I have—like I’m sure many Ball State English department students have—dabbled in more financially reliable and business-oriented classes. I tried to count the bones in the human body and follow supply and demand analysis, but the thought of expanding economic and science courses into a major quickly became mind-numbing for me. “I just want to go back to my books,” I remember sulking. I was forced to realize that a struggling liberal arts major was what I was destined to be. Perhaps I would be homeless and live in a cardboard box, but I knew I’d be the best critically thinking hobo there ever was. However, I’ve just graduated, and I’m pleasantly surprised about the number of opportunities opening to me—life in squalor might have to wait.
My path in English Literature as a student, while different than the one I could have expected outside the Department of English, was still made with a lot of hard work. My professors expected a high level of critical thinking and writing, good analysis, teamwork, and communication skills from me. I enjoyed learning these skills that were attributes I could take and apply to a number of career paths, not just things that were specifically “test-taught.”
In the latest installment of our Recommended Reads series Elysia Smith, recent English Department graduate, recommends Misfortune by Wesley Stace.
As a literature enthusiast, I am constantly on the prowl for books that not only challenge me but also manage to walk that line between easy-read and complex yet enthralling. Very few texts manage to do this, leaving me high and dry every summer, stuck with the same old dusty friends on my shelf. This story was tried and true until, one hapless Saturday morning, I was visiting my mother, and she took me to a place in Northern Indiana called Better World books. Continue reading →
Tyler Fields: Can you talk about what sparked your interest in Rhetoric & Composition?
Jennifer Grouling: I always wanted to teach writing, but I didn’t really realize that was a field. I was an undergraduate English education major, and I did teach high school for a little bit. But I really didn’t want to teach literature; I didn’t want to teach Romeo and Juliet for an entire quarter, which is what I was required to do. So when I went back to school for my M.A., I wasn’t exactly sure exactly where I wanted to take my interest in teaching. Once I realized that Rhetoric & Composition was an option, I thought, “that’s what I want to do. I want to teach writing.”
In the latest installment of our Recommended Reads series, we celebrate the end of the school year by bringing back a post from our archives by associate professor Dr. Debbie Mix. Below, Dr. Mix recommends her list of summer reads, headlined by Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick and followed by several other fantastic books!