2 More Days and 2 Quick Things

2 days down, 2 to go guys. You got this! Finals, prepared to be crushed.

And to all those out there who have officially finished this fall semester congratulations, go celebrate. You deserve it! I personally suggest a couple peppermint milkshakes from Chick-fil-A as a reward, but you do you.

Before you all head out to enjoy the holidays, a couple quick reminders…

Now, I know the LAST thing you want to be thinking about right now is school, BUT there are some really cool things we just HAVE to share. So bear with me, and here we go:

#1: The 48th (!!) Annual WKU Student Research Conference is NOW accepting abstract submissions. This conference covers a little bit of everything: oral papers, posters, exhibits, displays, demonstrations, performances, and videos. Your submission can be research-based or more creative if you like!

This is a really neat opportunity to share your own specific ideas and interests with others. Also, if you participated in any faculty-mentored project, you are most definitely invited to enter! February 16 is the deadline for your 200-word abstract submissions, so take the break to think about it and enter soon!

#2: Last, but certainly not least, did you see the super cool article in the Talisman that featured a few of our English faculty?? In a recent article regarding linguistics, Dr. Elizabeth Winkler and Dr. Trini Stickle were both mentioned in connection with their love of learning more about the art and fundamentals of language.

As you might already know, there actually isn’t an official major offered for linguistics at WKU, but that did not stop one student from going the extra mile and creating her own! Read all about Macy Lethco’s journey and enjoy learning the ins and outs of linguistics.

Ok, that’s it, I’m done. You don’t have to think about school anymore. Seriously, though, think about submitting to the conference and check out the article.

You might even learn something REALLY cool about Dr. Winkler and a project she’s been working on for almost 20 years now!

Have a wonderful restful break filled with food, family, and Netflix. Enjoy it guys, you deserve it!

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Like A Good Neighbor, Cherry is Thereee

Here we are again.

The time has come.

It is nearly upon us now.

That one time during each semester that tests the mental fortitude and perseverance of students and faculty alike.

Just hearing the word sends chills down the spines of some…

Fin…

Actually, you know what, I’ll save you the nightmares for a few more hours.

With the 8-page papers, 15 minute group presentations to prep for, and 4 comprehensive exams to study for it may seem that the end of the world is upon us, but do not fear.

WKU, as an institution, provides SO many helpful study areas, tips, and stress relieving ideas to help you survive that week we all dread.

The Potter College of Arts and Letters each semester has organized activities that help soothe anxiety in their “Stress Buster Week.”

They offer coloring sessions, cuddle time with sweet pups, and free coffee and food throughout the week!

Come by #FFC and check out our bulletin board with the daily schedule for all of the fun stuff going on to help you make it through.

We can do this.

We’re gonna do this together.

Cue High School Musical nostalgia

P.S. When in doubt during finals week, I have two words for you…

POP. THAT. BUBBLE. WRAP.

Hercules-Is-Confused-By-Phils-Rant-And-Starts-Counting-On-His-Fingers

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Undergrad Conference = Success

Happy Tuesday All! So, before we get started with all the super cool things going on in the English Department right now, I feel like I should apologize…

To all you freshmen out there, I’m sorry from the very bottom of my heart. As a blogger and student here at WKU, it is my duty, nay, my privilege to be able to transfer helpful information on to you. However, last week I failed. I failed to tell the freshmen how completely unbearable the walk up the hill is the first day after break. I should have prepared you and perhaps even saved you from all the huffing and puffing that was undoubtedly experienced by so many yesterday. You would think that it’s only a few days, and you couldn’t undo an entire semester’s worth of endurance that you’ve built up, but…think again.

Every year it gets me…ugh…well just do what I do. When in doubt, blame it on the stuffing.

So, now that that is out of the way, I hope everyone was able to attend the English Department sponsored 15th annual Undergraduate Conference a couple weeks ago. It was a BIG success!

It took a lot of courage for those students to get up and speak on topics that mean so very much to them. So thank you to all that came and supported them in their academic venture!

There was a broad range of topics discussed and covered under the general headings of literature, post-modernism, and pop culture and media.

