Author Archives: bsapet32

Welcome Prof. Sarah Domet

Sarah Domet

Sarah Domet’s debut novel, The Guineveres, was released from Flatiron Books in October 2016. She’s also the author of 90 Days to Your Novel (Writers Digest Books, 2010). She holds a Ph.D. in literature and creative writing from the University of Cincinnati and will be teaching courses in fiction writing in our creative writing program.

Learn more about her on her website.

What are you currently reading, if anything?

I’m fortunate to have a job that requires me to read. It gives me the chance to conduct independent studies for my creative projects, crash courses on interesting subjects “for the sake of research.” (I put “for the sake of research” in quotes only because I once spent a full day reading about Jarts for one throwaway line in a story. It’s easy to get off track.)

My current novel project, set partly in 1910, features a protagonist who claims to commune with the dead. To better understand this era, I’m reading Through a Glass, Darkly: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the Quest to Solve the Greatest Mystery of All. This book offers a fascinating glimpse into the spiritualist movement: mediums, seances, lies, frauds, sex, and scandals.

What is a text that you think everyone should read?

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Sarah Flores: Making a Difference with an English Degree

Sarah Flores. From her Twitter: @heyitsflores

Sarah Flores graduated from Ball State University in 2016 with a BA in English studies. After graduation, she returned to her hometown of Columbus, Indiana and worked for the school corporation. In April 2017, she accepted a position with Turning Point Domestic Violence Services on the Prevention Team. 

 

How did your English major lead to your current position? What series of steps did you make after college to get there, and what skills did you learn with us that helped you in that transition?

I wouldn’t say that I took a series of steps to be in my current position. After I graduated, I knew that I had one goal: get a job. I was privileged in that I had a place to stay, reliable transportation, and no other responsibilities that got in the way of my search. I knew that I wanted to work with youth, so I looked for open positions in the school system. I was quickly hired as a teaching assistant at a high school and, because of my degree, I was placed in an English classroom. Long story short, one of my current coworkers came into the classroom as a guest speaker on teen dating violence, and I knew that I wanted to do something similar. As luck would have it, they were hiring.

Full transparency, I was amazed that I was hired for my position with an English degree. In this field, it’s more common to see people with social work or psychology backgrounds. But taking a step back, it makes sense. Prevention is not intervention (i.e. working one on one with someone who is in crisis). Prevention is looking at a complex issue (which, in my case, is intimate partner violence) and finding ways to deconstruct the unhealthy behaviors that contribute to the problem. This echoes the skills I learned in the English department: analyze the situation, break down its layers, and communicate it to an audience.

(If you want to know more about violence prevention, or if you’re just a cool nerd who likes to read things, the CDC has a lot of great info: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/overview/index.html)

What’s a typical day like for you?

I’m happy to say that I don’t have a typical day. During the school year, I’m most likely in a classroom. Our prevention team does programming in all of the middle and high schools in our county. Sometimes I’m in an 8th grade class doing an activity on consent. Other times I’m with high schoolers having a discussion about break ups. Maybe I’m at an in-patient facility helping teens brainstorm coping skills for when they get angry. Regardless of my location, I’m given the freedom to be as creative as I want to be. If my main goal is to prevent and eliminate intimate partner violence, then I need to scaffold what a healthy relationship looks like in relevant ways.

(For anyone interested, www.loveisrespect.org is one of my favorite websites for information on healthy, unhealthy, and abusive relationships.)

On a typical day I’m doing what we call “chasing the squirrel,” which is having a Jimmy Neutron-esque brain blast and then running with the idea. There’s a lot of crafting (which I’m not good at), document designing (shout out to Eva Grouling Snider), and supporting our very talented and beautiful grant writers.

Many moons ago I slapped together a presentation for one of Rory Lee’s courses all about working at a nonprofit with no intention of ever doing it and behold—here I am. Spooky.

Do you have any advice for English majors who are trying to figure out what comes next in their lives?

My advice: APPLY FOR WHATEVER JOB YOU WANT. Seriously. Just do it. Here’s the little secret that I learned pretty early on: your major doesn’t define what you can and can not do. Employers are looking for people with relevant skills and, baby, no one can put you in a corner. Your English major is a skeleton key to any career field.

Can you write? Heck yes—and in different genres!

Can you research? You bet! Your Google search history is probably alarming, but you know your facts!

Are you organized? Not only have you learned how to effectively communicate in a logical flow, but you have also juggled multiple deadlines. You got this.

Are you a critical thinker? You kick so much butt when it comes to analyzing information, distinguishing the relevant from the irrelevant, and communicating possible solutions that they call you Truth Lee (this is a Bruce Lee pun and I am sorry).

This is just a short list that doesn’t even cover half of your magical abilities you’ve EARNED.

Honestly, the best advice I can give is just to take chances. So what if you don’t have the “experience required”—you’d be very surprised on the calls you get back. Oh, and try to work at a place that allows dogs because it rules.

You can find Sarah on Twitter at @heyitsflores.

Meaningful Moments as an Intern for the Indiana Writers Center

Faint lights shined on the Indy Reads stage as the Saint Florian CASH Club high schoolers performed their spoken word writings; they worked hard all summer for this moment.

For the past two summers, I have interned with the Indiana Writer’s Center as an intern with the Saint Florian CASH Club high schoolers. I remember my first day ever working with them, it was June of 2016, when I walked in the room I could feel their cold stares falling upon me. I could only imagine they were thinking,

“Who is this girl?”

“Oh great… another teacher who’s going to make me write.”

“Why should I trust her?”

I don’t blame them though. I was a stranger coming into their summer camp with the intention of having them write and share their memories. I would’ve felt the same way if I were in their position, but I knew that there had to be something I could do to earn their trust. So, that first day when the prompts were given to them, I decided to write along with them. I wrote about an intimate moment of my own life and allowed myself to be vulnerable. I did this without the intention of sharing, but once it came time for author’s chair, their eyes once again fell on me.

“Miss Eileen, let’s hear what you wrote.”
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