Today's graduating senior profile is of Will Hoekenga, Carl Chaney Award winner as the outstanding male BU English Major.
What were the most valuable experiences of your English major (and of course, why)?
Peer-tutoring was definitely a valuable experience because it showed me how difficult it is to teach writing. All of the lit courses I took were valuable experiences since they broadened my view of writing and literature. Senior seminar was valuable because it helped me begin to better my understanding of the role of the humanities within society and the academy.
What are your immediate post-graduation plans (including educational/professional ones)?
I'm starting a professional writing company. I have a client that I will be working pretty much exclusively for full time for the next year or so. He is the business manager for an author who is published by Thomas Nelson. I hope to use his connections to build my list of clients and grow business. Outside of work I will be devoting most of my time to my own writing.
Have your favorite writers changed since you’ve been here? Who are they now and why?
Yes. Cormac McCarthy has become one of my favorites. I admire his stylistic ability and range (compare Blood Meridian and All the Pretty Horses to No Country for Old Men and The Road...pretty incredible). I've found that, generally, American literature is what I like most. Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men is somewhere among my favorite novels. I read it twice while at Belmont and was amazed by how different it was the second time. Flannery O'Connor is incredibly powerful and her novels should be taught way more often. Kurt Vonnegut was one of my favorites prior to Belmont and I still think his books are great.
True or False: "April is the cruellest month."
So true. Especially as a senior. Thanks for the early warning, T.S.
Any shout outs on your way out?
Thanks to all the profs, particularly Stover and Trout for being awesome and challenging. Thanks to Dr. Cox for primo advising and DARS interpretation.
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?
Yes, I would have become an English major freshman year instead of waiting until halfway through my sophomore year to switch. Jack Massey and the school of music business has a part of my soul that I will never get back.