Sigma Tau Delta Down to the Border

On March 19-22, six members of Sigma Tau Delta attended the international convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico. What is Sigma Tau Delta, you ask? Well, let me tell you. It is an International English Honor Society that strives to recognize students for their high achievements in English literature and language and promotes culture on college campuses around the world. If you’d like to know more about the organization at the international level, click here. After a one-time initiation fee of $40, you’re a lifetime member. While at WKU, you take the 1 hour class English 202: Honors Forum (you don’t have to be in Honors to enroll–just have a 3.2 GPA) with sponsor Professor Walker Rutledge. You can take Forum without becoming a Sigma Tau Delta member, but it’s a good experience so you might as well. hemingway

Anyway, back to convention. Thursday dawned with our group already at the Nashville airport, waiting for our 6 AM flight to Albuquerque by way of Dallas. We’d already spent much of the car ride to Nashville “fan-girling” over our favorite authors–namely Hemingway because, come on, who doesn’t love this guy?–and trying to figure out the mysteries contained in the enigmas of our professors. Five hours later with our carry-ons in hand, we arrived in New Mexico, and that’s when the real adventures began.  Read more »

Categories: Awards, Creative Nonfiction, Creative Writing, english department, Travel | Leave a comment

FALL INTERNSHIPS–due March 31st!

Meme Generator– Imgflip.com

Hey, English majors!

Here is a small post to remind you all that internship applications for Fall 2015 are due March 31st (4 days away!!!)

I STRONGLY recommend all students to look into these many internship opportunities and apply before the 31st. Experience is the best thing we can gain during our time here at WKU, and our wonderful department has put together a variety of internships for us to choose from.

So what are you waiting for?

Click Fall 2015 Internships to see the opportunities available.

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The Writers: Kiersten Richards

Well here goes Part 2 of introducing y’all to your new bloggers:

As you can see, my name is Kiersten, and it is pronouced KEER-sten. Not KUR-stin or KRIS-tin or even HOUS-ton (thanks Starbucks!). I’m a senior from Owensboro, KY with a double major in English with a Professional Writing concentration and Spanish.

familyI’m the middle child of three brothers and one sister. My family loves spending time together, no matter if we’re swimming in Lake Tahoe or rewatching a Disney movie at home. Although tennis is the only sport I still play regularly, I love basketball, football, and volleyball; I’m still working on understanding soccer; and I’ve just been introduced to hockey. Whether its on the court, Trivia Crack, or just life in general, I can get pretty competitive.

little mermaidI also adore traveling. My family instilled this love in me when I was younger going to Colorado, Virginia, Hawaii, and California. I took it a bit further and studied abroad in Spain for a semester during my sophomore year and in Northern Europe this past summer. There is no better way to learn the history, culture, and language of a place than by experiencing it first-hand. Fun fact: my family collects magnets and mugs from the places that we visit. That way, every time we look at the refrigerator or go for a cup of coffee (or in my case, hot chocolate), we can remember all of the great experiences that we had in those places.

As far as English-y things go, I’ve pretty much always been a reader. In elementary school, I was one of those kids who always had a new book and made it a game to see how quickly I could read. I even tried to write several books when I was younger, one of which would have been called “What Your Kids Aren’t Telling You: As Told by a Kid,” but I ran out of steam. In high school, I knew that I loved language so I thought I could spread the written word through journalism, but 6 weeks interning for a local paper killed that dream. During my senior year, Jennifer Bradbury spoke to my class, describing her life as an author working with a publishing house. When she spoke of the role of her editor, I knew that was what I wanted to do so I chose Professional Writing as my concentration within English.

Because I’m sphonebootho close to graduation, I’m excited to see where my degree can take me. Writing for the blog allows me to practice my skills on a medium that is so popular in today’s ever-changing technological world, and I can see why. But whether I end up as a professional blogger, senior editor of a publishing company, or a stay-at-home mom, I know that English will continue to be a part of my life forever.

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“I Am a Kentuckian” March 30th

I AM WKU Mar 30American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Kentucky will be hosting their “I Am a Kentuckian” tour at WKU on Monday, March 30th at 4 PM in Gary Ransdell Hall (GRH) Auditorium.

The purpose of the tour is putting real faces with real issues and engaging in important conversations about a topic that needs a voice. During the event, audience members will the hear stories about what it’s like being in a place without the key essentials we often don’t think about: drivers licence, financial aid, etc. This particular event is so special because WKU alumnus Luiggi Carlin (’11) will be the guest speaker for ACLU.

A former Creative Writing major, this the first time Carlin is speaking about immigration and not poetry, but he’s grateful to be doing so.

“I have always wanted to be a part of the public discussion on immigration. For a long time I felt like I didn’t have a voice. Then, the ACLU gave me one.”LC

Carlin says he’s excited to be back at WKU but feels like he never left. He explains how rewarding it is to talk about something so important to him and how exciting it is to be apart of something bigger than himself.

“If I can speak on my personal story and push the immigration debate forward, then that is something I want to devote my time and energy to. The most rewarding feeling is getting to work with as great an organization as the ACLU. I’m so happy to be a part of this event and a part of a greater reflection on the broken immigration system.”

