Besides your current classes, what else are you doing or have you done that we should know about?
Should know about is a tricky phrase, I don’t feel that there’s anything about me anyone ought to explicitly know about me, however, I do write quite a bit (and am getting a poem published, as later questions highlight). I am also involved in a poetry club and other literary activities around town. Hopefully at some point I will have at least a published, if not read, body of work to brag about.
Awards? Special projects? Travel? Service work?
As stated above, I am getting a poem published, but I have no awards or literary merits to my name currently. As far as a project that is special, specifically to me, goes, I am working on what I hope to compile into a book some day soon. I have traveled to a number of locations outside of the US: Mexico, Canada, a handful of places in Europe.
I know you just got a poem published in Greyrock Review. Can you tell us anything else about that?
Well, it’s been a very rewarding process for sure. I’ve only recently (in the last half year or so) begun sending things out to various locations in the hopes of getting things published, but I have been working on stuff for a while. It feels really good to know that a poem I, myself, felt good about was well received and liked by others. I’ve been in contact with one of the editors of the magazine talking over some of my stylistic choices and whether or not I want to dress certain grammatical issues, which is cool because it makes me feel like a real author.
What inspired you to get a degree in English? Why CSU? Why did you choose linguistics as your concentration?
Mainly for my passion in the fields of language and literature. I chose CSU because CSU chose me, as fairy tale as it sounds. I wanted to leave the state I was living in desperately, and my father lives in Colorado so I would get in-state tuition here, which led me to apply for schools out here, including CSU who accepted me right away. I figured why bother with a whole bunch of other applications after that. As stated above for my love of language. Not only do I get to learn other languages for my major, but I get to learn how the English language operates, which is nice because I will be working with it all of my life.
We are always trying to debunk the myth that the ONLY options for an English major are to become a writer, teacher, or work in publishing. What sort of potential do you see for yourself as an English major?
I may not be the best person to ask that question because my dream is to become a writer and if at some stage along the way I got to work as an editor or in publishing I certainly would not complain.
Knowing what you do about it, how would you describe the CSU English department to someone?
Quite frankly, I’m sure that I’m not as well versed as some others might be, but I do know that, as is probably applicable to any department, if you want to get involved and put in the effort you will get out what you put in. Faculty members are always super helpful, and there are plenty of interesting events and opportunities through the department. They also give out free books, which is pretty hard to beat.
Why do you think the humanities are important?
I think the humanities develop fundamental skills in the faculties of reasoning and empathizing with others. I think without English and the philosophies, we wouldn’t know how to take opposing opinions in stride and would be much worse off in terms of the ability to argue or defend any of our own ideas. I think knowing what and why you want to argue is of the foremost importance, followed by rhetoric and the vocabulary to communicate yourself effectively. Without those things most discussions would be a shit show. Of course there’s history as well, which is an incredible insight into human nature.
What would you like to tell prospective CSU English Department students?
Caring about things is the coolest thing you could ever do. Be passionate. Fairly unrelated to English, just in general as a student and moving forward in life, care and take initiative.
What advice do you have for current CSU English Department students?
The same as above, its never too late to start.
What was the last piece of writing you read or wrote? OR, What are you currently reading, writing?
I am currently reading Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, and as stated above I am currently working on a book of sorts, no title as of yet. I also always intersperse poetry here and there into my routine.
What are your hobbies or special interests, what do you enjoy doing with your free time?
If it weren’t obvious enough, reading and writing take up the lion’s share of my time. Of course I involve friends in the process too, I’m not always sitting alone in my room doing so. I enjoy movies and concerts a good bit, and I keep myself busy exercising 4-5 days a week.
Where will we find you in five years?
Hopefully it will be more of a case of hearing about me in 5 years. I would like to be in a place I’ve never been before and have something, at least small time, published by then.