Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Year's Worth of Words, twitter-famous, and other randomness...

I don't really use this blog at all anymore. I've taken to doing all my blogging on Tumblr. Mostly because all I want to do is fangirl over Castle. And because I only have 7 followers here...versus 200-something there.

But I did want to post a link here, in case someone cool/important/famous happens across this page.

This started New Years' Day as my New Years' Resolution. I write. Every day. Just one thing. Whatever I'm inspired to write. Every day for a year. And it's the first resolution I haven't broken within a week. So so far, so good.

anyway, you can find it here: A Year's Worth of Words

Also, my main Tumblr: allthe-songs-makesense

Anyway, I do have a cool story to share with all...7 of you. It started with a research paper I wrote in my Intro to the English Major course last semester. Television as Literature: Castle and Detective Fiction – An Analysis. I earned an A from Dr. Simon, and posted it to my blog. You can read it here, if you'd like.

I think I will just post a copy of the e-mail I sent to our University's Director of sums up the story better than I can right now.


I just shared an exciting moment in my life with one of my professors, and Dr. Simon thought it was a story I should share with you. So I am taking his advice.

I suppose I should start by introducing myself. My name is Allyson, and I am a 4th year student here at Fredonia majoring in English. Last semester, I was taking a course with Dr. Simon, An Introduction to the English Major, and our final project was a research project, of our own design, that we would propose and complete as a final 10 page paper. I decided to focus my research on the idea of television as literature, using examples from my favorite television show, Castle as support for my argument. If you aren't familiar, Castle is an hour-long police procedural focusing on a team of homicide detectives that solve crimes with the help of Richard Castle, a murder mystery and crime novelist. There is something about this show that makes it stand out to me as more of an art form than just a television show, and it made a great topic of focus for my project.

Dr. Simon deemed my paper worthy of an A, and so I decided to post the paper on my blog page, where I interact with a lot of other Castle fans all over the world. And one night a few days ago, I got a crazy idea: What if I could actually get someone from the show to read this paper? So, on a whim, I tweeted a link to the blog page containing my paper to Castle's creator Andrew W. Marlowe, as well as his wife and fellow Castle writer Terri Edda Miller, and the show's two main leads, Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic. I didn't really expect anything to come of it. About two in the morning, my phone starts going off, waking me with a Twitter notification. It turns out Marlowe not only saw my tweet, but read my paper, and deemed it worthy enough to earn a response. I was floored. He tweeted me back saying that he hoped my teacher thought I deserved an "A," because he sure thought I earned one for my efforts. I never imagined I would get any response, let alone a response that positive. That tweet also led to an insane amount of traffic on my blog the next couple days, from people all over the world.

It doesn't seem like much: just a 140 character response from a real Hollywood television writer, but to a girl from little Fredonia, meant something huge. All from an assignment I was given in a class where I had the freedom to write what I wanted to write about. That's what I love about Fredonia. The professors here (especially those in the English department--although I may be biased ;) ) really care about their students. They want us to study what we love and love what we study, and they push us beyond what we think we can do into the realm of the impossible. Without the support and motivation from Dr. Simon, I never would have been able to complete the kind of project I did, and having the freedom to choose what I really wanted to talk about allowed me to actually be excited about the things I was researching. And now I can cross "getting tweeted by a famous person" off my bucket list.

Anyway, I just wanted to share my experience, and serve as living proof that good things--impossible things--can happen to anyone, even in a college town as tiny as Fredonia.
So, as you can see...I've had a very interesting and exciting couple weeks. This story has gotten spread around the English Dept. Faculty listserv, and apparently has gotten great responses from the faculty. It' s also gotten attention from the PR office, and a Human Interest story was just posted on Fredonia's website, as well as being covered in an article in The Leader, SUNY Fredonia's student newspaper. It's also inspired me in my career ideas, as I'm considering going into television either the industry itself (writing or something) or maybe doing research and in-depth analysis like this as a scholar (grad school? maybe?). This has been an AMAZING experience. One that I never dreamed of, and something that is producing some really great opportunities for me.

I probably won't update here for another...few months. So if you want, you can catch up with me on tumblr. :)


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