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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 macarlson@monm.edu or egdavis@monm.edu
 
 

 

 

 

 

Features

In This Issue

  • Reflections on her First Steps
  • Interview with new faculty member:  Dr. Lydia Cooper
  • New Course Offered this coming Fall Semester (08)
  • Senior Send Off
  • Survey Says!!!
  • Mellinger Writing Center Hours

           The Battle is Over and the Victory is Won

by:  Noelle Thompson

 Itís over.  Iíve survived boot camp.  We all have, I think.  In the military world, we would be ready for battle.  I am just ready for vacation.  Iím ready to leave all of this critical thinking behind and move onto some light and forgettable reading.  Maybe Iíll pick up a little Nicholas Sparks.  Or should I give that crazy Jane Picoult lady a try.  She releases a new novel every week!  Sadly, I now know that I will never be able to enjoy frivolous reading like this.  I will never pick up another piece of reading material without scrutinizing every single word, and I donít think I will ever free myself from Wilhardtís nagging, nit-picking voice in my head.

 Itís hard to say how Iíve grown exactly.  I know I can handle verbal abuse fairly well.  I am also more comfortable giving and receiving feedback with my peers.  This is one skill that will benefit me in any career path I take, but I still need a lot more practice with it.  I guess I need to practice reading as well.  We acquired this ability sixteen, seventeen years agoÖat least.  For some reason, I have not mastered it yet.  Working in the library this summer will help me take care of that goal, I think. 

 My experience in English 200, along with the rest of my courses, has allowed me to explore my future job options as well.  A year ago, I was certain I would earn a living teaching teenagers how to write haikus and deliver impromptu speeches.  Now I see that teaching is probably not for me, but thatís okay.  I donít have to die a poor and lonely bohemian.  My future career path is still unclear, but I can always write my own destiny. 

 So, fellow English majors, farewell this summer.  Keep reading and writing and thinking oh so critically.  Best of luck with work and vacation and crazy adventures, but most of all, best of luck refining your skills.  We didnít survive the semester just so we could through away all of that hard work.  And if youíre like me, the second you slack off, there will be the ever present voice of Mark Wilhardt, whipping you back into shape.

        


Dr. Lydia Cooper to be New Faculty Member in the Fall

by:  Erik Davis

Lydia Cooper has been offered, and has accepted, a job here next semester to fill in for several current faculty who will be taking sabbaticals.  She will teach Composition and Argument, American Survey II, and a new course focused on Native American Literature.  Here is the description for the course on Native American Literature:  "In 1831, Washington Irving said that Native Americans "will vanish like a vapor from the face of the earth." Native American literature, however, is the writing of people who are anything but vanished. The texts we will study in this course represent literary masterpieces that have affected American history and literary studies written from a Native perspective. During the course, we will study major themes and ideas arising from these texts, from war, to urbanization, to alcoholism, to national and personal identity. In order to fully understand the texts, we will also briefly study the history and contemporary culture and life of American Indians. We will study American Indians as accurately and specifically as possible in order to understand the texts, but their major themes-themes like loss, love, and laughter-are universal. These writings (and a film) are bloody, hilarious, devastated, and hopeful. They also have magic and dancing in them, sometimes even dancing with feathers."  It is shaping up to be a very interesting course and sounds like something that many of us here at Monmouth have not been exposed to before.

           Even though Ms. Cooper has displayed an interest in literature from a very young age she theorizes her parents made a big impact on her passion for literature as well.  When she was 11 years old, her favorite books were Nancy Drew mysteries, but her parents knew that she was destined for higher forms of literature.  To that end, her mother forced her to read Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, over the summer instead of more Nancy Drew books, and ever since then Ms. Cooper has been hooked on literature. 

Ms. Cooper attended the University of Akron in Ohio, a large land grant school institution.  From there she went on to study in Texas at Baylor University, a liberal arts institution similar to Monmouth College only much bigger.  During her graduate work she fell in love with the liberal arts approach to education and says it is one of the things that drew her to Monmouth College.  She also feels Monmouth College will be a sort of homecoming for her, as it marks her first return to the Midwest since graduate school.