In the literature portion, the presenters talked about everything from Satan, whoa, to postcolonial African politics. Jessica Barksdale, from her essay “Necessary Evil,” went into great detail into the philosophical aspects of presenting Satan as a literary character. She suggested that he is sometimes shown to be more than the antagonist, but also a character with many dimensions and facets to his personality.

In the section that covered post-modernism, Jennifer Troth, in her essay focused on Salman Rushdie’s ideas on women in eastern cultures, defends this author’s perspective and showing strong contrasts between western and eastern women’s roles.

Finally, in the third panel, the presenters interestingly applied philosophy to videogames, social media, and other modern technologies. English Department’s Talisman correspondent Kalyn Johnson gave an extensive presentation on how different social media platforms mold communication and connectivity. Specifically, Instagram allows for users’ personalities to be shown in ways that are not fulfilled in other social mediums.

Each individual was able to present intriguing and thought-provoking ideas on both old and new concepts that we, as English majors, can appreciate and enjoy.

There are so many events like this one that are happening all the time here in the English Department. So I encourage you to check back here for updates and GO when you have a chance! There is just something special when a bunch of English majors get together to talk about and enjoy the thing we are all so passionate about…English!!

So, trust me on this one, you won’t want to miss out!

P.S. Whenever you are in Cherry Hall next, check out the wintry board in our main hallway and leave us with a message telling us what book YOU’ll be reading over Christmas break!

 

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THANKSgiving

Happy Almost Turkey Day everybody!

We’ve done it, we’ve made it to Thanksgiving…hallelujah!

And now you can kick back, relax, eat an absolutely ridiculous amount of food, hear your grandpa tell the same story involving him meeting some stranger in the post office three times with the same enthusiasm, and watch some good ol’ football…and who knows, with the NFL you may get your daily dose of politics at the same time! Oh that NFL, ever so efficient.

But back to the point…NO SCHOOL.

Try to forget about the upcoming exams, papers, projects, and assignments for a few days. You deserve it, and as my wise mother once said, “Everyone needs a break.” So let us use this time to refresh, recharge our batteries, and rest up so we can finish out the semester with a BANG.

WARNING: What I’m about to say is commonly considered very sentimental and cliché by the general populous:

Every Thanksgiving we are asked to think and reflect back on the past year and meditate on all of our blessings.

I don’t know about you, but I, for some reason, feel that I have more to be thankful for this year than ever before. After the flooding in Houston and Florida, wildfires in California, and the awful shootings in Vegas and Texas, I, personally, feel that I have so so much to be grateful for.

After all of the horrific things that some have to endure by no fault of their own, my papers and the gross amount of studying and homework I’m stressing over just doesn’t seem that important.

Oftentimes we say it’s cliché to talk about counting our blessings and all that, but ya know what, that makes you a humble, thoughtful, and compassionate person.

With so many terrible things seemingly occurring every day, we forget about all the lives that have been affected by disasters and the very real struggles they are still experiencing. Just because the news may have stopped covering them doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still remember and think about all the people out there from all walks of life that have a new perspective heading into Thanksgiving.

Y’all. We. Are. So. Blessed.

I hope we all take time to think about that when we are surrounded by friends and family for the next several days.

To all you students out there, enjoy the food, family, fun, and football.

From everyone here at #FFC Happy Break and Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. People, do us all a favor…stay off your phones. Enjoy your family. Thanks.

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The Conference of the Undergrads

Helloooo everyone and congratulations, you’ve made it to another Thursday!

As the homework, exams, and impending projects are starting to get to you, stop and think for a moment. Five more…five more days until a WELL-DESERVED break to reenergize, recharge, and muster up enough sanity to finish out the semester like a pro.

Before all that fun, food, and family of the holidays kicks in, however, we here in the English Department are still chugging along and are really excited about an upcoming event!

TOMORROW is the annual Undergraduate Conference on Literature, Language, and Culture!

This event is a unique opportunity to hear from fellow English majors about research projects and various topics that interest them most.

