Those who have spent time in the Bugtruck know what a stimulating, hopeful, and sometimes bewildering place it can be. We who work here are grateful to our students for keeping us stimulated and hopeful (and, sometimes, bewildered). You can check this page for news of how and what students and alumni of the Bugtruck are up to. Doug Sonheim produces the departmental newsletter Bugtruckin’ to keep alumni informed of departmental events.
As for the effects of time spent in the Bugtruck, you might want to ask a current student. Barring that, here’s what a few of our alumni say about majoring in English at OBU:
To speak practically, I could say that the English Department taught me how to be a better reader, and that now learning anything is much easier. When I worked on computer networks, I was able to grow in technical computer/networking knowledge more than twice as fast as my co-workers because the OBU English Department taught me how to read and comprehend at a much higher level than one without an English Degree. . . Again, to speak practically, I am a better pastor because of my English degree. As a pastor and seminary student, I have found great value in my abilities to read, comprehend, apply knowledge, compare authors and writings, and analyze arguments at a high level. . . . I would not be the same minister without the very pertinent, very necessary wealth of knowledge I possess from all the reading I did in the English Department.
I have enjoyed reading for as long as I can remember. It was an escape of sorts – to be drawn into a world created by words. But it wasn’t until I came to Ouachita that I realized the significance of studying literature and language. The faculty of the Ouachita English Department entranced me with their passion. From them I learned to link life and love with literature. They taught me how to study the great works of our language and how to articulate my own ideas clearly, but more importantly, they taught me the value of literary studies in all aspects of life. My time as an English major changed me. I learned to go beyond myself. I was encouraged to seek out that which was beautiful and excellent, and when it was found, to revel in its beauty. The work was hard, but it was good, so good. And I was in great company. I had the tremendous privilege of being among superb classmates – people who, like me, had found English to be a noble and wonderful study. What started out as mere schoolwork became the topic of passionate discussion during free time. Friendships were formed over talks of literature and poetry. As life moves on, I think back to my time in the OBU English Department with sheer gratitude – gratitude for the people I came to love and the literature that taught me so much.
The courses I took in the department of English at OBU exposed me to literature and critical analysis that was not available in my major. This exposure has allowed me not only to be a more well rounded physician, but has given me a great appreciation for the literary masterpieces that we dissected in English lit class. I also rely daily on the writing skills I honed at OBU. I feel very strongly that a foundation in the humanities is the backbone of any liberal arts education, regardless of a student’s major.