Her specialty, which she adopted in graduate school, is ethnic literature, primarily focused on Native American literature.  She chose to attend Baylor University partly because of its Liberal Arts atmosphere, and also because she knew one of the faculty there, who was a medievalist. At the time she thought that she wanted to pursue the same subject.  However, she came to fall in love with contemporary American literature, especially Native American Literature, and soon switched her specialization from medievalism to Ethnic Literature.

Ms. Cooper is also currently working on her dissertation, which is about Cormac McCarthy author of All the Pretty Horses and No Country for Old Men.  One of her other favorite authors is Sherman Alexi author of The Absolutely True Tale of a Part-Time Indian and Flight.  She dislikes anything by Theodore Dreiser, and she let slip that she is not a big fan of Wordsworth.  Score one for Professor Wilhardt. 

Previous to her employment at Monmouth College she has taught Composition and American Literature at the University of Akron and Baylor University.  Ms. Cooper said that she was very excited to be coming to Monmouth College.  It is her ideal job to teach at a Liberal Arts college like Monmouth.  She also looks forward to seeing all of your smiling faces next semester. 


 

Senior Interviews

As a tribute to our seniors, we sent out a questionnaire asking them various questions about their plans for the future and their time at Monmouth College.  Best of luck to you all! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

not pictured:  Ashley Clegg, Megan Carlson, Ryan Guterrez, Kyle O'Keefe, and Shannon Slee

This year we will be doing something a little different and ordering the responses by each of the seniors according to their cumulative GPA...joking!  They are listed alphabetically like always.

Amanda Bloomer

1. What is your fondest memory of Monmouth College?

Getting one of those Rob Hale smiles for a job well done (they're like shooting stars, so rare).

2. What will you miss most about Monmouth College? and/or What won't you miss about Monmouth College?

I won't miss being hassled by the Business Office at the beginning of every semester--I will not be leaving a forwarding address.  I will miss the pubs room shenanigans with the Courier staff--good times.

3. What made you want to become an English major?

Well, there was a time when I was young, naive and impressionable...

4. What author or piece of literature that you studied in any English class do you despise the most?  What is your most favorite?
I'm not a big fan of early American lit.  But I get pretty jazzed about postmodern anything.  I also liked most of what I read in the English novel course with Rob and the modernist poetry course with Mark.
5. What has been the most challenging aspect of the English major?

That whole writing thing that we do.  And the portfolio.  I think that it's a sadistic practice, having to return to all of the crap you wrote over the last four (in my case, five) years.

6. What English class taught you the most?

British Survey II.  I took it the second semester of my freshman year, and it basically laid the foundation for all other learning in the English deparment for me.

7. What are your plans for after college?

I leave for Europe in June.  I'll spend the whole trip deciding whether or not I want come back.
8. What final words would you like to say to any English major(s) on campus?

The best thing you could do for yourself would be to not follow my example.

Megan Carlson

1. What is your fondest memory of Monmouth College?

I liked when Erik and Luke made the cookies that looked like Rob Hale.
2. What will you miss most about Monmouth College? and/or What won't you miss about Monmouth College?

I'll miss the classes with Watson because he always made anything interesting and complex.
     I won't miss freaking out about papers.
3. What made you want to become an English major?

I wrote a book for young authors when I was in 1st grade and I made it to state and that made
    me first interested in writing and literature.  Also, I had a great teacher for English Literature when I was a senior in High School and it made me want to major in English.

4. What author or piece of literature that you studied in any English class do you despise the most?  What is your most favorite?

I don't think I despised anything. The Bronte's are my favorite.

5. What has been the most challenging aspect of the English major?

The papers are always a challenge.  Deciding what to write about was probably the hardest  decision.

6. What English class taught you the most?

I loved the Bronte class my junior year, but I also loved Modern American Fiction with Watson and the
     various classes I took with Hale were great as well.

