How Did You Become An English Major? A Weekly Article

Hi everyone! I hope all is going well during these last weeks of school. This week I had the opportunity to interview Laura Mahaney, who is an English for Secondary Teachers major here at WKU. This is what she had to say about her chosen major:


I, ironically, started out as a Marketing Major which seems to be the exact opposite of an English Secondary Teacher Major.  I’ve always loved English, since my high school days, but I never fully connected to the idea of teaching the subject until I learned that my favorite high school AP English teacher passed away.  When I heard of her passing, it made me realize how much she affected my life with her teaching.  That’s the moment I realized I wanted to to be an English teacher, and have the impact on students that she had on me during my years in high school.

Being an English major, I learn something new every day from my studies.  I recently discovered my love for Grammar, because there are so many rules and parts to language. It’s just amazing what the human mind is capable of doing.  ​I’ve had so many wonderful professors at WKU which just intensifies my love for the subject of English.  Reading has always been a comfort for me.  Not a lot of things do I love more than a heart wrenching, meaningful story.  Stories have different meanings, and the ability to make the reader see the world in a way they’ve never looked at it before.  So many topics in English involve matters of the heart, and the stories that affect you most will stay with you forever. 
“Let what you love be what you do.”
Here is Laura’s personal blog for those of you interested!

Congratulations to the Three Students Who Received Outstanding English Awards from PCAL

Congratulations to Anthony Gross, Jr., Bliss Powers, and Cameron Calvert-Carr, who are joined by English Department Head, Dr. Rob Hale and Dean David Lee of PCAL

From left to right: Dr. Rob Hale, Anthony Gross Jr., Bliss Powers, Cameron Calvert-Carr, and Dean David Lee

Dean David Lee of Potter College of Arts and Letters and Dr. Rob Hale, English Department Head, congratulated our three Outstanding English Majors at the PCAL Awards Ceremony recently. Be sure to congratulate them , too, when you see them!

Outstanding English Major: Anthony Gross Jr.

Outstanding Graduate Student in English: Bliss Powers

Outstanding EST Student: Cameron Calvert-Carr

The 124th Issue of Victorians is Now Available

The 124th issue of Victorians features essays on Arnold, Eliot, Thackeray, Browning, and Corelli.

The 124th issue of Victorians features essays on Arnold, Eliot, Thackeray, Browning, and Corelli.

The 124th issue of Victorians: A Journal of Culture and Literature was released last week. For over sixty years, Victorians (formerly The Victorian Newsletter) has been publishing scholarly articles featuring analyses of Victorian culture and literature. Please contact Dr. Deborah Logan for more information about subscribing to Victorians.

Here’s a list of the contents of the 124th issue:

“George Eliot’s ‘strange printing’: Exegesis, Community, and Daniel Deronda” by Michael Toogood

“Dobbin’s Corduroys: Sartorial Display and Modes of Masculinities in Vanity Fair” by Eva Chen

“Matthew Arnold and the Talmud Man” by Peter Brier

“Robert Browning and the Keepsake: Memory, Memorialization, and the Future of Poetry” by Alison Chapman

“‘fear them which kill the soul’: Marie Corelli’s Manifesto against Positivist Education” by Anastassiya Andrianova

Book Review: “Roy Morris, Jr., Declaring His Genius: Oscar Wilde in North America” by Nikolai Endres

Need a Cool Job? The English Office is Hiring NOW!

Apply in the English office (Cherry Hall 135) for the open office worker position today!Anthony, our senior student office worker, is leaving us behind as he graduates in May. We’ll miss him terribly, but will have to press on in his absence.

That’s where you come in.

We’ll have an open position in the English office, and Tomitha Blair, the office worker supervisor, will be interviewing candidates soon for the job (which will start in August).

If you’re interested in applying, check out the student office worker job description and duties listed below:

Job Description:

The qualified applicant must be punctual, courteous, organized, work well with others, take direction and understand it, have knowledge of MS Office Suite. Applicant should have excellent verbal and written communication skills. General knowledge of the University and its layout is a plus.

Additional qualifications:

Experience with CIS or CMS systems. Website maintenance will eventually become part of this position. On the job training is provided.


