• Department News,  Opportunities for English Majors

    “Cutting Edge Vitality”: The English Department Reviewed

    In the spring of 2018, Taylor’s English department underwent the process of external review, a requirement for every academic department. The results, in short, were outstanding. Dr. Linda Mills Woolsey, long-time professor and administrator at Houghton College, conducted the review, which concluded with a trip to Upland. Dr. Mills Woolsey examined every aspect of the department, from course offerings, departmental syllabi, student outcomes data, and a number of other artifacts. She spent time with department faculty and students, both in small groups and individually, and observed multiple classes, including a core foundational class, a literature survey, and a creative writing workshop. Upon compiling her observations in the final report, Dr.…

  • Department News,  Opportunities for English Majors

    Zero Point: On Teaching WORDshop

    My father is a teacher—a professor—and I grew up watching him grade. He would sit for hours, writing comment after comment in the margins of student tests scrawled in impossible handwriting, emerging from his office for dinner with tired eyes. I didn’t understand him. This sort of reading and writing was labor; ever since I could remember it demanded much of his time and energy. When I was young, it made such a dismal impression that I swore I would never do anything like it. Then, this summer, I had the opportunity to teach at WORDshop, Taylor’s inaugural writing camp. Happily, this involved no grading; even so, that long-apprehended specter…

  • Department News,  Literary Journal,  Opportunities for English Majors

    Finding Relief in Vulnerability

    The rare privilege of editing a national literary journal as an undergraduate (not to mention the daily promise of coffee) is enough to nudge my weary body out of my dorm room every morning and into the necessity of story. At first, it is the tender process of making Relief Journal that overwhelms me: the elusive connection suspended between writer and reader now becoming tangible. Writers trust us to listen, to lean in close, just as we trust them to move us, to illuminate uncharted nuances of the human condition. Vulnerability for vulnerability. Relief Journal provides space for us students to bask in the good, to wrestle with the ugly;…