Dr. Lewis, along with many others, have put so much time into making this event one that students feel open not only to share their personal projects in the English realm, but for students to come, listen, and be inspired as well.

I know there’s a lot going on right now as the semester is coming into the home stretch, but this is definitely an event you don’t want to miss!

So, come and check it out and who knows, you might learn something new or find the motivation you’ve been lacking to start a research project of your own!

Cherry Hall.

Room 125.

1 P.M.

Be there or be square.

Oh, and by the way, refreshments will be provided…yay!

Join in on all the nerddom fun; do not be ashamed because remember, this is very important, so listen up, being an English major IS cool!

P.S. Be on the lookout for a recap of the conference and the speakers after the break!

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Dun Dun DUNNNN…

Gooood morning English majors! I hope you all had a profitable weekend, that you looked ahead to study for some exams, started working on those group projects due at the end of the semester, and caught up on some light reading…but anyway, how was the end of Stranger Things season 2?

Well it’s onwards and upwards into another week here at WKU. With only one more week until Thanksgiving, the end of the semester will be here before we know it…hallelujah!

In life, it seems that when things are about to end, we sentimental human beings tend to get rather reflective. So, as another semester is winding down and the pressures of papers, exams, and projects loom above our heads, it’s natural that we ask, “What are we doing this for?”

Besides maybe the English for Secondary Teachers majors, we may not have any idea what we want to do, or even can do, once we graduate from WKU with a fancy cursive diploma in our hot little hands.

I don’t know about you, but that has always bothered me. English is so broad and so far-reaching that the cool thing is that you may end up in a place you never pictured for yourself. However, the scary part is, you may end in a place you never pictured for yourself.

Well, my friends, have no fear because your diligent blogger is here!

There’s this really great article that you need to check out from the Business Insider. In it, the author gives a list of skills that English majors can learn and utilize for possible career opportunities. There’s a handy dandy chart that gives some job suggestions for each skill AND gives base salaries, the number of jobs in that given area, AND gives an idea of how fast that job market is growing.

So to all you English majors out there that haven’t figured out what you want to do with the rest of your life yet, join the club. Don’t stress. There are so many opportunities and availabilities out there that you would have never expected.

Believe in yourself. You got this.

“Don’t worry about a ting, cuz every little ting is gonna be alright”…ok, I think you’re catching my drift.

The nature of being an English major may seem daunting and maybe even annoying at times, but don’t think of it that way; think of it as exciting, spontaneous, and pretty freaking cool.

We got this guys, stay strong!

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SANTAAAAA! I KNOW HIM!

Happy Happy Thursday, my people, and Happy November 2nd!

November 2nd is a very special day in which people from all across the country come together to celebrate national holidays that commemorate the beloved blue Cookie Monster, deviled eggs, circles, and apparently even psychics…what is America…?

However, whichever one(s) you and your friends decide to celebrate, just remember: when life gets ya down, there’s always something to celebrate!

Speaking of celebrating, guys…Halloween is over…DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS?

ENTER CHRISTMAS.

Boys and girls, take a seat, sit back and relax because Christmas time is here again. While we stress over the weight of life’s problems, grab a grande Starbucks hot chocolate, and rock around a Christmas tree…preferably your own, but ya know, whatever rocks your tree is fine with me!

Now, I feel it is my sacred duty as the esteemed FFC blogger to remind you that while you’re gettin’ your cheer on, I must warn you of the dangers that surround us.

There are people, few as they may be, that will judge the “premature playing” of said Christmas tunes and if you have any friends that are like that…they may be nice and all, but you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life, trust me on this one…unless, of course, it’s your roommate and then that poses a slightly more complicated dilemma. So, in an effort to keep the peace, I suggest an investment in some red and green earmuffs, because baby, it’s cold outside anyway and that will show them how much you care. Win, win!

So everybody get out your red and green ugly sweaters and those silver jingle bells because now is the time to forget about Last Christmas and usher in the new one with the roasting of a few chestnuts on an open fire, but only, of course, if you invite Jack Frost to tag along.

