Student Reflections

“Mother’s Journey” began, like so many of my essays do, as a journal entry. I like to rise early in the morning and reserve some quiet time for reading and writing each day. This is my private time. The journal is where I record my thoughts and feelings, work through issues, and develop literary ideas. Inspired by reading Thoreau, I first began keeping a journal in May of 1974.

I feel honored that Shepherd University chose to publish my essay in Sparks Journal. There are so many good young writers out there submitting quality work. The bar is always set high. I am grateful to the good people who selected my piece.

The writing and publication of “Mother’s Journey” was therapeutic for me. I hope that it honors my mother, who is approaching the end of her life’s journey, and my two sisters. I hope, too, that it comforts other people who are dealing with similar issues and grappling with their own mortality.

-Charles Sullivan ’15

It’s an honor to have my essay published in Sparks, especially because it is one of the first works in the publication. Having [a journal] associated with undergraduate research and other endeavors is fantastic, because it really opens the dialogue between students and faculty regarding eloquent, meaningful art forms. I’ve gained an immense dedication to my writing through being accepted to Sparks, because I’m always my own worst critic. Being published in a journal associated with a great school like Shepherd University seems like proof that writing about topics that you’re passionate about really gets you places. I wrote the essay in a class called British Literature to 1600, with the brilliant Dr. Ellzey, so I would say writing “Feminine Quests in Arthurian Legends” enhanced my knowledge of medieval literature (Specifically Arthurian legends) because of the information Dr. Ellzey taught me and from the articles I read [while] researching the topic. I love being an English major at Shepherd, because each class I take in my field helps me gain a greater understanding of the world around me.

-Emily Spangler ’15


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