MA in English Literature and Writing
Rose Hall is a graduate student in the Master’s program in English Literature and Writing. She graduates in June 2020.
What projects have you worked on that you would like to highlight?
There are so many exciting projects I’ve gotten to work on. Last year, I got to write and present a project on Victorian literature. It was about how Bram Stoker’s Dracula and George Du Maurier’s Trilby expose the strange way Victorian’s view their relationships as food and hinted about how we use similar language when discussing food and relationships as well. This project was particularly exciting because I got to travel to London and Paris afterward on a class trip to see the culture preserved in museums myself.
The other project I really want to highlight happened earlier this school year. I collaborated with Megan Favaro and Laine Houghton in the creation of a video game called Little Women in Horror. The game requires students to play through pop culture and literature that feature stereotypes surrounding women in horror. The project was so exciting for me because it was completely different from anything I have attempted to do in my degree. The game required us to learn a software called Gdevelop, which provided a lot of commands and functions for us. We wanted to create a completely original game, customize it to our exact specifications, and had no coding experience. We had to spend days learning how to string together command lines, dialogue trees, and scene variables. It was one of the most challenging projects I’ve ever done but really fun and rewarding.
How have your EWU experiences shaped you?
What this program has instilled in me is grit, unwavering persistence and passion in the face of impossible situations. We are asked unanswerable questions every day by the individuals who make up this program. In fact, it is really the individuals who have shaped me. This school is not always a space free of discrimination and hate. I’ve been let down and I’ve seen my students and peers let down by the politics and institution that is higher education.
However, in this program, there are really inspiring peers and teachers who have taught me that we need to relentlessly care about problems with no perfect solution. These people in the English program, who have always seen the best in me even when we challenge each other, have shaped me into the kind of person who never gives up on herself, as a student and an unanswerable question.
What important lessons or tips do you have for future students?
Yes, start getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. English degrees ask you to push boundaries and stumble your way through unmarked paths. It is intellectually and emotionally challenging, but don’t be afraid to lean on your teachers and peers for support, even if you don’t agree all the time.
There are so many career paths you can take with an English degree if you market your skills effectively. I’ve applied for all kinds of jobs, including writing jobs, college instructing, advising, even HR and recruiting positions. It might not be the exact job title but in five years I’ll still be an English teacher. That is I will still be having tough conversations, asking questions, motivating people to be what they want to be, and helping them to say what they want to say. Whether it is in an academic setting or not, I will be an English teacher.
Is there anything else you would like to share with readers?
I had a really low reading level throughout grade school, and it still takes me extra time to process written words. However, here I am with a degree that requires significant amounts of reading, and I wanted to say thank you to all the teachers, friends, and family members for being patient and supportive over the years. As a teacher myself, I hope we can all be supportive and patient resources for our students and each other as we adjust to the changes the Coronavirus has forced upon us.