7. What are your plans for after college?

I will be working at the Edwardsville Public Library in my hometown this summer and then hopefully getting
     a job for the fall.  Also, I would like to go to grad school.
8. What final words would you like to say to any English major(s) on campus?

Don't stress about the papers.  It takes more time to worry about them than to actually sit down and write
    them.  Also, have fun with your major.  The English major is a great opportunity to be creative and
    form your own ideas/opinions.

Erik Davis

1. What is your fondest memory of Monmouth College?

My favorite memories are mostly centered around my Freshman year on the third floor of Cleland Hall.  I lived with Luke and was neighbors with Kyle O'Keefe.  I ended up becoming good friends with almost everyone that lived in our little cul-de-sac.
2. What will you miss most about Monmouth College? and/or What won't you miss about Monmouth College?

The thing that I will miss most is having a venue in which to read and discuss literature with other people.  This setting will be hard to replicate outside of college.  I will least miss the late nights spent in the computer lab writing and revising my papers for Rob Hale only to have them brutally torn apart again and again and again.
3. What made you want to become an English major?

I became an English major largely because it was my favorite class my senior year of high school.  I originally wanted to become a journalist...something of a Dave Berry and a Bob Woodward wrapped up in one.  After I decided that was impractical I realized how much I enjoyed literature, and the rest took care of itself.
4. What author or piece of literature that you studied in any English class do you despise the most?  What is your most favorite?

I hated Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell more than any other work I have ever read.  It was extremely boring and the ending was awful.  I have most enjoyed Death of a Salesmen by Arthur Miller, anything by Keats, and My Antonia by Willa Cather.
5. What has been the most challenging aspect of the English major?

The most challenging part of the major for me has been honing my writing skills.  I have worked quite hard at it, but judging by the number of comma errors that are present in just what I have written for this survey you can see I still have a ways to go.
6. What English class taught you the most?

I think that I learned the most my Junior Year when I took both Romantic Literature with Rob and Modern American Drama with Watson.  These classes were two of my favorite of all time, and I really came into my own as a major during that time.
7. What are your plans for after college?

Next semester I am doing my student teaching.  After that I plan to move out to Washington (the state) and write a crappy novel with Luke.  After that I will be making a documentary about Pro-Am dancing (also with Luke).  Then I suppose I will have to stop being immature become a productive member of society and get a job.  Unless my novel or documentary make it big.  Then I will not have to work for the rest of my life.
8. What final words would you like to say to any English major(s) on campus?

Well first I would like to reiterate Luke's point...  Other than that I would say read everything that is assigned, because you are robbing yourself of an education when you don't read.  Take your time in college and take a wide array of classes.  This is a liberal arts college and the point is to expose yourself to many different disciplines.

Lucas Gorham (graduating with Departmental Honors)

1. What is your fondest memory of Monmouth College?

Once in class when Rob inadvertently proved me right in an ongoing debate between my roommate and I.

2. What will you miss most about Monmouth College? and/or What won't you miss about Monmouth College?

Rob Hale and Rob Hale. But seriously, I will miss not being able to avoid work by going to school.  I feel like there are so many good courses I misses and if I had the money I would stay and take them all before I was done.

3. What made you want to become an English major?

My love of literature.  I came into college loving to read and discuss anything and everything, so it was a natural fit.  I also find writing to be extremely rewarding.  It is the most efficient way I have to organize and voice my ideas which is very therapeutic.

4. What author or piece of literature that you studied in any English class do you despise the most?  What is your most favorite?

Oscar Wilde. Not a fan of his work except for The Importance of Being Earnest. Also, House of Games by David Mamet was pretty weak.  It might have just paled in comparison to the other works I read in that class, but I didn't like it, especially compared to other Mamet work.

The Awakening made me realize I was in the right major when I read it freshman year.  John Keats' poetry was another high point.  But the best was probably when I read Long Day's Journey Into Night, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, The Zoo Story, and Angels in America in the same course.  That was amazing!

