Our “Humans of Eddy” feature (inspired by the project “Humans of New York“) is where we showcase the people of Eddy in their “natural habitat,” doing what they do here. We introduce you to the vibrant and diverse humans who inhabit Eddy Hall (and beyond) and all the interesting things they are working on and thinking about. This week’s post comes from our returning communication intern, Ashley Alfirevic.

Geneva and I first met in our Creative Nonfiction class last semester. We both signed up for the first day of workshop, and while I was trying to hide my terror, she struck me as having a very calm and friendly demeanor. Throughout the course, she always had such insightful compliments for everyone’s writing, and I was constantly amazed by her kindness and generosity of spirit. I ran into her in Eddy and asked if she would oblige an interview.

Geneva at Piha Beach, Auckland
Geneva not in Eddy Hall but at Piha Beach in Auckland


bloWhat’s your name and your major? When do you expect to graduate?
My name is Geneva McCarthy and I am a double concentration in English Literature and Creative Writing with a minor in Linguistics and Culture. My anticipated graduation date – if all goes well – is next spring. So the Spring of 2017.

What are you up to in Eddy Hall today?
I have classes here, but also I’m dropping off a payment for membership to Sigma Tau Delta.

Oh, is that the Honors Society?
It is. I’m just joining so, it sounds really interesting.

How do you spend most of your time in Eddy?
(Laughs) Mostly I’m taking classes in Eddy, although I occasionally have conferences with teachers and run into classmates, you know.

What inspired you to do two concentrations in English?
I was raised in an environment deeply literary, so I’ve always had an interest though I didn’t label it. I didn’t recognize it because it was so commonplace to me. I just assumed everyone was that deeply entrenched in literature. It took me going to college for a while to recognize the affinity that I had for it. And then subsequent to taking several classes, it was suggested to me that I should pursue an interest in Creative Writing. And Linguistics and Culture is just a personal interest of mine.

Yeah, and it all ties in. Do you have a favorite class or teacher?
This semester specifically or historically at CSU? I’ll do it this semester for now. Favorite class… I don’t know that I can qualify that. I’m actually very much – and this is going to sound really bizarre – really enjoying Syntax and Semantics, which is a linguistics/language class. There’s something I really like about all of my classes. I’m finding my capstone in Emily Dickinson amazing. But there’s something about the Syntax and Semantics that’s helping me understand links in all three of my areas of interest that really speaks to me. I can understand how to read better; I can understand how to write better; I can understand what those gaps for me to be a teacher might be. For me, that is one of the reasons I’m really enjoying the class.

So, I know this is probably also a tough question, but what’s your favorite book or poem or quote or genre or author?
So I have to pick one of those?

You can do more if you want! I just offer them because some people don’t have a favorite book and some people don’t have a favorite author.
Yeah, I think that would be accurate for me, too. I don’t think there’s a single book or a single author. I think it’s the variety that appeals to me. I like the flexibility there.

Favorite poem – you’re killing me. Or quote, even. You know, I’m going to go goofy with the quote, I think. “I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.” It’s Edgar Allen Poe. But I like the idea that the sanity is the part that we’re avoiding, and just the inversion of the thought there. I like the paradox of it.

If you were going to give advice to incoming CSU English majors, what would it be?
Get to know your teachers. I think that it’s something invaluable. And I know that that’s difficult, because I myself am something of an introvert, contrary to what it seems. But I think it’s important to have that kind of connection. I tend to ask a ton of questions. But I’m older than the average student and I think that when you’re younger you feel a little more self conscious, which would make it all the more necessary to talk to your professors.

Last one: What’s your biggest goal or priority right now?
At this particular moment? My biggest goal… whew. Getting as much as I can from my education.

I like it. Well that’s pretty much it unless there’s anything else you want to talk about.
I still haven’t given you my favorite poem, but I’m thinking about it (laughs). I’m going to say, for right now,  John Keats’ “To Autumn.”