Lead the Summer Reading Discussion

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Literature & Social Justice

In the flurry of emails I received as a new graduate student this summer, I took notice of one request in particular. The Office of Student Affairs and the staff of the First-Year Experience were recruiting volunteers to be a Summer Reading Discussion leader for fall orientation. I was anxious to take advantage of as much as I could while working toward my PhD and thought that this experience would be good practice before the stepping into a classroom of my own.

9780393249248Part of the new student orientation since 2003, the Summer Reading Program encourages incoming students to take part in a community reading experience. Each year a new title is selected by a committee made up of faculty, staff, graduate, and undergraduate students, with the goal of “engag[ing] the entire Lehigh community in discussions around a theme of contemporary interest and concern.” This year’s selection, No Apparent Distress by Rachael Pearson, M.D, will also be discussed in Critical Reading and Composition (ENGL 001), giving the students who participate a head start on their reading for the semester.

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Monday Meet and Greet: Ashlee Simon

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Simon

Tell us about yourself! 

My name is Ashlee Simon. I was born and raised in Southern California and received my bachelor’s degree in June 2017 from the University of California, Riverside. My parents live on a farm in Norco, Horsetown U.S.A. where my mom owns and shows myotonic (fainting) goats. She’s currently working on setting up a “goat yoga” business. Stay tuned for updates on that one…

Why did you choose Lehigh?

As an undergraduate, I had the opportunity to work on a thesis surrounding the instability of medicinal substances. I’m very eager to learn more about the medical humanities, and Lehigh is a wonderful place for me to continue to develop that knowledge.

What is your favorite book outside your field of study?

I highly recommend “The Drunken Botanist: The Plants that Create the World’s Greatest Drinks” by Amy Stewart. Other than that, my “fun” reads tend to dwell in the world of historical fiction – especially concerning European monarchy.

What are you most looking forward to this year? 

I’m so excited to get back into the classroom! It’s been a long year off…

“We were very tired, we were very merry”: Reflections on the Lehigh alLUsions Program

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This past August, I had the pleasure of leading nine incoming first-year students and three undergraduate student leaders through the alLUsions program. alLUsions began six years ago when two former graduate students in the department wanted to find intentional ways to build bridges with undergraduate students. The idea was simple: invite incoming students to move in early and use writing as a tool to build community and unleash creativity before they began their college careers. By writing at home, in the city, and in the country, students would, hopefully, begin to discover the world and, more importantly, themselves.

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Meet and Greet: Heather Flyte

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Flyte

Tell us about yourself!

I’m a non-traditional student with a background in web-development and journalism. I enjoy cooking and video games, but not cooking video games. There is a rumor that I watch anime. I will not confirm this. I have seen Anthrax and Billy Ray Cyrus in concert, though not on the same night. I once strung a car engine to the overhanging branch of a maple tree.

Why did you choose Lehigh?

Nearly all of the professors I worked close with at Kutztown University are Lehigh alumni. That alone put it as my top choice.

What is your favorite book outside your field of study? 

My favorite books are the Discworld novels by Sir Terry Pratchett. Most of my worldview comes from this series. Since his passing, I still haven’t read the last book. That way there will always be another Discworld book to read.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

I’m most looking forward to developing as an instructor, seeing where my strengths and weaknesses lie, and discovering exactly what kind of teacher I am. Right now I’m somewhere between “Absent-Minded Professor” and Batman.

Welcome Back!: Reading Groups and Events

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back-to-school-conceptual-creativity-207658The smell of the classroom, the reading assignments, hands cramping after writing too much in margins, and the down-and-out copy machine…. Ah, the telltale signs that another semester has started in the English department. On behalf of Drown Unbound, I would like to welcome our new members and our returning veterans. It is shaping up to be an amazing semester with exciting classes, an intriguing new teaching cohort, and many unknown surprises along the way.

Thinking about the coming semester, we think it is important to remind you all of the many coming opportunities that the weeks ahead hold for us. We’ve compiled a list of the department’s reading groups and some select events. For those that are new and returning, we hope that you will get involved and join us in discussion and attendance at the many things that Drown offers!

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Teaching Tip Tuesdays: Knowledge Retrieval

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auditorium-benches-board-207691Welcome to the fall 2018 semester–and a new series that we are debuting for Drown Unbound. Every two weeks or so, I (Sarah HB) will be inviting graduate students and professors to share their favorite pedagogical approaches and teaching techniques for folks to try out in your English 1 classrooms and beyond. 

Please think of these posts as part of the ongoing conversation regarding teaching in our department. The goal of these posts is to facilitate continued growth and discussion regarding our pedagogical practices. We invite you to use these tips, adapt them for your classrooms, and please share the results in the comments below (or, write a blog post of your own reflecting on your experiences).
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Confessions of a Grad Student: I (Still) Don’t Know What These Words Mean

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I am two seminar papers and one e-portfolio away from finishing my first year of graduate school, and that seems significant. But while reflecting on all the fulfilling, thrilling, liberating, and life-altering stuff I’ve learned this year, I can’t help but think about all the stuff I still don’t know. In fact, I’m beginning to think that the point of education is to teach you things you didn’t know that you didn’t know.

I never knew there were so many things I didn’t know.
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An Interview with Kari Moffat about the Film, “Mentored: Sexual Misconduct in Graduate School”

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History / Lehigh Culture & Community / Literature & Social Justice / Politics
Mentored Poster

Hi Everyone!

In advance of this Thursday’s screening of the film (4:00 pm Drown 210), Mentored: Sexual Misconduct in Graduate School, I’m sharing a conversation I had with Kari Moffat, a member of the production team behind the documentary. The film is written, directed, and produced by Lehigh University students and in its promotional materials, Mentored is described as exploring “the dark side of graduate school”. The film “focuses on how the relationship between graduate students and their faculty mentors can lead to sexual misconduct. With misconduct cases being widespread at universities across the country, Mentored examines why these relationships can be so toxic and why it is still a commonly occurring situation.” As someone who is interested in the intersections of gender and education more broadly, I sat down with Kari to ask her some questions about the film team’s choice of this topic during the ongoing coming-to-terms with our own campus’ recent stories of sexual misconduct. We focused on the interview process and how she might imagine other projects continuing the work of this film.

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Year in Review: Gothic Reading Group

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Lehigh Culture & Community

Gothic Art

One of the most interesting and exciting parts of being a grad student at Lehigh are the groups that convene outside of the classroom.  The Gothic Reading Group exists to explore the strange, the macabre, the sublime, and the horrific.  This year the group has jumped into multiple examples of Gothic materials and come out the other side frightened and paranoid.  To sum the work of another year of the group, we asked two new members to describe their experience.  Shelby Carr and Ethan Robles are both current scholars in the Gothic and horror genres and are two of the newest members.

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Female Friendship in the Academy

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Sometimes I wonder if there are any spaces conducive to positive friendships between women. I will not presume to speak for all women, but I have always recognized that genuine friendships between us can be tough to navigate. We are socialized to see each other as competition—for the man, the clothes, the jobs. And the media loves to portray female friendships as catty, competitive, and dramatic. I learned this at a young age; I watched Mean Girls when I was ten years old. Now, as a twenty-something, all the drama, fighting, and gossiping seems to me as intent on keeping women in constant competition with one another. To distract us? From what?

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