Grace describes Beyond English as a space to discover how English applies to real life. However, it was the commencement speeches by notable figures such as J. Rowling that Grace enjoyed the most, because they explored ways her degree could open doors later in life. Every unit of the course offered Grace something useful. Scattered throughout the course were writing assignments such as journaling and creating career maps. These exercises helped students consider what they wanted out of life and brainstorm ways to get there. She began in Management, but, eventually, switched to English.
Journaling allowed Grace to reflect on her journey at Purdue and to map out potential paths for her future. In addition to being reading-intensive, Beyond English was very discussion-based. Every student had to contribute to the daily conversation, and, with only 11 students in the class, no one held back.
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Everyone enjoyed the honesty of the discussions and shared their thoughts without judgment. Kristy had worked her way into the construction business from the ground up. She shared that knowing how to learn and taking the initiative to teach herself propelled her into important roles, such as managing the State Street Project and the construction of the new arch in front of Purdue Memorial Union — all without an engineering degree.
I think that is what attracted me the most because I have so many options. Filled with dreaming and planning in equal measure, Beyond English offers a judgement-free space for English majors to assess where they are and where they want to be. Liz Walker entered Beyond English discouraged and frustrated. Constantly trying to prove the value of English to others had left her disheartened, and the negativity was taking its toll. Although she was initially skeptical, Beyond English turned out to be the right experience at the right time.
She also credits the class with revamping her love of English and effecting a tangible change in her mentality.
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Looking at the bigger picture reminded her that the purpose of college is more than just landing a job. It is also about learning and growing as a person.
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Liz recommends Beyond English because it helped her realize that there is no one definition of success, and that life does not transition predictably from point A to point B. Until her junior year, Liz had her life neatly mapped out with the intention of becoming a lawyer.
She admits to initially having a hard time grasping this, but that Beyond English helped her come to terms with it.
The course provided Liz with practical tools to market her skills to the fullest extent. Participating in required Center for Career Opportunities CCO events offered her experiences she would not have pursued otherwise. What place does Liberal Arts have in a tech-based society? How does the study of English fit into the modern world? A third looked toward the future: What comes after college?
What does adulting look like? Talking with other English majors reassured her that she was not the only one worried about the future. Months later, Liz and her classmates still chat over GroupMe and are trying to start a book club. Although she is still unsure where life is heading, Liz is okay with that.
Pacheco] puts a lot of himself into the class and he encourages, like, a comfortable atmosphere.
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The course readings were another source of inspiration for Rachel. For the insides of people, like the insides of stars, are not open to view. They must be wondered about.
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And the conclusion that this set of limbs in front of me has emotions and feelings and thoughts of the sort I attribute to myself will not be reached without the training of the imagination that storytelling promotes. Filled with texts like this, the course helped Rachel articulate the value of reading, writing, and interpreting stories. The same skills needed to tell a story are also extremely valuable in the workforce. Employers want workers who connect with other people, and are disciplined, self-reflective, and able to take criticism — all skills found in English majors.
But, after spending the semester discussing the readings with her classmates, exploring career paths through research exercises, and verbalizing her experiences through a group podcast project, she emerged with a clearer understanding of her career interests. She is also exploring the possibility of writing for medical journals. February is almost over, which means our Books and Coffee series is sadly coming to an end. You are a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: your boyfriend of the past nine years is engaged to someone else.
On your desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world. What would possibly go wrong? Arthur Less will almost fall in love in Paris, almost fall to his death in Berlin, barely escape to a Moroccan ski chalet from a Saharan sandstorm, accidentally book himself as the only writer-in-residence at a Christian Retreat Center in Southern India, and encounter, on a desert island in the Arabian Sea, the last person on Earth he wants to face.
Somewhere in there: he will turn fifty. Through it all, there is his first love. And there is his last. Because, despite all these mishaps, missteps, misunderstandings and mistakes, Less is, above all, a love story. Greer writes sentences of arresting lyricism and beauty.
His metaphors come at you like fireflies…. Brilliantly funny…. His protagonist grapples with aging, loneliness, creativity, grief, self-pity and more. End your day with some caffeine and a good book. An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom.
When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. The unforgettable New York Times best seller begins with the story of two half-sisters, separated by forces beyond their control: one sold into slavery, the other married to a British slaver.
Written with tremendous sweep and power, Homegoing traces the generations of family who follow, as their destinies lead them through two continents and three hundred years of history, each life indeliably drawn, as the legacy of slavery is fully revealed in light of the present day. Effia and Esi are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle.
The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. Truly captivating. Yaa Gyasi has given rare and heroic voice to the missing and suppressed. Essential reading. Yaa Gyasi [is] a stirringly gifted writer. Join us for the first books and coffee session of ! In a lyrical love letter to guide dogs everywhere, a blind poet shares his delightful story of how a guide dog changed his life and helped him discover a newfound appreciation for travel and independence.
Stephen attended public school, rode a bike, and read books pressed right up against his nose. As an adult, he coped with his limited vision by becoming a professor in a small college town, memorizing routes for all of the places he needed to be. Then, at the age of 38, he was laid off. With no other job opportunities in his vicinity, he would have to travel to find work. This is how he found himself at Guiding Eyes paired with a Labrador named Corky. In this vivid and lyrical memoir, Stephen Kuusisto recounts how an incredible partnership with a guide dog changed his life and the heart-stopping, wondrous adventure that began for him in midlife.
Profound and deeply moving, this is a spiritual journey, the story of discovering that life with a guide dog is both a method and a state of mind. Funny, moving, and joyful. Truth be told, I fell in love with Steve too for how he dove into his new, broken open, adventurous life with her, and the way he processed his experiences through the lens of his reading life, and his compassion for others and for his own late-blooming self.