2014 Convention Stories

    Falling in Love in Savannah

    Elizabeth McKinneyElizabeth McKinney
    Vice President, Delta Iota Chapter
    Ohio Northern University, Ada, OH

    By the time February arrived I was burnt out, not even halfway through spring semester. Classes were a drag, my work load was overwhelming, and with two jobs, I seemed to have no time for any writing. It may come as no surprise to hear that I wasn't looking forward to missing three days of classes for a convention I wasn't even excited about. Presentations make me nervous, and as February 26 drew closer, my anxiety was growing exponentially.

    Elizabeth McKinney airport pictureI had to force myself to get on the plane in Dayton, OH, but the closer I got to Georgia, the more excited I felt. I thought about the snow I was leaving behind and the sunshine awaiting me. I ignored my growing anxiety over my presentation enough to enjoy exploring Savannah on Wednesday. By Thursday, I was completely relaxed and having a wonderful time. I attended different presentations and met new people who, it was clear to see, had the same love for English that I remembered once having.

    Finally, 2:00 p.m. on Friday arrived and I found myself seated in front of about 15 people, about to present my paper on epic heroines. For the past two days, I had been telling myself I wasn't nervous. Friday morning, I had admitted to myself that I was extremely nervous, but suddenly I realized I wasn't nervous. I was excited. The other panelists and I had been chatting, along with our session chair and moderator, and I realized that everyone wanted to be there. At that moment, I remembered my love for English in its entirety. I remembered how I had felt in my sophomore year of high school, when I first realized I wanted to do something with English for the rest of my life. I remembered how I felt every time I finished a really good book. I remembered how I felt when writing anything. I remembered how happy I was to receive my invitation to join Sigma Tau Delta because it meant I was even more involved in my English Department.

    After presenting my paper, I walked outside into the sunshine, and said a silent "thank you" to Savannah, GA, for hosting a beautiful convention that made me fall in love with words all over again, and for giving me the inspiration I needed to write my way through the rest of my junior year.