The Printing Press

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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






In This Issue

  • Senior Seminar vs. English 200:  A new in-depth look into the life of one sassy senior and one sophisticated first year student.
  • Superior Vocabulary?  Save Lives Today
  • NYU Summer Publishing Institute: The Clock's Ticking
  • Monmouth Campus Events in March
  • A Record Breaking Response to Survey Says!
  • Mellinger Writing Center Hours

Text Box: A picture is worth 1000 words...
Senior Seminar:  Is it really as stressful as they say?

By Erik Davis

 Each year I would hear all of the seniors complaining about how challenging their particular Senior Seminar class was, but this year I assure you that it is much more challenging than it ever has been before.  It started with our topic. 

 Dr. Bruce chose to focus the course on Russian Literature.  She is most interested in exposing us to aspects of the literature and culture that are "uniquely Russian."  The secondary theme of our course is analyzing how Russian authors influenced their American counterparts.  I have discovered that examining Russian literature can be quite frustrating because it is long, complex, and often decidedly dreary.  It is much different from the American and British literature that I am accustomed to reading in the surveys and special topics courses I have taken thus far.  We are reading works from many of the most famous Russian authors including Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoyevsky, Chekhov, Tolstoy, Turgenev, Gorky, etc.  The works follow Russian literary history from its humble beginnings to modern day authors who are still writing.  Russian literature typically deals with extremely complex issues in an ambiguous manner.  That is to say that a piece of Russian literature almost never makes one clear point.  I have found that there are hardly ever distinct “good guys” or “bad guys;” each character has some redeeming aspects and many faults.  In this way Russian literature is more realistic than American or British Literature, but also infinitely more frustrating to read.  The worst part is that the ending of most Russian works is quite anticlimactic.  After spending days fighting my way through a thick tome of Dostoyevsky the reward at the end always seems to be less than satisfactory.  Many of my colleagues have shared similar opinions; Megan Carlson described her feelings in this way, "Russian Literature: it's all Greek to me."

 So far, this course has demanded much more individual accountability from my classmates and me than previous courses I have taken as an English major.  Each day one member of our class is responsible for making up study questions and leading the discussion for a book.  This forces that student to take all the responsibility for making the class enjoyable by creating and guiding meaningful discussion.  The first few classes were pretty rough because the questions did not spawn discussion.  At the class has progressed, and we have figured out what Dr. Bruce is looking for, the questions and discussions have gotten better.  It requires writing leading questions that get at the themes and cruxes within the text, rather than simple recall and recognition.  It has taken my class a while to adapt to this amount of responsibility, but things seem to be going slightly more smoothly now.

 I was also busy working on the first major step towards completing my research paper; my prospectus.  A prospectus outlines the central idea of one’s paper and also discusses the research methods that will be required while pursuing one’s topic.  Including these elements in a meaningful way meant that I had to have completed quite a bit of work on my topic before turning it in.  To give everyone who will be taking senior seminar sooner or later an idea about what you will be expected to do for your senior research assignment I will give you my topic.  It is still a work in progress, so far I am looking at how Turgenev influenced and was influenced by French, German, and English Romantics; specifically as it shows up in Turgenev's Fathers and Sons.  I still need to do all sorts of research to figure out what specifically I going to write about, and to narrow down my idea to a workable thesis statement.

This assignment was extremely challenging for most everyone in the class.  Dr. Bruce wanted each of us to pick out an original topic that was complex enough to make for a great paper, while making sure it was not so abstract that no research could be found on it.  Striking this balance was especially hard for me, and I spent quite a bit of time in Dr. Bruce’s office talking through my ideas with her before I landed on something that worked for both of us.  Many of my classmates share a similar experience.  Generating a suitable topic for a major research paper, entirely on my own, required much thought and planning. 

 The next major project is putting together the famed English Portfolio, but I will save that story for next time.

In the Beginning...

Noelle Templeton

Upon entering English 200, taught by Professor Mark Willhardt, I was quite confident in my ability to compose suitable essays and understand the conventions of the English language.  I hate to admit that I expected to relearn the basics and merely demonstrate my knowledge and skill for sixteen weeks before moving on to more challenging courses.  Not long after these initial assumptions did I realize much of my education was misinformed and the skills that once earned me praise were now representations of my own laziness and misunderstanding.

            Along with my original state of mind—arrogance--the first few weeks in Introduction to English were spent in confusion and distress, (and what a blast they were!) but my uneasiness has since settled.  The first assignment was to define the term “assay,” and although I did not believe an actual word existed, I assured myself that this would be the first of many simple tasks.  How easily I was fooled!  It was soon made clear that I was being asked to do much more than recognize rules of grammar and punctuation.  I, along with the rest of the class, am expected to strain and struggle and question everything I have been taught. 