So make sure you mark on your calendars– MARCH 30TH: “I Am a Kentuckian”– and come out to support our fellow Hilltopper, Luiggi Carlin.

Categories: Events, Main Campus, WKU, WKU Events | 2 Comments

The Writers: Allison Henson

For this week, we feel like you should get to know the writers of The English Majors’ Weblog.

So here we go!

My name is Allison, but my friends call me Curly Fry (it’s the hair).  I am a junior from Elizabethtown, KY majoring in Creative Writing with a minor in Professional Writing, but there’s more to me than just English.

I have a older sister who is a graduate from WKU and a cat named PJ who I call “the brother I never wanted”. I’m obsessed with the color pink, Words With Friends, and all things Jane Austen. As a die-hard coffee addict, I can usually be found sitting in a coffee shop with a large white mocha and my laptop open, looking up different artists and new album releases.

BRMBI am a music junkie! My love for music stared young. I’ve been in band since the sixth grade and studied music for ten years. I am also a member of the Big Red Marching Band here at WKU.  I have a horrible habit of spending money on CD’s (yes, I still buy those), concert tickets, and Rolling Stones magazines, but what can I say? It’s a passion of mine.

My love for English started late in life. I didn’t become an avid reader until my junior year of high school and even then, I had never considered a major in English. But it was a creative non-fiction essay assigned by my AP English teacher that made me realize I had a love for writing. After a positive response from my teacher and classmates, I submitted my essay and a short story to three colleges around Kentucky for scholarships, and that’s how I ended up at WKU!

I applied for this internship because I have a huge interest in blogging and making personal connections with different kinds of people. Blogs are a great tool for creatively getting information out to people and making connections that normal wouldn’t happen in another type of medium. I love that. Plus, more and more companies are moving towards blogs as a form of customer to company communication to adapt to the ever changing social media culture we live in.

I’m hoping in the future I can combine my loves of music and writing into one form and create a steady career for myself, but who knows! I’m just excited for the opportunity to write for The English Majors’ Weblog!

 

 

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Streamlines– Call for Papers!

Streamlines is an undergraduate conference celebrating language, literature, and writing. It is a collaboration amongst Clarke University, Loras College and University of Dubuque “to create opportunities for undergraduates to share scholarship and creativity.” Abstracts of various subjects can be written or presented in English or Spanish. The deadline isn’t until October– plenty of time to mull over the many topics you English majors are interested in! Click here >Streamlines 2015< for more information.

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[Updated] WKU Alumnus = Visiting Goldenrod Poet

Wouldn’t it be great if there were an opportunity to meet someone who graduated from WKU and has made it in the literary world? They could give you real world advice on how to get from where you are as a student in Bowling Green, KY to national recognition and success.

Wait, there’s actually one of those opportunities just around the corner on April 28!

saeed jonesSaeed Jones (’08) is now a Buzzfeed LGBT editor, Pushcart Prize winner, and author of the new poetry collection Prelude to Bruise. On Wednesday, March 4, Jones will be on campus as the guest poet of the WKU English Club’s annual poetry festival, Goldenrod.

On top of his other achievements, Jones has been recognized in pieces from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and TIME Magazine, which also ranked Jones’s Twitter account as one of the best of 2014.

In addition, Jones’s Prelude to Bruise has been chosen as one of five finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry for the 2014 publishing year. The winners of the NBCC awards will be announced on March 12.

As part of the Goldenrod festival, Jones, who received his BA from WKU and his MFA from Rutgers University–Newark, will help judge the Goldenrod poetry competition’s finalists. He will also give a reading at 7 PM in the Recital Hall in FAC. Copies of his book will also be available for purchase and autographs. The event is free and open to the public so grab a friend, a professor, or a random kid on the sidewalk and go!

Don’t forget: Saeed Jones–April 28–FAC Recital Hall–7 PM. Be there!

Jones will select the top three winners from among these finalists:

  • “A Walk After Midnight on Repeat” by Sara Ann Alexander
  • “Coffee and Chai” by Shay Barlow
  • “SomewhereInAmerica” by James Buchanan
  • “John Lennon: A Day in the Rye” by Derek Ellis
  • “Cartoon Ghost” by Kirby Fields
  • “The Moon is a Shady Queen” by Isiah Fish
  • “Genealogy” by Jarred Johnson
  • “One Taste by Megan Seitz
  • “Welcome to Hell: A Red Carpet Event, Hosted by Joan Rivers by Renée Stewart
  • “Understanding” by Jordan Upton
Categories: Books, Creative Writing, English Club, Guest Speakers, Guest Writer, Main Campus, Student Successes, WKU Alumni, Writing Contest | Leave a comment

Do You Blog?

I was in Einstein’s, the little coffee shop far away from my second home in Cherry Hall, impatiently waiting for my hot hazelnut coffee to cool off and my bagel order to appear. The line was out the door and there were at least fifteen people ahead of me, so I did what any normal, talkative, and very bored person would do–I started a conversation with the closest, nicest looking person around me.

