English department advisors–the things that come to mind are probably overworked and underpaid (aren’t we all?), irritability directed at slackers (get your advising scheduled, fools!), and tense conversations on how you might not graduate in four years (because who does that anymore).
Well, here at the English Majors’ Weblog, we had a hunch that there was a lot more to these advisors than what students thought. With advising season just around the corner, we want to take the time to recognize their hard work and dedication to all English majors, showing just what it’s like to be an advisor at WKU.
This is a rather special edition featuring Dr. Wes Berry, director/advisor of graduate studies in English, who informed me of all the pleasantries of graduate advising. Admittedly, I knew absolutely nothing about graduate school other than rumors and stories prior to this interview, but I think those of you reading will find this just as informative as I did.
[This post will be one of many introducing the English majors' advisers and what they do for us in the English Major community. Our advisers help us each and every day, sometimes behind the scenes. It is time for them to step into the limelight and let us praise them for all they do!]
Our inaugural interview is with Dr. McCaffrey, the Creative Writing Adviser. According to the English department website,
“Molly McCaffrey holds a Ph.D. in creative writing and literature from the University of Cincinnati and has been teaching at WKU since the fall of 2008. McCaffrey is the Pushcart-Prize nominated author of How to Survive Graduate School & Other Disasters, a collection of short stories about everyone from graduate students to Girl Scouts, from teenagers to retirees. These stories are set in Cincinnati, New Jersey, Indiana, Baltimore, East Berlin, and Washington, D.C., but all of them have one thing in common: they are stories about surviving the disasters and dysfunctional relationships we all have with friends, family, and lovers.
She is also the founder of I Will Not Diet (http://www.iwillnotdiet.com), a blog that encourages readers to reject dieting in favor of healthy living and a positive body image. McCaffrey created I Will Not Diet to reinforce the idea that we need to expand our notion of beauty and learn to like ourselves the way we are; she believes that the American obsession with dieting is one of the leading causes of obesity.
McCaffrey just finished work on You Belong to Us, a memoir about being adopted and meeting her biological family when she was thirty years old, and is now at work on a young adult novel.”