2012 Convention Stories

    An Ooze of Inspiration

    by Christina Thompson
    Southern Student Representative, 2012-2013
    Rho Gamma Chapter
    Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA

    Christina ThompsonMy first bite of bread puddin', my first introduction to The Royal Street Gum Scrapers (a street bluegrass band), and my first Sigma Tau Delta annual international convention. I am from Louisiana and I have visited New Orleans before, but this trip was tinged with brighter colors. I believe it was the magical mingling of poetic expression and conference paper theories floating around in my noggin' that created an ooze of mystical curiosity, filtering my vision of the city.

    Sometimes, when I'm knee-deep into a literature course and reading chapter after chapter at every spare moment, I start to lose interest. It all piles up into stacks of work, and I grow weary at the thought of future research. Novels I once simply enjoyed deconstruct into singular words of empty meaning as I struggle to form a new interpretation of the text. Before the convention, I was experiencing an inspiration drought of sorts.

    At the convention, I read my paper on literary theory and was introduced to new concepts during the panel discussion. Sharing ideas and analyzing texts with other students from universities around the country sparked my sleepy brain into active motion. In the evenings, as my friends and I explored New Orleans, new sights, sounds, and smells were slowly resuscitating my desire for discovery and adventure—and renewing my passion for the written word.

    One particular talk at the convention, given by Anthony Doerr, fully reminded me why I ever fell in love with literature. As he explained his creative process as the act of translating the beautiful, intricate details in our world, I remembered--I must go outside of books and into tangible experience in order to return to literature with an eye to fully see it. This year, the Sigma Tau Delta 2012 International Convention in New Orleans provided that submersion into experience for me, one that I will draw inspiration from for months to come.