Here at Taylor, a good number of people–both students and faculty–blog, and for different reasons. Some use blogging as a way to hold themselves accountable for reflective thinking through their everyday lives. Others create blogs to document and think through one specific experience, such as a class, an internship, or an international travel opportunity. Still others love to connect with readers and writers, to attend a virtual space where like-minded people can enjoy some of the benefits of community.
No matter one’s goal, blogging can help anyone, as Kinsley Koons puts it, “catch the moment.”
Today I want to share the blogs of a few of our English majors. I’ve asked these students for permission to link to their blogs and share a bit about them.
Diana Meakem is a junior English creative writing major. She grew up in Fayettville, North Carolina by the sea, and now finds herself surrounded by cornfields. Diana is interested in pursuing a graduate degree–possibly an MFA–upon completing her studies at Taylor.
She blogs at wordflow-writefreely.blogspot.com.
She writes, “In this space, I will chronicle moments along the path and embrace the mystery of the everyday.” Currently, Diana is using her blog to give thanks throughout the month of November. She writes:
“December has Advent. Why can’t November have thanks-giving all month long? If you’d like to join me, leave a link in the comments.”
And in each day’s post she records something for which she is thankful. A recent post reads:
“I’m grateful for older people who are willing to pour into me—because they’ve pioneered the path, they help me know where to go. Their wisdom is a light. Their prayers fall like anointing oil.”
Kinsley Koons is an English literature major from Siloam Springs, Arkansas. After Taylor, she hopes to complete more schooling, ultimately earn a PhD, and teach at a university.
Kinsley blogs at kinsleyjkoons.wordpress.com. Kinsley reflected with great honesty on her need to blog, and the difficulties of making herself continue in light of the busy college life. She writes:
“I think I let thoughts of insecurity creep in. And every time I started to write a new blog, I had myself talked out of it before I was finished, because I felt like I really didn’t have anything worth saying.
Maybe this is a result of things going on in my life, maybe it is a result of reading too many blogs by people much cooler than myself. However, at this moment, I am coming back to what I love so much. On a night where I have an outrageous amount of things to do, a long check-list (figuratively, of course- we all know that organization is another thing I take no pride in), this is what seems important to me right now, and I have to catch the moment before I lose it.”
Katy Kanas is an English education major from Souderton, Pennsylvania. She began her blog to track a unique experience: Katy is currently student teaching in Prague, Czech Republic. Her blog, katyinprague.blogspot.com, includes pictures of her travels, reflective posts about her experience teaching English in another country, and observations about language in general.
In a recent post, Katy discussed what it means to grade student writing:
“I have to remind myself that it was often the teachers who were the toughest on my writing who taught me something. I never really grew when teachers put stars and rainbows all over my papers. But, on the flip side, I also never grew when I felt attacked. My goal as an English teacher is to find a middle ground between these two. I don’t want to diminish my students’ (here comes an educational word) self-efficacy when it comes to writing, but I also don’t want them to be constantly complimented and affirmed. They will never grow this way.”
Taylor Sophomore Shannon Storrer (below, left) is an English education major from Archbold, Ohio. After her studies, Shannon would like to teach English, literature, and speech to upperclassmen at the high school level.
Shannon is new to blogging; she notes, “I’m not completely sure what direction I want to go with it yet…” But she’s off to a good start at cheerfulheartcontinualfeast.blogspot.com. Recently she wrote:
“Some days we just need a little encouragement, something to pick us up out of the gloom that threatens to choke us. Today is one of those days for me. I’ve noticed that the points in my life when I tend to be the most sad or depressed are the points at which I am most focused on myself. This is not always true, but I am an expert in throwing myself pity-parties.
So, this morning, when I started thinking those thoughts, I turned to the Word. I found myself in Psalm 90. It was one of those times when I found just what I needed:
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
~Psalm 90: 14 (NIV)
Thank you again to Diana, Kinsley, Katy, and Shannon for sharing your blogs with us!