An Introduction, Better Late Than Never

My name is Brooke Boutwell and I am a senior majoring in English and Psychology with law schol aspirations. I am from the tiny town of Piedmont, Oklahoma where we don't even have a stoplight. Growing up in such a samll town was an incredible experience that irrevocably shaped the person I am today. Picture my high school life in the terms of a Miranda Lambert song and you are pretty close to accurate. However, my hometown also instilled in me a great desire to leave. I told my parents in my harshly bratty teenage voice that under no circumstances would i attend college in this tiny midwestern state. Then the summer before my senior year, I came to Tulsa over fourth of July weekend like my family does every year and agreed under duress to a visit at the University of Tulsa. I immediately fell completely in love with the campus. I loved all the wide open spaces and the small town friendly feel on campus. A couple of months later, when my scholarship came in, Tulsa became an offer I couldn't refuse. 

Other fun facts about myself include that I am a Type 1 Diabetic and I also have a rare eye disorder called achromatopsia, which basically means I"m completely colorblind, legally actual blind and my eyes are sensitive to light. If you ever see me squinting in class, I'm not mad or confused. Also don't ask me if I know what color something is. I don't. Additionally, I am a Kappa Kappa Gamma, a University Ambassador, the Student Association Executive Secretary and I serve on the Relay for LIfe Committee and the OSGA Student Advisory Board. 

Not Actually An English Major But Okay

Although technically I'm communications and film, English is probably been my favorite subject from grade school until now and I still very frequently take English classes. Firstly because I think it compliments my film writing aspirations and also because dissecting and analyzing literature is something that I really enjoy and like to think I'm pretty good at.

So far, I reallly like the depth and variety of classes in college (as opposed to high school). For example, last year, in a course called Gender and Gaming I dissected how our perceptions of masculinity and power structures influenced the writing of Bioshock: Infinite and GTA V. Far and away my favorite literary research paper however was analyzing the Portal series and how it pertained to Donna Harraway's concept of cyborg feminism.

Having the internet at my fingertips, especially for research, is like having an extension of my own knowledge base. I may not know anything about a sepcific subject right now, but give me ten minutes and a Wifi connection and I could give a presentation about it.

Music, Saints, and E-Books

Through my communication/media studies major, I’m able to learn about a wide variety of communication and media theories while also exploring pet interests like music and typography. I’ve crafted my own independent study – On Sound and Symbol, which explored sound studies, typography, and cryptography – and explored topics including why people have strong feelings about plot spoilers. My two minors, English and philosophy, came about through classes that complemented what I was already studying. For example, a linguistics class taught me a more specialized vocabulary to discuss semantics while a class on St. Augustine explored semiotics (the study of signs, which is a recurring theme in TU’s communication classes). The main research I’ve done is focused on the word “forum,” especially its historical context and digital characteristics (you can read the current draft over at Culture Digitally). I’m also a student research fellow for the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities this year, where we’re studying privacy.

I haven’t really considering how I think with technology; about technology, well, that would be a very long post, but I think the idea of thinking with technology is intriguing and I don’t have a great answer for it right now. As far as using technology, the context and application matter. I craft essays and papers on the computer because I jump around adding things where they fit most suitably. On the flip side, I’m terrible at remembering things I read in e-books and enjoy many aspects of reading paper books: tactile elements of reading a book, scribbling in the margins, seeing/feeling how many pages are left, and so on. Similarly, I remember class notes better when I handwrite them (The Atlantic actually just recently had an article about this – apparently I’m not the only one!).

Majorly Confused: My Search for a Career

I did not begin my college career as an English and Communication major. When I came to TU as a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed freshman, I was dead set on an Economics major and a pre-law concentration. While law school may still be looming in my future, the picture is not as clear as it used to be. I think I probably went through the possibilities of 8 or 10 different majors before settling on English. With my parents pushing me for a (what they call) 'useful' degree, English was not even in my peripheral vision. Last semester, I took a class called Beyond Bella, an English course cross-listed with Women and Gender Studies. It was that class, and partially Dr. Stevens, that prompted my search of possible careers utilizing an English degree and consequent decision to pursue a career in publishing and/or editing.

My experience with being an English major thus far has been a bit exasperating. When I tell someone my major is English, usually the first respone out of their mouth is, "Oh, so you want to be a teacher?" Now, I have nothing against English teachers; I just know that I would be terrible and it is a bit frustrating that most people only think an English degree is useful to teachers.

