My Story Episode: Video Games with Tyler McCombs and Stephen Nothum

English Society Logo

Have you ever thought that video games could really apply to your learning and writing skills? Well, whether you have or haven’t, Episode 17 of the BYU English Society’s podcast, My Story will show how two former English Teaching majors have made great discoveries in the world of video game research. Stephen and Tyler are both English teachers and love what they do. They spend their days teaching, and their evenings studying. However, their late night study hours are passed behind the screen of their favorite video games as they try to understand how to apply the creative story lines of video games to their English teaching. “Its for the kids” Stephen and Tyler remarked at the end of the interview, “we are trying to improve their educational possibilities.” Tune in to this week’s episode to see just how much we have to learn from video games, and how great the learning gains can be for students. Play the podcast embedded below, and check out all our episodes featuring stories about applying your English major by visiting the BYU English Society SoundCloud page.

Check out the interview HERE

My Story Episode 20: Harry Potter and Pedagogy

 

2016-11-09

Episode 20 of the BYU English Society’s podcast, My Story, features Nicole Westenskow, Whitney Sommerville, Tyler McCombs, and Stephen Nothum. This dynamic team of English Teaching Majors came together a few years back as a unsettled group BYU students. After doing their time at the university they are all now teaching full time here in Utah, and have made themselves known to the world for their unique achievements while here at BYU. In this episode the groups shares with us their unique pathway to the English Teaching Major, and highlights their experience while conducting research on Harry Potter and Pedagogy (for those of you who don’t know, that means teaching methods). This episode is a must listen for all of those Harry Potter fans, English Teaching hopefuls, and anyone else who wants to know a whole lot about what it means to be an English Major. Play the podcast embedded below, and check out all of our awesome episodes featuring stories on how to apply your English by visiting the BYU English Society SoundCloud page.

Check out the interview HERE

My Story Episode: Caroline Howard, English Teacher with an ORCA grant

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Episode 15 of the BYU English Society’s podcast, My Story, features Caroline Howard, an English turned English Teaching major who is now putting her skills to work as a 7th and 8th grade English teacher. Caroline also shared with us her incredible experience as an ORCA research grant recipient. On top of all her other accomplishments Caroline spent time as a presenter for the McKay School Symposium. Caroline pointed out to us that it was not so much what happened inside the classroom that shaped her decisions. Rather, it was what she accomplished as she work hard outside of her classes. For those of you looking into the idea of teaching English, receiveing an ORCA grant, or anyone else who wants to better understand making life changing decisions, play the podcast embedded above. Also please check out all our episodes featuring stories of applying one’s English by visiting the BYU English Society SoundCloud page.

Caroline’s Interview

Related Links

https://orca.byu.edu/orca/

http://education.byu.edu/ess/majors_and_minors.html

http://english.byu.edu/

My Story Episode: Carli Hanson, Editing Minor, Communications Minor, and Intern Galore

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Episode 18 of the BYU English Society’s podcast, My Story, features Carli Hanson, a first in family BYU student, passionate editing student looking forward to a future in Marketing. Carli shared with us experiences she has had as an intern for Nutrigold, Hope4Utah, and Mind the Gap Worldwide. Carli shared her appreciation for the English Major and the skills that it teaches. She also offered her best advice to those looking to move towards internship opportunities. Carli also shared some of the applications that came about from her experience in the English Major and Editing Minor. If you want to know all about getting in to internships play the podcast embedded above, and please check out all our episodes featuring stories of applying one’s English by visiting the BYU English Society SoundCloud page.

