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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 Call to Arms

by Johnathan Skidmore

            This is a call to arms.  English majors, we are in the midst of a battle.  It is a battle of wits, fought not with weapons of convention, but with the artillery of academia.  Oft have we heard the adage, “The pen is mightier than the sword,” but oh, how we tend to forget the true power of ink in the hands of an able wordsmith.  We, the writers, control the text.  George Orwell wrote about this amazing power in 1984, stating, “Whoever controls the past controls the future. Whoever controls the present controls the past.”  We, the English majors, have the potential to control the future.  Take that, Physical Education majors! 

            So, my brethren, next time you find yourself awake at three o’clock in the morning with your fingers slowly typing out a paper, throw your head and back and let loose an evil laugh.  For you, you are an English major and you follow a discipline that has shaped worlds.  With your pen, you can raise or raze entire nations.  With your stylus tipped with ink, you can create worlds unknown and undiscovered.  Your fingers upon the keyboard become the rhythm of the muses dancing in the minds of many.

            Oh slingers of words! Let not this power go to waste.  Grasp it within your sweaty hands and hold it tight to your bosom.  Make the written word your own and thrive on it.  Think in prose and dream in verse.  Consume the words of your predecessors and use them to fuel the furnace of your artistry.  But soft! A warning lies here.  Be careful with your gift.  Heed the sage-like words of Stan Lee, who cautioned his readers, writing, “With great power, comes great responsibility.”  Use your knowledge to further the discipline, society, and yourself.  Create the works to guide and entertain your children.  Leave your mark upon this world and leave it deep.  As an English major, you envelope yourself within the works of those that went before you, those masters of the classics.  Follow in their footsteps and you too may be anthologized.  Become the next Hemingway, Asimov, Keats, Wordsworth, King.  Write and someone will read.

            Our art, however, leads a fragile existence.  The English discipline is beset on all sides by that which would destroy it.  The tedious nature of time causes those to forget its glory.  We must band together to save it.  We are the keepers of the flame of literature.  Without our hands to feed its fires with leaves of paper, it would extinguish.  I beg of you, for the good of mankind, for the continuation of the written word, compose!  Author!  Pen!  Create.  Without you, all is lost.  Enjoy your craft and read everything you can find from Spenser to Seuss. 

            Next time you despair, next time you find yourself at a loss for words, next time you look out your window to see fellow students playing in the snow only to look back and find an incomplete sentence staring you in the face, Remember! You are an English major.  Take up your pencil, your pen, your well-worn keyboard, and shout, in your best impersonation of a German Watson, “Zees is zee mahster deezeepleen!”  For after all, English truly is the master discipline and you are its disciples.  Spread the word.


 What Can You do as an English Major?

by Jamie Jasmer

I don’t know if any of you have had the same experience as myself, but when I told my mother that I had declared myself as an English major freshman year I thought that an atomic bomb had been dropped right in the center of our living room.  Rants of “What are you going to do with your life?” “Who does anything as an English major?” and “Can you get a REAL job with that?” flew out of my mother’s mouth almost on a daily basis.  As if being an English major wasn’t bad enough, I was going to be an English major who did not want to teach English, nor did I want to be a writer.  After coming up with a seemingly logical reason for my choice to become an English major, (I wanted to be a lawyer; therefore, I would need to know how to write well) the persecution from my mom seemed to subside. 

            It is now my senior year and I still do not want to do anything that is necessarily related to English.  However, this summer I was finally able to show my mom that you really can get a good paying job being an English major.  For the duration of the summer and continuing on the weekends now that I am back at Monmouth College, I work at St. James Hospital and Health Centers in Olympia Fields, IL as a Clinical Research Associate in a Cancer Institute.  One of my responsibilities is to create and edit informational medical documents.  This is a job where my abilities and skills as an English major have really come into play.  I am not the only lucky MC English major though, Monmouth College graduates who were English majors have also had success in Masters and Doctoral programs in English, Public Policy, Communication Theory, History, Business Administration, Social Work and Sports Administration.  Law school, high school teaching, and Public Relations work have been the most frequent reports from other alumni, but more recently the English Department hears from those who are software specialists, private and civic event planners, trade writers, and Web designers. The English faculty believes that “if you can read, think critically, write well and speak well, the possibilities are many.”  So if you’ve ever had any doubts or fears about the choice that you made, know that there is life after Monmouth College being an English major. Let Mom and Dad know. 

          To calm your fears just a little more, I highly encourage you to attend the English Department's Mentoring Day meeting.  The meeting will be held Wednesday, October 26th at 1pm in the Mellinger Learning Center's Great Room on the main floor.  (P.S. afternoon classes are cancelled so there are no excuses for not attending)  At this informational meeting we will discuss opportunities within the major and off-campus study programs that are designed closely for English majors.  You will also get to hear from upperclassmen about their exciting experiences with these programs.  Last, but certainly not least, two MC English major alumni will be available to talk about their experiences in the professional world.  The meeting should take about an hour, so come, learn, enjoy, and if nothing else, meet some other great English majors!!!


