Fall is upon us, and ringing in another year of Miscellany madness are two new editors. Lulu Mourning (’20, she/her/hers) and Gab Torres (’20, she/her/hers) bring fresh voices and a heap of literary savoir faire to the team, and they’ve sportingly shared a little information about themselves below!
Where are you from?
Lulu: Brooklyn, New York.
Gab: Bridgeport, Connecticut
Describe yourself using three nouns, two verbs, a preposition, and an adverb.
Lulu: Onion, paperback, raindrop, to burrow, to mold, inside, eagerly.
Gab: I love music, books, and cuddling with my squishy baby nephew.
What is your English major origin story?
Lulu: One day, my dad, my sister, and I were sitting on our stoop sharing an enormous sandwich from our favorite local sub place. My sister was ten–absolutely ancient, as far as my four-year-old mind was concerned–and she and my dad were talking about the book she was reading for her English class. As I listened to the conversation drift into territory beyond my comprehension, I grew more and more frustrated until eventually I got up, yelled, “Well, I’m not going to learn how to read until the seventh grade!” and stormed back into the house. Thankfully, I was a weak-willed child, and I managed to read Hop on Pop not three months later. Ever since then, I’ve been obsessed with reading and writing.
Gab: There are so many departments at Carleton that I love. As an incoming freshman, I was a prospective English major. I took some History classes, and soon after I was a prospective History major. I took some CAMS classes, and soon after I was a prospective CAMS major. When second week of spring term sophomore year rolled around, I declared the major into which I felt I could collapse all of my interests. I am an English major interested in the art of visual storytelling with a historical glance.
If you were hired to teach a class at Carleton, what would it be?
Lulu: I’d teach a class on woman writers of the American Gothic: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Flannery O’Connor, Shirley Jackson, Joyce Carol Oates, Donna Tartt, etc.
Gab: Maybe I’d teach an interdisciplinary class which blended Studio Art and English. I think it would be really cool to offer an abstract drawing class which swapped drawings among students and used the drawings to produce a piece of writing. The style of the writing would vary. The drawing could evoke a poem, a short piece of fiction, or an autobiographical/memoir-ish account. I’d be interested to see what the stimulus of abstract art does on the writing faculty.
What’s the last book you read and had strong feelings about?
Lulu: I have very strong feelings about everything all the time, so this question is tricky. I read a lot of Stephen King over the summer and loved all of it except The Shining (controversial opinion, but I found it so boring I could barely finish). It is the superior King novel in my estimation–then again, I haven’t read a page of the Dark Tower series.
Gab: I read The Gangster We Are All Looking For by Le Thi Diem Thuy in Nancy Cho’s Asian American Literature class. I’d probably call it a fragmented poem-ish memoir from the perspective of a young girl who arrives in the United States with her father as refugees escaping the Vietnam War. The language is beautiful and super full of heavy metaphors which force readers to think differently about the war and its implications.
What’s your favorite thing about the English department?
Lulu: I love how unique the professors are. I’ve had the opportunity to take courses with eight different English professors, and each course has been wildly different from the previous. Because the professors have such individual interests and preferences, they all expect different things from the students and you’re forced to build upon and challenge your own writing style constantly. At this point, when I write an analytical essay, it’s as if I’m sewing a patchwork quilt of each prof’s influence.
Gab: The essays! The questions we are asked to consider very often lead me towards other creative outlets. Many of the films I’ve made in CAMS classes were inspired by ideas I came up with while writing essays in English.