When using technology, I have realized that I actually tend to think less, especially when I'm reading an ebook. For some reason, it is much easier for me to read an entire paragraph or page and not remember what it was about when I am  reading on an iPad. Yes, e-readers are much more convenient than actual books, but I definitely prefer the sturdy paper pages over an illuminated screen. Even if I'm not reading, it is so easy to use technology for brainless entertainment, and even though I know it's not productive, it's still a little addicting (YouTube definitely). Regardless, I know I will continue reading on my iPad and watching YouTube videos about sneezing pandas, hilarious cats, and zombie kids that like turtles.

True Life: I'm an English Major

As the new school year has kicked off, I have had the opportunity to meet a vast number of people. As with any introductory conversation, various questions were asked and answered, such as: Where are you from? What are you involved in on campus? And, of course, What is your major? Being at TU, I have met countless engineers. My response to their major is usually, "I should have guessed that." Of course, like any polite human being should, they return the question: What is your major? With a moderate level of enthusiasm, I simply respond, "I'm an English major." Being a male English major at one of the nation's most renowned engineering schools has been an interesting experience. I find myself having few classes with the majority of my friends and fraternity brothers. I often find myself involved in conversations of a very technical,scientific, mathematical nature with no idea how to contribute any thoughts. It has been quite the black sheep experience.

Don't get me wrong, though, I have loved it. I tried the whole engineering thing my first semester at TU and I was not a fan. Over the last three semesters, I have found a love for Modernism. I find myself fascinated with fragementation. I love shifting perspectives. I love unhappy or unresolved endings. I love brutal realism hiding behind carefully crafted images and texts. In addition, I find that I can often express myself more accurately (and eloquently) through writing.

Recently, I have noticed that I speak somewhat differently than I type. In this instance, I am referring to text messaging. I often text my friends and love to keep in contact with them. However, I find myself putting an extreme amount of care into crafting each message. I simply care a lot about how a message looks. I care about how the words appear on the screen, and how that appearance relates to my meaning. I find this to be an interesting connection between thinking and technology because it certainly impacts my communication. All in all, technology seems to cause me to pay special attention to the visual.

 

Hello My Name Is...

Hi everyone!

I'm Justin, and I'm a junior English major and psychology minor. I grew up in Tulsa and went to Jenks. I had originally committed to OSU during my senior year of high school, but upon visiting campus for their Senior Open House, I noticed that half of my graduating class was there. Not wanting high school, part II, I applied to TU. I visited the campus shortly thereafter and fell in love with it. On campus, I am heavily involved in Student Mobilization (StuMo) and my fraternity (Lambda Chi Alpha). After college, I would love to move to India for long-term missions. Honestly, I'm pretty open to whatever the future holds. I'm excited for this class and for getting to know each of you over the next semester!

About Me

Hi, I'm Megan Grier. I am a sophomore English and Communication major. I'm from Texas, something I probably talk about way too much. In regards to literature, I'm going to be honest here and say YA fiction is my favorite, but yes I acknowldge the fact that they are generally extremely cheesy. I want to be a book publisher or editor, preferably for young adult literature, so I'm really interested in what makes certain literature popular and how it spreads so quickly from one place to another, specifically through the use of social media. 

Hello

I am an english/education major in my junior year and a member of the rowing team. I love studying and learning about societies and time periods through the literature produced in that time period and society.  

Ello

Hi! I'm Brenna, and I'm a junior English major. I'm like a confused old person when it comes to technology, so I'm not sure why I decided to take a class like this, but it sounded fun at the time (twitter and blogs are fun I guess). When it comes to literature, I'm mostly interested in modern and visual forms of literature like comic books, movies, television, video games, etc. Becoming a comic book writer would be awesome if that was a realistic goal... Oh, and I really have no idea what "digital humanities" means, so this will be interesting.

It's the Remix to Ignition

My name's Michael, though for some strange reason everywhere I go, I end up being called by my full name. I have moved a grand total of eight times, and without fail, people start calling me by my full name. Grew up in Los Angeles, moved to Beijing when I was 8, then Hong Kong when I was 12, then Wichita, Kansas for my last two years of high school. 

Starting my third year at TU, Film and Communications double major. I want to make movies, tell stories in a visual medium but part of that is my interest in how people interact; more specifically why people choose to like the things they do and the cycle of how things can become popular and fade away again. So it goes wihtout saying I'm a huge pop-culture junkie. I've seen every movie and TV show you can think of and care way too much about what Kanye is currently up to.

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