Operate reception/front desk, greet visitors, answer incoming telephone calls, operate various office machines, sort mail, typing, copying, campus errands. Other duties as assigned by immediate supervisor and department head.

Pay rate: current minimum wage
Hours per week: 15-20
Work schedule: M-F 8:00-4:30 (will work around class schedule)
Position start date: 8/25/2014

Application procedure: Pick up application in English department or download a copy here and deliver along with fall class schedule to Ms. Tomitha Blair, Cherry Hall 135 by noon on Friday, May 2nd.

Myths and Magic of the Writing Center

As the final papers, presentations, and projects loom closer (FIVE MORE WEEKS, WOOHOO), students could all use a little help or at least an extra eye, ear, or hand. Just about everybody knows where Cherry Hall is nestled securely at the top of the hill. However, only a small fraction of students have ventured down the first floor, right-side corridor where Cherry 123 is tucked away. This room is home to fifteen tutors who facilitate the special services of the Writing Center.

So what is the Writing Center?

Well, I took one of my papers down there to find out. I scheduled an appointment on their system Tutor Trac and met with Hannah Bertram on Friday to talk about one of my short stories. The experience turned out to be quite helpful. She asked questions and marked lines in my story that I wouldn’t have thought of before my paper’s due date. All of her suggestions strengthened my story considerably.

Writing CenterThe Writing Center is designed to teach students how to brainstorm ideas, clarify main points, strengthen logic and support, smooth out organization, integrate sources and credit them properly, fine-tune sentence style, and learn to proofread.Their hours are: M-R 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and F- 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. They also have hours at the Cravens library that can be found on their website. Tutorials of the writing center and scheduling are offered on the website as well as links to their Facebook page and blog.

Hannah was kind enough to answer some questions about her time at the Writing Center. She also gave some well-placed advice for those who are thinking about bringing their papers to the Center. Continue reading

Successful Interns: Kaycee Hill

Each semester more and more interns pass through the halls of Cherry Hall. Being an intern is a great opportunity not only to the student, but also to get in some networking for your resume. Remember that internships are always available each semester so even if you didn’t make the April 9th deadline for this upcoming Fall 2014 semester, there’s always next time!

This semester one of our interns is Kaycee Hill. Kaycee is a Senior here at WKU, and her major is English Literature. She is currently a ENG 299 Undergraduate Teaching Assistant for Dr. Hollyfield.

What kind of responsibilities do you have?

Provide feedback on course structure and syllabus, recruit guest speakers, mentor students outside of class in office hours, organize student presentation schedules, assisting in grading, teaching class occasionally.

Why did you choose to be an English 299: Teaching Assistant Intern?

I hope to attend graduate school, where I will work as a graduate teaching assistant. This internship allows me to gain experience that is directly related to my success at the next level.

What did you expect going into this internship, and has it met or surpassed those expectations?

I talked a lot with the previous English 299 T.A., so I knew what to expect. Trying to balance the wide range of responsibilities was a little overwhelming at first, but now that I’ve settled in, I like the dynamic nature of the class. The students make my job fun, which helps keep me motivated.

 Do you think it will be a beneficial experience?

This internship has been valuable for me so far because I have a more realistic view of what goes into teaching. I have developed skills that other students only practice after graduation, when there is more pressure to succeed. I’m lucky to have this opportunity.

Have you encountered any situations that you didn’t know how to handle?

I wouldn’t say that I have a perfect record in “situation” handling, but I have never been totally in the dark about what steps to take or where to go for guidance.

What advice would you give to current or future interns?

Talk and listen. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Use your support systems when the internship gets stressful. Establish good working relationships with your professor, your students, and the last person who held your position. All of these people have something to teach you, and part of your job as an intern is to pay attention to the experience.

Open Mic Reading at Half Price Books Outlet

image001On April 17th, the English Club will be hosting an open mic reading night at Half Price Books Outlet on Campbell Lane. The event will begin at 7:00 PM. If you have been yearning to read your original poetry or short stories in front of an audience, now is your chance! Keep in mind that the works you read must be PG given that the store will still be open during the time of this event. Whether you are presenting or just being a spectator, I encourage everyone to attend this open mic reading.