The Spokesman

A Culture of Words

Eamon Morris, Managing Editor

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You don’t have to be able to see to know you’re in the English department at Servite. The majority of the English classes are clustered in close proximity on the second floor, and out of the doors (usually open or unlocked), the strong aroma of black coffee and yellowed pages wafts. As the period changes, the English teachers usually stand out in the hallway and greet students as they pass by, often with personal quips or amusing puns. Of course, the conversation differs from teacher to teacher. But all of them have one thing in common. They really love their jobs, and they can’t choose just one favorite book.  

Mrs. Campbell describes English as “life-giving.” For her, the study of English and Literature transcends binds placed on society. “A reader can get lost in the life of someone else, experience someone else’s thoughts, feelings, and problems and then leave them whenever they decide a character’s “world” is too much for them.” For a good portion of Servite students, this holds true. It isn’t uncommon to see students with a Science Fiction or Young Adult novel wedged under their arm as they dart from class to class. The library patio becomes a popular reading spot for students staying late after school.

In addition to their excellent taste in novels, the English teachers abound with ideas for interesting projects. Mrs. Shirley assigns the renowned “Sonnet Project” during the second semester. According to Shirley, students “…identify the rhyme scheme, analyze other poetic elements, and create their own literary argument interpreting the poem. Finally, students memorize and formally recite their chosen sonnet for the entire class. Dramatic interpretations are always encouraged!”

In fact, Mrs. Shirley recalls one year when a student recited his sonnet in the character of Coach Toner, which was a huge hit. When Mrs. Shirley was in high school, she did a similar project in the voice of her Economics teacher. She swears that she did it kindly.

Kind might be just the word to describe the English department. Mr. Scott once gave away half of his classroom library to students. Mr. Cook is on campus early to help students. Mrs. Campbell proofreads college applications pro bono. Mr. Hunt is always up for a pun, but has no patience for small children- as he often reminds his Sophomores. Above all, the English teachers at Servite are incredibly passionate about what they do. Work isn’t working at all. It’s what they love to do.  

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