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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  jjasmer@monm.edu , macarlson@monm.edu,  or jskidmor@monm.edu.
 

Features

                                                 
An Interview With Steven Price

By Johnathan Skidmore

       This past week, I got the chance to interview Steven Price, a new addition to Monmouth College faculty and director of the new Communication Across the Curriculum program.  This is what he had to say:

Johnathan Skidmore:  

      So what exactly made you come to Monmouth, out of all places?

Steven Price: 

      Well, I was teaching at a small, mid-sized liberal arts college outside Jackson, Mississippi, Mississippi College, and Iíd been there for five years--that was my first tenure track job out of graduate school.  I had a lot of opportunities there; I started out teaching as faculty and got involved in Writing Center, got involved in their Freshman Composition class, or running it.  I was Writing Center director and Freshman Composition director, and those were supposed to be temporary things as I held it for someone who was coming in permanently.  Then we had an opening where I became department chairman for the last two years.  It was a really great experience.  I discovered that I like the administrative things, but it really took a lot of time away from teaching.  So the opening at Monmouth College was for the Communication Across the Curriculum director in addition to teaching and it seemed like a good chance to do administrative work as well as teach.  That was the big draw to it.  There was an opening and I had been up here working on a project with a member of the English department previously, so I was familiar with the school that way, and it seemed like a really good opportunity to continue some administration work that might be more directly linked to my teaching.

JS:    Now, what exactly is the Communication across the Curriculum program?

SP:   Monmouth College, as I understand it, has been undergoing a big curriculum review for the past three years, trying to understand whatís currently being done and why and how it can be improved.  So one of the things that they identified as an area that really accentuates a liberal arts environment is communication skills and that is a way to cross disciplinary boundaries and to maintain the interdisciplinary status that really defines a lot of liberal arts college.  Writing and speaking are then seen as a way to lengthen different disciplines and the Communication Across the Curriculum program was established in theory.  Itís not so much that there are communication problems at Monmouth; that has never really come up.  I think that they rightly see that it can be used to accentuate learning and be used as a learning and pedagogical tool in everything from Science, Physics, Music, to Biology, which I just heard a paper on, English, CATA, and everything else.

JS:   What types of programs or events are involved in the Communication Across the Curriculum program?

SP:   Well, right now what we are doing with Communication Across the Curriculum this first year is basically trying to figure out whatís already in place within the different departments.  What kind of writing activities are already in place, what type of speaking activities are already there, things of that nature.  Thatís a large part of what my first year will be about, trying to figure out whatís already going on.  I was just upstairs watching the science seminar where they are presenting papers and projects and things like that.  The Business Department has a business seminar that is very similar.  That is a capstone to their major.  What we want to do first is figure out whatís already in place in terms of writing and speaking and build from that.  Thatís one of the big things this year.  Some things Iíd like to get going are resources for faculty who want to incorporate more writing and speaking into their classes, not necessarily big projects, but the day to day things that will help students process information more effectively.  Helping make sense out of complex ideas where communication would help you do that.  Iíd like to have a resource center or room, or a resource page on the web with resources for faculty who are interested in teaching more effectively using communication skills.  Iíd really like to get some things with the students going.  Iím also co-directing the writing center this year,and will be directing it next year.  I am interested in broadening the horizon with that program.  Trying to get kids who are not just in English110, but kids from a variety of different disciplines to stop over and use the really effective tutors that are there.  Iíd like to have a group from different majors over there, not just freshmen either, but sophomores, juniors, and seniors, in order to create an environment that seems more natural rather than seeming like an artificial hoop or an assignment.  This is one of the goals there.  Iíd also like to try and get some speaking events together where students in particular can share some of their projects, celebrate and give them a little credit for what theyíve done while making a broader audience than their classrooms.  Iíd like to maybe get some posting, maybe a website or print materials where student writing can be shown to people around the campus.

JS:    You mentioned before the interview that you had a focus in English.  Where did you study?

