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The Printing Press is the English Department Newsletter. Its purpose it to inform major and minors about programs and activities within the department. The Press will inform readers of activities and opportunities outside of Monmouth College. For any questions or submissions, contact or
                                                           Fall 2003  Issue 2


A Student Teaching Experience

By Shannon Kloser


For student teaching, a student is paired up with a veteran teacher who becomes a mentor for the student.  For the first week or two, the student teacher observes the manner of the teacher and starts to plan on taking over a class or two in the following weeks.  The process Monmouth College likes to use is called gradualism.  This is when a student teacher takes a class from the veteran teacher one by one until the student teacher has all the classes under his/her control.  Then the student teacher plans, teaches, and grades everything for four weeks straight.  This is to help the student teacher realize what it should feel like to teach for an extended amount of time.  During the gradualism period and the full four weeks of teaching, the student is observed.  This means the student is watched while teaching at least five times by a faculty member from the college.  I was fortunate and I have my school’s principal as my supervisor.  The visits, I must admit, are nerve racking because you want to do well but the college supervisor understands this fact. 

Besides being in the classroom everyday for eight hours, a student teacher must attend a one hour class on Monday nights that correlates with the experience of student teaching.  This is where many student teachers share stories, gather ideas on how to handle certain situations, and ask for opinions from Monmouth College education professors.  We also are required to write a ten page paper discussing our experience and put together an educational portfolio that will help us transition to a teaching certificate once we have graduated.  There is a lot to do but it is worth the experience. 

            This semester I have become a full fledged teacher for around ninety-five students at Central Junior High School.  I am teaching language arts to seventh graders.  I have been fortunate to have a wonderful experience and an even better staff to work with.  From the first day, all the student teachers at Central were welcomed with open arms from all teachers and the principal as well.  They have included us not only in the classroom but also have invited us to social gatherings at different teachers’ homes. 

During student teaching, I had a rude awakening of how much teachers really do accomplish in their daily lives.  I know this sounds corny, but it is amazing how much teachers do inside and outside of the classroom.  Most of the teachers have families and children.  This means sports practices, dance practices, helping with homework, cooking dinner, and getting the laundry done are all things that have to be scheduled in just to have a normal, outside of school life.  However, this does not take into account the endless hours of grading, lesson planning, and the several committees each teacher always seems to find time to participate on.  They combine both of those and I wonder how teachers fit in time to sleep.  I know that when I took over my full time teaching I was working over sixty hour work weeks and its a lot of work.

I have had a wonderful experience and I am fortunate to have such a welcoming school.  I have learned to be creative in the classroom with regards to not only dealing with lessons and material to be covered, but also in dealing with discipline situations.  I never did think that I would have the strength to discipline and to become a teacher, feeling that I was not old enough to handle a classroom on my own.  However, I now feel more confident about how I handle myself in the classroom and that becoming a teacher is something that I definitely want to pursue.  Teaching has taught me my strengths and shown my weaknesses as well, but that is all in part of learning how to become a good teacher.  To all those who may be student teaching in the future—I wish you good luck and enjoy your experience. 


Overseas Study

 By Carrie Casper


            This past spring I had the opportunity to participate in the Associated Colleges of the Midwest London Florence Program.  This program consists of spending half the semester in Florence and half in London studying art, architecture, theatre and literature.

The Roman Coliseum

            The Florence half of the program allows students to study the Italian language, art history and literature.  When students arrive in London they study architecture and theatre within the city.

The Venice Trip

  Going overseas is an amazing opportunity for any student.  As an English student one of the aspects that I found most intriguing was all the side trips and site seeing I was able to do.  During the time I was there I was able to visit Rome and Athens and Venice and Dublin and many other cities that are often the backdrop of famous pieces of literature.  To live in Florence and be reading Room with a View at the same time was enlightening.  I was walking the very streets that the characters were walking.  This opens an entirely new meaning to the pieces that I read in classes.  I can identify and visualize as I never have before.

          Going overseas is the best experience a student can have during college.  Through school is the easiest way to experience other countries while taking classes.  Short overseas trips that students can apply for this year include Reading in Reading (speak to your advisor ) or the Spring Break trip to Pompeii (contact Tom Sienkewicz for this and all other overseas programs).  I highly encourage all students to look into going overseas, even if it is for only Spring Break.  The experience will change your life.



Death’s Whispers

By Jacob Donley

Death, why do you come so soon?                                                       Why does your lyre sing for me?                                                         The songs of a sad, sad tune?                                                              What use do you have of me?                                                           What fires spit a blaze better?                                                                  Without my eyes fixed upon them?                                                       Do I have time to write a short letter?                                                     Long and short strokes of a quill pen                                               Make these few minutes or days                                                      Worth more than the weeks or years                                                       That drove you to find me in this haze                                                     Of lasting cries and long dried tears.

Death, why do you come so quickly?                                                        The fear that is left deep inside                                                                Leaves me feeble and sickly                                                          Unable to carry on in time.                                                                     Why must you make those who feel for me                                               Cry and spit at you while it's me they miss?                                              Those tears that drench the ground for me                                              Are the only memories I enjoy in bliss.                                              Why do you take me away?                                                               Why do I hear the crying in the night?                                                    I won't go with you, I will stay,                                                          Even if I must put up a fight.                                                                  I will fight to the death                                                                      Just to keep away from death's whispers.



