Proof that Our Department has Talent

Check out these photos, courtesy of Josie Camarillo (’14), of the Pinecone Cabaret, the annual English Fun(d)raising Talent Show. If you missed it, here is your chance to check out the raw talent of our department, and if you were there, here is the chance you have been waiting for to relive the night.

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Professor Nicole Sheets was the MC for the night.

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Luke Eldredge (’16) instructed and performed how to ride a unicycle.

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Meredith Friesen (’14) shared her musical skills on the piano.

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Dana Stull (’16) performed her bird whistle and taught us all how to construct the ultimate paper airplane.

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Professor Nicole Sheets and her husband Charlie had the world premiere of their band Makkaroon.

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Rosie McFarland (’14) provided us with a taste of her YouTube channel Lostbetweenthepages

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Jan Shannon talked about SpokaneFAVS (for which we ended up raising $58) and its mission.

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Professor Casey Andrews sang the melancholy tunes of Brit Pop.

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Ana Quiring (’14) read a comic compilation of her thoughts on being an English major (and explaining why), and her love of Virginia Woolf.

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Hannah Brenneman (’14) also shared her musical skills and played the oboe.

Also, though there is a lack of photographic material (since she was the event photographer), Josie Camarillo regailed us of her experiences at Rodeo Bible Camp.

 

Snapshot: EL Seniors on Whitworth and the Future

As graduation grows closer and the epidemic of senioritis reaches new highs,  let’s take a moment to hear from a few of the members of EL Class of 2014 as they share what they have learned during their time at Whitworth and what is the next step after graduation.

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“During my time in Whitworth’s English department, I have had an incredible academic experience, but even the most technical aspects of that education have been made possible by the people who make up this department. Without the support, expertise, and friendship of the faculty, as well as the bonafide family-like community of the students, my passion for English would not have been fostered in the way that it has. This department has given me both a career direction and a sense of home.”

“In the fall, I will be pursuing my Ph.D. in English literature at University of California, Riverside. One of the reasons I have chosen UCR is its commitment to community alongside scholarship, a value I certainly learned from Whitworth. I hope to one day be an English professor who can continue that legacy of academic excellence and mentorship, collegiality, and fun.”

–Ana Quiring

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“It’s not about the work, though the work is considerable.
It’s not about the grade, or even the class.
It’s not even about the future.
It’s about the moment things will never be the same,
pushing beyond what you’ve always known
into a world you never knew existed
and finding there, to your surprise,
wholeness.”

“I want to help people find their wholeness just as Whitworth helped me find mine, whether that’s through work as an English professor, leading a community writing workshop, or writing as a witness and voice for the voiceless. Good things await.”

–Claire Roth

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“One thing that Whitworth has taught me is how to handle myself under intense pressure or stress. As a double major at a liberal arts university, I often feel spread thin, but I have been so grateful for the opportunity to pursue both of my passions that it was all worth it to me. Looking back, I sometimes regret not slowing down, but living life at such a breakneck speed has been both exhilarating and rewarding. As I look ahead to graduate school and my career, I am realizing how unlikely it is that I will ever be so diversified or so busy all at once as I have been these past four years at Whitworth.”

“I will be graduating with my BA in both English and Psychology. After graduation, I will be moving to Texas to attend Baylor University’s School of Social Work in pursuit of my MS.”

–Josie Camarillo

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“Being an English major has, in many ways, been a practice in humanism. I came to college expecting English to be some sort of disconnected study of language and the craft of writing. But the English department has taught me the valuable lesson that good literature and good writing is not disconnected from that which is around it. Indeed, it is integrally connected to politics, globalization, history, pop culture, religion, etc. One cannot be a good writer or a good reader while remaining blind to the world.”

“Next year I’ll be attending beginning a joint degree program, through which I will earn both a law degree and a master’s in mass communication. I will be focusing my studies on First Amendment law — specifically media and speech law.”

–Lindsie Trego (Wagner)

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“I learned that it is important to learn more about ourselves as individuals, and to not be scared to express ourselves, but also that we can never be truly independent from those around us. We need to trust and invest in our friends as we all try to navigate this weird road to adulthood and maturity together.”

“After graduating and raising money over the summer, I will backpack around the UK in September and October, 2014. Then I will spend time with family over the holidays, and then hopefully find a full time job somewhere in film in Los Angeles.”

–Rosie McFarland

 

Internship Spotlight: Ana Quiring (’14) on The Pilgrim’s Way

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I may be (rather suddenly) a grown-up of some sort, but I’m still writing essays about what I did on my summer vacation, and I can’t say I mind.

I suppose this summer qualifies for a coveted position on the Whitworth English department blog because it was a singularly English-y time of my life (rather like all of them). My plans for the summer were to somehow find a job as a barista, which meaner critics of the English major would call “living up to my potential.” Regardless, it seemed a nice enough way to while away the summer in Carmel, CA, a beach town full of quaint shops, dogs, and Texan tourists.

With my expectations firmly managed, you can imagine how excited I was to find a job at an independent bookstore, of all places—specifically, Pilgrim’s Way Community Bookstore and Secret Garden. Pilgrim’s Way has been around since the 60s, and hasn’t changed owners in twenty years.

That owner is Paul Fridlund, a man with the kind eyes and slow-moving calm of a manatee, who answered me in very friendly monosyllables when I came in to apply. His wife and now co-owner, Cynthia, is a firecracker with her own radio show and the paper-goods-conservation skills of a UC Berkeley Ecology professor.

When these lovely people agreed to hired me, I was invited into an entirely new world of books. See, Pilgrim’s Way used to be called Pilgrim’s Way Metaphysical Books. They’ve changed the name and added a lot of paperback novels to widen their appeal, but Paul and Cynthia’s hearts remain with their hearty metaphysical, new age, self-help, and Buddhist sections (not to mention an incense collection that would make the Himalaya mountain region jealous).

