This week, the English department is again revving up their celebration of the National Day on Writing.
The specific day of writing – created in 2009 via a Congressional resolution – was this past Sunday, October 19, however, related events on campus have been scheduled through Thursday.
The most popular of these, an interactive writing symposium in the Lower Level BCC was held on Monday and Tuesday. This event included two collective stories (in which passerby would add a sentence to what had already been written) and an opportunity to write a letter to anyone. According to Dr. Cinthia Gannett, Director of Core Writing, the main organization sponsoring the event, 183 letters were written at the event and will be sent to their destinations (including the Dominican Republic).
“I think this celebration is a great way to bring the University together around the central role of writing, reading and critical thinking in developing what the Jesuits have always called “eloquentia perfecta” – to help students become informed, articulate, ethical, and engaged human beings,” Gannett said.
Freshman Marc Lee simply found the scene intriguing enough to explore. On Tuesday he said, “I came by and I saw books … I love quotes and the whole fact that they had something devoted to writing that isn’t the library.”
The quotes he referred to were things on display that famous people had said. Freshman Paola Garcia said that display was her favorite part because, “you may feel like the only person in the world feeling a certain way but then someone else feels the same thing – it’s cool to see famous people say those things.”
Garcia was able to tweet with the hashtags #ndow and #corewriting to @cwpfairfield and have her posts screened on a projected tweet deck in the LLBCC. English professor Brian Hoover Instagrammed a photo of a Mark Twain quote on display with the caption, “Twain nails it.”
Gannett stated in an email, “the key idea is more people are writing in more and more diverse ways than ever before, and that writing serves personal, social, intellectual and critical civic functions in a global society– and that young people are leading the way!”
She also said that the events on campus around NDOW have been growing since their inception a few years ago. Last year, professor Laura Marciano ’08 led a writing retreat to Ender’s Island off the coast of Mystic, Conn. “It’s a quaint day off for writing and reflection,” she said. She led a similar event this past weekend in Bellarmine Hall.
The week of events continues today with the aforementioned hashtags still trending and a professors’ colloquium on teaching writing in the library from 2 to 3 p.m.
To cap off the week of events, there will be the “Undergraduate Creative Writing Open Mic” in Canisius Hall room 15 at 6:30 p.m. where students will present creative fiction or non-fiction pieces that they have written.
Sophomore Andrew Turriago was not even aware of the event as a national day, but will read a piece on Thursday evening. “I just want to meet other people who like writing and get feedback [on my piece]. … Reading out loud is a totally new thing but I feel like the English faculty is really supportive and encouraging.
“Everyone has a different way of thinking things and I think showing my thoughts is important,” he said.