Saying Goodbye: Kailey Mau, ’18

One of my favorite classes at Wittenberg was Dr. Robin Inboden’s “Chick Flicks” film class. I enjoyed learning about women’s changing roles in Hollywood, in addition to how influential they were in the making of early films. My favorite memory in this class was the day where we tried on antique hats and discussed costuming. Also, (this was for a different class with Dr. Inboden) one of my favorite Wittenberg memories was when our 300 level class took a trip to Mast Mansion and had a tea party! It was nearly Christmas time and there was a slight snowfall, but we sat inside with a warm cup of tea and wonderful blueberry scones–it felt magical! 17097177_682799645261556_6794984144606811334_o

My other favorite class at Wittenberg was Dr. Mike Mattison’s “Writing for Teachers” class. I took the course right before student teaching, and I felt that this prepared me the most for life in the classroom. Though it was a night class, time always flew by because we always had the most fascinating discussions about pedagogy, writing philosophies, and ultimately how to become the best possible teacher. These two classes and wonderful professors are why I love Wittenberg. I’ll definitely miss my time here.

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Saying Goodbye: Joey Sechrist, ’18

It’s impossible to pick a single course or professor that stood above the rest – from the rigorous theoretical discussions of Dr. Sha’dawn Battle’s class to the contemplative loafing exercises (in the spirit of Walt Whitman) in Dr. Kate Polak’s poetry course, they are all worth mentioning. I loved every English course I had the privilege to take, and this is largely thanks to the investment of our professors in their work and students. This engagement has inspired me to potentially pursue a career in academia; I’d like to feel the same level of fulfillment, which has been so apparent in my English professors’ passion, in my own career. As I did in my thesis, I hope to continue working with political theory in literature, and I am also considering pursuing a master’s degree in Political Science to supplement this.

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Looking towards a future which increasingly devalues the liberal arts education, I wonder if the job market will continue to accommodate (although this accommodation is already questionable) the study of literature. I hope so, but I’m not crossing my fingers. While I have learned marketable skills at Wittenberg, I have more importantly learned to question the concept of marketability itself. If we value what we teach, I strongly believe that we must fundamentally change the relations of production, to use Marx’s term, which stifle it. If this is the task of the twenty-first century English major, so be it!

Saying Goodbye: Reed Gibson, ’18

When I first came to Wittenberg, I was very hesitant to major in English. I have always been a terrible speller. But, I knew that the math and science route was not for me. I didn’t want black and white answers; I wanted to challenge myself and provoke new thoughts and ideas.

There’s been quite a few times where I feel like I bit off more than I could chew in that regard. The first was Dr. Ian MacDonald’s Caribbean Literature, a class that was, “more like a graduate level class,” and happened to be my first 300-level English class. Another is happening right now as I’m desperately crawling to the finish line for Dr. Kate Polak’s Disaster, Catastrophe, and Havoc’s class, a class that she admitted she intended for half the class to drop due to the workload.Reed

Perhaps against my better judgement, I’ve stuck out the English major, and I believe I’m better from it. Next year I will start law school at the University of Dayton, and I feel incredibly well prepared. Read this 400-page book over two days? Easy, been there, done that. Write a 25-page thesis? Piece of cake, did that for 404/405.

I believe my education at Wittenberg has taught me valuable traits, traits like effective communication, innovative thinking, and attention to detail that will serve me well as I go forward.

Saying Goodbye: Anissa Dann, ’18

My time here at Wittenberg has been life changing, to say the least. As an English student, I have not only grown as a writer, but also as a person, citizen, and learner. I truly enjoyed all classes I took here at Witt and my education would not have been the same without the tight group of English professors I spent my time with. Dr. Mike Mattison, Dr. Robin Inboden, Dr. Bob Davis, Prof. D’Arcy Fallon, Dr. Michael McClelland, Dr. Scot Hinson, Dr. Rick Incorvati, and Prof. Tom Stafford have all been extremely influential to me as a person and as a writer and student – I can’t thank them enough.

Some of my favorite memories are from Dr. Davis’s Beat class (the inspiration for my final honors thesis) and Dr. Inboden’s Women in Literature course where I engaged with my peers over all the books I love. From Dr. Inboden mistakenly telling us that one famous poet suffered a writing accident instead of a riding one, to Dr. Davis declaring the angel-headed hipster status of our class, to literally any of Dr. Hinson’s wonderfully terrible dad jokes – I have had more fun with my major than I ever thought possible.

