Word Count? Check.
Last minute read through for errors?
You’ve just spent six, ten plus hours on that final paper, and when your grade comes out you’ll be elated with that “A” or – um – seriously disappointed with that “C” or “D” or…”F.”
When you’re really proud of your work and your grade reflects that, you can’t help but give yourself a pat on your back. But no one knows about your hard work and sleepless nights except your professor and yourself.
At the Sigma Tau Delta Convention, I got the chance to show off my hard work and appreciate the brilliance of other English majors like me, from all over the country. I presented my essay, “Thoughts from the Security Room.”
My essay was a formal analysis on the graphic novel We3 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. The UO is the first in the nation to offer a minor in Comics and Cartoon Studies, so I knew my audience would most likely have no experience with comic analysis and theory. As such, I was nervous that no one would care.
But boy, were they attentive! I have never had people seem genuinely interested in a paper about something they had never read before. My own father had asked to read my paper when he heard it had been accepted for presentation, but he didn’t quite understand it. During my presentation though, I had one guy in the front row, nodding along as I read my paper, smiling encouragingly as he followed along with the handouts. After the panel, a woman even came up to me, asking for a copy of my paper for her son, so that she could show him that comics was something he could study in college. My family was not initially supportive of me being an English major, and to think that my essay garnered that kind of reaction from strangers, is mind-boggling; I still get a happy-bubbly feeling whenever I think about it.
My panel also exposed me to so many different subjects. I learned about Chamorro literature, about Emily Bronte’s poem, “Remembrance,” and more. The quality of their papers was also astounding. I felt like I was listening to graduate students at times.
Yet, above all, this convention gave me a huge umbrella of support – from my chapter members and complete strangers who became friends. My fellow convention attendees have inspired me to work hard, taught me so much, and given me praise for work that has largely gone uncredited. I only hope that my presentation has inspired the same in them.