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On the road with Sigma Tau Delta

By Holly Vetter

Tennessee Wesleyan’s clubs and organizations are great for a number of reasons. They produce a commonality that can be shared with groups of fellow students and help students develop friendships through common interests. In addition, most of the organizations offer various community service projects to get students involved in the surrounding area, as well as opportunities to go on specific trips and interact with other college students on a national level.

For example, this past weekend, I have had the privilege to go to the national convention of Sigma Tau Delta (The National English Honors Society) in Louisville, Kentucky. Not only was it great to meet other students from across the nation and hear accomplished writers and speakers, but it was also wonderful to build friendships with the group of girls I went up there with.

We left Wednesday morning and drove up to where the convention would be. Yes, riding in a car for five to six hours is not much fun, but being with the group that I was with made the journey much better. We got to the convention location by early evening, and we decided to take a look around the city. I had never been to Louisville before, so it was wonderful to walk throughout downtown and by the river. Of course, pictures were a necessity!

When the convention actually started, each of us had a specific time and day that we would present a paper that we had submitted prior to the convention. There were certain categories that the papers would fall under, and there would be about four presenters per category. Each student would present his or her paper and then, following the presentations, there would be a question and answer period that would last through the remaining time. These sessions would occur every day along with various other sessions such as how to build a resume, how to create your own world in your writing, and how to use an English major degree in the business world. Although optional, these sessions were very informative and recommended. There were also times on certain days when accomplished writers would speak about certain aspects of writing. We went to the one where Megan Mayhew Bergman, author of Almost Famous Women, was discussing how to transform your way of writing through new ways of seeing, which was really interesting to hear. On top of all these, there were also booths stationed around the convention hotel floor that provided information on the many different schools that were being represented at the convention.

In addition, there were two “poetry nights” that got students from everywhere involved. The first occurred on the first night, while the second was on Saturday night. I especially enjoyed the second one better simply because three of the girls that I came to the convention with decided to tell their poems. All three of theirs were extremely funny, and it was awesome to see people really come together after just a couple days.

Being at the convention was not all that we did– there was plenty of down time to go venture out into the city. One day, we went to the Speed Museum, and it was really something to see! The building was like a maze with its three levels and various exhibition rooms; without a map, it is highly likely that you could get lost. The museum had a wide range of works with each room housing a different culture or region. It is definitely a place that I would go visit again! Another day we were able to find The Seelbach hotel that F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of The Great Gatsby, often stayed at while he was working on his novel. It was so much fun to just look around and explore the place. We found numerous beautiful ballrooms (even attempted to dance a little), and then we found these small elevators that only hold only a couple of people, which I had never seen before. It was such an awesome experience to have with friends!

When Sunday finally came and it was time to go home, I was actually really sad that it was time to leave. Presenting and actually interacting with students from all over the United States were great, but the best part was being able to create stronger friendships with the girls that I came to the convention with. It was through this club, and this convention, that we were really able to find out more about one another. It’s having and building friendships like these that make college just a little bit easier.