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Most importantly, my work through the English Department – with the Writing Center and Torch – have provided me with new experiences and a plethora of interesting ways to learn. I have gone to Chicago where I learned about directive tutoring over really good sushi; I have ventured to D.C. where I learned from other national student newspapers, talked to Edward Snowden, and stood in front of the White House right before our historically bad change in residents; and I have traveled to Lowell, Massachusetts where I met fellow fans of the Beat Generation, a thesis topic that would consume my senior year and personal development. Wittenberg, and the English Department, have opened my eyes to what is not only possible, but what is left to discover.

 

Unfortunately, it’s now time to move on, and I carry with me the linguistic skills, writing proficiency, and assuredness of character that the English Department has provided me. I’m not sure what’s after this, besides California and new adventures, but I am motivated by the bright words of Jack Kerouac: “I don’t know but we gotta go.”

Matchbook Poems: ‘Hook, line, sinker’

At Thursday, April 12th’s Matchbook Poetry event, many students came forward to read poems as created from the lines in their matchbooks. Some have asked that their poems be shared on Witty English, so over the course of the rest of the semester, these poems will be released in installments.

Here is the sixth installment of the matchbook poems, senior Drew Pool’s poem: ‘Hook, line, sinker.’

They said they still love you.
Just needed some time to figure things out.
They told others you were insane.
Denying every sweet nothing they whispered to you last time you spoke.

They said you will always be the one they think of for a future.
A wedding and children always something that would be shared.
They started dating again,
Between the lines of lies they sprouted to you.

They said they were just trying to mend,
But in the placing of their stitches,
They lacerated your heart.

They had your heart in the palm of their hands.
Instead of caring they placed a hook,
Line and sinker.
To drag you down to the depths of depression,
Mental degradation and pain the only result.

You were asked how you could not be getting the hint!
When they were giving you facts to contradict them.
You were pulled in close with a kiss,
They would later compare you to a rapist for the kiss born of a promise to rekindle
The love you once had.

You started to mend.
They came back again.
In your naive heart you opened up again.
They ripped you up again.

Time and time again
There were millions of chances.
They had every single one.
They stretched the never ending line,
Until it broke.

Now you are a husk.
Unable to open up like before,
Unable to love like before,
Unable to commit when commitment was your key promise before,
Until all that you can say to any chance at love is,
I’m sorry.

Saying Goodbye: Stephanie McGregor, ’18

Dr. Lori Askeland’s class on Native American Literature was life changing for me. It opened my eyes to ongoing Native American issues and gave me a deep appreciation for their literature, oral storytelling traditions, and diverse cultures. Last summer, I volunteered in Washington State through Lutheran Indian Ministries at the Makah, Quileute, and Hoh Reservations. I was invited to a healing drum circle, told stories by elders about their cultures, and got to see some of those same stories play out in their dances. By permission of an elder, I also got to see the only Quileute “story rock” petroglyph in existence.

When I returned to Ohio, my research turned to the Southwest Tribes. My senior thesis focused on “Ceremony” from my first class with Dr. Askeland, and “Yellow Woman and A Beauty of the Spirit,” a book that Dr. Scot Hinson loaned me after I was having difficulty understanding the Laguna Pueblo traditions (both books by Leslie Marmon Silko).

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In researching for my thesis I was completely taken in by the Native American storytelling traditions shared with me. Through these experiences I have made lasting friendships with the Makah and Quileute communities and have begun to make contacts in the Navajo Nation concerning teaching positions. None of this would have happened without Dr. Askeland and Dr. Hinson. If that course had not been offered, and if I had not been able to freely discuss with them the literature I’d been devouring, my life would be entirely different right now.

Wittenberg professors and support staff have helped me make informed decisions on which career path I wanted to pursue, and directed me to classes that would help me achieve my goals. When I started this, I was just hoping to finish my degree and get a better job. Now I’m pursuing opportunities to teach reading on a Native American reservation.

Matchbook Poems: ‘Hypocrite’

At Thursday, April 12th’s Matchbook Poetry event, many students came forward to read poems as created from the lines in their matchbooks. Some have asked that their poems be shared on Witty English, so over the course of the rest of the semester, these poems will be released in installments.

Here is the fourth installment of the matchbook poems, sophomore Veda Krumpe’s poem: ‘Hypocrite.’

The cigarette smoking coming off her smells like expensively cured cheese.
But it doesn’t really matter because you wanna screw and it’s night and she’s a girl.
You size her up: her thighs, her arms, down to the sweat that’s glistening on the bags of her eyes
The red traffic light being all you have to see
Cause she’s sitting on a curb in a California street.

Like momma always told you, “it’s what’s inside that counts.”
But you know that’s a little more than wrong
Because if it were true you’d be attracted to both sexes.

