Since we’re approaching the end of the Spring semester, it’s time to hear what the English public relations interns have to say! Today, Taylor tells us about her experiences as an English student — both inside and outside the classroom.
I got my job as an English department secretary a few weeks before I started my freshman year of college. The office was inviting, my co-workers and bosses were friendly, and every day that I worked behind the front desk, I found myself meeting people, students, staff, and professors — all intimidatingly smarter than I was in every aspect of life.
I spent my first year hiding behind that front desk, watching clubs organize events I refused to go to, hearing about readings in local coffee shops I’d most certainly miss, and poetry competitions I would never dream of competing in. I got into the habit of staying behind the scenes, of appreciating my department at a distance. The more time I spent behind the desk, avoiding these opportunities, the more I craved to be involved in them.
I was writing, sure, but I wasn’t showing it to anyone. I was reading, definitely, but I didn’t want to talk about my experiences with anyone outside of my painfully disinterested friend group.
In this week’s Recommended Reads, Prof. John King, who teaches screen writing and creative writing, recommends “The Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy Improvisation Manual” by Matt Besser, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh.
Teaching is part performance. To be an effective teacher, you need to be able to perform in front of people in a way that engages them and keeps them interested. Effective teaching requires skilled presentation, quick thinking, and frequent adjustments.
If you can think on your feet and work with diverse audiences, and if you can develop public speaking skills that help you maintain an audience’s attention, then you’re helping yourself as a teacher. A dash of humor doesn’t hurt, either.
Improvisational comedy works the same way. That’s why “The Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy Improvisation Manual” is so useful to my strategies in the classroom. Continue reading
This week, the Ball State English Department continues the short series of new faculty profiles by featuring John King. Continue reading below to see John’s interview conducted by English intern Tyler Fields. Also, be sure to check out the series’s first three posts featuring Miranda Nesler, Maria Windell, and Liz Whiteacre.
*Photo provided by John King