Jacquelyn Wheeler (’12) Writes About First Transgressions for Rock & Sling

jacquelyn-wheeler-rockandsling

Jacquelyn Wheeler (’12) recently submitted this essay for the Rock & Sling blog. Writes Wheeler, “I went to choir…where we sang songs about grace, but were rarely told about God’s unconditional sacrifice to save sinners, even thieves like me. They should have done more preaching to the choir.”

She also submitted the photo above, of herself at the age when this thievery episode went down.

 

Chris Dorn (’11) On Teaching, Love, and the Purdue OWL

chris-dorn-tammy-mcgough

After graduating from Whitworth in 2011, Chris Dorn set out for West Lafayette, Indiana to pursue an M.A. in Rhetoric and Composition at Purdue University. He is currently in his last semester at Purdue, during which he is finishing coursework and composing his thesis on writing center studies. This summer he and his fiancée, Tammy McGough (’11, pictured above), plan to return to her home state of Washington, get married, and start their life together in the Olympia area.

Here are some of Chris’s reflections on grad school, teaching, and writing centers.

It occurred to me just recently that, in terms of time, the only equivalent to a master’s program is the most uncomfortable of life’s phases: middle school. Two years, in and out, and then poof – it’s gone. Such has been my experience in grad school, where, as I entered my second and final year this past August, I felt like I was just starting to get properly adjusted. The movement from newbie to novice to exit strategist has been so swift that I’ve had trouble reflecting on my experience as I go.

While it’s hard to believe that I’m already wrapping up my graduate studies at Purdue, it’s also quite encouraging. One major lesson I’ve learned in the past 18 months is that grad school is temporary, and necessarily so. In no way is it a sustainable lifestyle for more than a few years. I remember reading more articles in a single class my first semester than I had read in my entire career at Whitworth. Of course, that was before I had learned another major lesson: no one reads it all.

So it’s been rigorous, and trying, and exhausting, and sometimes just defeating. Coming off of four gold-speckled years at Whitworth, I struggled, especially in my first year of the program, to cope. Nonetheless, my time in Indiana has also been a deeply rich experience. If I had to name one highlight, it would be the opportunity to teach. Each semester I have taught one section of introductory composition. Purdue gives their English graduate instructors fantastic support and remarkable liberty, both of which I have been glad for. My experiences at Whitworth have come in handy in surprising ways during my brief teaching career. I am reminded of Laurie Lamon’s poetry seminars when my students and I consider argument as a way of seeing the world. I put to use the goofy skill set required to create Prime Time activities when I plan class days that won’t have students fending off sleep. And I even get to share a slice of Core 250 with my students when I explain basic Platonic philosophy as it relates to images and words. (I guess I’ll always be somewhat counter-normative in my support of the Core program.)

Another delight has been returning to a Whitworth niche of mine: the writing center. In addition to teaching, this year I am working as a Writing Lab tutor. Purdue’s exceptionally high international population means that most of the writers I work with are nonnative English speakers, which is both challenge and blessing. (Are those two ever separate, anyway?) I also take pride in getting to contribute in a small way to the one and only Purdue OWL. No, I haven’t written any content for the OWL, but I do respond to OWL Mail inquiries. Next time you email the OWL about when to hyphenate compound nouns or how to cite municipal codes in APA, it just might be me who responds!

chris-dorn

And an update on my life – now, or at any time – would not be complete without mentioning the people who color it. Purdue’s program drives in high gear at all times, and I could not have survived the intensity were it not for the genuine kindness and camaraderie of my cohort (pictured above). Tammy and I have also been adopted into the most caring and active church communities we’ve ever been a part of. Because we prefer the traditional service to the contemporary, we are typically the youngest attenders by a good 40 years. Some of our first friends in Lafayette, in fact, were retired grandparents. But now I’m beginning to write another blog post altogether…

Dr. Casey Andrews’ Jan Term “Church Drama” Class To Present Play at Whitworth’s Chapel Feb. 28

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Dr. Casey Andrews recently sent Whitworth English Blog this dispatch about Jan term 2013 and an upcoming dramatic presentation:

Casey Andrews’ Jan Term 2013 course was called “Church Drama.” (No, not an in-depth look at what happens when the Youth Pastor is fighting with the Senior Pastor and the Altar Guild won’t share its closet with the Dorcas Society.)

Students studied the history of Christian theatrical works and then wrote and performed their own plays.