The Shenandoah Shakespeare Express

By Jessica Heinen


            On October 6-7th the Monmouth College hosted the highly acclaimed Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, the traveling theater group from Staunton, Va. who brought a fresh new look on William’s old plays.

            The group put on two workshops, one entitled “Who’s Your Daddy?” and the second “Shakespeare’s Staging Conditions and Theatre of the Imagination” was demonstrated after their amazing performance of Henry IV on October 6th.

            “I thought it rocked,” commented junior theater major Emily Mitsdarffer. “It was very exciting, very different. The performance of Henry IV was very innovative yet they managed to stick to the classic-feeling of the play.”

            There are two groups of actors associated with Shenandoah Shakespeare, one which travels across the country for two and a half months at a time and the other a resident group in Staunton which performs at the 300-seat Blackfriars Playhouse, the world’s only reconstruction of Shakespeare’s indoor theater.

            “We’re all professional actors from all over the country,” said Dennis Henry, troupe manager for the Excellent Motion Tour. “A couple of us are from California and New England.”

            Shenandoah Shakespeare has toured through 47 US states, and five foreign countries since its 1988 inception by its creators Jim Warren and Joyce Peifer. The particular troupe who came to Monmouth travels from Maine to Florida and South Dakota to Texas during the fall and in between goes home to Staunton at Christmas.


Untapped Resources

By Mathew Underwood

          Residing below the somewhat innocuous and formal title of "English Major," there are numerous intellectual pursuits which are both accessible and engaging to English majors here at Monmouth.  These pursuits often times go ignored during an English student's academic career, so hopefully this article will entice some Majors to become more aware of what it means to study literature. 

         The Hewes Library contains all sorts of resources that are peripheral to actual material covered in English courses, such as books and critical articles on philosophy and history which all English students will have to utilize at some point during their tenure here at Monmouth.  Another of these peripheral resources are the literature journals which the Library has subscribed to.  For most Majors, these journals are seldom used if ever during their entire academic career.  This is a rather unfortunate situation.  These journals contain studies which treat a massive range of issues in the contemporary study of literature.  From Latin American Literature to Feminist theory to the theory on how to teach English in an educational context, there is an intellectual morsel that should appeal to just about everyone's palate. 

         There are in fact eleven different journals in the library which treat topics in the study of literature exclusively.  Some journals are subject specific, such as Legacy, which treats topics concerning American women writers only.  Other journals attempt to cover a broader range of issues that are pertinent to the study of literature.  The journal Critical Inquiry publishes articles on both Deconstruction and Shakespeare in a single issue.  These journals could become an invaluable tool to help English Majors become more aware of the piquant and mulit-faceted study of literature. 



  • Registration is now available for Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors who would like to revise their spring schedules. 


What is problematic about professors utilizing their own published works as course material?  Is there anything problematic about it at all? 

Most of the time, when professors try to utilize their own material in a course, the class becomes victims of the instructor's vanity and the novel or short story is usually not worth reading. However, if the professor was an author such as John Irving or Kurt Vonnegut, the above statement does not apply. If the work is worth reading, I see no problem with having an instructor teach his or her novel.

Brandon Athey  

Professors present their own theories and ideas whether or not the ideas have been published or are even written down.  Especially if there are not textbooks available that address the topic or meet the students' or professor's needs, this seems appropriate.  The true question, it seems to me, is the financial one: should a professor make money by requiring his or her own book in a class that s/he is teaching?  I would have to say yes, although it could certainly get out of control.  As an undergraduate, I had a theater professor who required his book of all students in his auditorium courses--and students could not buy a used copy because he required that we use the forms in the text for exams.  He would not accept photocopies.  Students always grumbled but it was an excellent text (I still have mine) and actually, it was much cheaper than most textbooks.  I would not, however, feel comfortable following his example.  I would have no qualms about requiring students to read an essay that I had published, however.

Dr. Belschner  

This is problematic because 1.) the professor will be partial to this book and possess certain opinions that may be rather biased due to the nature and content of the book

2.)     The inclusion of a professor’s book as course material will prove to narrow the professor’s view on the topic and subject; as opposed to using outside course material

3.)  The class might be inhibited in a critique of the book and its contents.  A professor will have a hard time stepping back from his or her work to accept criticism.

Faith Bode  


It is incredibly problematic.  By putting the students in a position of having to deal with and assess their professor's work on a daily basis, the professor is in a position of completely unnatural control over the students.  It becomes impossible for them to ever criticize or question the text in a manner that they would if it was someone else's work.  The students immediately become "yes men" and "yes women" that must read the text like Holy Scripture for fear of being graded unfairly because of their distaste for the professor's work.  A professor assigning their own text for a class her or she is teaching is simply an abomination to the academic process and an insult to the students' abilities and intelligences which must be compromised when dealing with the text.

Ryan Schrodt  

Writing Labs 3:00-5:00 pm Monday - Thursday
  7:00-10:00 pm Sunday - Thursday

Carrie Casper

Mathew Underwood

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