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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 the Priniting Press Crew:,




In This Issue:

LeannaBorders: A Love Story

By Leanna Waldron

   Some of my earliest memories revolve around reading.  I remember feeling extreme envy that my older brothers got to go to school and I didn’t.  I would steal their textbooks and pretend to read them and do homework.  While the boys were at school, I used to follow my grandma and my mom around the house while they were trying to do housework and ask them to read to me.  They eventually took on the “Teach a man to fish” mentality and took turns teaching me to read.

   My love of reading started in childhood and only got stronger with time.  Unfortunately, we were never very well off, so it was rare that I actually got new books to read and the number of books that I owned was not exactly high.  I did get books from the library often, usually having to bring them home in plastic bags.  And when the town-wide garage sales were held, I was there with my quarters and my bags, ready to pick through the boxes of books.  And while this was all well and good, these books never felt like mine.  The ones I got from the library obviously had to be returned when I was finished with them and the books I got from garage sales often had other kids’ names written in them already. 

   Maybe this is why bookstores are so inviting to me.  There are so many books, copies nobody else has read, just waiting for me to buy them.  A trip to the bookstore was always a special treat when I was younger.  The first bookstore I ever visited was Barnes & Noble in Bloomington, Illinois.  I remember going over to the children’s section, pulling three or four books off the shelf, and sitting in a bean bag chair in the corner while my parents shopped.  Our trips to the bookstore were always few and far between while I was growing up, but I savored every one of them.

   As I got older and got my driver’s license and a job, I was drawn more and more to the bookstores.  I still did not go that often because the nearest bookstore in Bloomington was a 45 minute drive from my house and more often than not my weekends were filled with work and homework.  However, once I started going to Heartland Community College, which happened to be in Bloomington, I was able to go to the bookstore on my breaks between classes.  I strayed from Barnes & Noble and started exploring the miraculous building that was Borders Bookstore.

   The first time I stepped into Borders, I was smitten.  It had the best Young Adult section (my favorite genre of fiction) I had ever seen—about five times the size of that in Barnes & Noble.  There were tables full of “Buy-One-Get-One-50%-Off” and racks and racks of the infamous “Bargain Books.”  I quickly became loyal to Borders and never looked back at Barnes & Noble (unless I had a gift card to spend, of course).  It just felt cozy and comfortable and right, like home.  Needless to say, going to community college became very dangerous for my bank account. 

   My attachment to Borders might seem silly to some, but as many bibliophiles can attest to, there is really something magical about a bookstore.  I walk in and instantly feel relaxed and happy, even if I’m only there to buy something for school or for a gift for someone else.  Even now, when I have no money, I love walking into Borders and looking around.  I take pictures of books that I want to read on my phone and add them to my (ridiculously large) to-read list when I get home. I have many happy memories in that store; I spent a lot of time there by myself and with my mom who, once I had control of my own money, could happily spend hours with me in the store.

   When I recently heard that Borders was having some financial issues, I did some research.  I was devastated to find out that about 200 Borders are going to be closing nationwide within the next few months.  Approximately 15 of these stores are in Illinois and one of them is in Bloomington, Illinois.  It might seem silly, but I actually, literally cried at this news.  I suppose I should view this as a blessing in disguise—it will be easier for me to save money once Borders is not a routine stop during my trips to Bloomington, I can buy used books online and get more for my money while helping the environment at the same time and I don’t have to worry about my boyfriend getting annoyed with me when I drag him into the store and spend an hour and fifteen minutes just looking around.

   I’m still sad, though.  Borders was my first taste of what a bookstore truly should be and I’ll miss it when it’s gone.  I know that, melodramatic as it sounds, every time I drive by the space where Borders used to be, I’ll get a little pang in my heart.  The Borders in Bloomington, Illinois will always be the first bookstore I ever truly loved and, although the relationship is ending and I am forced to see other bookstores, I will never forget the way I felt the first time I stepped through those double doors.

"Go Away"

By Alex Nall     

      I am studying in Florence, Italy for a semester as part of the ACM Program through Monmouth College. I could spend four semesters' worth of Printing Press issues talking about my one month in Florence so far. But I won’t. If you want to see what my life is like right now please check out my blog: European Son at http://alex-europeanson.blogspot.htm. Instead of telling you my various adventures here in Florence, I’m going to take this time to tell you about one of the things I have learned in my time here.