Dust off those cheesy movies that you haven’t watched in two weeks and watch them proudly. Oh, I almost forgot, don’t forget to grab a box of Kleenex for when Buddy finally is accepted and loved by his dad. Yeah, you and I both know it gets ya every time.

I don’t know what it is, but I just love Christmas. Seriously, all I want for Christmas is more Christmas…and maybe one less comprehensive final to study for, but even studying for that can be improved by turning on the right tunes!

For the life of me, I do not understand why Christmas music is only socially acceptable in one part of the year. You cannot listen to holly jolly melodies and not smile, it’s actually impossible and has been proven so by the Mythbusters, well, technically no but they SHOULD.

As college students, one singular smile can change a bad day to good. I henceforth propose that more Christmas music should be played and not only should it be played more often, but it would result in fewer mental breakdowns, procrastination of studying, and might even boost GPA, who knows!

Well I’m gonna go and wish somebody a Merry Christmas, so stay warm and jolly my friends!

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HALLOWEEN!

Happy Halloween my pretties mwahahahahaha…anyways, I hope you’re having a ghoultastic Tuesday!

Now, I know it’s hard to get into the spooky spirit with such a wonderful holiday being on a Tuesday, but I think I’ve got a solution!

Here in the English Department, we believe the answer to every good quandary is to read a book:

  • What should I do in this lovely fall weather? READ A BOOK
  • I really don’t want to do homework right now, what should I- READ A BOOK
  • What’s the weather tod- READ A BOOK
  • When do I register for clas- READ A BOOK

Ok, well with that last one you might want to actually talk to someone or check TopNet because that’s kind of important…but big picture people big picture, when in doubt…READ A BOOK.

So…yep, you guessed it…here’s the Top 10 books you should read for Halloween:

1) The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irvingsleepyhallow

This 1820 classic short story is one for the ages. With stupid ol’ Ichabod Crane and the awesome Headless Horseman, this is sure to bring back all the feels of that cartoon movie you were forced to watch when you were a kid.

2) It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! By Charles Schultz

charliebrown

Speaking of bringing back all the feels, Charlie Brown is a must. The whole concept of a secret Great Pumpkin monster/friend popping up in the middle of a dark pumpkin patch every year, I mean if that doesn’t give you the creeps I don’t know what will. Also, if you’re just now realizing you don’t have a costume for tonight, grab a white sheet, some scissors, and a rock and you’re set!

3) Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

heart of darkness

If you’re in the market for an existential crisis, this one is the one you’ve been looking for. What’s more fitting for the holiday built on fear than to question the very person you are? Sounds super fun!

4) The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

poe pic

If existential crisis isn’t quite your thing, how about possibly THE most famous poem in literature that’s about a man who keeps talking to a bird and ends up going crazy because the bird talks back? Oh yeah, and the bird only knows one word…which apparently makes it worse. This is certainly one you don’t want to leave off of your list!

5) Dracula by Bram Stoker

dracula

“I’ve come to SUCK YOUR BLOOD!” There is possibly not a more fitting embodiment of what Halloween is all about than that right there mic drop

6) Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

twilight

Actually no, just don’t. Save yourself…it’s just too awful.

7) Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

frankenstein

Back to real pieces of literature with realistic characters…what’s green, is a monster, but kind of isn’t, and you end up actually feeling sorry for it in the end?

8) The Shining by Stephen King

the shining

The saddest and most disturbing part of all…SPOILER ALERT…why do they have to kill off the WRITER?? I mean seriously Stephen King, come on.

9) Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

silence-of-the-lambs

crickets

10) House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

House-of-Leaves

If you’re looking for something a little more cutting-edge and non-traditional, here you go. The very writing style itself is creepy and uncomfortable, adding to the amount of legitimate anxiety you receive from the stories within the main plot.

Now personally, I do not understand why you would WANT to read something that prevents you from sleeping, walking by yourself, and brings back old feelings of when you were little and scared of the dark…but hey, to each his own.

Top 10 Halloween books…there you go…I guess enjoy them?

As far as costumes go, I dare you to pull off something literary! Who cares if no one understands who you are? As the great Shia LaBeouf once said, “Just DO IT!”