On Sunday, January 27, the class performed a play called “The Hard Part” at Fowler United Methodist Church in the Garland District of Spokane. “The Hard Part” was written by John Steven Paul and Soul Purpose, the Liturgical Drama Troupe of Valparaiso University where Prof. Andrews first became involved with this kind of work.

The play uses lectionary texts about the healing of Naaman from 2 Kings and Jesus’ cleansing a leper from Mark’s Gospel in order to explore the various ways Christ heals physical, emotional, and spiritual illness.

This play will also be performed on campus in Whitworth’s chapel on February 28 at 11 a.m.

You can see a video of the play here (submitted by Rosie McFarland ’14).

The photo at the top of this post is from here.

2013 Put A Sonnet On It Contest Winners Announced

Congratulations to the winners of our 2013 Put A Sonnet On It contest!

erin-kreycik

Erin Kreycik (’15) won first prize (and a $50 gift card to Atticus) with her sonnet “Ask Eve.” Erin is an EL major who, in her words, is “learning to write, for
the second or third time so far (the beginning being, apparently, an
everpresent part of the story). Enjoying every angst-fraught moment of it.”

Here’s her sonnet:

ASK EVE

What do you want to hear? That there are days

when firebright words, which made you laugh – for joy

of having said them – into other eyes,

dissolve and send you, in the roar of dawn,

gnawing wordless foxholes for your shame?

Or watch the robins. They, ice-berried ash,

red-spattering the morning’s barren fog.

Dark branches bow, beak-torn, mute. And you,

a spy behind your pane – what could you say

to robins? You, sleep-saturated, glad

when you can feel your bones – they, winter-puffed

and hollow, glad when they can cover theirs.

The image shatters, mocking; you explain,

through muddy teeth, that nothing is the same.

Dr. Jennifer Brown, our contest judge, had this to say of our winning entries: “Both poems use the sonnet form – usually a conventional piece of prosody – to weave unconventional narratives about Eden. The first-place winner, ‘Ask Eve,’ by Erin Kreycik, shows us the world before and after the fall, and our new and unwanted separation from nature. Her final phrase, ‘you explain,/through muddy teeth, that nothing is the same’ brings us back, not to Adam and Eve, but to the exiled snake, eating dust. The poem rewards re-reading, and opens itself subtly.”

jacob-addison-martin

J. Addison Martin (above), won second place (and a $20 gift card to Atticus) with his sonnet “First Night In Eden.” A native of Merced, California, Jacob reports that “infant head surgery has left him a righteous scar, God has given him a righteous beard, and he neither reads much, writes much, nor gets out much. His favorite past time is making the sacred profane. He has no idea what he’s doing now, let alone what he’ll be doing in the future.”

Says Dr. Brown: “The second-place winner, ‘First Night in Eden,’ by Jacob Martin, places itself before the fall. This joyfully sexy and sexual poem proposes Adam and Eve as created beings in the garden, the first to enjoy the physical act of love as well as everything else. Biblical language infuses the poem (“a parting of the waters,” “his breath in her lungs,”) and the shifting stress makes the poem forceful and fun.”

Here’s Jacob’s sonnet:

First Night in Eden

Eve was a green-eyed belle; intuition

deceived by her green eyes. Hell, there’s more than

one way to know a girl. Red hair in curls spans

a lake of fire, dyes her pale cheek crimson.

Her milk white skin, mouth like cream, hips like cream,

hips like unchurned butter, wet in expectation

for a parting of the waters. She breathes

hard; she’s never done this before. The first.

Green eyes unrehearsed, unbridled, unleashed,

a tigress, Euphrates, her nails in the dirt,

his flesh on her tongue, his breath in her lungs,

lips on her thighs, on her clit and she cries holy fuck!

Man arrived first, but she first came, stood

breathless, naked, without shame, said, god, it is good.

Ok, it’s me again. Wow. Whew. Well.

Congratulations to Erin and Jacob. Big thanks to Dr. Jennifer Brown, Annie Stillar, Matt Comi, the Whitworth English department, and to everyone who entered this year’s poetry contest!

Hannah Porter (’11) Interviewed on ABC News

mr-darcy

Hannah Porter (’11) was interviewed on ABC national news on Jan. 28 (she’s in the fetching red dress).

Hannah attended a ball in Pasadena, celebrating the 200 year anniversary of Pride and Prejudice. When asked what makes Mr. Darcy so great, Hannah explains that Darcy admits when he’s wrong.

After an internship with World Vision, Hannah was hired on as a communications officer for the organization. She lives in the Los Angeles area.