   I wake up every morning, look out my host family’s kitchen window where I can see the golden orb of the top of the Duomo. I stare at the golden orb and remind myself that that building is impossible. It’s the definition of ‘impossibility.’ Yet there it stands. It’s stood there for more than five hundred years and with luck it will be there even longer. That’s something worth remembering. There are places in the world worth seeing just for this reason. It’s worth leaving the cornfield to see the marketplace. If you’re lucky, you may see someone. You may bump into them and say, "Mi scusi" and they’ll say, "Prego" and then you will both notice how beautiful the day is and you’ll say, "La giorno e bella!" and they will say, "Si si. Bella e magnifico." Then you’ll notice that the person you’ve bumped into was coming out of a restaurant and you’ll smell the delicious food inside and your mouth will water instantly and you’ll say, "Mi scusi, ma questo ristorante e un bene?" And they will say in response, "Il ristorante e il migliore in tutta Italia!" And you’ll think to yourself, Wow. The best restaurant in all of Italy is right before my very feet! And you’ll thank the stranger, tell them, "Buon giorno," and go inside the restaurant and you will eat the best meal you’ve ever eaten in your entire life.

    Doesn’t that sound nice? Doesn’t sound like stuff out of fairy tales? But the strange thing is that it’s real. Or it can be. The possibilities available to you are a result of how far you are willing your imagination to search.


    In my youth I was afraid of change. The idea of being put outside my comfort zone scared the beegeezus out of me and whatever it was, I was against it. But now, having gone through many changes since my childhood and high school years, I have grown to like change and actually look forward to it. You cannot let fear drive your life and desires simply because you don’t know what else is out in the world. The world is a lot bigger than Monmouth, Illinois and anyone who takes a step outside of it may be closer to discovering something about themselves that they never knew. You discover a lot when you’re outside your element. You become a minority and your mission is to find some way of identifying with the locals. So you go out and you explore and you see what interests you and I guarantee you’ll find something that you never knew you liked before. For me, it was graffiti. When I lived in Galesburg, I was subject to many passing freight trains, all of which bared an ungodly amount of terrible, ugly graffiti. It was like being forced to watch a loud horrendous train-wreck of a movie that just kept going and going and going… I had no appreciation for street art of any kind. But now, here in Florence, I cannot get enough of it. I’ve followed artists, taken pictures of over one hundred pieces of art from tiny cartoons to huge murals basking in a candy-colored orchestra of words and characters. I have actually found one artist that I have followed will hopefully get to meet him before my stay here is over.

    This is something I can’t do in Monmouth. But here I can. I found something that I didn’t think I would like. And that feels good. Don’t you want to feel good? Then my suggestion to you is to reconsider your plan (if you even have one, because God knows I didn’t) and set your sights to something unexpected and unlikely. Escape and find something new. I recommend the study abroad program- any program, any destination- because it changes the plan, and if you were like me and hated change once but now are pining for it: this ticket is for you.

"The Other Side of the Chalkboard"

By Fannetta Jones

  Last semester, I student taught at United High School. I taught a lot of wonderful classes, met some great people that I was proud to call colleagues, and taught some truly amazing and gifted students. It was tough at times but I made it through and was able to grow from the experience. However, unlike most student teachers (well, the ones who are not English majors, at least), I still had to come back to Monmouth for one last semester of college. I knew it would be a little different but I did not expect the challenges that came with it.

   Coming back to Monmouth as a student was a surprisingly new experience for me. Though I never left campus while student teaching, I was barely a part of the “college” experience.  My nights were filled with grading papers and trying to find a way to explain to a student why “because he was a g” is not an acceptable answer as to why we should study Frederick Douglass. There were many long nights filled lesson plans and preparing for the next day, but it was my “norm.” I grew to enjoy and appreciate it. However, I was looking forward to coming back to campus and having a bit of a “break,” so to speak, in expectation.

