English Day at Clarion University!

On Wednesday, November 14 2018, a few students boarded a bus to Clarion University for an English Day. They got to experience a variety of literature classes and campus life. Students from Redbank were placed with other students statewide, and then they were divided into groups of 4 for sessions. Each session ran from 30 minutes to 50 minutes. The students also experienced lunch in the Commons, the university dining hall. Every session was different, but they shared a common theme, English. They all experienced different professors and hands-on experience.

The Pleasures of Interpretation

For the first session of the day was a lecture and discussion by Dr. Downes. She read  “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke. Afterwards, students analyzed every part of it. Students were asked if they thought the poem was about love or abuse.  To Dr. Downes’ surprise, most said  it was an abuse poem.  After analyzing the poem stanza by stanza with all of the classes participation, she asked the same question once again. This time, almost all of the class chose to say that the poem was about both love and abuse. Dr. Downes also talked about how both can go hand in hand. To finish the session Dr. Downes discussed annotating for fun.

August Wilson’s Fences

The second session was taught by Dr. Roberts and some of his students. This session was about drama.  For this session Dr. Roberts and his students reenacted a scene from the movie Fences, and then asked questions.  For each question, answered participants received a prize. 

The Power Of Poetry

The third session at English Day was called “The Power of Poetry” with Dr. Truman. He shred the poem “The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams(1883-1963).  It is a very short poem with very descriptive imagery. He asked  what the meaning behind the poem was. The answer- importance. He gave an assignment  to rewrite the poem,  using something that was important. Within five minutes, he called on students to read their poems aloud. He then asked about the poem and was attempting to get to know what was important to us. He demonstrated that poetry is much more than rhymes. There is true meaning and passion into all poems, big and small.  


Overall, English Day is something that all students should get to experience before they go to college. The day provided  great insight on what to expect when we graduate and move into the next big step of our lives. If you get the chance to attend, definitely take it.