SP:    As an undergraduate I went to Wisconsin, Oshkosh and my background was in English and Secondary Education.  I had a lot of background in composition and composition theory during that.  I taught high school for about three years and then decided that I wasnít teaching enough, so I went to graduate school for my masterís degree at Arizona State University.  I then transferred to LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which is one of the best things Iíve ever really decided to do.  I loved it.  I loved the school, the state, and the football team.  My background there was in eighteenth century British literature, my dissertation was on that.  Actually, the whole time I was there I taught freshman composition, business and technical writing, as well as the two different courses in freshman composition.  Composition is the most challenging thing that Iíve done as teacher, but it also has a lot of rewards, so it motivates ME to keep trying.  I got my degree at LSU, taught there for a year, and then taught down at Mississippi College that I mentioned.

JS:   What courses are you teaching or what courses do you plan on teaching here? 

SP:   Right now, in addition to the Communication Across the Curriculum administration, which is not something that I would like to do if it was just an administrative position, I feel that itís essential to teach and get to know students and to also get to know faculty.  Iíve discovered, and Iíll choose my words carefully here, that when you are in an administrative or department chair position, itís easier to lose sight of what itís like to teach and be with students.  Everything becomes numbers and the bottom line.  Itís easy to fall prey to that.  Iím teaching CATA 101 and English 110.  Iíll be doing that every semester and, in addition, in spring Iíll be teaching the practicum for the writing fellows at the writing center.

JS:   You mentioned your involvement with the faculty here.  Compared to the other colleges and universities that youíve attended or taught at, how do you feel about the faculty in general with the size of the campus and friendliness of the faculty Members?

SP:   They seem like they are really an amazing bunch.  One of the things that I noticed when I was here for an interview was that they are very involved and committed to the school.  I mentioned the curriculum review that they went through, which is usually a dull and nasty thing, but here they seemed to be really interested with the curriculum and what the students were to learn and why.  They were greatly concerned with keeping the liberal arts program.  They seemed very concerned and everyone seemed to have input in the new programs.  Every Friday there are these faculty colloquiums with faculty presentations.  These people are on their own creating these programs, and it seems like they really enjoy mixing academics with fun or entertainment, if you will; at the same time, itís kind of what I was hoping to see in a college environment.

JS:    Is there anything that in closing you would like to stress or make any final pitches about?

SP:   If you want to stress anything, you could stress the Communication Across the Curriculum.  Iím trying to get as many people involved as I can.  My philosophy here, if you want to stress this, is that one of the reasons that I think itís so important to meet everyone and find out whatís going on is that this is something that we want to blend with the things that are already on campus.  I donít have any grand scheme where this is what needs to be done, or try to jam things through here, because that doesnít work for communication, that doesnít work with a lot of things.  It needs to be student driven and needs to be faculty driven, not problem driven, but rather accentuating whatís already there and using it to its full advantage.  Iím glad that weíre doing it, but in a lot of ways we were already doing it, now we are just going to emphasize it more.  So far there has been a lot of interest in it and Iím just interested in keeping the ball rolling at this point.  I would like to invite people to talk to me, students in particular to tell me what sort of things they would find helpful.  Iíd love to hear from students in terms of speaking and writing what they consider their trouble areas and what resources they need.  Itís easy for me to say we need to make the writing center have longer hours or that we need a website, or more resources listed, but if students were to tell me, ďthis is what we need,Ē then that would be most helpful.

JS:   So how can students or faculty get a hold of you?

SP:   Well, email is good (sprice@monm.edu) or you can call me (x2357) and my office is right here in HT, room 102.  If people would like to come over and visit, Iíd love to have Ďem.
 

