Author Archives: rfcooper95

To the Undecided English Majors

By: Kaitlyn Sumner

So, you’re great at writing an 8-page research paper in under 24 hours. You’re able to finish an entire novel within a night and be ready for a class discussion the next morning. You can relate centuries old rhetorical arguments to modern-day marketing efforts.

The question you ask yourself daily: “What am I even going to do with this?”

Well, we’re going to remind you of three things:

You have skills.

You’ve more than likely heard the timeless question: “What are you going to do with an English degree?” (Another form of this question: “Are you going to teach/be an author, or…?”) This has cropped up multiple instances throughout your college career: a family reunion, a work meeting, an organization event.

You blush, or maybe you get annoyed. It’s literally always the same question, you say to yourself. You have to politely explain that, no, you aren’t going to teach. No, you aren’t going to write novels. And, yeah, you might do something like *insert your goal career here*.

Continue reading

Giving back on #BSUGivingTuesday

After you’ve found your Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday deals, #BSUGivingTuesday gives you the opportunity to give back to the academic community from which you emerged.

Consider donating to the Ball State English General Fund #2701 to ensure that our students and faculty continue to make a difference.

Keep reading to learn about a few of the projects which this fund has supported in the past year.

Alliance of Black and Latinx Teachers’ Black Educators Conference

Your gift allowed Alliance of Black and Latinx Teachers (ABLT) club officers and English education students to attend the Black Educator’s Conference with their faculty advisor to learn more about teaching Black and Latinx students in the K-12 classroom. They also helped promote our department, which houses the ABLT club, during the higher education recruitment afternoon.

Kayla Veal, Alyssa Huckaby, and Sydney Jordan with their faculty advisor Dr. Lyn Jones at the Alliance of Black and Latinx Teachers’ Black Educators Conference.

“An Evening with Roxane Gay” during Women’s Week

Continue reading

Digital Writing Studio: Saving Lives, One Blog at a Time

By: Cecelia Westbrook

The Nightmare: Blogging

When it comes to doing things on the internet, I struggle. A lot. I didn’t understand Twitter at all until six months ago, and I still only understand basics. I have many friends with beautifully laid out blogs that I admire, but I’ve always told myself, “That is not your literary cup of tea.”

But now I’m a senior creative writing major. And it’s time.

One of my professors suggested I create a website/blog. So, I tried. And trying was about as far as I got with the process. I couldn’t figure out how to add a navigation bar, drop-down lists, my own pictures, my social media links, or anything. Basically, it was a black and white illegible, unnavigable mess.

I spent two hours looking at YouTube instructional videos, clicking every button possible, and ended up with at least six “About Me” tabs. I was ready to throw my laptop out of my apartment window.

I went to my professor for help, and she suggested I go the Writing Center.

Even though I didn’t say anything, my face said, “For an online blog? What are they going to know? They help people with research papers and cover letters, not blogs.”

“No,” she said. “I mean the Digital Writing Studio.”

Now this sounds helpful!

Continue reading

Don’t have time to read the book first? You’re in luck.

By Becky Cooper

Johnny Depp. Daisy Ridley. Michelle Pfeiffer. Judi Dench. Penelope Cruz. Kenneth Branaugh. With a cast like this, you know you’ll want to see Murder on the Orient Express.

But you know it was a book first, right? By the best-selling novelist of all time, Agatha Christie.

They say that the book is always better than the movie, but maybe you don’t have time to read it before November 10? Well, you’re in luck, because this review will give you enough of the plot to understand the movie without spoiling the end.

Continue reading

5 Albums to Keep You Warm This Fall

By: Corey Halbert

It feels like it’s taken forever, but Fall is finally here. The leaves are changing, the air is getting colder, and pumpkin-flavored drinks are back on the menus. Autumn is a time of change, and a time of reflection, so we’ve gathered five albums to soundtrack it.

The Tallest Man on Earth – The Wild Hunt

Folk – 2010

        Even the album art for this record feels like Fall. The grey clouds, desolate Midwestern landscape, and the grey asphalt in the foreground all remind us of a cool afternoon drive through the countryside. This record by Swedish singer songwriter Kristian Matsson just feels like Fall. The finger picked guitar melodies, the Dylan-esque croon to Matsson’s voice, and the lyrics about change and moving on all make for a perfect fall record.