Happy Halloween everyone, stay safe and have fun!

P.S. TOMORROW is the deadline for The Ashen Egg! So don’t forget to stop by, grab a cover sheet and submit it by TOMORROW!

P.S. Yours truly would appreciate it if no clowns came to visit the office today…thank you very much. Please, just no… #yesimascaredycat

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#TeamTatted

Helloooo, my people! I hope your Thursday was a smashing success. However if your day was more like spilling coffee on yourself, hitting snooze one too many times, and forgetting about that assignment that was due at midnight last night…do not fear for Friday is near!

So the amazing Dr. Langdon and the people in the office here at First Floor Cherry (follow us on Twitter btw: @1stfloorcherry) were thinking the other day about life and deep stuff, and we were thinking “Ya know, English is cool…tattoos are cool…we should do something to create one big cool thing combining the two!”

For all you crazy English nerds out there, we understand that sometimes there is that one quote, symbol, or author that really impacts you so much that you decide to get a tattoo to commemorate it.

Enter Literary Ink.

Literary Ink is a new project we’re going to start that highlights some of those tattoos and what makes them special to YOU!

So, we want to hear from you! Stop by the English Department Office (CH 135) with a short blurb explaining why that image has an important meaning to you. However, here in CH, we understand that the trek up the hill is most definitely NOT the most pleasant thing in the world, so I guess if you would prefer to stay in your warm dorm room sipping hot chocolate and watching Netflix (which I totally support whole-heartedly) email the blurb and a picture to english.office@wku.edu.

We plan on putting the submissions up in Cherry Hall and dedicating some time to feature them on our social media sites (follow us on Instagram: @firstfloorcherry)!

We are really excited to see what you guys come up with! So come on by, our office is open 8-4:30 M-F!

Have an awesometastic weekend guys, and stay warm!

P.S. Yes I did just shout out not one, but two of our social media accounts. And no, I will not be ashamed.

P.P.S. Now guys, we have to say this, but please keep the pictures PG, ok? Great, thanks!

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For the People Who Don’t Want to Talk About Next Semester…

Good afternoon everyone and congratulations on completing Day 2 of Week 10 of Fall 2017 classes…wow, this semester has FLOWN by…even though it might not always feel like it in the moment.

Next semester and 2018 will be here before we know it! So, since registration is rapidly approaching and we are all very much looking forward to that 5 A.M. wake up time, it’s time to shake away those cobwebs from our eyes, grab some Starbucks, and plan for next year!

There are so many amazing opportunities to take advantage of, especially here in the English Department!

Dr. Angela Jones is the go-to professor for all things regarding internships and she has once again come through with a list of TWELVE different internship possibilities for next semester:

  1. Department of English (Profile Writer)
  2. Department of Theatre & Dance
  3. ENG 299-1:  Dr. Fife
  4. ENG 299-2:  Dr. Langdon
  5. Engineering Story Harvester
  6. FILM 201:  Dr. Hovet
  7. Nathaniel Hawthorne Society
  8. Noisy Philistine Films
  9. Office of Scholar Development
  10. Professional Writing Program
  11. Simpson County Literacy Center
  12. Society for Values in Higher Education

Any one of these opportunities would provide invaluable experience that will not only help you in your studies, but will boost your credentials post-graduation with the job market.

So check these out and see which one(s) you would consider and give it a shot!

To apply, you need to download and complete the Internship Application Form. Then, save the form and attach it in an email and send it to Dr. Jones.

If you have an opportunity to intern that is NOT mentioned in the list above, on page 2 of the application form, there is room to describe in detail your possible opportunity. It will then be reviewed by Dr. Jones and Dr. Hale and a decision will be reached accordingly.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email Dr. Jones, but check the application FIRST because it just might answer them!

Now the most important bit of information…all of this is due NEXT MONDAY (October 30). So definitely check it out, but it’s due SOON!

As always, have a wonderful rest of your week!

P.S. Registration for Spring 2018 opened THIS morning, so good luck all you seniors out there, and after that 5 A.M. wake up time…reward yourself with a nap #napsfordays

 

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