1: Creative Writing
In the Creative Works Session Two: Creative Writing, there were five presentations.
The first presentation was given by Michelle Kozlowski and Melissa Lindstrum entitled “From Immigrant Labor Camps to George W. Bush in Hell.” This presentation was based on poems with a political theme. One of the poems, “Cotton Rows, Cotton Blankets,” is a labor poem written by Diana García which has lots of imagery, and gives a voice to migrant workers as well as describes their working conditions.
Kozlowski and Lindstrum gave a second presentation entitled “Poetry is Political to Us, Too.” During their presentation, both women read three of their own political poems that combine their own experience with political views. Lindstrum presented two poems which speak toward women’s issues. The first is entitled “Dear Morocco” and the second poem is entitled “Amelia and Eleanor 1936.” Kozlowski read two of her poems which focus on gay and lesbian issues. Some of the dangers of political poetry, according to Kozlowski, are that people see it as agenda driven; using art to get an issue out and some people might find this kind of poetry inspiring.
Tana Young’s presentation, “The Oddity of One,” featured several different poems in which the poetry of witness was a key component. Some of the poems she read are as follows: “Questions of Some Small Importance,” “Garden of Earthly Delights,” “Stones not of This Building,” “Awakening,” and “Differentiating Symptoms.” Another poem she shared as a handout is entitled “Self-Help for Fellow Refugees” by Li-Young Lee. This poem is from Lee’s book entitled “Behind my Eyes.”
Shira Richman’s presentation was entitled “Where Communication and Collaboration Collide.” The idea of this topic involves poems written between friends. One friend writes to the other asking a question or talking about an event then the recipient responds using some part of the original poem to answer the question. Richman used the book written by Linda K. Karell “Writing Together, Writing Apart” for her background research about this kind of writing. Another book mentioned in her presentation is “The Prelude” by William Wordsworth in which he writes to his friend Samuel Coleridge. An advantage of this writing is that it allows both authors to share views and ideas the other person might not have.
The last presenter for the Creative Writing session was Amanda Frederick who read her essay “Busing Home.” Frederick’s essay is a very descriptive narrative about her experience of riding Greyhound buses. By listening to the description, it proves that a person meets all kinds of people while riding the bus. Other people, who have experienced riding the bus, can identify with this story. Besides learning about her experience, the listener learns a few interesting facts about the Greyhound Bus Company.
2: Media and Film
In the Creative Works Electronic Media and Film Session, Eastern’s senior film majors showcased their action, adventure, comedy and horror films.
From dealing with pregnancy in “Life for a Life” by Nicholas Pearson to finding love in “Penelope Finch Finds a Husband” by Jess Thomas and a gospel music video “God’s Will,” there seemed to be something for everyone. Colin Johnson presented two of his films that included “Dead Air,” a thriller film about a late-night disc jockey who becomes harassed by a stalker and “The Screening Room,” a film portraying the process a filmmaker goes through during the death of a project.
Christopher Chilton presented his film “No Home,” an adaptation of Willa Cather’s “Sculptor’s Funeral. ” The film, which showcases the cycle of violence, portrays a man who murders his boyhood friend because of the pressure of gang life. Chilton also showed his film “Bloodline,” a movie about brothers who battle against each other. The final showdown features a gun battle and intense fighting scenes.
Aaron Fink presented two humorous films, both featuring meat. His music video “Allies,” set to the music of Blue State, had the audience laughing as men fought their infatuation for a cheeseburger. Fink’s second film “The Maltese Frankfurter,” kept the audience in good spirits with its play-on-words humor. Based on the book “The Maltese Falcon,” the film featured a detective hot dog who tries to solve a mystery in Spokane in 1950s fashion black and white with narration.
Thursday, May 15, a poster session took place in Senior Hall with oral presentations on psychology, computer science, philosophy, biology, geology, physics, chemistry, English, anthropology, linguistics, sociology, Spanish, engineering and design, social work, recreation, occupational therapy, history, art history, film history, physical therapy, government, international studies, Africana education, urban and regional planning and health service administration.
The posters included studies the students conducted, methods, procedures and measures, results, discussions and graphs. Spectators came in and studied the posters which had very interesting facts. The poster “Don’t Remind Me! How Thought Suppression Effects Open Memories” by Ia Xiong from the psychology departments, said, “The more one tends to suppress thought, the harder time that person has in dealing with open memories.”
Belinda Gamboa and Elizabeth Welch created a poster called “How Stalkable RU? An Examination of Myspace.com” which had statistics on MySpace members and discussed which people are more likely to be stalked based on ethnicity, pictures posted, sexual orientation, education, religion and relationship status. It said that of the 442 pages assessed, only six were set to “private” meaning that only “friends” can view their page.
