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The Printing Press is the English Department Newsletter. Its purpose is to inform majors 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


A Farewell to the Semester

By Johnathan Skidmore

          The last issue of the Printing Press before Christmas break is here! The end of another semester is at hand. For a few, it marks a time of sadness, yet secret sighs of relief escape the mouths of many. It is a time for celebration. Most of you, myself included, have spent several hours a night nursing bottle after bottle of caffeine, while slaving bleary eyed over papers or studying notes. These past few weeks, we have all become organic machines of one kind or another, injecting ourselves with research and bleeding words onto multiple pages in order to meet a deadline. For the most part, that is all over.

          Now before the Christmas planning starts and everyone gets ambushed by the season of stress and holiday cheer, I just thought I would tell you to relax. That’s right, go ahead, no one is watching. Just take a deep breath, loosen your shoulders and sit there. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Heat up a nice hot cup of tea or hot chocolate and lean against your window. Take some time out to look outside at the falling snow. Be childish. Pelt random people with lightly packed snowballs. Build absurd snowmen. Chase squirrels that have eaten too much to run away from your awkward snow logged steps. Enjoy this moment, for you deserve it.

          I would like to take this opportunity to wish the best of holiday seasons to all of those who read this article. As you leave campus to be with your families or friends, have a safe and stress free vacation. Rest well and return, ready to start the cycle over anew.



Click below to

Visit the Cultural Events Calendar
By Megan Carlson

The Cultural Events Calendar is a monthly update on the special activities going on at Monmouth College and other campuses such as Western, Knox, and Augustana.


Some Things to do over the Holiday
By Jamie Jasmer

It is that time of year that we all get to take a break from school, enjoy some time with our families, but, most importantly, relax.  However, Christmas break isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  The glitz and the glam of the twinkling lights and decorations do not permeate all aspects of life.  Unfortunately, this time of year might mean suffering through the obnoxious voice of that great aunt you love so much.  You might also get to spend some quality time with your grandmother who buys you sweaters with kittens on them and who pinches your cheeks.  The best of all is getting to spend time with the grandfather who pats your head and calls you “Sonny” because he fails to acknowledge that you’re 20 and no longer 5.  All in all though, you’re able to over look those things and see them for what they’re worth- time with people who love you and don’t get to see you too often since you’re an “oh so busy” college student. 

            Others are going to be spending their holiday time working part time jobs.  The options for a holiday job are endless and sometimes hilarious.  You might get a job in a department store wrapping gifts for old ladies who want the bows to be perfect, and they will yell at you eight times before you get it exactly the way they want it.  If you are bold enough you might also get to dress up in green tights, a red jump suit, and shoes 4 sizes too big with bells on the tips because you are playing one of Santa’s elves at the local mall.  Finally, you might be able to get a job in the local coffee shop serving the overly stressed, impatient lawyer who cannot function until he has had his “Venti Carmel Macchiato with a double shot of Expresso.”  The thought that will keep you going back to a job you hate is that the money you will make might possibly get you through one more semester without mom and dad’s help, or that amazing and awesome Christmas gift you can get for your significant other.

            For those of us who will have nothing to do other than sit back, relax, watch TV, twiddle our thumbs, play video games, or watch the clouds float by and the snow fall down, I though I might suggest a more productive way of “wasting” your time.  I am going to go out on a limb here and encourage you to do something good for someone this holiday season.  I know that this list is not very long at all, but I am just trying to give you a jumping off point.  Here are a few things that I have come up with:

~Contribute a gift or a toy to a local Toys for Tots program or an equivalent program.

~Donate food to a food pantry in your community.

~Volunteer some of your free time to a local nursing home.

~Shovel your neighbor’s snow.

~Volunteer at a local soup kitchen.

~Grab some friends and go Christmas caroling!!

~And for Heaven’s sake enjoy your younger sibling’s Christmas pageant.

The list of selfless acts goes on and on; it just takes a little imagination. You can also visit one of the many online sources for volunteer programs such as the Network for Good site that lists volunteer programs in your specific area.  