            After overcoming the uncomfortable realization that I do not, in fact, know everything there is to know about poetry, literature, and language, I got to work.  Four assays and one heck of an essay later, I am still struggling to settle what I know, what I think I know, and what I desperately need to know but am too embarrassed to ask.  A few things do reassure me, however:  a class that appears to share my concerns, a teacher who cares enough about my success to point out my failures, and a drive to become the competent writer and critical thinker that I once thought I was.



Fighting World Hunger with a Good Vocabulary

By Megan Carlson

Have you ever wanted to stand up for a good cause?  Have you ever wanted to practice your vocabulary skills?  At, your desires can become a reality.  By answering correctly the meaning of words, you can send rice to those less fortunate around the world.  How is this done, you ask?  Advertisers who support the mission of post their companies at the bottom of the webpage, and for every word that you correctly answer, the money made by the advertisement pays for 20 grains of rice.  Words like magnanimous (generous), souse (drench), and helical (spiral) challenge and improve your vocabulary.  The home page states alluringly, “WARNING: This game may make you smarter.  It may improve your speaking, writing, thinking, grades, and job performance.”  With such great possible outcomes, what do you have to lose?  Especially when you could be saving lives.  The rice is shipped and given by the United Way World Foods Programme which tries to help people become self-reliant so that they "escape hunger for good", as stated on the website.  The website also states that 25,000 people die every year from hunger and most are children.  Since October when the site opened, the vocab game has provided 20,000 food rations for refugees from Myanmar who are now in Bangladesh.  Next on their list of countries for free rice are Cambodia, Uganda, and Nicaragua.  The Washington Post wrote, “What if just knowing what a word meant could help feed hungry people around the world? Well, at FreeRice it does . . . the totals have grown exponentially.”  Strengthening your vocabulary has never seemed more worth it, right?        

To Go Straight To FreeRice right now, follow this link:

To Learn More about the World Food Programme, follow this link:       


Still Time to Apply for NYU Summer Publishing Institute!


For anyone interested in Publishing, this is the program for you.  This summer program is a six week intensive course into the worlds of book, magazine, and digital publishing.  The faculty consists of many professionals including art directors, editors, and authors.  At the end of the program, there will even be opportunities to interview with leading publishing companies.  NYU states that the The Summer Publishing Institute is intended for recent graduates and young professionals trying to break into publishing.  The program goes from June 1st to July 11th and costs $4,760.  The application  deadline is March 28th.  Don't miss out on this great opportunity!


For More Information, follow this link:

 Click HERE!



Campus Events in March

February 28th-May 2nd   

A Crimson Masque Production of Waiting For Godot

This play, written by Samuel Beckett, is a superb example of the "Theater of the Absurd".  Beckett is known as one of the first postmodernists and was friend and fan to James Joyce.  Waiting for Godot is one of his most well-known plays which focuses on two men who wait for someone to arrive.  Grove Press states that the play is, "a comical wordplay of poetry, dreamscapes, and nonsense, which has been interpreted as a somber summation of mankind’s inexhaustible search for meaning."

The tickets are $6 for the general public, $5 for seniors and students, and $4 for those with MC ID's.  The play will be performed in Wells Theatre and the times for performance are 7:30 p.m. for Thursday-Saturday and 2:00 p.m. for Sunday.  

Tuesday March 4th

Blackfriar's Playhouse Touring Troupe Presents William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew

Image of Ginna Hoben and Josh Carpenter performing "The Taming of the Shrew."

The American Shakespeare Center, which is based in Shenandoah Virginia, is coming to Monmouth College next Tuesday to do one performance of The Taming of the Shrew for free!  The performance will be at 7:00 in the Dahl Chapel.  The Touring Troupe is renowned for their unique and humorous adaptations of the Bard's plays.  The Director writes that the play is, "an Elizabethan farce that addresses the issues of freedom, equality, and the primacy of marriage."  Past performances at Monmouth College include Much Ado About Nothing and The Tempest.  The performance is bound to be fun and informative and it's free!     



Survey Says


Before Aspirations to be an English Major, What Did You Want to be Growing Up?

