Saturday, April 27, 2013

Jeffrianne Wexler-Gutsin- Why People Should Be Jealous of the English Department

The interesting thing about being an English major is how different we all are. I don’t mean to say that other majors are full of mindless zombie-drones or that Agent Smith from The Matrix (well, maybe just business majors… KIDDING!), but there is something admittedly unique about English students that I think makes this particular field interesting. While some may claim that I am biased due to my own association with the English department, I like to think that there is more to it than that. (Not to say that part of the amazingness of the English degree isn’t a result of the sheer awesomeness of the English students at UNCW)

There are twenty-six letters in the alphabet yet from the permutations and combinations of these simple symbols, mankind has created millions of stories and anecdotes, with no end in sight. The stories that we read and write in school are the product of hours of research and experience bundled up into a neat little takeout container of ink and paper.

We can all appreciate the written word. Some of us claim to hate reading or writing…but honestly, how many of them have unlimited texting? Not much of a difference. Words are vital to communication, and the written word is the most permanent version that we have. Words have the ability to reflect the opinions or rationalizations of the individual, making every sentence ever written an example of human individuality.
Some people are drawn to nonfiction. Some are drawn to fantasy. Some obsess over poetry and others should come with a warning label when it comes to science-fiction.

The point is that the English field is special because it can appeal to such a wide variety of people. You don’t have to like everything; those twenty-six letters have been twisted around at some point to appeal to your own individual tastes. This thing I like about being an English major is that I never get bored. In the sciences, you can’t just disregard certain laws because they’re not your cup of tea. But in English, I don’t have to obsess over poetry if I don’t want to. Literature comes in every shape and size; the English degree is a dressing room that lets you find your perfect fit. 
Just try to get a makeover from the biology department. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tracey Robertson- Inspiration

When I first arrived at Wilmington, I was mainly looking forward to the freedom of doing whatever I pleased, meeting new friends, and fulfilling all the expectations I held ever since I graduated high school. My expectations were filled, but not through the way college was depicted and the way I thought it was supposed to be. Past the drinks and party hopping, I found my biggest fulfillment in meeting a teacher who changed what I cared about. Who supplemented the very passion I have for English Literature today.

Although she moved to California to continue teaching, to my dismay, out of every professor I’ve had so far she still holds the place of the most inspiring and caring  teacher I’ve ever been graced with meeting. Laura Fussell was a professor I had the pleasure of having for both beginning English and English literature, and if I didn’t have her for literature I may not be taking the direction that I am today. I always knew I loved reading, and I’ve always been a passionate participator in English class, but I never considered making it my major.

Once I had Ms. Fussell for literature, she could see how much I was intrigued by writing, that not everyone can receive something from it like I did. She could see my avid participation reflected a passion I had yet to really recognize, and she suggested I consider English Literature as a major. Usually I never listened to my teachers, but I had deep respect for her, she worked hard to get where she is today and that was an admirable quality I couldn’t dismiss.

After she suggested this to me, I was inspired to strive for excellence instead of just getting by like I had my whole academic career up to that point. She displayed what could be achieved through hard work and dedication, and that it is possible to make a career out of a passion for literature. I may not become a professor, but I am thankful that she did. I hope she knows her hard work benefited not only her, but contributed to the passion for literature and drive I have to do my best today.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Jeffrianne Wexler-Gutsin- Final Essays

So, yeah. Final year. Last minute course requirements, looking for housing, figuring out what to do with your life...and papers. Lots of papers. Lots and lots of papers, filling up weekends and nights (and mornings) with stressful and daunting pressure. 

Oh, be still my heart. 

Oddly enough, it hasn't really been that bad. I mean, yeah, my roommates have become desensitized to the long and constant stifled screams that emanate from my room the days before a paper is due. 

We all groan when that essay is assigned. My freshman year, I found the thought of a five page paper painful. It continued throughout my college career, but five pages became eight pages then ten pages. Each time, I would frantically plan my study schedule (including the unavoidable procrastination hour that I would undoubtedly require). 

But now? It's funny. I don't mind anymore. I am alright with the idea that I have three ten page papers (all in different departments) due within the week. And I've actually begun to dread next year. No more homework assignments; no more desperately scouring the library for sources and the Internet for information. No more essays. 

I can't believe I'm saying this, but...I'm gonna miss essay writing.