Initial Introduction - Toby Decker

 My name is Toby Decker, and I am a transfer student from Tulsa Community College.  I came to become an English student at the University of Tulsa because at TCC I decided to pursue an interest I enjoy most--writing.  I particularly enjoy researching contemporary cultural topics and doing literary research; I do experiment with fiction and poetry, but I feel like I might need to live another 400 years before I have anything very relavent to say.

I enjoy reading a little bit of anything I can get my hands on.  I do read very slowly, so oftentimes I will read to a certain point in a book, then move to a different author.  I hate having this habit, but it keeps me from reading nothing, or focusing too long on a work simply because I feel the need to prove myself through accomplishing it. Nevertheless, some of my favorite writers are Jonathan Franzen, Michael Cunningham, Walt Whitman, etc.  Only recently have I really started to read short stories; the last collection I read was called "Smut."  My favorite line from the collection concerned self-love/hate and went something like, "Gary could have found the strength to do almost anything, so long as he could watch himself do it."

When I read books, poems, articles, etc, I often do so with a pen or pencil.  I hope to find forms and words in what I read which will (hopefully) help me develop my own literary voice.

I'll post more soon!  Thanks.


"I feel like I might need to live another 400 years before I have anything very relevent to say."

I appreciate this thought, because I feel very simlilarly. I usually feel that by the time I'm developed an idea into any level of eloquence, the discussion has moved beyond whatever it is I'm thinking. I'm hoping the small-class setting here will encourage people like you and me to achieve the small victories of having something relevent to say during class discussions! I'll be rooting for you, Toby.

Well, it definitely helps to have a lot of reading under your belt if you want to say something new as a writer. However, don't let the fear of it prevent you from trying. If you wait to take the plunge until you're "ready," you won't take it at all. We're all here to encourage each other and give feedback, but you can't get the feedback if you don't send out a signal in the first place. As my guitar teacher used to say, "Play louder, so you can hear your mistakes!"

Welcome to the course, and I look forward to the new things you'll have to say.