I began talking to a girl from Louisville about the never-ending line, boring classes, and demanding majors. She said Marketing and I said English.

“Do you blog,” she asked.

“No,” I said. I even laughed at the odd question.

“Well that’s odd,” she said. “Most English majors do. It’s like your thing.” I didn’t know what to tell her, so I kept blowing on my cup of coffee. “You should really look into it. It would be a good way to market yourself.”

So I looked into it.

I asked my classmates about the idea of a blog and they too had heard the same thing, either by older students or former professors: a blog was an important thing to have. It can show how well you write on your feet and with a deadline. So I took a class (Dr. Rice’s Technology and Writing) and started a blog, which ultimately landed me here– The English Major’s Weblog.

Here is where you come in!

If you’ve had time to explore the newly update English Majors’ Weblog (which I’m sure have) hopefully, you would’ve noticed the English Majors’ Personal Blogs tab. There you will find links to many of your fellow classmates’ personal blogs and creative outlets.

I’m here to tell you that we’re looking for some new blogs to add to our growing list!

If you have a blog, or are starting a blog, write to us and we will feature a link to your blog. We want to celebrate you and help expose you to the blog community. And if you don’t have a blog, I encourage you to create one in the near future and keep up with it. Most people think they have nothing to write about, but you have more to say than you think! It doesn’t have to be about English things; write about whatever you love. And it really is a great way to promote yourself and your English abilities. So what are you waiting for?

Like the girl in Einstein’s said–it’s our thing.

Categories: Community of English Practice, Fun, General, Uncategorized, Writers | Leave a comment

Tuesday Readings!!

Welcome back, English majors!!

Now that the snow has melted, freeing us from our dorm rooms and apartments, you should attend the two events here on campus!!

Picture courtesy of Amazon.com

Picture courtesy of Amazon.com

Author Book Talk with Kate Mayfield–a WKU alumna–will be hosted in the WKU Center for Literacy in Tate Page Hall, room 401. Mayfield will be joining the audience live from London via Adobe Connect at 1:00 PM Tuesday, February 24th (today). Mayfield is the author of The Undertaker’s Daughter, a book about what it’s like to be the daughter of an undertaker and to call a funeral home “home”. All students are welcome to attend this wonderful opportunity and are allowed to ask the author questions about her book or writing in general.

(This is a swipeable event!!)

Picture courtesy of littlpatuxentreview.org

Picture courtesy of littlpatuxentreview.org

Then after the 1:00 PM reading, make sure you make your way up to Cherry Hall, room 125,  at 7:00 PM for a poetry reading by Gerry LaFemina. His poems have appeared in my journals, including the American Poetry Review, The Sun, Gettysburg Review, and North American Review. Tonight will be a special event and open to anyone who wants to attend. To know more about LaFemina, click here.

 

Categories: Books, cherry hall, Creative Writing, English Club, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

South Korea and I–Teaching English Abroad

Witcher photo

Ms. Teresa Witcher (’14) is accepted into EPIK and will be teaching in Busan, South Korea.

Sometimes English majors are cornered into thinking that there are only a few career options available to them. However, recent graduate Ms. Teresa Witcher shows that’s not true by “exploring the other side of English,” and what she found changed her life forever.

Today, Witcher is on her way to Busan, South Korea to teach English in a public school for a program called English Program in Korea (EPIK).

She graduated from WKU in December 2014 with a Master of Arts in English with her concentration in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL). While completing her undergraduate degree in English at the University of Kentucky, she became friends with two South Korean elementary school teachers studying with an educator exchange group.

“They were the ones who told me about the EPIK program,” recalls Witcher, “This has been my goal since my senior year of undergraduate school and to be able to accomplish it in South Korea is incredibly exciting.”

busan photo

Witcher’s teaching placement is in Busan, a southeastern coastal city. Photo credit: sistercities.lacity.org

While there, Witcher will teach young children in an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) setting, and she will get to experience Korean culture firsthand. Not only will her students be learning a new language, but she will also be tackling Korean herself. In Busan, She hopes to reunite with the friends who first introduced her to the program and revels in the thought of how their roles have reversed in a few short years.

As far as the application process goes, Witcher remarks that it “was quite long and required a lot of forethought.” She had to authenticate both of her degrees as well as undergo a national-level background check and two rounds of screening. She submitted her first application in August, completed an interview in October, and heard of her acceptance and appointment in December. Though the process could be described as tedious, Witcher knows “it was worth it.”

Just before her departure to Korea, she wanted to leave current English majors with a tidbit of advice that she’s learned along the way of acquiring two degrees in the field: learning to explore other sides of English.

She notes, “In undergrad, I was convinced I had to do literature, technical writing, or creative writing for the rest of my academic career.  It was only by chance that I discovered TESL, and from there my interests in linguistics and pedagogy.  My choice to attend WKU was born out of that diversification–the Master’s concentration allowed me to study both literature and TESL.”

No matter where you decide to go, your English major will help you get there. It may take a little time, hard work, and discovery, but the treasure you find at the end of the journey is always worth it.

Categories: English Major Success Stories, English Teaching, Graduate Studies, Student Successes | Leave a comment