Tag Archives: Humans of Eddy

Humans of Eddy: Slamogadro

image credit: Slamogadro

image credit: Slamogadro

~From English Department Communications Intern Tim Mahoney

Take a stroll down the main plaza and you are to likely see many student advertisements written in chalk on the sides of the buildings. While many such advertisements have failed to capture my attention, earlier this semester while walking into the Clark Building I happened to notice in big pink lettering a promotion for a slam poetry competition known as “Slamogadro.”

I had never been to Slamogadro, a monthly slam poetry competition hosted by CSU English majors Chris Vanjonack, Summers Baker, Andrew Walker, and Kate McHargue, along with Lauren Funai, but with the end of my collegiate career in sight I decided to attend and hear the work of my fellow undergraduate English majors.

image credit: Slamogadro

October 26th Slamogadro event at Avo’s, image credit: Haley Grace Photography

Taking place on the last Sunday of each month, Slamogadro gives undergraduate students and writers in the Fort Collins community an outlet to showcase their poetry in a constructive and supportive environment. And while Slamogadro is essentially a competition with a “winner” being declared at the end, the main focus of the night was not on the judge’s scores but on supporting the different poets and their performances.

“It’s all about becoming a better writer,” said CSU English major and poetry judge Moonier Said. “Slamogadro is about connecting with people who will push you to better yourself and your writing.”

As undergraduates, the bulk of our writing practices often take place inside the classroom, but there are ways to extend those practices into the larger Fort Collins community. Slamogadro brings together students and community members who have a shared interest in poetry, and offers writers the opportunity to read their work in front of an audience.

It was a wonderful experience seeing so many authors read their work and I can’t recommend this event enough as an outlet for authors, as well as fans of poetry and the performing arts. Slamogadro takes place at Avogadro’s Number of Mason Street at 7:30p.m on the last Sunday of the month.

Bean Cycle, image by Tim Mahoney

Bean Cycle, image by Tim Mahoney

On a related note, there is also an open-mic slam poetry competition held on the first Friday of every month at the Bean Cycle in Old Town, hosted by Wolverine Farms Publishing. Both events are free and open to the public. I encourage everyone to attend these events and support CSU’s wonderful undergraduate writers.

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Humans of Eddy: Joelle Hamilton

joelleThis past summer, senior English major Joelle Hamilton traveled to Mexico to map and write about the hiking trails that wind through the Sierra Madre mountain range. This might not sound like the typical kind of work an English major would find themselves doing, but Joelle found that her English studies greatly aided her during her time abroad. Joelle recently discussed her internship and her experiences working in Mexico with English Department Communications Intern Tim Mahoney.


What was the internship about?
My internship was a collaborative trail writing project in Southern Mexico. I produced eight descriptions of trails in the Sierra Madre Range to promote tourism in the area. The trails ranged in difficulty from a dramatically inclined mountain ascent through primary forest, to a mildly winding path through remarkable stands of Ficus and Mezcal.

That sounds incredibly interesting. How did you find this internship?
The internship didn’t exist before — I worked with the generous support of Eduardo Bone of the Center for Conservation Leadership at CSU and the Mexican NGO Pronatura to create my role.

Was this your first time working abroad?
This was both my first time working abroad and my first time traveling by myself. There were challenges, (a mighty bout with food poisoning jumps to mind) but there were also extreme joys: communicating in a new dialect of Spanish with coffee farmers, learning to ride a motorcycle, and working with incredible specialists in birding and mapping at Pronatura.

How did your English studies help you?
My English Literature studies proved a great asset when writing the actual narrations of the trails. I was able to give attention to things like varied sentence structure, intelligible grammar, and concise description — practices I have learned through earning my degree. Studying English also bolstered the communication skills I needed in the initial phases of planning both the internship and the final deliverable product.