                            
Getting the Monmouth Experience
By Megan Carlson

     Waking up on August 29th to the sound of an extremely loud alarm clock, I realized that I was at college.  Not just any college, but Monmouth College.  Monmouth was my first choice and first love.  Maybe I wasnít that obsessed, but I did love the campus.  Coming in, I had all of these concerns.  Would my roommate and I get along?  Could I actually live in a cubicle with someone else?  Would I like my classes and professors?  Would it be too much to have all matching colors in my dorm room?  The answer to all the above was yes.  My roommate and I are from different parts of Illinois.  We have never met before, yet she and I have almost too much in common.  Our love for Pringles and Orlando Bloom are important parts of our friendship.  Although I do have some space issues, adding a few decorative touches (Orlando Bloom posters and a fish tank) was tremendously helpful. 

     Walking to class on Monday was exciting and terrifying.  I was hoping that maybe the professors would see me and go ďOh, Megan, youíre wonderful!  You get an A for the semester.Ē  Knowing that this dream was certainly not reality, I went to my first class.  I knew the minute that I got to class I was going to love it.  That was the same with almost all of my classes.  It was like being in one of those classes where you know you will learn a lot but hate to admit it.  Now it is into the fourth week of school and it feels like home.  I've realized that there are so many things to get involved with on campus.  Tennis, swimming, exercising, community service, and even ultimate Frisbee are available all the time.  For me, this is the longest Iíve been away from home.  Thank you to all Monmouthians for making this a great place to be.      

 

                           
Mentoring Week

By Jamie Jasmer

     I was looking at my planner recently, and I noticed that I had "Mentoring Week" written down during a week in October.  I thought to myself, "What the heck is that anyway?"  Well after a few inquires and some contact with Dr. Bond, who is heading up Mentoring Week this year, I found out just what it is.  First and foremost, Mentoring Week will be held the week of October 18 - 22.  Mentoring Week began several years ago and is a way that advisors help students think about life after Monmouth College.  It is also a way for you and your advisor to get to know each other better.  It is a good time for you to set up a meeting with you advisor to talk about goals for a career, lifestyle, personal development for particular skills and abilities, as well as setting up other long term goals such as internships and off-campus study programs.  In some of the information provided by Dr. Bond, she says that the relationship between you and your advisor depends significantly on you.  You shouldn't wait for your advisor to set up a meeting with you, contact them first!  You should ask yourself specific questions about what you want out of life.  This will help you to be able to set specific goals.  It is also suggested that this not be a time where you work on course schedules.  On Wednesday, October 20th, afternoon classes are cancelled and all academic departments will be having informative meetings for majors to help students know exactly what's out there for them to do.  So to sum it all up, Mentoring Week is a time to plan your life and most of all, to be prepared for the scary world after college!

Announcements

  • Dr.  Mary Bruce has been elected to be included into Who's Who in America.  She also has an article on Author Freddie Lee Johnson III coming out soon.  
  • Mentoring Week will be held October 18th - 22nd and Mentoring Day will be Wednesday October 20th.  Contact your advisor today!

Do you think that college campuses and students tend to be more liberal or conservative and why?

 

I would feel that most college campuses and students are of liberal persuasions because their environments are conducive to them being so. At most colleges students are encouraged to examine themselves and the world around them from every possible angle - a process which (at least, in my opinion) can be hampered by a conservative's desire to maintain the status quo.
 Then again, I've been raised in a liberal environment and have never truly been exposed to an overly conservative area, so more likely, the degree of liberalism or conservatism is entirely based on the people/area of the college. An individual's political persuasion is a very personal thing, and itís difficult to peg an entire population as one way or another.
-Jaime Calder
Liberal, because college students feel freedom being away from home and their parents, so they feel they can think however they want to without being influenced or scolded by their parents.
-Catherine Ott
To me it seems that itís about even, but that students are either very conservative or very liberal.  From my experience with college life, I have met few students who are in-between. 
-Sarah Sherry

Do I believe that college campuses tend to be more liberal? For this one Iím stuck in the middle. Statistics have proven that most people follow the ideology of their parents. They grow up, listening to their parents ideas, their parents opinions and begin to follow them. Some tend to ignore the band wagon and follow their own ideas at an early age, but for most people they follow their parentís ideology till they enter college. For one, college offers a new platform of ideas, a plethora of new information. Maybe itís biased, maybe it holds some truth in the matter, but for now itís just new. So college students, (generally speaking) have the independence to follow their own opinions and change their ideology, or they can use the new information they learn in their classes (from professors) to back up their ideology. So to make this pointless paragraph finally end, college life can be generated into either more liberal or conservative. Itís all on how a person looks at it.