    My first week on campus, this semester, was a whirlwind of experiences. I felt like I was the “new kid” on campus. I underestimated how long it took to get from one building to another. I was having a hard time reorganizing my schedule. It was tough. The biggest ordeal was developing a schedule for myself. When I was student teaching, I knew I woke up every day 6:30, out by 7:05, made it to school by 7:20, taught two classes, then a break, taught one more, then lunch, another class, then break again, then two more classes. I was out of the school by 3:30, back on campus by 4, dinner at 4:45, then I would grade or write lesson plans for the rest of the night. The day was very structured and repetitive and I loved it. But now? Now, I start at 12pm, but only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, because Tuesdays and Thursdays I start at 9:30am. Then I had to get re-accustomed to having 75 minute classes on those Tuesdays and Thursdays. It’s just all so varied. It is a little strange getting used to all of those things all over again.

    Getting back into the mode of being a student in general was trying as well. I was on campus for two days before I realized that I hadn’t even gone out to get school supplies! Although I don’t have too heavy a load of classes, it was still strange having classes that were so varied. I taught all English classes and some of the same classes more than once a day. Now I had to be concerned with English classes as well as the likes of Citizenship. I felt out of my element. Then, once the assignments started pouring in, I began to really doubt myself as to whether or not I could do it. It was a challenge to keep up with the readings and I was staying up to all hours of the night trying to finish other assignments. It was my own small version of Hell and I was burning faster than I ever had before.

    Luckily though, I started getting the hang of it again. I was able to factor in how to wake up at a decent time every day so that I was used to being awake for the particular classes. I reformatted my schedule so that I had adequate time to complete my work for classes. I even started getting back into “campus life.” I attended events put on by ASAP and joined friends for fun on Friday nights. Things were starting to return to some form of normal. Though I can’t stay I exactly feel “comfortable” on this side of the desk now, I can at least say it no longer feels so foreign. Plus, I’ve only got another 3 months or so of this ahead of me, so I think I can tough it out.

Survey Says!!!!

 What is the best book you've read so far in 2011?

Motherless Brooklyn

It's not necessarily the best, but it's one that I want everyone to read:  Jonathan Lethem's Motherless Brooklyn.  How can you go wrong with a Tourettic protagonist, a shady monk, and a killer the size of a glacier?
-Mark Willhardt

The Kite Runner

So far this year the best book I've read is
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.
-Rissa Inman 


The best novel I've read this year, by far, has to be Joe Hill's
Horns. It's a devilish revenge thriller of friendship, love, tragedy, and betrayal. Truly great writing, and by far the most sympathetic characters I've ever seen.

-Alex Kane

The Awakening

The Awakening
by Kate Chopin
 -Stevie Croisant

Jonathan Strange

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
by Susanna Clark
-Erika Solberg



-Robert Cook

The best literary work that I've read this year is "The Yellow Wall-Paper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. I really like her writing style and the subject matter is interesting. I liked being able to relate it to what I've been learning about in Philosophy of Feminism.
-Katie Struck

The Purloined Letter

I enjoyed "The Purloined Letter" by Edgar Allan Poe.
-Katie Argentine

The American Scholar
Well, teaching The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass was really interesting. However, in regards to reading, for Senior Seminar, reading Emerson's The American Scholar was a pretty rewarding experience.

-Fannetta Jones


by Alice Sebold

-Shara Welter

The Hunger Games

I'd have to say my the by-far best book I've read this year was The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  It was absolutely brilliant and I devoured the book in about a day.

-Leanna Waldron



The Thirteenth Tale

My favorite book of the semester is a nice leisure read.  It’s a modern take on Jane Eyre, Daphne Du Marier, and Mary Elizabeth Braddon (Lady Audley’s Secret).  It’s kind of a gothic/sensation novel hybrid and a real page-turner. 

-Rob Hale


The Odyssey

Living in Italy has given me the excuse to finally read Homer's Odyssey. It was a great work of literature and I've found a lot of paintings and mosaics in Italy depicting some of the episodes in the poem.

-Alex Nall



  • Come and see Tim Mooney perform a combination of his two one-man shows, Moliere Than Thou and Lot 'O Shakespeare for free on Tuesday, March 15 at 7:30 pm in the Wells Theatre. It promises to be a night filled with drama, passion and hilarity!

  • Come check out Suclci, Monmouth's poetry group, every Thursday at 9pm in the first floor lounge of Mellinger Learning Center!

  • Have a fabulous Spring Break!

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

Leanna Waldron

Alex Nall

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