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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 lwaldron@monm.edu, scroisant@monm.edu or kstruck@monm.edu.
 
 
 

In This Issue


The Blog: Writing for the Future

 by Katie Struck

Recently, I attended MBLGTACC (Monosexual, Bisexual, Lesbian, Gay, Trans, and Ally College Conference) with some of the other members of the Monmouth College Spectrum group. At the conference there were keynote speakers and workshop leaders talking about ways to improve LGBTQA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Questioning, and Ally) groups and raise awareness about important issues and information. I went to workshops on topics ranging from "Myths and Misconceptions about Kinky Sex" to "Trans Activism and Cis Privilege." As soon as I got back to campus, I wanted to write about what I learned, but I did not know what forum to use, and then I thought of the largest audience that I could possibly hope to get this information to, the internet. I wanted to blog, but I had to know what would make the best blog. How can a blog both be shared publicly and positively affect the local community?

As a regular Tumblr user, I appreciate the work of bloggers. I even have two pages on Tumblr that have some blog entries. I love to read review blogs on movies and books like http://feministfilm.tumblr.com/ and http://noseinabook.tumblr.com/, learn about current issues from activism blogs such as http://fuckyeahbiactivism.tumblr.com/, and learn about people from personal blogs like http://highfunctioningdarklordofall.tumblr.com/. While all of these blogs use blogging in a positive and effective way, not all blogs are grammatically correct or backed up with factual evidence, which can create a problem. The problem is what makes a good blog? Along with pulling from my own personal experiences, I interviewed Bridget Draxler to get some ideas.

Draxler is the Communication Across the Curriculum coordinator and director of the MC Writing Center. She has a background in studying and using communication technology. She said that one of the main misconceptions about blogging, Twitter, and email is that they make writing increasingly informal. While that is true of many blogs, blogs can also be useful tools to writers in and out of classes if they are used with basic ideas of what is important in writing like audience, content, voice, and grammar. When blogs are used right, they should resemble reader response papers, and the expectations for tone and voice should be the same. Also, a positive effect of all this new communication technology is that people are writing more than ever. With this more public form of writing, writers can get feedback from their peers, and this authentic audience can make writers hold their work to higher standards than if they are just writing for themselves or an assignment.

Draxler suggests that writing with the purpose of education or activism should fuel changes within the local community and be fueled by those changes. Often when people write blogs about subjects like feminism, LGBT issues, economic issues, or body positivity, then, they find a like-minded community online where they can share information. However, if bloggers do not use the information that they learn from other's blogs to better their community, then there is a separation between those people and their communities and a lost opportunity to brainstorm with community members on how to improve small towns and cities for all people.

Blogging when used right can be useful for sharing, persuading, informing, and evaluating just like the papers that Composition and Argument students learn to write. The main elements that bloggers should include in their blog entries are attention to audience, voice, evidence, and grammatical errors. Whether the blog entry is a personal account about being in a relationship as an asexual woman or an evaluative piece about the latest John Green book The Fault in Our Stars, the writing should be well crafted and passionate. The Tumblr community seems to be eager to learn new information and consider new ideas, so it is the ideal place to foster creativity and personal growth. At the same time, it has applications to daily life and our college community as a place where writers are in conversation with each other. I encourage all writers to try blogging as a writing outlet and look forward to continue blogging.  

 


What the 4-4 Means for the English Department

 

             by Stevie Croisant

According to English Department Chair Professor Mark Willhardt, there are several changes to the curriculum English majors should be aware of. The 4-4 plan, which was approved earlier this school year, will be implemented for the Fall 2012 semester. The 4-4 plan has caused many majors to reconstruct classes and requirements for graduation. According to Willhardt, the following changes will be put into effect for next semester:

        The English major goes from the current 11 course requirement for the major to 10.5 courses over the four years. The seven required courses remain the same.

   For spring semester 2013, and regular intervals thereafter, the English Department will be offering half courses (a seven week intensive course) as well as regular full-semester courses.

   Professor Hale will offer  Literature of the Civil War in the first half of the spring semester and a course on Oscar Wilde the second half.