Where is Kelly Winfrey?         

An exposé into the teaching world            
        by Kelly Winfrey        


You are probably wondering where Kelly Winfrey is this semester. Well the truth is, Kelly Winfrey is no more, it’s Miss. Winfrey to you. (Ok, that was my attention getter! Five points for the rubric.) Time to get serious- I am student teaching this semester; three 85 minute English classes filled with 60 fifteen to eighteen year olds. I am going to give you a little glimpse of what it is like to feel like you are changing or ruining the world.

There are cliques in all my classes, and this is something that I struggle with and hate, but mostly can’t do much about. I hate it because a lot of students end up getting left on the fringes, attempting to get noticed by any means possible. They are the ones left alone and fighting against their peers, their teachers, and themselves in all the worst ways. One of the students in my first block is a gangly, blue-eyed, “Magyc” fanatic who has shaved the back of his head leaving only a section of dark black bangs at the front. He is a sweet, wholesome, smart boy who is constantly trying to be important. Some days he comes into class with outrageous stories. Other days he is silent and solemn refusing to do work while reading his newest witch and wizard novel. He walks in early every day like a sly fox and I am sure that he is invisible to most teachers. He doesn’t act up or make himself noticed for negative reasons, but he tries to make himself blend in. I notice him.

I see him every day attempting to assimilate, but he cannot. He is truly his own. I never see him with friends. After school or before school it is just him, his locker, and his “Magyc” book. He sits on the floor, knees to his chin, trying to be invisible. I seriously love this kid, because he is really smart and most days my cooperating teacher is telling me that he is “no good,” that he is “trying to pull one over on us” (what does that mean?) or that he is probably “struggling with his sexuality” because he wants to be an interior decorator (funny, I thought he wanted to decorate because he is really good at drawing. I guess I missed something in “how to identify a homosexual” education class). It’s funny; he is so invisible to her that she misses everything that’s so great about him. She misses him. And I refuse to be that teacher because I am here for the invisible kids too who are trying to blend into the mint green walls, or sink through the hard plastic desks. I don’t think I could even begin to tell you how amazing all these kids are.

The truth is, I dream about these kids when I am away from them. I want to know what they did last weekend, how they are feeling, what I can do to help them. And when I dream, usually they are these nightmares where I am constantly trying to help them, but all I can hear is silence and all I can see is apathy. I want so badly to have them see me as someone who cares about them, someone who sees them. I want to understand them. I want them to talk to me. But in these nightmares things are as they are, and I am as I am--silenced and held back, unable to show them all of my true self that cares so deeply for them and cares so little for their grades or the awful worksheets I have to give them. Because the truth is, this classroom that I am assisting in is not my classroom. I am under someone else's watch, and I feel like it is hindering me and hurting my students. Why is school all about grades and success or failure? Why isn't it about growth and healthy self image?

In all reality, I don't care about semi-colons or late papers. I care about their late night drunken stupors, car rides, razors screaming for attention, pot, angry parents, wounded lovesick hearts, and-and-and I care about these fragile frames that are holding so much more than just a book bag filled with busy homework. They are holding the weight of adolescence, the frustration of world tragedy, and the journey of self discovery. I am just dreaming every day about my classroom. What it could be like, the things that I could commit to. Right now, I am here to learn how to be logical and traditional about teaching. I am here now to sit behind my wooden desk staring at these students and dreaming about the ways that I can plan for my classroom to be unsystematic and unconventional. Now don’t get me wrong, reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic are great, but I know there is more that I want to be doing; there is more that these students need to talk about. Some things are really hard right now, but mostly, I am learning a lot about myself and this thing they call teaching. I am laughing and dancing and sweating a lot more than I ever thought I could (I finally understand you Rob Hale). Oh, and I already had a girl tell me I was her favorite teacher so if the English faculty could just present me with an award or something that would probably be in order.


  • The English Department Mentoring Week meeting will be held Wednesday, October 26th at 1pm in the Great Room of Mellinger Learning Center.  Come to this informational meeting and bring others who might be interested in English Studies.  All are welcome.
  • ACM Chicago Arts Program visits Monmouth!

    Bea Bosco, Director of the ACM Chicago Arts Program, will be hosting an information session and presentation about off-campus study in Chicago on Thursday, October 27th at 4:00pm in Room 107 of McMichael Academic Hall.  She will also be available at a table during lunch outside the dining hall to answer any questions.