  •  Minnie Mouse, so my mom says, but I don't remember having that aspiration. ~Elizabeth Towns-Law


  • I wanted to be John Travolta; but more importantly, I think it is interesting that being an English major is an aspiration, but probably very true. It isn't about the job you can secure after the major (a la an Accounting major leads to a fairly specialized field). It is simply about the privilege of claiming to be part of such a damn sexy major, with such accomplished, beautiful faculty and the rewarding intellectual development. I'd still rather grow up to be John Travolta, but ya know - compromise. ~Luke Gorham
  • I always wanted to be a forest or park ranger; mostly because of their sweet uniforms. Also because I have always harbored a love of nature. Who knows, maybe I could have been the next Thoreau. ~Erik Davis
  • I wanted to be a teacher when I was growing up. I’ve wanted to be a teacher since the age of 6 actually. As I got older, the content area I wanted to teach varied between math and music. But I finally settled on English at the age of 13 when I was first published in a Young Author’s anthology. (That was probably more than you needed to know but as an English major, I like to expand…… Ha-ha.) ~Fannetta Jones

  • I always wanted to be an artist. ~Katelyn Griffith


  • A singer for Ace of Base. ~Sara Hawk


  • Well, I had always dreamt of being a famous painter. Painting is still a favorite past time but I am really shy and have a really hard time showing anyone my work, thus, the ability to be famous kind of went out the window... ~Jeremy Doze
  • I wanted to be a Pulmonologist.  This was, of course, until family circumstances scared me away from the profession.  I was in advanced biology classes all of high school due to this ambition as well! ~Kim Gratzke

  • I always wanted to be a teacher (I wasn't sure what kind of teacher, but it was always my dream to teach).  In high school, I realized English was my LOVE and favorite subject, so I mixed the two and am now aspiring to be a middle school or high school teacher! :-) ~Crystal Chalkey


  • I wanted to be either a marine biologist or a veterinarian. ~Jessica Irons
  • A rapper ( I still do). ~James 'Mo' Simpson


  • A veterinarian, of course!  What little kid doesn't? ~Shannon Slee


  •  Well, I wanted to be one of the fish in the Shedd Aquarium until my parents explained why that was unrealistic. Then I decided I wanted to be a marine biologist. ~Laura Dumont


  • A pediatric neurologist - but then I decided that required way too much school. ~Sarah Sherry       


  • I wanted to be an orthodontist until I was in high school, but I changed my focus from teeth to teaching.  Then, the only logical subject that I could teach was English... so here I am today! :) ~Sammy Morgan


  • I wanted to be a singer/songwriter/musician. ~Megan Carlson


  • An illustrator for children's books and a chef. ~Carleen Maki

  • I always wanted to be Indiana Jones, but not when he was at The Temple of Doom because pulling beating hearts out of someone's chest and eating giant roaches was never my thing. ~Ryan Guttierez


  • An archaeologist. ~Cat Ott
  • I wanted to do everything from being a lawyer to a politician, to an actress and a teacher.  I think I may still be confused as to what I want to do when I grow up, but don't tell my parents that! ~Paige Halpin
  • A Spanish teacher. ~Gail Kuster
  • President. ~Molly Rhoderick
  • Duh.  A Harlem Globetrotter.  (I didn't see the potential issues with that until much later.)  ~Mark Willhardt
  • Computer programmer. Then a cop. They would have both been miserable choices (although I would have been very good at programming). ~Marlo Belschner


  • Either an archaeologist or a cartographer. Oh, and a cannibal. ~Raleigh Moon


  • An Archaeologist. Indiana Jones was SO hot. ~Teresa Schryver
  • I recall the first time was is sixth grade when I had to formally, in an essay and through artwork, answer that question. I wrote that I wanted to be an ecologist, and then in high school I took a sharp turn and went into engineering, although I have studied ecology informally. Today ecology is a huge part of my life and will remain so probably for the rest of my life although I don’t see myself studying it formally or pursuing a career in that field. I have since taken another sharp turn towards studying English. Now there is a question, why do we often end up where we didn’t expect? ~ Suzanne Barber


  • I wanted to be a mom.  I still want to be a mom, but I think I'm going to have to work, too.  Bummer. ~Anne Stone
  • I wanted to be a paranormal investigator and manga-ka (artist of Japanese-style comics). ~Katie Moore
  • I wanted to be an astronaut ( I was a child). That is the only thing I remember clearly...~Manuel Emilio


  • I have always been connected to English in some way because when I was growing up I wanted to be an author! ~Natalie Pistole


  • I wanted to be a chemist so I could blow stuff up.  ~Rob Hale



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

Megan Carlson

Erik Davis


Features | Survey Says | Mellinger Tutoring Hours | Events | Staff


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