-Alexandra Graves

WAY LIBERAL!!!!!  Many professors make it pretty clear who they support politically when they are talking in class about a variety of issues.  It is also a generalization commonly held about liberal arts college professors.  I confirm this common generalization simply from my observation of many professors' stance on different political issues such as the war, the economy, and the separation of church and state.  They unconsciously taint their lectures with their personal opinions, which ultimately influence most easily-swayed college students' beliefs.

-Talitha Nelson

I think that students tend to be more liberal.  This is because they have been introduced into a new environment and a world without any hierarchy telling them what they are allowed to do; how late they should stay up, what they should eat, etc.  Because of this, the students realize that they are watching out for only themselves, whereas their parents (most often conservatives) are watching out for their darling children all the time, and being more conservative.

Freedom from parental intervention = Liberals

Parental intervention or the need to watch out for other people, as well as your self = Conservatives.

-Chadd Kaiser

More liberal because younger generations tend to be more open-minded.

-Chelsea Brandt

I guess it would depend a lot on the college setting, but as far as Iíve seen, most colleges tend to be more liberal.  It seems that most professors address controversial topics within their areas while always trying to encourage their students to think outside what they are typically taught.  New and innovative ideas tend to take the grade over clichťs.  Also, college is the first time that many students have ever lived away from home.  This means that most students are experiencing more freedom than they ever have before, and they are living in the presence of people with very different backgrounds than themselves in most cases.  So, students are often exposed to many new ideas in college and are therefore much more open to trying new things and taking on different experiences than they would in other settings.  In that case, I would have to say that both the college setting and the students tend to be more liberal in most cases.

-Josie Melton

I think college students' liberal or conservative tendencies vary depending on the region they are in. For example, certain states are much more liberal than others. I think it also depends on the type of institution. Religious-affiliated schools, in general, I think are more conservative.  I do think that college students are more liberal, though.  Many people I know here on campus are liberal and most of the more conservative people I know lean more to the liberal side on certain issues.

-Emily Zvolanek

"More than what?" is the question.  I think that college campuses tend to reflect ongoing national trends.  As the country has swung to the right, so have student populations, by and large.  If you're asking are they more liberal or conservative than the national picture, then, no I don't think they are, despite vociferous accusations that the left is corrupting the academy.  If you're asking are they more or less liberal or conservative than past student populations, then I'd probably answer that the current student bodies tend to be more conservative than previous generations.  Again, this has less to do with college and more to do with the cultural climate as a whole.  The United States is less liberal; why wouldn't our student populations follow suit?  Finally, if you're asking are they more or less liberal than other colleges like us, then the answer is yes and no.  Monmouth College is considerably less liberal than "sister" colleges such as Grinnell or Macalester.  However, it's also considerably less conservative than colleges such as Bethel or, say, Oral Roberts.  The answer to your question, then, depends upon what you're really asking, and where you sit when you choose to answer it.

-Mark Willhardt

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 and  Monday              7:00 - 9:00 pm
  Wednesday and Thursday        7:00 - 9:00 pm
   
Spanish Monday and Tuesday              2:00 - 3:00 pm
  Wednesday and Thursday        7:00 - 8:00 pm
   
French Wednesday and Thursday        7:00 - 9:00 pm
   
German Monday and Wednesday          8:00 - 9:00 pm
   
Communication By appointment Only
(3rd Floor of Wallace Hall)

Jamie Jasmer
jjasmer@monm.edu


Megan Carlson
macarlson@monm.edu

Johnathan Skidmore
jskidmor@monm.edu
 

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