If you want to do something for yourself this year, do some intellectual upkeep!  So many of us do not do enough reading just for fun anymore with the overwhelming list of books that are required for classes, so I have come up with a list of books based on your suggestions that you might enjoy reading over break.  Here it is:

The Five People You Meet in Heaven:  Mitch Albom
The Five People You Meet In Heaven
by Mitch Albom

Recommended by Chelsea Brandt

The World According to Garp
by John Irving 

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay by Michael Chabon
Recommended by Brandon Athey


The Crimson Petal and the Whit
e by Michel Faber
Recommended by Michelle Anstett


Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

Recommended by Lindsey Markel

The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice 
Recommended by Sarah Sherry

The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

The Long Gray Line by Rick Atkinson

Howl and other poems by Allen Ginsberg 
Recommended by Amanda Bloomer

For Whom the Bell Tolls & A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, David Copperfield & A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Sense and Sensibility & Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The Plague by Albert Camus

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan (creepy, incestuous, fantastic!)

Cujo by Stephen King

Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson 
Recommended by Karen Krautwurst
Along Came Spider

Along Came a Spider
by James Patterson

The Cobra Event by Richard Preston 
Recommended by Scott Hagen

Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott
Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (read it again!) 
Recommended by Kelly Winfrey

It’s a pretty long list thanks to some great English majors. However, run to your local Barnes and Noble, buy a book, and give yourself a treat.  Whatever you do over the next few weeks just remember to enjoy it and smile; next semester is just around the corner. 



  • The Nick Adams Short Story Contest sponsored by the Associated Colleges of the Midwest is now accepting submissions originating from college English departments
    • All students in good academic standing may participate.
    • Stories must arrive at the ACM office no later than March 4, 2005.
    • No more than two stories per author may be submitted.
    • Manuscripts may only contain 10,000 words.
    • The best story by an ACM student will be awarded a $1,000 prize.
    • If you have any questions or interests in regard to this competition, please speak with one of the professors in the English Department or visit the ACM website at
  • The Department of English and Philosophy at Purdue University Calument is now accepting abstracts for papers in a broad range of academic studies. 
    • Abstracts will be reviewed and selected by faculty with appropriate expertise in  subject matter. 
    • Students chosen by faculty will be invited to participate in Purdue's 13th annual Undergraduate Conference in April 2005.
    • Abstracts must not exceed 250 words and must be postmarked no later than January 31, 2005.
    • For more information, please contact one of the English Department professors.

What is the value of studying Literature?

Studying literature is valuable because it makes it possible to answer unusual and obscure questions on "Jeopardy," (a show that often has such easy-to-answer categories such as "Hairy Women in Shakespeare") which makes me look like a somewhat intelligent human being.

~Brandon Athey

I'd like to quote Prof. Craig Watson on this one... "English, in a sense, is the master discipline."  I think it's just that simple.  Literature engulfs all other studies when you think about it.  Literature is essentially history, it outlines theology, explains psychology, and often the meaning conveyed in literature is the backbone of philosophy and theatre.  Art and music often convey a strong sense of symbolism, but would the concept of symbolism even exist without literature?  Probably not.  Without the study and understanding of literature, most other fields of education would be completely meaningless.

~Scott Hagen

The value of studying literature is to gain knowledge of the abstract world of meaning. It is to think beyond the obvious in literature and add insight and experience to the words…almost as if they were written for your eyes only.

~Alexis Graves

To be more like Mark. To get a better understanding of your writing. To impress women.

~Chadd Kaiser

The value of studying literature is to enrich the lives of readers. Not everyone can experience everything. We need literature to live vicariously through others. Literature also helps us to see another side of an argument/topic. Our views are very one-sided and literature helps to broaden our horizons. To study literature is to study the human mind and how it works.

~Morgan Mikita



Monmouth College English majors giving
each other a hand in Hewes Library!

Writing Labs

Monday - Thursday                3:00-5:00  pm


Sunday - Thursday                7:00-10:00 pm



Monday - Thursday                3:00 - 5:00 pm


Sunday and  Monday              7:00 - 9:00 pm


Wednesday and Thursday        7:00 - 9:00 pm



Monday and Tuesday              2:00 - 3:00 pm


Wednesday and Thursday        7:00 - 8:00 pm



Wednesday and Thursday        7:00 - 9:00 pm



Monday and Wednesday          8:00 - 9:00 pm



By appointment Only
(3rd Floor of Wallace Hall)

Jamie Jasmer

Megan Carlson

Johnathan Skidmore

First snowfall at Monmouth College this semester! 

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