Congratulations to the recipients of the 2018 English Awards. They were honored at a celebration on May 9, 2018.
Excerpts from our students’ personal statements
“After I switched majors from music to English…writing ceased to be just a personal outlet and became a way by which I could organize, distill and share arguments about what I was reading. It has been difficult but at times revelatory. It is now impossible for me to be a passive reader or lazy writer and I have learned to see context in everything—news articles, novels, advertisements—that is now impossible for me to ignore. It reminds me of being a piano technician, in a way: once you know what ‘perfectly in tune’ sounds like, you begin to hear disharmony everywhere.”
“Learning does not just happen in Dickson Hall, it happens outside of it as well when a group of my classmates and I, still buzzing with ideas and opinions and observations not shared in class, spend forty-five minutes in the cold discussing Stevie Smith’s “Not Waving but Drowning.” Learning happens in Car Parc Diem at 7:05AM when a friend and I talk about the ways in which disability is framed in the X-Men universe, and in the parking lot of my apartment building at 7:45PM when another friend and I unpack how everything we know or think we know is constructed by the lenses of our own experiences…These moments are as much a reflection of my career as a student as my GPA might be and are proof that while being a college student is transitory, the culture of questioning and engaging critically with both literature and the world around me that is fostered by this department and its professors have turned me into a lifelong student and learner.“
“After high school, I carried my iconoclastic viewpoints with me to college English courses, where I was allowed to openly express my findings and opinions in a more liberal academic setting. As a first semester transfer student in the English program at Montclair State University, I have not yet had the opportunity to take many English courses; however, the courses I am currently taking have broadened my scope of literature, sharpened my critical thinking, and fine-tuned my essay-writing skills. From my perspective, Montclair State University’s English program has redefined what it means to be a student, a reader, and a writer.“