These sections were totally new to me, but I soon learned about Tarot cards, Vedic astrology, personality archetypes, and past lives. A hearty crystal and jewelry collection led me to recommend to a German tourist the cleansing power of citrine, or the general good energy of pink quartz. This is not the kind of stuff they teach us at Whitworth.

Of course, along the way I got to recommend a lot of John Steinbeck (a local celebrity), David Sedaris (a personal favorite), and James Patterson (because there just isn’t anything we can do about it—he’s everywhere). Between the books, crystal, and backyard spiritual garden, it was a busy and interesting summer. For example: my favorite customer was an old-timer named Scott Macbeth who ordered copies of Montaigne’s essays and delighted in recounting to me his adventures climbing Mount Everest.

What’s so great about this place, and why I wanted to tell you this story, is this: we have to remember that places like Pilgrim’s Way still exist. There are still quirky, eclectic stories in otherwise snooty beach towns. There are still places for English majors to feel at home, and find a way to pay their rent.

And I didn’t even make a single cup of coffee.

Ana Quiring is an English major specializing in British literature, writing, and compulsive book-buying.

Tea Time For Brontes & Gaskell Seminar Students

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by Ana Quiring (’14)

Last month, our Brontes and Gaskell seminar, led by the illustrious Pam Parker, had the chance to get back to our Victorian roots with a tea party as Taste and See Tea in North Spokane. We were treated to a delightful and never-ending parade of tea with names both titillating and sublime (Cabana Boy and Creme d’Earl come to mind), as well as a delicious tasting menu of dainty sandwiches and scones. The outing fit perfectly with our discussion of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, which features more than one tea party, always rife with careful propriety, class tension, and witty repartee. Although we can’t boast the first two nearly as well, I’d like to think we had the last in spades.

Ana Quiring is an English major, a Brontes and Gaskell enthusiast, on a good day, and a teacher’s assistant for whomever will have her, mostly Pam Parker.

Westminster Round Presents Literary Live-Action Clue

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by Ana Quiring ’14 (photos by Krystal Valle ’13)

One of the most striking attributes of English students, I think, is our ability to take any event, game, or object and turn it into a literary artifact. Christmas party? Dickens reading party. End of the year bake sale? Used book bake sale. Movie night? Dead Poet Society night. And these are just Westminster Round events. The possibilities for overzealous TV show analysis, real-life symbolism (watch out, Whitworth Campanile), and relating pop songs to classic literature are nearly endless. We’re an industrious and sometimes single-mindedly nerdy bunch.

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We at Westminster Round, your English department club, decided to continue the trend with our April event, which we dubbed “Literary Live-Action Clue,” which is exactly what it sounds like. On Friday, April 19, we turned a set of classrooms in Westminster Hall into the backdrop for a sinister and nerdy murder.

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Instead of Miss Scarlet with the candlestick in the conservatory, we followed our primitive English-geek instincts and chose literary rooms, suspects, and weapons. Narnia’s Wardrobe and the Room of Requirement looked especially sinister; Rosencrantz & Guildenstern and Sherlock & Watson were under suspicion; and tuberculosis and the Norton Shakespeare Anthology were just a few of the possible weapons. Edgar Allen Poe, fallen prey to mysterious circumstances, was our victim (mostly so I could model for the tape outline on the floor, complete with mustache, and shout “Poe is no moe!” at random intervals).

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While these categories didn’t affect the procedure of the actual game (which involved searching for clues that Caroline Swinford and I hid with delighted malice in increasingly difficult hiding places) they certainly made it more fun. Caroline and I stood with Professor Fred Johnson before the start of the game, the solution envelope in hand and the possible murders spread out on their custom cards. “Well, Fred?” I asked. “Who should we pick for our murderer?”

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He hesitated over Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald before settling on the portrait of the ominously straight-faced Bronte sisters. “If anybody was going to lose it and kill somebody,” he concluded with obvious amusement, “It would certainly be them.”

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So the Brontes it was. When English majors, minors, and unwilling accomplices alike arrived, the Bronte team had the perhaps more fun job of finding our clues and re-hiding them in other places. When we reconvened for our murder mystery-style accusatory reveal, Lennie and George from Of Mice and Men correctly identified the murderers, as well as the weapon, the Thorns of Life from that Shelley poem we love to mock, and the scene of the crime, King Arthur’s Court (perhaps better known as Westminster 246).

But who were the real winners? Lennie and George, who went home with the promise of free books from the upcoming hot dog and book sale (May 10)? The Brontes, who laughed maniacally as they mislead the other teams? Or Caroline and I, who ran rampant through the building, switching off lights, turning up portentous mood music, and tucking Clue cards into the ceiling tiles? Well, who’s to say. But I think it’s safe to conclude, a good time was had by all.

Ana Quiring is an English major, probably for life. The only thing she likes better than Virginia Woolf is talking about Virginia Woolf with other English majors. Also, popcorn is pretty good.

Majors Abroad: Ana Quiring (’14) Blogs About Life in London

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EL major Ana Quiring is studying literature and writing at Whitworth University. (Ana is pictured above on Warwick Avenue, the “real-life home,” she explains, “of my long-time fictional characters and imaginary friends.” In the photo below, she befriends the Peter Pan statue in Hyde Park.)

Ana is exceedingly fond of coffee shops, sitcom marathons, and anything to do with Virginia Woolf. This January she is traveling in London with Emily Anderson, a once-Whitworthian who has since transfered. They are busy getting lost and enjoying scones, sometimes simultaneously.

Read about Ana’s adventures on her blog.

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