Why is it important to study English and the humanities?
More largely, I think studying English Literature teaches us about stories and storytelling. Stories articulate the past and foresee the future, and storytelling exists in every part of the world. You are one yourself! As an English major working abroad, I began to see myself as a storyteller, a transmitter of spoken and written information in a larger, more global context. I brought this more expansive, impactful sense of myself back home.

Humans of Eddy: The Hall Monitor Herald

By Tim Mahoney

hallmonitorheraldprintThis week, rather than highlighting a single student, I had the opportunity to speak with the group of English majors responsible for publishing The Hall Monitor Herald, a student-led press, whose articles can be found in the Collegian on Fridays. Their work can also be found at thehallmonitorherald.com, and booklets of their work can be found on campus, being handed out by a man in a gorilla-suit as part of their “guerrilla marketing campaign.”

As a senior, I wish that I would have been involved in something like this earlier on in my collegiate career. The Hall Monitor Herald, and other writing communities like it, give students a chance to work with other English majors outside of class, and creates a community in which new writers can hone their skills and gain valuable experience. Any student interested in being a part of this publication can email them at thehallmonitorherald@gmail.com. They’re looking to bring new writers on as soon as possible.

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I first experienced The Hall Monitor Herald in the third floor restroom of Allison Hall, where copies had been taped to the walls. Then it was known as The Water Closet Weekly, and would appear intermittently throughout the semester, always in the same place: the restroom. Before the end of my first year, I moved across campus to Newsom Hall, where the sounds of perpetual construction could not disturb me, leaving behind the mysterious Water Closet Weekly and the talented group of writers whose quick wit and eye for comedy made it all possible.

Flash forward to last semester, the spring of 2014. I left Eddy Hall (back when it was more than a shell of building) and was headed to my next class when I was stopped by a man in a gorilla suit handing me a pamphlet. As a general rule, I do not take things people try to hand me while on campus, but then again those people are not usually dressed as gorillas. I took the small booklet and continued on my way, unaware that that I had discovered something truly special. That night I read the entire booklet cover-to-cover, only pausing to wipe away my tears of laughter and catch my breath. Still, I had no idea who the gorilla-man was, or the true value of the booklet in my hand.

Gorilla Marketing: Chris Vanjonack

Gorilla Marketing: Chris Vanjonack

It wasn’t until I met English major Chris Vanjonack, one of the minds behind The Hall Monitor Herald, that I was able to learn more about this amazing community of writers. Chris had this to say:

We started in Allison Hall the spring semester of our freshman year. Niles Hachmeister, one of our writers, and I had been kicking around the idea of writing something together. One day he knocked on my door and said, “I have this crazy idea: what if we started putting work up in the bathroom stalls where everyone has to read it.”

So we got a couple other friends from our hall including Patrick Hoehne, an incredibly funny person, who still writes for the Hall Monitor Herald, and eventually we settled on writing a weekly bathroom newsletter that we called The Water Closet Weekly. We’d tape them up in the stalls in the dead of night on Tuesdays, making sure no one (especially the RAs) would catch us doing it. For the first few months, no one living in Allison Hall had any idea it was us, so it had a really cool, anonymous vibe to it. We had to keep switching up the nights we’d distribute it because a few hallways were literally staking out the bathrooms to try and figure out who was putting them up.

We were finally caught one night and were almost written up for it, until we agreed to tone down the bathroom humor. That’s how we started moving into broader, satirical articles about CSU.

From there we started a partnership with ASCSU — who to our tremendous surprise were really excited, enthusiastic, and supportive about the work we were doing. I can’t say enough about the support they show for student organizations.

Our sophomore year they bought us monthly ad space in College Avenue to run articles. Nobody knew who we were back then. We didn’t know how to promote ourselves, and we were distributing it in coffee shops and bookstores around Old Town, in a really kind of desperate hope that it would take off somehow.