   The department will be moving to offer Advanced Creative Writing and Creative Nonfiction in alternating years.

   ENGL 343 and 348 (20th Century British Literature and English Novel) have been removed and replaced with ENGL 337 and 339 (Genre Studies in British Literature and Topics in British Literature), which will parallel current offerings in American literature courses.

   ENGL 350 will be used for special topics courses.

   There is likely to be an effort to make available an extra day in the scheduling of class so that a MWF class may have a Thursday slot as well, so students may gather for group projects.

According to Willhardt, professorsí expectations will increase with the 4-4 curriculum.

ďExcellence is achieved not by demanding more Ďseat timeí in class,Ē Willhardt said. ďInstead, it comes with dedication to the work outside of class- reading, drafting essays, concentrated thinking about topics and works- which the reduction in number of classes allows us all. By focusing more, we can achieve more.Ē

 


Embracing the Challenge: My Experience in Senior Seminar

by Leanna Waldron

So, here it is. At long lastóthe pinnacle of my career as a Monmouth College English majoróSenior Seminar.  I approached the class with mixed feelings of excitement, apprehension, and anxiety.  Excitement for the books we would be reading and to be (after five years) at the end of my undergraduate career.  Apprehension about the seeming-impossible tasks of writing a 20-25 page paper and giving a major presentation to, not only my class, but other peers and members of the faculty.  And, for those of you who know me, the anxiety should come as no surprise at all.

And now, a month and a half into the class, my feelings have changed quite a lot.  I find Iím far less anxious about the class itself and I feel much better about the prospect of doing the presentation and am actually excited to get to work on the paper.  However, Iím becoming far more nervous about the realities that go along with this class. Mostly: graduating.  Becoming an actual, real person with responsibilities other than turning in papers on time and making it to meetings with my professors is a scary notion.  Hardly anything in my life after graduation is set; important things like where Iíll be living and working are still up in the air.  I do have a lot to look forward to, but I also have a lot of stuff that is causing me anxiety.

So, Senior Seminar has become my comfort during this time of uncertainty.  And trust me, the irony is not lost on me. 

This time next year, I will be working full-time, hopefully at a job that I enjoy.  I wonít have homework and papers and presentations.  But I also wonít be constantly surrounded by English majors and professors.  So, while most seniors at this time are just ready to get out in the real world (or maybe just to get out of Monmouth), Iím making a real attempt to savor the time I have left here.  Because Seminar is the only English class Iím taking this semester, itís my last English class at Monmouth College.  Itís the last time Iíll have a real chance to discuss literature in this sort of environment. 

So, Iím embracing it with all stress it induces in me (prone to anxiousness as I am).  While the class is incredibly stressful and anxiety-inducing, itís good to embrace it because who knows whatís going to come next? After Monmouth College, you could go somewhere thatís far more stressful or you could go somewhere thatís not nearly as fulfilling as the big finale of your undergraduate career.

So my advice for all the freshmen, sophomores and juniors reading is this: enjoy it.  Enjoy your classes and savor the challenge they bring you.  Because after itís over, you might actually miss itópapers, presentations, professors and all. 


 

Survey Says:

What is your favorite literary couple?


 

 

Mr. and Mrs. Beaver from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Perfect couple. Perfect romance.

- Robert Cook

 

 

 


 

 

The Brownings!

- Mary Bruce

 

 

 









William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, of course!

- Rob Hale








 

 

Edna and Leonce Pontellier from Kate Chopin's The Awakening.

-Chase Mowery

 

 

 






My favorite literary couple are Zoe and Vanessa from Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult. They are a really caring and value each other. Plus, they support each other through the trial and the troubles at work.

-Katie Struck
















Ron and Hermione from The Harry Potter series


-Ivy Bekker (& Leanna Waldron)







announcements!

  • Don't forget about the Writing Center when you're working on those troublesome papers! Located on the third floor of the Mellinger Learning Center, tutors are available Monday -Thursday 3-5pm and Sunday - Thursday 7-10pm!


 

Leanna Waldron
lwaldron@monm.edu

Stevie Croisant
scroisant@monm.edu

Katie Struck
kstruck@monm.edu
 
 

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