Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Five Questions with Carly Escue

Over the next several days, we'll profile many of the graduating seniors that comprise our biggest class ever (32 graduates!). We'll start with Carly Escue, co-winner of the Virginia Chaney Award, given annually to the outstanding female English Major.

What were the most valuable experiences of your English major (and of course, why)?

This question is a difficult one for me because I tend to think of my English major experiences as a unified whole. It's hard for me to pull out pieces that aren't somehow connected to something else. However, I can say that classroom discussions in my literature courses have been extremely valuable. Both my professors and my peers consistently offered new perspectives which always informed, if not changed my own.

What are your immediate post-graduation plans (including educational/professional ones)?

Although I haven't secured my position yet, I plan to spend the next year teaching English in Russia. I completed a Teaching English as a Second Language certification course last summer, so I'll be putting that experience to use. I took Russian here, and I really want to improve my language skills before deciding upon the if's, what's, and when's of graduate school. This summer I'll be working in Nashville, saving pennies for rubles.

Have your favorite writers changed since you’ve been here? Who are they now and why?

My favorite authors have surely changed over the past four years. I've definitely matured as a reader thanks to the brilliant people by whom I've been surrounded here at Belmont. My absolute favorite is Vladimer Nabokov, though I hadn't read any of his works before I started college. My infatuation with Nabokov was inevitable. His prose is poetry, and his insights are spot on, every time. Of course, my interest in Russian literature and culture fuels my passion for him, especially since he translated much of his own work that wasn't originally created in English. Finally, I love to love him because I can I think of him as "mine": I didn't discover him through any course or reading list.

True or False: "April is the cruellest month."

False. It is cruel in its constantly reminding me of the brevity of my time left here, but this specific April has already been full of experiences which I know I'll carry with me for the whole of my life. It's been the most beautiful April I've known.

Any shout outs on your way out?

The utter selflessness of the English faculty here is reason enough for me to shout out to all of my professors. Thank you for your time and your minds. They weren't wasted on me.

What would it have been valuable for you to know as you were starting your English major? Would you have done anything differently, knowing what you know now?

I definitely would have tried harder to complete an internship. That's the one academic regret I have.