A poster by Nicole Johnson, Carmen Glaser and Alicia Pipella on “Bipolar Disorder’s Effect on Drug-Related Problems” said that people with bipolar disorder are five times more likely to develop alcoholism than people in the general population.
From 7 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, May 14, the music portion took place in the Recital Hall of the music building. Students shared their compositions with judges and a small audience occupying the auditorium; each presenter had 20 minutes to impress the spectators.
First up was Alexander Wolfe with a PowerPoint presentation explaining the intricate process for creating his five-movement “Volcanic Suite” about the five major peaks of Washington state. The EWU brass quintet, consisting of a French horn, two trumpets and two trombones, performed two of the movements, Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainier.
Next was Rebecca Castillo with “Farrell Tears” which was based on a story she has been working on for three years. The piece was performed by a piano, a flute and a French horn. Castillo wanted to capture the beauty and sadness of the flowers which were the life source in her story.
The third performer was Drew Stern with his “Lullaby for a Worried Mind” creation. Stern wrote it in a sonata form with two main themes. He said his inspiration came from Beethoven’s compositions. The sadness and unresolved story was captured by a piano and violin.
Henry McNulty followed with the “Blues for Clarinets” performed by a clarinet quintet. The piece was based on three blues themes and included varying tempos and a fugue. McNulty said, “The piece is an example of fusion of different styles and techniques.” After a short break, Ty Pfundheller shared his “Spirit Awakening” piece performed by a flute, a cello and a piano. A call and answer style was used between the cello and flute with the piano concluding the composition.
Nicolas Bailey performed his “No Words” work on an electric guitar with echo effects and relaxing patterns. “I love music and I love playing it,” said Bailey. He was unable to play the second movement since he couldn’t turn off the delay pedal without disrupting his performance.
Following Bailey, Stern shared his second creation, a variation of Jim Morrison’s ”
Bird of Prey.” He played the original version first and then used two electric guitars, a bass guitar and a vocalist to show his piece. Stern liked the echo effect of the delay pedal because it gave it a “more earthy sound,” he said.
The last performer was Christina Jill Pendleton with “Orange Blossoms.” Pendleton said, “The melody is beautiful and sad” and was based off an ancient Japanese poem. It reflected passing of time and forgotten legacy. She said the poem “creates a nonverbal feeling that can be expressed in music.”
In the English One session, there were nine interesting presentations.
Jeremy Huston presented “A Painted Ship upon a Painted Ocean: The Visual Influence of Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” Some of the comparisons between interpretations were lines, waves of the ocean, irony, foreshadowing, darkness and the storm. Huston focused most of his presentation on the interpretation of engraver Gustave Doré and illustrator Willy Pógany.
Amy Shank discussed the “Familial Disharmony and Domestic Satire in the Works of Jane Austen.” The information in Shank’s presentation was very informative. If a person in the audience were unfamiliar with Jane Austen’s novels, they would learn a lot about the fictional family in Austen’s works. Shank explained at great lengths the way each member of the family relates to one another and also included the social aspects of the time when Austen wrote the book.
Presentations focusing on the Victorian era were very common in this session as well. Alexis Hardy discussed the “Aestheticism and Decadence in Victorian Culture and Literature.” These movements were very important to arts and literature in the late Victorian era in which they produced an entirely new way of appreciating and creating art. Decadence was the more controversial in its complete disregard to morality. During this time period, people thought that this movement was the decay of civilization.
Colette Chenault discussed Thomas Hardy’s “Tess of the D’Urbervilles.” Hardy began writing the novel in 1889. The original version was finished in 1891 and the second collective edition (the final work) of the novel was finished in 1912. However, there is a difference between the two versions. The original version was rejected by two publishers in November of 1891 because it was “too sexual.” The 1912 version is similar except Hardy took out the sexual scenes and changed the text so it alluded to a sexual occurrence.
Another presenter who examined the work of Thomas Hardy is Katie Hass. Her presentation was entitled “Bathsheba: A Heroine Split by Society.” Bathsheba is the main character in Hardy’s “Far from the Maddening Crowd.” The character challenges the established paradigms for women during his time yet his portrayal of Bathsheba stays within the derogatory construct of the male perception of women at that time.
Erica Morris also presented on Thomas Hardy, however, her presentation was a little different. The title of her presentation is “‘Ghost-Girl-Rider’: Invention of Memory and Arrangement of Grief in Thomas Hardy’s Poems of 1912-1913.” The information is of a different kind because the poems in this book are based on Hardy’s grief and suffering after his first wife, Emma Gifford, died and Hardy found her diaries which contained angry entries about their marriage. Hardy also found her secret autobiography entitled “Some Recollections” which recalled the happier days of their marriage. The poems within the book were personally selected by Hardy and are meant to be read in the order of which they were published.
