We Are English Majors: Rouzbeh Rahai

Rouzbeh Rahai is a senior majoring in English as well as Environmental Science & Management. We asked him questions about his experiences in these two fields and his future plans to WOOF (see definition below). 

What's been one of your favorite/most memorable experiences being an English major at UC Davis?

My small seminar-like English classes hold my most memorable learning experiences as an English major. I took poetry with professor Peterson and advanced critical theory with Professor Hsu. Our classes were centered around powerful discussions with occasional personal anecdotes. I felt so in touch with my thinking, writing, and discussions in those classes. I was truly heard by my peers and my teachers, and learning this way was unlike any opportunity I had at Davis.

You're a double major in English and Environmental Science & Management. How do you think these majors intersect? How similar or different are they?

I think English and Environmental Sciences have very similar visions for the world. In some way both desire to represent hidden aspects, or what is not seen by mainstream thought. (If you think, Steinbeck wrote about poor migrant farmworkers in The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men, and IPCC scientists consistently produce further studies that link invisible greenhouse gases to the earth’s warming). But I also think they differ in that environmental science is more methodological, while English is more theoretical. However, this is why I believe they work together so well. In the best way I can describe it, English is the fire, the energy source, the passion, to which environmental methods can be applied, to actually make change. There are important questions invoked by both fields, and I believe they complement each other by fulfilling their limitations. 

What are your plans after graduation? Do you think your career/life will point toward your interest in English, or Environmental Science? A combination of the two?

Immediately after graduation I am doing environmental health research focusing on disease-environment manifestation. But that’s just for the summer. After, I would like to try some form of teaching science at the high school level. And then, I have plans to WOOF (working on organic farms) in different parts of California. I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity to study English and Environmental Science. I share hobbies, lifestyles, and ways of thinking that integrate these majors, and I plan to build on them in the future.