What was your favorite class and how has it influenced your further course of study?
My favorite class was "Creative Nonfiction", which I took last spring at Bryn Mawr with Dan Torday. The specific type of nonfiction that we studied was the personal essay, and it was interesting to observe and read a wide range of pieces by different authors that I had not been previously exposed to. We were pushed to borrow content and stylistic points from these essays, and as a result I was given the opportunity to experiment and play with my narrative voice as I navigated gripping and raw experiences that I wrote about. The work that I produced in this class inspired me and affirmed that creative writing is a field that I want to pursue in the future, and in particular, the nonfiction genre.
Why did you choose your major/minor/concentration? What influenced you to pursue this course of study?
Since a young age I have always loved to read and write, and so pursuing an English major with a Creative Writing concentration largely fit with my dream of becoming an author. However, I took a lot of classes within the humanities and social sciences as an underclassmen to make sure English was the field that I definitely wanted to study. My decision to minor in education happened naturally as well. My mother is a teacher and so I was raised with a strong sense of the power and significance of education. I then was able to fit some education classes in my schedule that were awesome and allowed me to witness the education system first-hand in Philly. The ways in which my classes demonstrated how literature and education are intertwined and produce monumental implications for the success of students, particularly those of color and low-income, really resonated with me.
Did you have a summer experience (research, internship, travel) that was connected to your classwork or thesis project? If so, how did that experience change what you thought about your course of study or influence your plans for the future?
My internship this past summer with the CPGC, titled "Lagim Tehi Tuma" and based in Dalun, Ghana, informed my academic interests in an important way. I was able to work with teachers and students in a primary school in Dalun, which is a small impoverished village in the Northern region, that taught me so much about education in a new and different context. More specifically, it encouraged me to rethink my interests concerning literature within a domestic as well as an international sphere. Lack of access to books is certainly an issue in Ghana as it is in the United States, as is the production and circulation of books that are culturally relevant to the experiences of underprivileged students. This experience brought the need for more purposeful discussions to my attention, and I am currently maintaining relationships and working on a project that I started as a result.
What surprised you most about your course of study or what would others be most surprised by about your course of study?
What surprised me most about my English major may be silly—although I was dreading taking courses that diverted from contemporary literature, such as pre-1800 classes, I am really enjoying the content and the way in which it helps me think about the modern in a more engaging way. Goes to show that sometimes you need to stray from your comfort zone!
What do you hope to do after graduating from Haverford?
I am not sure what I hope to do after graduating from Haverford. The dream is still to one day become an author, and completing an MFA program may be in my cards at some point. However, I am also thinking about ways that I can bring change to the education system or the way we think about literature as empowering youth. I think this is particularly important in the post-election society that we are situated in, and so I imagine that this will continue to evolve as I continue my studies!