Read books, as opposed to popular belief. No, we English majors and professors are a very rare breed. We read, write, debate, discuss, hypothosize, read, write, research, proofread, and then read and write some more.
When we do have some down time (or when we choose to put down the laptop, pen, book) we like to get together to discuss all the things we have been doing besides reading and writing. Some professors like to watch crime shows, while others are avid gardeners and knitters. Those of us who are English majors? Well, we are about as different from each other as possible.
Some of us are interested in grammar, others by classic Victorian novels, and then there are those of us who enjoy kicking back with King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
No matter what sets us apart, the fact is that we are all in love (OBSESSED) with different aspects of everything housed in the English department — we very much enjoy having our reasons to meet up. To kick off this semester, we have already had one colloquium and our annual department cookout.
The colloquium came first, and I was so giddy to attend. Many students choose not to, but nearly all the English professors did. And, of course, I will take any opportunity to learn something new, so I attend as many of the colloquiums as possible.
Our first speaker this semester was Prof. Dee Goertz, and she chose to present information about her forthcoming article, “Mothers of Monsters: The Return of the Goddess in George R.R. Martin’s ‘Song of Ice and Fire.'” While I have not read this particular series, I thoroughly enjoyed the presentation.
Prof. Goertz is always very personable and enchanting in delivery, so there was never a dull minute while she was reading through bits and pieces of her research. She made me laugh and think, and somewhere in there, she also taught me even more information about literature.
I was very excited to be one of the only students who took time out of my Monday afternoon to attend the talk. My favorite part comes after the professor presents information, and all of the other professors chime in with some of their previous knowledge/opinions that they think will be helpful.
A few days after the colloquium, it was time for the annual departmental cookout. This is an event I look forward to every year (read my post from last year here’s dinner here!), as it means eating delicious food prepared by my professors and conversing with them over dinner.
I always end up sitting with the same professors, Paul and Dominique Battles, which is definitely not a bad thing. They are both medievalists (which is my dream), and they are amazing people. It is always nice to feel welcomed at English events and the Battles always fill the evening with good conversation and jokes.
It was a bittersweet evening knowing that this was my last English cookout and that next year, someone else will be sitting in my chair enjoying their time with the professors I have grown so incredibly fond of.