5. What has been the most challenging aspect of the English major?

Writing. Even though I did really well for the most part (I even got a straight-up A from Rob a couple times, it took a while to realize when my writing was quality. The first two years, it was kind of a guessing game.  By second semester junior year, I was able to turn in papers and be confident and defend that I had done quality work.

6. What English class taught you the most?

Even though I didn't realize it at the time, the survey classes were all great.  I think majors tend to think the surveys are just a stepping stone to the "good" classes, but I wish I would have appreciated them more.  Also, Modern American Drama had perhaps the best selection of readings of any class I took and taught me my writing wasn't as perfect as I had thought.

7. What are your plans for after college?

Gosh, there's so many.  Cutting a demo.  Writing a crappy sci-fi knock-off novel to capitalize on the Harry Potter mania and make me some money.  Making a documentary on pro-am dancing. Going to Washington to live on an island and then to Europe.

8. What final words would you like to say to any English major(s) on campus?

Don't be so lame. [He is right, you guys really need to pick it up.]

Kim Gratzke

1. What is your fondest memory of Monmouth College?

I have two. First, getting engaged and second, joining and being a part of Alpha Xi Delta for four years.
2. What will you miss most about Monmouth College? and/or What won't you miss about Monmouth College?

I will miss the people that I hung out with; I will definitely not miss the awful campus water!
3. What made you want to become an English major?

I wanted to become an English major because I absolutely LOVE literature (as long as it's interesting)
4. What author or piece of literature that you studied in any English class do you despise the most?  What is your most favorite?

I just don't like the entire genre of British Literature; however, I do enjoy Shakespeare.

My favorite literature is Shakespeare and American Literature.
5. What has been the most challenging aspect of the English major?

The most challenging aspect of the English major is getting all the reading done while still trying to balance other classes.
6. What English class taught you the most?

I really cannot say because I have gleaned different information from each class.
7. What are your plans for after college?

I have multiple job offers in the psychology field as well as 1 in the English field.  I am still trying to narrow down my options.
8. What final words would you like to say to any English major(s) on campus?

DON'T FORGET TO READ FOR FUN!

I became an English major because I loved literature and for me to abandon the literature I love was a horrible idea. 

It's important to set aside a short amount of time per day or per week just to read for fun!!!

.

Elizabeth Towns-Law

1. What is your fondest memory of Monmouth College?

 There are a lot, I can't narrow it down right now.

2. What will you miss most about Monmouth College? and/or What won't you miss about Monmouth College? 

I will miss a lot, but on the list are my English professors and friends.  I will not miss the "lovely" smell of Monmouth.

3. What made you want to become an English major? 

I have always loved reading books and learning about cultures and living styles throughout history.

4. What author or piece of literature that you studied in any English class do you despise the most?  What is your most favorite? 

The author I hate the most would have to be Pynchon and my favorite would have to be Tolstoy's Anna Karenina.

5. What has been the most challenging aspect of the English major? 

Writing papers, all of them, not just the Senior thesis.

6. What English class taught you the most? 

Doctor Watson's Modern American Fiction class taught me the most and gave me a new appreciation for American authors.

7. What are your plans for after college? 

I am enrolled in Dominican University's Library Science Master's program in the fall.

8. What final words would you like to say to any English major(s) on campus? 

Don't give up, no matter how hard it is; that Senior thesis will get done-just don't wait until the last minute to do it.

Kyle O'Keefe

1. What is your fondest memory of Monmouth College?

Playing football against Lawrence College senior year..

2. What will you miss most about Monmouth College? and/or What won't you miss about Monmouth College?

Miss-My friends; Not Miss-Mark's Vests..

3. What made you want to become an English major?

I was okay at English and didn't have any better ideas.

4. What author or piece of literature that you studied in any English class do you despise the most?  What is your most favorite?