    Students with professional goals in the arts and humanities should be sure not to miss this important opportunity to meet with the Program Director, learn more about what students do at the Chicago Arts Program, and discover how you can benefit from a semester of urban culture.  Bea will discuss internships, the curriculum, strategies for applying to the Program, and how your off-campus semester can be integrated with your current course of study.  The interest meetings are open to non-arts majors and arts majors alike, and we invite students of all disciplines to attend to learn more about the exciting opportunities available through the ACM Chicago Arts Program.
  • The tutoring hours at the Mellinger Learning Center have changed. There are updated schedules posted around campus and there is also an updated version available on this website.  Please note that certain hours have changed and a new Japanese tutoring session has also been added.  To find this information quickly, please click here.

What Do You Think Is the Most Important Thing That You Have Learned from the Monmouth College English Faculty?

I think that the most important thing I have learned is how to overcome my fear of public speaking.  As crazy as it sounds, I am more confident speaking among large groups.  For every class of Professor Watson's I had to give an oral précis in front of the whole class.
-Morgan Mikita

I have learned when it is okay (and when it is decidedly NOT okay) to be a smartass, per class experiences with Dr. Craig Watson.
-Jaime Calder

My appreciation for poetry and literature as an art form is amazing, and entirely due to the English department here, but mostly the British Survey courses.  Interpreting, understanding, and -- most importantly -- appreciating poems is a priceless gift.  Really, a $20,200 gift, but who's counting, right?
-Chadd Kaiser

I have learned that Chaucer is not my friend and not to go into Kevin Roberts' office unless you're prepared for Hitchcock-mania.
-Sarah Sherry

From Dr. Bruce, I have learned about how my passion for writing and literature would make me a great English major. Without her efforts, I would still be a lowly Communication major.

From Dr. Belschner, I have learned the intricacies of Shakespeare and other Early-Middle English literature. Although, in spite of her best efforts, I still despise Chaucer. I do, however, have a much more well-rounded appreciation of the works of Shakespeare.

From Dr. Watson, I have learned that eloquence, poise, high intelligence, and a stylish bearskin rug maketh the man...

From Dr. Hale, I have learned that practice, patience, and numerous revisions pay off in the long run. I have learned about those crazy, repressed Victorians and the genius of Oscar Wilde somewhere along the line.  I have also learned more than I ever wanted to know about sheep from this man. Oh, and I still think Wordsworth is overrated. Give me Coleridge any day.

From Dr. Willhardt, I have learned that there is someone even more knowledgeable and passionate about pop music, film, and literature than I. Although this is a frightening, even horrific prospect for some to deal with, it has led to some interesting conversations. I have also accumulated a sharp increase in personal confidence and faith in myself because of him as well. Most importantly, I have learned that even those with a gaudy sense of fashion can somehow be qualified to teach at a liberal arts institution.
-Brandon Athey

I have learned that everything has a purpose and a meaning.  It's amazing how philosophical that sounds, right?  Explanation:  for my first two and a half years as an English major, I would whole heartedly debate that everything had to have a symbolic meaning in a piece of literature.  I refused to believe that the cat was purple for any other reason than its being a purple cat!!  I can't quite tell you whether  it was the excellent educational direction that I received from English faculty, the English fairy God-mother who tapped me on the head as I slept one night with her "anthology wand," or if it was just my giving up the fight that led me where I am now.  One day, however, everything seemed to make sense and fall into place and I realized that nothing in literature is done without intention.  The "Signs and Symbols" are all over the place and because of this bit of academic insight I do not think that I will ever be able to read any piece of literature for pure enjoyment without critically analyzing it in the process.  But this is a good thing, or so they say...
-Jamie Jasmer


Cultural Events Calendar

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.


Writing Labs

Monday - Thursday                 3:00-5:00  pm
  Sunday - Thursday                 7:00-10:00 pm
Math Monday - Thursday                 3:00 - 5:00 pm
  Sunday - Thursday                 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Spanish Monday and Thursday             7:00 - 8:00 pm
  Tuesday and Wednesday         7:00 - 9:00 pm
French Tuesday and Thursday            7:00 - 9:00 pm
German Tuesday and Thursday            6:00 - 7:00 pm
Japanese Monday                                3:00 - 5:00 pm
  Thursday                              4:00 - 5:00 pm

          By appointment Only
            (3rd Floor of Wallace Hall)

Photograph courtesy of Ryne Tate, 2005

Taking some time out to study, Jerry Campion leans against the counter of The Grounds.  The Grounds is a place where students come to drink free coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.  The Grounds often books musical groups for free concerts, but there is always an open mic standing.  Located in The Underground, The Grounds is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00pm until 11:00pm.


Photograph courtesy of Jaime Calder, 2005

Lindsey Markel and Brian Wilcoxon, collectively known as "Baez," perform at The Grounds during a free concert.


Jamie Jasmer                                       Johnathan Skidmore                      



Features | Announcements | Survey Says | Mellinger Tutoring Hours
Cultural Events Calendar | Final Frame | Staff

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