But you’re not. Because the outside matters, too, you know.
So you keep sizing her up and begin to imagine how easy it would be;
No strings attached, you think. A small price, a bang, and then back to “real life”

And what is that price?
Well she’ll take things other than money, just so long as it has value.
And you think again, no strings attached.

It’s your first time, so it’s a little strange.
Not your first time with a woman, but your first time nonetheless.
And up close, you can taste the cigarettes,
the light is yellow now
neither of you are on the curb anymore.

And then bam!!
Three months later
She’s got pants instead of hot shorts
and you see her in the sun
She’s not that pretty, but she’s not that ugly either.

Her lack of ugliness is the only thing you had to be thankful for
When she tells you
You knocked up the whore on the side of the road.

And while you, the real you, the ones listening to me
Say “I’m not him. Shame on him. I’m not her. Shame on her,”
Realize that hypocrisy is the only commandment you follow

Because this is Genesis 38.

Matchbook Poems: ‘The Garden of Forever’

At Thursday, April 12th’s Matchbook Poetry event, many students came forward to read poems as created from the lines in their matchbooks. Some have asked that their poems be shared on Witty English, so over the course of the rest of the semester, these poems will be released in installments.

Here is the third installment of the matchbook poems, junior Bayleigh Thompson’s poem: ‘The Garden of Forever.’

I pretend that I am a garden
Because at least the buds
Blooming from my lips
Sound like the illusion
Of forever;

Pluck the petals from my skin
And give them a name like
A memory—
When they wilt in the kiss
Of the wind, at least some part of me
Is not bound to the soil.

There are only ghosts
Of ground carnations;
There is no room for any other root
To reach me beneath the flowerbeds
With these weeds
Wrapped around my neck;
Everything sprouts withered,
But the garden never
Dies—

See, there is something eternal
In decapitated stems—
Inhale the dust of drying leaves;
I can pretend that I am a garden—
Drinking memories from the sun
And find forever
In the ash.

Matchbook Poems: ‘They believe me to be empty’

At Thursday, April 12th’s Matchbook Poetry event, many students came forward to read poems as created from the lines in their matchbooks. Some have asked that their poems be shared on Witty English, so over the course of the rest of the semester, these poems will be released in installments.

Here is the second installment of the matchbook poems, sophomore Nikki Howard’s poem: ‘They believe me to be empty’.

We danced under white veils
With his wide family and those friends.
We knew it to be ours. That’s how it begins.

Consummating our history
With the encumming desire of youth
Preparing my body for the traditional use

Starving for me as if my absence twists your stomach
Into knots until the craving for my body is fulfilled
While those around you beg for your legacy to be instilled

Bruising my arms and womb
With sucks and proclamations of your thirst
Your see nothing less of a curse

It only appears as a slightly bloodied remnant
Of what the lurkers have expect my body to conceive
And when they realize I might be empty, they convince you to leave.

I am no mountain
Merely a pavement that you walk upon too fiercely
Leaving my insides dull and weary

Their satisfaction is worth more than my capability
Ignorant to the importance of my own heart
They convince you I am just a defective part

No love, just legacy
But I am not the kind to walk away from someone who has touched me
I stay and endure the ridicule of my bodily functions, I don’t leave

But you did
Even in my exhaustion I ran for you
But a legacy you could not lose

Perhaps, I am empty because I gave so much to you
You exhaust my entity and I have surrounded the pit of my being
Perhaps, this is the reasoning my womb is fleeing

We stood under the veil of the rushed traditional expectations
With his wide family and those friends.
They thought it was theirs. That’s how it ends.

Matchbook Poems: ‘do as i say, not as i do’

At last evening’s Matchbook Poetry event, many students came forward to read poems as created from the lines in their matchbooks. Some have asked that their poems be shared on Witty English, so over the course of the rest of the semester, these poems will be released in installments.

Here is the first installment of the matchbook poems, beginning with sophomore Emma Kilpatrick’s poem: ‘do as i say, not as i do’.

Because she did. Because
she asked me to
be kind, I was cruel.
She asked me to listen,
I spoke. I screamed. I fought
every word. I would not give in to
“do as I say,
not as I do.”
Because she asked me to
stay away from you,
I ran at you
full-force and the force
of the collision
shattered my ribcage.
Because she asked me to
hold still while she tried
to bandage me up,
I could only hear her tell me
to rip off the gauze,
to escape, to
run.
Because she asked me to
relent, relax, shut my eyes,
“it’ll only hurt for a second,”
my shattered ribcage and I
carried ourselves away
and there are still pieces
of bone lodged in my heart.