Lorin Blackburn, Sigma Tau Delta president and host of “Literature on the Lawn,” holds one of her favorite books. (Photo by Brent Kalwei)
Story by Brent Kalwei
“Literature on the Lawn” was hosted by Sigma Tau Delta as a reading event that was moved from the rain-soaked grass on the quad to the Formal Lounge in the Ferguson Center on Tuesday, Oct. 15.
Students and teachers took center stage to share their personal written stories or favorite works from books they read from their favorite authors.
Lorin Blackburn, Sigma Tau Delta president, is one of the founders of this inaugural event. Blackburn said she wanted this event to get more recognition to literature around campus.
Blackburn was one of the reading participants. She read some passages from “The Butter Battle Book” by Dr. Seuss.
She said she wasn’t always a fan of reading. “I hated reading until fourth grade,” Blackburn said.
“The Crystal Garden” by Vicky Grove inspired her to become interested in reading and it opened new opportunities for her. “When you read a book, it creates a world of its own,” Blackburn said.
When comparing books to other resources such as television or movies, Blackburn finds advantages in reading that you don’t find in the others. She said movies or television shows the picture. With books, you create the picture for yourself adding that it helps the reader relate their own life experiences to the words they are sighting on the page.
MVC student Phillip Fowler led his listeners into the depths of a personal story in his life. Fowler read a story about his brother Terrell Fowler’s battle with muscular dystrophy, which is a condition that weakens the muscles.
Fowler thought it was important to share this story with his peers for a number of different reasons. He described his brother’s strength to overcome adversity. “Most see it as just a negative stigma, so I wanted to open their minds up to viewing it in a different way,” Fowler said.
He added that although people with disabilities are dealt with struggles the most powerful message is that they stay strong and go on living their lives to the best of their ability.
MVC student Zach Pannell read passages from “Infinitive Vest” by David Foster Wallace. He said he likes the story because the story plays on the consciousness of the characters. It’s more about what’s in their mind, opposed to physical attributes.
One of Pannell’s favorite quotes is from the “Infinitive Jest” novel. “We are what we walk between,” David Foster Wallace said. Pannell said we are going from point A to point B and what goes on in between is really what defines us.
Pannell said he likes to write also because it helps you construct your thoughts on paper.
Chase Burgess was a member of the crowd at “Literature on the Lawn.” He said his favorite part was hearing stories from Dr. Seuss for the first time since he was young. “If an author is trying to break out, reading to the author’s peers is a great way to start,” Burgess said.
Amy Huff read passages from her mother’s Bible and made references to notes her mother had written on the pages. Her mother died of cancer and Amy later found the margin notes in the Bible. Huff also read one of the poems she wrote which displayed her interest in fantasy novels. She said reading novels has helped her become better with her writing skills.
The others who read included MVC students Macey Embrey, Henry Yeagle, and Janelle Garcia as well as Jennifer Eimers, associate professor of English, and David Roberts, assistant professor of mass communication.
Eimers read lines from “Never Do That to a Book” by Anne Fadiman and “Digging” by Seamus Heaney.
Roberts read “When We Go to the Mountains” from his book of columns called “Sage Street.” It was a story about his father.
Embrey read from “There’s A Wocket In My Pocket” by Dr. Seuss.
Garcia read a passage from “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck about farmers in the Great Depression losing their land to the banks.
Henry Yeagle used the “Literature on the Lawn” event to read his favorite passages in the Holy Bible. Most of the scripture came from the gospel of St. John.
Photo below: Amy Huff was one of the reading participants.