Our junior year, ASCSU made a deal with us that they’d print a full booklet of our work, and pack it in with the dining hall newspapers once a semester. That got the attention of The Collegian, and now we have a column that runs every other Friday, in addition to the once-a-semester-booklet. So really this whole time it’s just been a weird passion project for us that has inexplicably gotten off the ground. We like to call it: a rags-to-slightly-nicer-rags-story. Our humor is considerably better crafted than it was when we started, but the thrill of it has never worn off. It still feels like we’re getting away with something.

One word on the name – we held onto the name The Water Closet Weekly until last spring, when we found out that we had accidentally stolen the name from another, now-defunct DIY news parody. The guy behind it started calling ASCSU, The Collegian, and CSU Legal threatening to sue us. It was crazy. So, under threat of violating someone’s intellectual property rights, we folded and changed our name to The Hall Monitor Herald. We were bummed about the name change, but it really reinvigorated us. The whole sequence of events was so absurd that it sounds like one of our articles.

It’s been a ride. This whole experience has been inexplicable, and has led to so many weird adventures. Once, in the dorms, we were chased by a mob of people when we were caught taping copies up in their bathroom. Having legal action threatened against us was certainly interesting.

It’s all great though. I love meeting up with these weird, funny people once a week. I love staying up until four in the morning trying to hit our content deadline for the booklets. I think we’re all better writers because of it. We all have a good idea of the publishing process. If you’re interested in comedy writing, it’s a great thing to be involved with right now.

Meeting a deadline. From left to right: Andrew Walker, Patrick Hoehne, Niles Hachmeister

Meeting a deadline. From left to right: Andrew Walker, Patrick Hoehne, Niles Hachmeister

It’s a great group. There’s four of us writing it at the moment: Niles Hachmeister, Patrick Hoehne, Andrew Walker, and myself. We’re looking for new writers this year because three of us are graduating and we want it to continue after we’re gone. If there was something like this to join our first day freshman year, we absolutely would have, and we don’t think we’re alone in that. So long story short: The Hall Monitor-Herald is hiring. Please apply.

Humans of Eddy: Krista Reuther

For this week’s Humans of Eddy post, intern Tim Mahoney talked with fellow English major Krista Reuther.


kristareuther

What English classes are you currently taking?
I’m taking Survey of British Lit II, Gender in World Literature, and the Creative Nonfiction workshop.

What has been your favorite class so far in you English career?
The class that challenged me the most was, in all honesty, Todd Mitchell’s Adolescent Literature course — which is why I took it twice.

What are you reading?
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene’ Brown. She’s a genius and an incredible researcher. I can’t recommend her books highly enough.

Why is it important to study English?
Studying English is important not because of the books we read, or the homework we begrudgingly complete, though admittedly those are important. The study of English is important because it gives young writers the chance to receive, and give, feedback. That’s the only way we grow as writers.

In what ways has your study of English helped you?
I’ve met a fair number of interesting people with vastly different life experiences through my English studies. Learning new perspectives has allowed me to reevaluate my own, both strengthening and challenging my ideals, plans, and dreams.

What are your future plans?
I’m going to Minnesota next summer but I’m not staying. Instead I’ll be hanging out with my best friend and her colony of poets—maybe I’ll learn something wonderful.

Humans of Eddy: Abby Kerstetter

For our first Humans of Eddy (who aren’t currently in Eddy) post this fall, intern Denise Jarrott spoke with fellow MFA student Abby Kerstetter, and has this to share:

“Abby leads dynamic life in the CSU English department. You may have seen her tutoring in the Writing Center, interning at the Colorado Review, or in one of the many places that have been the temporary camps for Eddy in the remodeling phase.

A 2nd year MFA student in poetry, Abby is making the most of her time at CSU by engaging in several facets within the English department.”


abbykerstetterWhich classes are you taking this semester?
In addition to Poetry Workshop with Sasha Steensen, I’m taking Word and Image and Teaching Creative Writing with Todd Mitchell. I’m also an intern at the Colorado Review.

