Saturday, March 27, 2010

St. Louis

Recipe for an English Honor Society Conference: Mix 1 part Shakespeare with 2 parts Toni Morrison. Add in some Lee Young-Li and Chris Albani. Stir well.

My trip to St. Louis with Sigma Tau Delta was one of the most memorable experiences I've had, since being inducted into the Sigma Tau Delta organization in October 2008. The below picture is the view from our hotel, the Hyatt Regency. This trip constituted a great many firsts for me: first time on a jet, first time in St. Louis, first time seeing the Mississippi River, first time presenting an academic paper.

Below is the picture of the "Mills 4" room, in which I presented my paper, "Beyond Personification: Analyzing 124 Bluestone in Toni Morrison's Beloved." I was intimidated by the amount of chairs set up in the room, but the audience was actually very welcoming and I enjoyed the Question-and-Answer session, because the audience members asked thought-provoking questions that enhanced the discussion of my paper.

After attending two sessions on the first day, a small group of us explored the streets surrounding our hotel. We took scenic pictures, like the one I took below at Citygarden, an outdoor sculpture park. And of course, like the English majors that we are, we found an independent bookstore, and of course made a few purchases. I bought a fictional memoir called, After the Workshop by John McNally. I'll blog a review of that book after I finish reading it.

And lastly, of course, I cannot forget to include a picture of our lovely group with our lovely sponsors, without whom I never would have made it to St. Louis. In my opinion, unless you put your effort and energy into something, you can't expect to gain anything from the experience. The people I went to the conference with made the most of their time in St. Louis, and without them I would not have had as memorable an experience. I hope that our trip to next year's conference in Pittsburgh, PA is going to be even more rewarding.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sigma Tau Delta Inspires

Last week I went to the Sigma Tau Delta annual convention in St. Louis, Missouri. In preparation for the trip, our chapter of Sigma Tau Delta blogged about chapter news, events, things of literary merit, and so forth, hoping we would win best chapter blog--and we did! You can read up on TCNJ's Sigma Tau Delta chapter at the following link:

My chapter of Sigma Tau Delta has inspired me to begin writing my own blog, especially since I will be embarking on that wonderful topsy, turvy journey of student teaching in the fall. I feel as if a blog will be a catharsis after a long day of teaching and lesson plan-making. I'm probably going to look back on this post and laugh at my naivete, because chances are I will have very little free time to actually blog.

In my experience, a person only learns and matures and grows by actually participating in something. Hopefully my blog will be a way to track changes I have made, in regard to both my pedagogical mission and my morals in general.

So here I go! I'm casting my net, jumping out of the plane, diving into the water. Get from this blog what you may...happy reading :)