Sunday, October 2, 2011

Convention Stories

Jolie Hicks
Southwestern Region Student Representative, 2011-2012
Southwestern Oklahoma State University
Beyond Words:  The Convention of Opportunity

The blue shuttle bus, traveling to downtown Pittsburgh, was packed full of highly intellectual college students invited to attend the annual Sigma Tau Delta Convention.  Most American buses would be abuzz with incessant chit-chat and laughter from demonstrative university students, looking for the next person they can add to their contact list on the most popular social network.  However, this particular airport shuttle was so quiet that the fear and anticipation held by these introverted creatures were almost palpable. These students were walking into the unknown, were embarking on a journey, and were willingly going to present their personal pieces of literature to other like-minded individuals, with the hope that they had something enlightening to offer.  As an English student, I have been labeled by many people as an introverted bookworm, full of dreamy ideas and thoughts that only a few people can hope to ever understand.  At first, these descriptions seemed negative, almost derogatory, making me feel like an odd duck, yet after examining my surroundings at the convention and meeting so many other compatible people, I began to understand that my passion for words is shared with other creative minds and I am privileged to be a member of an amazing reading and writing community, Sigma Tau Delta.   

Scanning the convention brochure, I noticed that each session at the convention was strategically organized and perfectly categorized by imaginative writing themes and impressive titles, and I was completely excited to find my name listed, too! Immediately, in my type-A way, I began making a list of each session that sounded intriguing to me, generating an eagerness to participate in my very first Sigma Tau Delta Convention.  After sitting through several presentations, I found myself speechless and awestruck by the incredible talent assembled under one roof. The guest speakers that came to Pittsburgh were astounding, as well, giving personal testimony of their individual writing habits and discussing in detail the personal struggles that they have faced.  This community of writers was very comforting to all of the new, up-and-coming authors in Sigma Tau Delta.  The English society is not a place where the mediocre and apathetic student hangs out but where the innovative and idealistic achiever can be found.  The sight of English honor students from all over the country standing before their peers, sharing  inspiring ideas, along with the sound of accented words, being read off the printed page, provided an unforgettable experience and an exceptional opportunity to embrace the convention theme, “Beyond Words.”

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