Dexter’s classes are some of her favorites. She especially loves the service learning projects Dexter incorporates into her classes (like making tutorial videos about how to sew masks during a global pandemic), because they remind her of Beth and Marmee. She makes it a point to never miss one of the outstanding performances MSC OPAS brings to campus each year.
Favorite Texas A&M Tradition: Elephant Walk
An Aggie who studies hard to understand things he is! Young or “baby” Yoda was inspired by Claire Katz’ Philosophy 4 Children program as a child. He realized his life-long dream of studying philosophy at Texas A&M, and plans to make philosophical discoveries throughout Elephant Walk his senior year. Full of wisdom his observations will be.
Major: Political Science
Favorite Texas A&M Tradition: Ring Day
Tyrion’s understanding of family politics as well as what it takes to be a good leader inspired him to study political science at Texas A&M. As both a Lannister and an Aggie, he loves his little piece of Aggie gold more than anything in the world. He’s also incredibly intrigued by James Rogers’ course on United States Constitutional development.
Favorite Texas A&M Tradition: Bonfire
In Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein is the man responsible for creating the monster we refer to as Frankenstein today. His ambitions, fear of death, and desire to better understand the mysteries of life and death lead him to create a creature in the book. If he were alive in the 21st century, Victor Frankenstein would be an Aggie studying under Stephen Maren to better understand fear rather than creating and abandoning living creatures. He’d feel deeply, love the bonfire memorial, and live for the yearly bonfire which now burns off-campus.
Favorite Texas A&M Tradition: Playing the piano in the Flag Room
Sherlock Holmes defines himself as a high functioning sociopath, so what better way to polish his craft than by studying sociology at Texas A&M? While Sherlock uses his understanding of sociology to solve crimes, Robert Durán uses his skills to research criminology. As a student, Sherlock would love Duran’s class on criminology. You’d be most likely to find Sherlock watching people in the Flag Room in the MSC as he plays the piano.