Favorites- Crime and Punishment, Dosteyovetsky; Paradise Lost Milton; Long Days Journey Into Night Eugene O'Neill

6. What English class taught you the most?

Milton or Advanced Comp.

7. What are your plans for after college?

Nothing yet...I don't plan more than a month in advance.

8. What final words would you like to say to any English major(s) on campus?

Read everything you can

Sarah Sherry

1. What is your fondest memory of Monmouth College?

There isn't really one in particular. 

When I find out that I have hopefully passed Senior Seminar, that will probably be my fondest memory.
2. What will you miss most about Monmouth College? and/or What won't you miss about Monmouth College?

I will miss being able to see my friends on a regular basis.  I'm going to miss random Steak and Shake excursions. 

I will not miss the food or the homework.
3. What made you want to become an English major?

I have always loved reading and learning new things. 

I did well in my English classes in high school, particularly creative writing, and then decided to major in English coming into Monmouth College.

4. What author or piece of literature that you studied in any English class do you despise the most?  What is your most favorite?

I hate Shakespeare.  Just kidding.  I can't think of any authors I hate that much. 

Some of my favorite authors are Toni Morrison, Dostoevsky, Gogol, Horace, and Chaucer.

5. What has been the most challenging aspect of the English major?

Completing Senior Seminar with Mary Bruce.

6. What English class taught you the most?

I took a linguistics course during my semester abroad.  It was called "Applied Linguistics: World Englishes." 

I didn't know there were so many different types of Englishes, and all of the issues involved in linguistics.

7. What are your plans for after college?

Immediately after college I will be bartending and going to music concerts. 

Career-wise I would eventually like to go into journalism or publishing. 

Dream jobs would be writing for Rolling Stone or being a tour guide in Rome.
8. What final words would you like to say to any English major(s) on campus?

Save everything. 

You may not think you will need a poem that you wrote freshman year, but chances are you probably will. 

It's better to be prepared than end up getting screwed over in the end.

Shannon Slee
.

2. What will you miss most about Monmouth College? and/or What won't you miss about Monmouth College?

I will most miss my English classes and the joy of HAVING to read...since when it's not part of a course I never seem to find enough time!

6. What English class taught you the most?
Of all my classes at Monmouth, Rob's 2007 Senior Seminar class definitely taught me the most. 

I read lots of great literature and was challenged to think, reflect, and react to it.

7. What are your plans for after college?

I will be teaching Spanish II at Quincy High School beginning in August. 

After two years of that, I would like to go to Spain for a couple of years to get my master's in English.

 

The following members of my class are very lame and did not respond to my survey:

Ashley Clegg

Ryan Gutierrez

Katherine Ott

 

 


 

 

Survey Says:

What are your summer plans??

 

What sort of job will you have? Name a few of the books you will read? Do you have any neat travel plans? Are you going to work on an interesting research project?

Let the Printing Press know what you will be up to over the summer!


 

 

'My plans for the summer are yard work, yard work, and yard work.  I plan to read the Bathroom Book II [donated to me by my two most favorite students Luke Gorham and Erik Davis].  It is a volume Iím sure Iíll treasure spending time with over the summer!  I will also be busy creating a new class at MC centering around Sherlock Holmes, launching Spring, 2009, for English 180.' -Kevin Roberts

 


'My summer plans are to paint and move into my new house and hopefully do a little gardening outside.  I just got a job working full-time in the office at Madison Park Christian Church.  In June, I'll be going on a 3-day canoe trip down the Current River.  It's no trip to Spain, but it'll be a good time, I'm sure!  That's what I'll be doing!' -Shannon Slee


 

'I'll be working for the Edwardsville Public Library doing various library clerk tasks.  I probably will try to read everything Virginia Woolf this summer because I've been wanting to for a long time.' ~Megan Carlson


 

'I'm going to work at hungry hobo and work on drawing some comics over the summer, but that's about it.' -Katie Moore


 

'Hmph... God bless insomnia.' -Jeremy Doze  (while although not actual plans, at least he responded)