Susan Nield’s presentation, “The Development of Adolescent Literature: A Victorian Legacy,” discusses the development of young adult literature. The term “adolescent” was developed in the late 1870s. During her presentation, Nield told the audience that in children’s literature, the entertainment is needed to outweigh the lesson in order for readers to enjoy and understand. This remark refers to books like “Alice in Wonderland” which was written by Lewis Carroll in 1895. Another interesting fact from Neild’s presentation is that Eleanor Vere Boyle was the first woman author before the 1860s.
“Snow White’s True Beauty,” presented by Tiffany Chambers, captured the audience’s attention. For her project, Chambers compared several versions of “Snow White” that reveal varying concepts of the character’s internal and external beauty. Her view point for this project is an Afro-centric idea with a European lens. One thing all of the versions had in common was a Eurocentric view (i.e. perfectly proportioned body). Chambers told the audience in conclusion to her presentation, “It’s going to be up to you to change literature.” This means we need to start incorporating other points of view into literature instead of conforming to the Eurocentric view. To read the original “Snow White” story, go to http://www.nationalgeographic.com/grimm/index2.html and click on the “Tell me a story” link.
The most attended presentation of this session was the last presentation given by Michelle Schultz who talked about “Harry Potter and the Power of House-Elves.” In the series, there are four Elves the reader knows about: Dobby, Kreacher, Winky, and Hokey. The magic of House-Elves is more powerful than wizard magic and is undetectable by the Ministry of Magic. Elves do not have any formal magical training unlike wizards who attend Hogwarts, Durmstrang, Beauxbatons, or other wizarding schools. Their kind of magic is instinctual but that is all the reader knows from the books. Some of Elves’ limits are that they have to obey their masters’ direct orders whereas they can work around their masters’ implied orders. Also, Elves believe it is not worth fighting on their own because of the social structure established within the books.
6: Government Affairs
In the Government, International Studies and Africana Education session, the audience got to listen to five presentations.
Amber Bernardi explained to her audience the “Benefits of Gap Years.” A gap year is the year between a student’s year of high school and college where they decide whether they want to continue their education immediately or take a year off to explore the world. There are four types of gap years: overseas, domestic (a student stays in the United States), volunteering and internships. Some of the benefits of a gap year are that they improve a person’s confidence, can have a scholastic and academic focus, can improve a student’s foreign language abilities, creates cultural awareness, a person gains practical life skills and it also tests a person’s limitations. According to the Association of Graduate Recruiters in partnership with Community Service Volunteers, of the survey reports of 89 companies that responded to a survey, 88 percent agreed that a year out [of school] helps prepare young people for the work environment.
Kendra Beseler wanted to create awareness with her presentation entitled, “Giving Sex Trafficking a Red Light: What Is Being Done to Stop Sex Trafficking (and Prostitution) in Europe?” Some of the reasons women and children under 18 become part of sex trafficking is because they were tricked into it, abducted, of economic necessity or they have a personal desire. Beseler also told the audience that two activist groups, the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) and Coalition Against Trafficking of Women – International (CATWI) are trying to stop this pattern of activity.
Margo Butcher also created awareness in her presentation, “The Rise of Islamic Madrassahs in Pakistan: Fulfilling the Failures of the Government.” Madrassahs are Islamic seminary schools in Pakistan. An interesting fact from Butcher’s presentation is that only 7 percent of those who complete primary education in Pakistan can be defined as literate. Also, approximately one third of the 50 million people live in absolute poverty.
Matthew Holmes’ presentation, “Dueling Democracies: A Study of the Dynamic between Legislators and Initiatives in Washingt
on state,” is based on his interviews with Washington state Legislators. Also, the presentation is in relation to Initiative 960 (the “Taxpayer Protection Act” which Washington voters passed with a 51 percent approval in November 2007. The focus of the presentation is the “Points of Tension” which are politicization, institutionalization, and incompatibility; which is the biggest tension area.
LaRee Dedmond’s presentation, “Slavery and the Bible,” cited stories in the Bible that regulate slavery and none that reprimand it. In her presentation, Dedmond cited stories such as the “Curse of Ham” for reasons why southern Christians felt it was their duty to maintain slaves. She also cited the “Story of Cain” as another reason people maintained slaves.
To find out the winners and honorable mentions in each session, visit the symposium Web site at: http://www.ewu.edu/x15629.xml.