~from the TEFL/TESL Student Association

We are excited to announce that Advocacy Week is almost upon us! As a registered GSA, the TEFL/TESL Student Association (TTSA) strives to promote linguistic and cultural diversity, both here on campus and in the larger Fort Collins community. We do this through Advocacy Week, a yearly event where we organize engaging faculty presentations and student-led colloquia, bring in a guest speaker, and take part in community outreach.

This year’s guest speaker, Eli Hinkel (click image to see larger version of the flyer)

This year, we have worked hard to organize the best Advocacy Week possible. We have many presentations planned, including talks led by Dr. Sue Doe, Dr. Kristina Quynn, and Dr. Fabiola Ehlers-Zavala. We also have panel presentations led by graduate students and alumni, as well as INTO CSU faculty. These hour-long presentations will take place starting this coming Monday-Thursday from 12:00-1:00 p.m. and again from 5:30-6:30. On Friday, April 21st, we will have our keynote address given by Dr. Eli Hinkel. Her talk, titled “Teaching and Learning Vocabulary for Academic Writing,” will take place at 5:00 p.m. with refreshments beginning at 4:30. For details on presentation times and locations, be sure to take a look at our Advocacy Week events flyer below.

Click image to see a larger version of the flyer

If you’re looking for another way to get involved in Advocacy Week, don’t forget about our book drive! For this year’s community outreach project, we are seeking new or gently used paperback books to benefit the Larimer County Jail library. We will be collecting books through the end of April and delivering them to the jail during the first week of May. Donation boxes can be found in the English Department office window, the Writing Center, and at INTO CSU in Spruce Hall.

We can’t wait to get Advocacy Week underway! If you have any questions regarding our presentations or book drive, please email Sarah at svannost@colostate.edu.

Hope to see you there!

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Image from rupikaur.com

Artist and poet Rupi Kaur was born in Punjab, India, in 1992. When she was only 4, her parents emigrated to Toronto, Canada. Her artistic and creative ability was something that emerged when she was a young age. Kaur began to draw and paint, inspired by her mom and would write poems for her friends, and even crushes.

As Kaur reflected in an interview, “I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on. I was moved by the ability of books to pull one out of their reality and into someone else’s…I want to put words to feelings we have trouble putting into words. Like the breath before the kiss, I want to make the mundane beautiful.”

At the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Kaur was able to pursue this passion by studying Rhetoric and Professional Writing. She then began posting her poems on social media sites, like Tumblr and Instagram. Through these venues she gained popularity and published her first collective works in 2015 titled milk and honey. 

The collection has received much attention for the voice she brings to violence, abuse, love, loss and family. Huffington Post said that “reading the [Kaur’s] book, is like getting the hug you need on a rainy day, the catharsis you crave after a tragedy.”

From the success of her first collection, Kaur has a contract for two more books with one slated for fall of this year.

While her poetry perfectly captures a wide breadth of powerful moments, it’s not without lots of time and sweat on Kaur’s part. As she explains, “The words get in the way of writing.” Her process often involves “Freewriting. Rewriting. Entering. Backspacing. Coping. Pasting. Until I stop. Until it feels like I’ve gotten out everything that needed to be written and then I will put it away.”

Rupi Kaur has made waves in both the poetry realm and within larger feminist work. In 2015, she posted a controversial image on Instagram of her lying on a bed with an obvious menstrual stain on her sweatpants. This was part of a Visual Rhetoric course at the University of Waterloo.

Through her art, Kaur fights to bring attention to these taboos of society, becoming a powerful messenger for many women without a voice of their own.

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