Friday, February 28, 2014

Sigma Tau Delta Annual Convention, Savannah (Words from your Secretary)

The hotel we're staying at. This is the convention location too!

Hey Sigmas!

We are having a fabulous time in Savannah so far. Kathleen and I arrived on Friday and spent the night at the Opening Event. We had the chance to hear Alison Bechdel give a reading. She was hilarious! Kathleen read her graphic memoir, Fun Home, in a previous class. I'm definitely interested in looking at her work after this.

A slide from Bechdel's reading

After a long day of driving, we grabbed dinner at One Eyed Lizzy's.


Renee arrived late last night, and Ms. Sumerel and Ellen arrived today! We're so happy to start the first full day of the conference. We set up our Outstanding Chapter display and attended the Scholarships and Awards Ceremony. We were one of two chapters present who received the Outstanding Chapter Award! Thanks to all the hard work and effort each member puts into being a part of this chapter. Also, a major shoutout to Ellen Watts for creating a winning application for the award.

All of us with the Outstanding Chapter Award
Next up was Kathleen's chair session. She did a great job with her panel: Gender in the 19th Century South. After her session, we watched Ms. Sumerel moderate for the panel: Encountering the Other in Film. So many great presenters and papers!

Then we attended the Regional Networking session. We had the opportunity to meet others from the Southern region, including the student representatives. We also found out we won a Common Reader Award for our Coming of Age Roundtable Discussion from last month! Wow...great job everyone!

We couldn't wait to eat dinner after such an eventful day. We ate at Spanky's and decided to call it an early night to prepare for another busy day on Friday.


Ms. Sumerel had an early morning with an 8:00AM panel she was the moderator for. This panel was titled: Twentieth Century Literature. Then Ms. Sumerel, Kathleen, and Ellen attended the Business Session and Regional Caucuses. I walked by the Chapter Merchandise Sales and saw some great t-shirts. One shirt said, "Sherlock is my Holmes boy." Another shirt read, "Cool story, Poe." :-D Unfortunately, when I went back later to purchase one they were all sold out...such a bummer. Moral of the story: If you go to the convention next year make sure you buy your shirts really early.

Renee presented her paper, "The Beats Move On," in the Contemporary American Literature panel. She did a fantastic job!

Renee presenting her paper

Next, I presented my paper, "Children of the Pedro Pan Airlift: Impact on Relationships," in the Latin American Literature panel. I was nervous about the Q&A session but we had great questions and a great discussion between the panelists. Our practice session last month really helped a lot. Thanks to all of you who were able to offer us advice and help us prepare.

At the Regional Networking session we met a Sigma who is here from the University of Alabama- Huntsville and she is the only one here from her chapter. We ran into her again today and she attended my session. She joined us for a nice dinner at the Pirates' House.

The Mango Chili Glazed Salmon...yum!


One more day in Savannah! We didn't have any presentations or sessions scheduled for today, so we explored more of the city. Moon River Brewing Company was our choice for lunch. We found Savannah's City Market and spent some time in the shops. My favorite places from the day were Savannah's Candy Kitchen and the Savannah Bee Company. The candy shop had free samples of milk chocolate pecan fudge. Savannah Bee Company had free samples of honey and it was all delicious! I couldn't help buying some to bring home. My favorite is the Orange Blossom (the Winter White is a close second). We also caught a glimpse of a wedding that just ended by the river.

After a day of walking around the city, we went back to the hotel to drop off our shopping bags and to rest before our last dinner in Savannah.

Final notes:

The convention has been an incredible experience! I highly recommend submitting papers and trying to be a part of the next one, which will be in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Savannah, Georgia has been one of the friendliest cities I've been to. The people at the hotel were always hospitable and willing to help us in any they could--offering tips on the best restaurants and telling us the best spots to explore. This week has been filled with great papers, scholars, literary discussion, and fun adventures in one of the oldest cities in Georgia.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Special Announcement!

Sarah Howard's play adaptation of the short story, "The Appointment in Samarra," has been accepted for publication for "Mind Murals," a regional Sigma Tau Delta journal.
Congratulations, Sarah!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Kayla Franklin - Little Red Letter

The first time I realized I wanted to be an English major was my junior year in High School.  My English class was reading “A Tale of Two Cities,” and every day we would discuss what we read the night before.  My teacher, Mrs. Hicks, would ask us to analyze certain passages from the book and give a deeper meaning. I found that while I was analyzing I was actually enjoying it! Because I thought Mrs. Hicks was one of the most intelligent people I knew, I wanted to be an English teacher just like her.

When I was given the prompt for my first college paper I was so excited to get started.  The day it was due I couldn’t wait to turn it in and leave my professor in awe. Within the next week I was given my paper back with a little red letter written on the top right corner. Nothing says ‘reality’ like a ‘C-.’ Through the next few months my writing became better, but my hopes of being an English major were crushed.  However, I persevered and decided my patience could not handle watching children all day.

I ended up changing my concentration to Professional Writing with a minor in Journalism.  After taking some field experience classes and writing many stories I have no need to fear that little red letter on the top of my papers.