 

-I'll be balancing my time between 2 summer school classes (both sciences...eh...), umpiring softball, and volunteering at a community help center for Latino immigrants. With my "free" time, I want to research Eastern religions--particularly Hinduism. I also plan to take a road trip to the Western Coast and go hug some Redwood Trees.' -Kelsey Cole
 


 

I mean to work as a union concrete laborer.  I plan to read "1984,"  "Brave New World,"  "Moby Dick," and "The Brothers Karamazov" -Tom Hinrichsen


 

'My plans for the summer include hanging with friends, catching up on sleep, and getting a job (hopefully) so that I don't sit around all day eating.  I hope to work at either Target or Lane Bryant, but I also wouldn't mind babysitting... Or anything that I have the ability to do that pays well... Except for be a waitress. I don't have balance so that wouldn't work out too well.  I want to read the works of D. H. Lawrence after doing a research paper on one of his works for Willhardt's Boot Camp. That is actually a personal type of project I suppose. And I know I won't be traveling anywhere special... How sad.  Hope that's enough for you!' -Fannetta Jones

~It is enough Fannetta, it is.~


 

'I am working at the ACE Distribution Center in Princeton, IL. It doesn't leave me much time for a life because I work from 5:30 at night to 2 in the morning Sunday through Thursday. On my days off, I'll probably be spending time with friends and family. I'm not really doing anything exciting for the summer, but I think I'm ok with that.' -Natalie Pistole
 


 

'After spending a brief time at home, I will be flying to North Carolina to be a girl's camp counselor!  Much to Rob's surprise, I will be teaching them how to sew and do many other crafty things!  As for reading, I will have some free time and I plan on catching up with my love of Victorian literature!  I have an extensive reading list, but I don't think I can pack that many books with me, so I imagine I will have to make some sacrifices.  Sad. ' -Paige Halpin


 

'I am going to be going to be taking a Chemistry class in June, reading a few unnamable books, (I don't know what ones yet so that is why they are unnamable), and detasseling in July.  I can't wait till the summer!  Have a great break everyone!' -Samantha Morgan


 

'I'll be working at TimeOut IceCream Parlor in my hometown for most of the summer, and helping at my high school's band camp for a couple weeks in August.  When I'm not working, I plan to lounge and get my hands on any and all literature I can, to prepare for student teaching next semester (wish me luck)!!!!  I'm going to see Kenny Chesney at the Mark of the Quad Cities (iWireless Center, whatever) in June, and hopefully I'll get a few White Sox games in this summer, too!  Go ChiSox!  :-]'  -Crystal Chalkey


 

'Glue,

To prove that I am, in fact, an English major, I decided to finally respond to one of your glorious emails.  So, without further adieu, this is what I will do this summer:

I plan on continuing the expansion of my business, MaD Discs and Dyes, which is a tie-dye company that I started with my best friend last summer. We will vend at some promising venues such as Wakarusa and 10 Thousand Lakes Festival.  In addition, I have three epic journeys planned: Ireland at the end of May, Hawaii in July and a road-trip out to California in August. In my free time, I want to brainstorm ideas to better the Courier, in addition to reading James Joyce's Ulysses.' -Dustin Looney

~This doesn't actually prove anything except that you got a real English major to forward you this email.~


 

'This summer I will mostly be working, and preparing for student teaching in the fall.  I took a job as the executive director of a camp for developmentally disabled people, located in Farmington, Il.  I will most likely not be traveling extensively.  I will finish up reading all of the books I was supposed to read during my tenure at MC.  Actually that might be more than a 3 month project.'

-Erik Davis aka The Glue

 


 

 

 

End of the Year Department Party Memories:

-Marlo's reaction to the peculiar aroma produced by Watson's compost pile-

-saying goodbye to Shannon as she will soon become an ex-pat living in Spain-

       

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

Megan Carlson   macarlson@monm.edu

Erik Davis          egdavis@monm.edu

 
 

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