Best tracks: King of Spain, Love is All, Kids on the Run

Continue reading

4 Ways to Make an Unpaid Internship Work for You

By: Olivia Power

If you work during the school year or in the summer, you probably think you don’t have the time or money for an unpaid internship. Or, you may think that these types of internships are merely a form of exploitation. If you find yourself nodding your head in agreement at this point, this post is for you.

It’s enough to make an English major despair, isn’t it? What’s the point in working without a tangible reward? Or what if working for free is just not a financial possibility? And why are so many unpaid internships the exact kind that English majors want–positions for writers and editors? Are words really this cheap?

But don’t despair, English majors. Unpaid internships can be tricky, but when you find one that strikes the right balance between good experience and low time-commitment, it can end up being well worth your time.

As I read the description for the position of Communications & Marketing intern at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Indiana at the end of last semester, my heart began to race. I had been searching for a position exactly like this one for months, one that would suit my interest in nonprofit organizations. But, as their name implies, nonprofits rarely have the luxury of extra cash for paying interns, relying on volunteers and just a few salaried staffers to carry out their mission. When I applied for the internship, I knew I wouldn’t be getting paid, but hoped that I’d gain enough good experience would make up for the spending money I’d be missing out on. I got that and more.

Here are some ways to approach an unpaid internship to make sure you get the most out of your experience, just as I did this past summer.

Continue reading

Register for Book Arts Collaborative!

Looking for another class to add to your schedule for Spring Semester that isn’t just another lecture? We have just the class for you. Book Arts Collaborative is an immersive-learning experience that is also student-managed business.

What do students in Book Arts Collaborative do?

Participants professionalize skills through a variety of hands-on learning and management experiences. They teach letterpress printing and hand-sewn book binding to students, who assist with and eventually lead community workshop instruction in these apprentice-taught skills.

Book Arts Collaborative sells its work through a network of Central Indiana retailers, and students work with those business and gallery owners. They publicize their workshops, community donations and activities such as appearances at street fairs and book arts-related events. Their website also includes a student-written blog.

Continue reading

Author and Artist Kelcey Parker Ervick to Visit Ball State

Author and artist Kelcey Parker Ervick will be visiting Ball State University on October 26, 2017 at 8:30 PM in the Arts and Journalism Building (AJ) 225, and it is free and open to the public.

Kelcey Parker Ervick is the author of The Bitter Life of Božena Němcová, a hybrid work of biography, memoir, and art. Her previous books include Liliane’s Balcony (Rose Metal Press), a novella set at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, which won silver awards for the Independent Publishers, Foreward, and Eric Hoffer Books awards. Her story collection, For Sale By Owner (Kore Press), won the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Award in Short Fiction and was a finalist for the 2012 Best Books of Indiana in Fiction.

She has received grants from the Indiana Arts Commission and the Sustainable Arts Foundation. Her stories, essays, and collages have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous literary journals including Colorado Review, Passages North, Ilanot Review, Quarterly West, Booth, Notre Dame Review, The Common, Western Humanities Review, and Image. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati and teaches creative writing and literary collage at Indiana University South Bend. And she blogs, now and again.

Learn more about her

Continue reading

This year you’re gonna do it!

50,000 words. One month. NaNoWriMo.

Have you ever wanted to write a novel but weren’t sure how to get started? Have you ever been so overwhelmed by the thought of writing a novel that you don’t start? Do you have ideas floating around in your head, but you’re not sure how to piece them together?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then NaNoWriMo is for you!

Can we accumulate 5 million words?

Continue reading

Meet Prof. Laila Aghai

Laila Aghai comes to us from San Antonio, Texas. She earned her PhD in
Culture, Literacy, and Language from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She will be teaching graduate and undergraduate linguistics courses–both f2f and online.

How would you describe your perspective on teaching?

I believe that a classroom environment in which respect, collaboration, discussion, and critical thinking are encouraged can be an appropriate place for

learning and teaching. As a teacher, I understand that I learn from my students as much as they learn from me. Therefore, the background knowledge, experience, and expertise that students bring to the classroom should be valued. When students feel comfortable expressing their ideas and concerns, they are more likely to take advantage of the lessons being taught in the classroom. Continue reading