What is it like working as an intern for the Colorado Review?
I’m doing some copyediting and proofreading. I had some experience doing this for a publishing company in New York when I lived back east at Scholastic. I’m also typesetting one of the books and designing the spring cover of the Colorado Review.

What else are you up to this semester?
I’m an assistant to Dan Beachy-Quick and I’m also volunteering at Wolverine Farm. It was an internship that started last summer.

What advice would you give incoming English majors?
Seek opportunities and get practical skills. Look for opportunities in your field. A lot of undergrads are surprised when they graduate and just have a degree. There is education for personal development, being in a classroom, education for education’s sake, then there is practical experience and that’s a really important thing to realize, that you do more than your degree.

What is your biggest priority right now?
I’m looking forward to focusing on my poetry as opposed to seeking real world experience, which is what I’ve been doing in the past.

Humans of Eddy: Davia Carr

davia
Does Davia look familiar to you? You might recognize her because she’s a work study in the English Department’s main office.


What is your major, and when will you graduate?

I major in Human Development and Family Studies (HDSF), and I’ll graduate in December of 2014.

What is required of your position as a work study?

There’s always so much to do; I help everyone in here. I especially work a lot with Sheila. Right now we’re working on certificates; I’m working on the finished product which is printing them, framing them, and then organizing them. I also do a lot of copying and filing documents, but I like organizing. I pretty much help everyone out so that their jobs aren’t as hectic, because they do a lot of stuff. This semester I usually work 14 hours a week, but last semester I worked 17; I can just work my hours around my school schedule.

What has been your favorite moment at CSU?

The CU vs CSU football game my freshman year was one of my most memorable. I didn’t really know anyone there, but I went with two of my really good friends; we had so much fun. Also Ram Welcome was pretty fun. I met my roommates friend that she met during orientation, and we’ve all been best friends ever since. That was a good experience because it brought us closer, and we met a lot of people. That’s why I’m applying to be a Ram Welcome leader, because it made me like CSU more, and I would like to help at least one new person feel welcome here as well.

Describe Eddy in one word.

Antique/Nostalgic

Do you have a favorite song?

My favorite song right now would have to be “Let it Go” from the movie Frozen; I hear it all of the time. I think that it’s one of my favorite because she’s finally breaking out of her shell, and no longer hiding. I feel like a lot of people sometimes hide who they are, and when they finally figure out who they are and become comfortable with themselves, they are happier.

Do you have any advice for incoming freshmen?

Meet new people and try new things. Don’t be one of those people who chooses to stay in their dorms; get out there and have fun!

Are you working towards any goals?

Ever since I was young I wanted to work with kids, and now I’m doing everything that I can to lead me in that direction. I have this internship working with kids, and all of my classes are helping me too. Working with children and helping them in any way possible is my ultimate goal.

Humans of Eddy: Summers Baker

Name: Summers Baker
Major: Creative Writing

What’s your favorite moment in Eddy Hall? Seeing Dan Robinson in his kilt.

Describe Eddy in one word. The Senate. That’s what I want you to write.

Who’s your favorite author or poet? At the moment, my favorite poet that I’ve been reading is George Oppers. And Robert Hass has always been one of my favorites.

What advice would you give to incoming CSU English majors? Read more than you’re assigned and never stop reading.

Tell the story of the chair you built for one of your English classes. It was Intro to American Lit, and [David Milofsky] said we could have extra credit, and do whatever we wanted. If he liked it, he’d give you extra credit. We were reading Walden at the time, and there’s a quote in it by Henry David Thoreau that says “I had three chairs in my house; one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society”. Because of that quote, I decided to build a solitude chair. It’s now my homework slash solitude chair.

Last words: Some friends and I started a poetry slam called Slamogadro, which is starting April 27th, and going on the final Sunday of every month at Avogadro’s Number. If you’re reading this, you should be there.