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FirstDayBackFromBlizzard2011(c)Cooper

Francesca DeAnda

English

Email: k10fd02@kzoo.edu
Hometown: Yorktown, IN
Major: English
Minor: Anthropology & Sociology
Concentration: Women, Gender, & Sexuality
Study Abroad: Madrid, Spain
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Coffee
Best Adjective to Describe You: Unrelenting


In 10 words or less, why should a student want to be involved in this department?
Writing helps us convey the words we are unable to speak.

What initially drew you to this department?  What keeps you coming back?
I’ve always loved to write. In high school I loved to write poetry, but had very little training in the subject. I came to K and dabbled quite excessively in other areas, but always found myself coming back to English courses—coming back home. That’s how I knew I had found my niche. I stay in English classes because actively writing helps keep my mind alive and allows me to stay engaged with the world. Here, English isn’t just a department, but a space that allows me to do what I love, every day. I write because I have to, and more importantly, because I want to. I write to get a grade. I write to give myself strength. I write to explore the things I’m afraid of.

What’s your biggest piece of advice to first years and sophomores in this department?
Don’t be afraid of your own voice; or of exploring topics and genres that are unfamiliar to you. The professors in the department will help you mine your craft—but it’s up to you to create a starting point, wherever that may be. In that, don’t be reluctant to get to know your professors. They’re all wonderful people who want to help you succeed in the field. Get to know them. Visit them often. Let them help you.  Perfect example: when I came to K, I didn’t know what a thesis statement was…

How does your department connect to your of other interests and activities?
The English department helps me refine my own preexisting writing skills, and allows me to constantly grow as a student. Every paper I write (which, there are a lot of them) helps me become a better writer. I also get to read a lot. Yes, A LOT. Reading is one of my favorite hobbies, and allows me to explore the world without ever having to leave my bed. Also, join KPC!

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
I often judge myself (and my academic abilities) based on the grades I receive in class. DON’T. I received this piece of advice in a forwarded email from one of my professors: Thanks Marin!
“We will never know if we’re any good. Ever. So it’s important to reach a point where we stop looking for signs of our worth. It’s important to quit wasting our energy on an unanswerable question. It’s important to stop pretending to the world that we know the answer.”

What has been your favorite class at K?  Why?
Sex and Sexualities with Dr. Adriana Garriga-Lopez is an absolute MUST TAKE. It allows students to bring forth a kind of personal honesty and openness that is often considered ‘too subjective’ in academia. Creative Nonfiction with Dr. Marin Heinritz was wonderful as well. Both the easiest and most painful part of writing about yourself is having to dig deep into the past and remember everything again. Nonetheless, it’s rewarding.

What is your SIP?
I’m taking on a creative nonfiction SIP, where I’ll cover a wide range of events (both important and mundane) that have influenced my life.

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
I plan on writing or editing, perhaps with Upleaf LLC, a company that I currently intern with.

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