Second Annual Festival of Writing a success
By Amanda Hickey
The second annual Festival of Writing on April 18 attracted more than 600 participants, filling the U.C. lounge with colorful, interactive booths and milling crowds of students and other guests.
Photo by Amanda Hickey
Julian Young and Ashton Jordan take time out from the festival to show their support for writing.
Booths that lined up throughout the lounge discussed topics varying from paper structure to advertising to eating disorders.
There were games, food, even a baby pool with rubber duckies.
But what stuck out were students interacting with other students, discussing the booths and the topics they represented.
Three of Dr. Roger A. Ladd’s classes participated in the festival.
“It gets [students] out of the classroom, and lets them see what other people are doing,” said Ladd.
Ladd’s classes came up with the ideas for the booths.
The booths represented the classes’ research topics and what the classes were about.
Ladd hoped his students would gain “a broader sense of writing at the university, a sense of community and food,” by attending the festival.
Instructor Johnson English 105 and English 106 classes participated in the festival.
“I hope they’ll see that writing is not only an opportunity to explore the personal,” said Johnson.
Her English 105 class interviewed three generations of their family and constructed a family story through the interviews.
“The students wove the family story down to themselves,” said Johnson.
“They saw how they were similar to their relatives and how society has changed,” said Johnson.
While some booths were poster boards with information, other booths attempted to get festival go-ers involved.
Jason Davis’s English 106 class took arguing a topic and turned it into a contest.
“[Students] throw a dart at the balloon and whatever is inside they have five minutes to form a debate on. They debated to the panel of judges.
There are two panels, and the judges have a rubric.
That’s how they determine the winner,” said freshman Tashina Martin.
Martin and others created the game and ran the booth, encouraging students to take the chance to win. The topics included the campus parking, visitation regulations, the legalization of marijuana and the war in Iraq, according to Martin.
Sara Oswald’s English 224 class took another approach to getting people involved.
Photo by Amanda Hickey
Sheila Woodleif prepares her booth for the Festival of Writing that took place in the University Center April 18.
Freshman Linda Strickland and other students passed out a punctuation quiz, offering students a chance to win the Blair Handbook.
“If people have questions about punctuation, we can answer them,” said Strickland.
“They could learn something about punctuation and it’s a very interesting class,” Strickland continued.
This year's festival expanded beyond English classes and included the campus newspaper The Pine Needle.
Their students created a blog site where participants could post thoughts about current events, the campus newspaper or the festival itself.
The Pine Needle blog ended up with over 100 postings by festival participants.
The festival was organized by Dr. Kim Gunter and included participation by other English, Theatre and Languages faculty.
Dr. Gunter conceived and executed the first festival April 19, 2005. It attracted hundreds to the UC lounge as well.