Monthly Archives: April 2010

Faculty Spotlight: Kellie D. Weiss

To make the English department at Ball State more personable, these faculty spotlights will occasionally appear on the blog. I’m happy to inaugurate the faculty spotlight series with Kellie Weiss, visiting Assistant Professor of English:

First, if you could explain where you came from, in terms of your education. And what do you teach at Ball State?
I have a BA in English from Penn State and an MA in English from Duquesne University. I will finish my PhD in 20th Century American Literature from Howard University this July. Excited! At BSU I’ve taught 103, 104, 205, 210, 230, 491, and 493.

What do you enjoy most about English?
Originally, I wanted to be a lawyer. On my undergrad apps I wrote about how I would become a Supreme Court Justice who would be referred to as “the grandmother of the nation.” Yeah, I was reaching. When I realized that English offered all of the debate, reading, discussion, and open-mindedness that I liked and none of the defending murderers stuff that I didn’t, I decided to study literature.

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English 409: Creative Writing in the Community Reading

This past Thursday, April 22, English 409 Creative Writing in the Community held a reading at Cornerstone Center for the Arts. Throughout the semester, English 409 students collaborated with clients in a variety of organizations in Delaware County, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Heritage Retirement Village, Hilcroft Services, Inc., and Motivate Our Minds.  This is the eighth year of Creative Writing in the Community, taught by Barbara Bogue.

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Another Great Learning Experience at Ball State

The summer of 2009 was coming to a close, and I found myself in Munice an entire week before school even started. Turns out wandering through the Muncie Mall, down southern Tilloston, and around the village only makes the fact of not having a job seem that much more hopeless and depressing with each application you fill out. Tired and frustrated from my lack of “experience,” I turned to Cardinal View Jobs hoping to see a job posting worth pursuing. To my luck, the description of “writing tutor” stood out like a $100 bill on the street.

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Interning with Sarabande Books

As my senior year approached, I started to feel the after-college strain. I looked around and saw my friends in accounting and telecommunications snagging jobs and internships like free Tshirts at a concert. Meanwhile, I was sitting in the library for hours on end, sending out application after application to various publishing companies, newspapers and magazines.

The opportunities into which I was looking were primarily in New York, Boston and Washington D.C. I thought that if I aimed high I’d be rewarded for trying. Needless to say, I only heard back from one or two less-than-promising places that were going to cost me an arm and a leg just to pursue. I decided to turn elsewhere.

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English 435 and Blog Origins

According to Technorati, an online tracking system for blogs, 94 million Americans are blog readers while 22 million are bloggers themselves. The Wall Street Journal estimated that about two million Americans make some money from blogging and that over 450,000 Americans make a living from blogging. Newspaper, corporations, and universities all employ bloggers; bloggers are interviewed on national news programs. Blogs have moved from the margins to the mainstream.

During the Spring of 2010, the Department of English offered a special topics course within writing and rhetoric, “The Rhetorical Art of Blogging” taught by Dr. Jackie Grutsch-McKinney. Throughout the semester, the class explored a variety of topics relevant to blogging and the field of English:

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We’ve All Been Through This

Stream-of-consciousness commentary on my relationship with writing

More often than not, I can’t just sit down and write. I have found that when it comes to writing and other hobbies, such as drawing, these activities are preceded with a lingering sense of dread, a coil of reluctance that slithers up from my stomach and wraps its tendrils around my wrists. Any attempts to thwart these attacks are met with fierce resistance; my fingers ache with illusory arthritis and my optic nerves throb with irritation, begging for rest.

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Book Review: Alice I have Been by Melanie Benjamin

The infatuation with Alice in Wonderland has been an everlasting wonder since the release of the book, written by Lewis Carroll, in 1865.  It became even more popular with the release of Disney’s animated film, but became a craze with the release of the 3D version of the film on March 5th, 2010.  However, not many people are aware of the true meaning behind this phenomenon.

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Writing Center Tutors Take on ECWCA

Ball State University was well-represented at the 2010 East Central Writing Center Association Conference in East Lansing, Michigan this April. Three undergraduate students (Tyler Gobble, Phil Call, and Neal Coleman) and two English graduate students (Emily Standridge and Dani Weber) who all work at the Writing Center presented papers at the conference.

In a panel presentation “Exploring the Writing Center’s Convergence with Social Capital,” Phil, Dani, and Emily explored the ways that social capital plays a role in writing center work. Tyler suggested in his presentation, “Creative Writers in the Writing Center,” that writing centers might pursue different paths to appeal more to creative writers. Neal presented on the effect, or lack of effect, that traditional advertising has on writing center services.

Ball State alum, Nikki Caswell (MA, Rhetoric and Composition) co-led a successful workshop on assessment at the conference. Writing Center Director Jackie Grutsch McKinney, also in attendance, was elected to Vice President of the organization.

Benefit Reading for Haiti is a Success

Students from the English Education Club and English faculty members Pam Hartman and Melissa Adams-Campbell organized a benefit reading for the victims of the Haiti earthquakes on April 5, 2010. The event, featured in the Daily News, asked for volunteer readers and pledges from the Ball State community. Together, they raised an impressive $235 in just two hours.

The Writing Center: A Tutor’s Experience

The Writing Center helps Ball State University students with writing projects. The tutors offer free, one-on-one 50-minute sessions on all varieties of writing projects: essays, reports, websites, slideshows, theses, dissertations, proposals, resumes, and applications. The Writing Center’s purpose is to help students become better writers, whether it be learning to find grammatical errors or to organize an argument in writing. Students, both in the English Department and the University as a whole, are encouraged to stop by the Writing Center. As 97 percent of students rate tutoring sessions as good/excellent, it seems like an opportunity worth taking.

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