English department holds virtual meet and greet for current and interested majors

By Ava Turner

Elm Staff Writer

On Tuesday Oct. 6, the English Department hosted a Zoom conference so current majors and minors, as well as students interesting in joining the Department could have an opportunity to see their colleagues and meet with the professors. 

During the event, senior English majors discussed the topics for their Senior Capstone Experiences and the professor they are working under the guidance of. 

Senior Natasha Slaby’s SCE is about “how Jane in Charlotte Brontë’s ‘Jane Eyre,’ escapes and returns to abusive spaces,” according to their spotlight on the English Department’s Instagram’s page.

Slaby said they were drawn towards majoring in English for “the research aspects and creative writing involved in the major” and later found that this major is really flexible and said it, “really builds writing and communication skills.”

Slaby emphasizes the importance of writing for prospective English majors and said “even if [students] don’t think [their writing] is good, [they] can revise and edit” their writing as part of the learning experience. 

The English Department’s professors introduced themselves to both returning and new students and gave a general overview of the periods they study and the types of courses they teach. 

Attendees were even given a sneak peek into the courses expected to be available for the spring 2021 semester, including British Literature II taught by Assistant Professor of Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Literature Dr. Katie Charles; The Art of Rhetoric taught by Professor and Chair of English, Director of Writing, and Director of the Sophie Kerr Endowment Dr. Sean Meehan; and a Flash Fiction workshop taught by Visiting Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing Roy Kesey.

“Being an English major seems pretty diverse in terms of what you can do,” freshman Jacob Ten Eyck-Stull said.

Ten Eyck-Stull stressed the importance of literature in a liberal arts education and said, “anything that has to do with literature is very important for students because it helps them broaden their horizons and helps with understanding both teaching and learning better.”

According to junior Teddy Friedline, they owe their being an English major to Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing Dr. Kimberly Andrews who “had a tremendous impact on [their] English degree in particular and [their] college career overall — she’s just phenomenal.”

Friedline’s said their favorite part of being an English major is “the community of the department” and has felt “like every English professor [they’ve] had truly has [their] best interest at heart,” rather than being interested in just their grade.

For more information on the English Department, visit the department page on the Washington College website and the English Department’s Instagram and Twitter pages, @washcollenglish.

Featured Photo caption: Students and Professors come together to chat about English in virtual call. Photo by Rebecca Kanaskie.

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