Carli’s Interview

Hope4Utah: hope4utah.com
Nutrigold: www.nutrigold.com
Mind the Gap Worldwide: www.mindthegapworldwide.org/

Editing Minor: https://registrar.byu.edu/catalog/2014-2015ucat/departments/Linguistics/EditingMinor.php
Communications Minor: https://registrar.byu.edu/catalog/2014-2015ucat/departments/Communications/CommsMinor.php

Link

2016-10-17

Episode 17 of the BYU English Society’s podcast, My Story, features Kate Neish, a stay at home mom, English Major, and 2015 English Symposium participant. Kate graduated just a few months ago, and shortly thereafter welcomed her first son into the world. Kate overcame every obstacle as a pregnant student, and made it through with flying colors. Her background in English has given her a unique approach to motherhood as she likens great literature to her life. Kate has always been passionate about English, but starter her time at BYU as a Music Major. Eventually she found her way home and decided to switch to the English Major, and focus on the art of literature. Kate said that in choosing the English Major, “learning was [her] objective” and now her communication, reasoning, and analytical skills are deeper and more easily applied. Play the podcast embedded above, and please check out all our episodes featuring stories of applying one’s English by visiting the BYU English Society SoundCloud page.

Kate’s Interview

A Creative Writer’s Survival Guide to College (Part 2)

Ahh we’re back! I’m sure by now you are all well on your ways to becoming the next Stephen Kings and J. K. Rowlings, but in case you could still use a little nudge, welcome to part two! Jumping right in…

Jumping in Waimea Bay

#5 Make time to read in your genre.

Last week we talked about things that will help you hone your craft and write more often. But the life of a Creative Writer is also filled with reading. If you are studying in college, most of the required books will be classics.

There are two types of classics: the type you read for class, and the type you read to show off and sound smart. Yes I’m talking to you, person who claims to enjoy reading To the Lighthouse. Now sure, I love a Keatsian sonnet as much as the next fellow, but I’ve got to be honest; Faulkner, Joyce, Eliot, and Austen put me to sleep faster than a high-councilman’s Sunday sermon. Unfortunately, you probably need to get used to reading this stuff if you want to be an English major. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to be educated, and reading the classics can help your writing, but don’t forget to read what’s hot in your genre as well. Do yourself a favor and pick up the latest bestseller every once in a while. It will keep you up to date, and give you something to read that you can actually enjoy before SparkNotes-ing it.

 

#6 Don’t get discouraged.

discouraged

Perhaps you’ve been reading Middlemarch or Ulysses and think to yourself: “Wow, how can I ever write something like that?!” (In my opinion, why would you ever want to write something like that? Please, do us all a favor). Regardless, I understand the weight and pressure of literature. We have been taught early on that there is a distinction between the cannon and the common. Who are we to even try to compete? Well frankly, yeah you’re right. Our first books will probably be worth less than the worthless paper they are printed on, but never underestimate the power of practice! All of these famous authors from Whitman to Rowling and Shakespeare to Shelley had to start somewhere. And so do we. Don’t view crumpled balls of paper as failures, but as foundational practices of budding creativity.

 

#7 Do things that will help you get a job.

working people

Recently Forbes listed Creative Writing as one of the top 17 most unemployed majors. Don’t panic, don’t panic… and get used to eating Top-Ramen. Anyway, that is why it’s critical to start networking now. Try to apply for an internship that has a media or editing position open, ideally at a publishing company or such. You could also try to get a part time job with a news group or online magazines. Even though some of these you might have to work without pay, just remember a little proactivity and networking now can mean the difference between having a job or not when you graduate. Also, don’t end your ambitions with the local opportunities, there are also study-abroads and internships overseas that you could apply for. The Wordsworth Trust is one example.

 

#8 Remember, you have an amazing major.

do the math

As Percy Bysshe Shelley once penned: “poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.” How cool is that. From film to fantasy and science fiction, writing and writers aren’t going anywhere. Sure it might be more difficult now than ever, but there are also more opportunities than ever. When you start to lose sight of that vision, pick up one of your favorite books and imagine what would happen if that author had given up before he finished. Yes, the road we are called to walk is filled with unseen abysses, dead ends, and drop-offs, but as Thomas Paine wrote: “the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” Keep writing friends and the world will eventually sing with the words you wrote.

 

That concludes my survival tips, but join me next time when I’ll talk about all my favorite things in writing!

–Paul Guajardo