Alumni Stories: Annie Wildermuth

AnnieWildermuthAfter graduating from Saint Rose, Annie Wildermuth (B.A. 2008) was accepted to Bard College’s Master of Arts in Teaching Program. Before she graduated from Bard, Annie landed a job teaching 11th grade American Literature at Mt. Everett High School in Sheffield, Massachusetts.

“I am still there,” Annie writes to us over Facebook. “In addition to teaching American Literature, I teach a Film Survey elective, based mostly off of the film classes I took while at Saint Rose, and American Sign Language 101,” also from a class from college.

We sent Annie some over our questions and, through the magic of Facebook mail, we have her answers.

Can you tell us a little about your experience at Saint Rose?

Saint Rose helped prepare me for a career in English. My professors were approachable, knowledgeable, and always accessible. What I loved most? The small class sizes. The campus, too, was easy to navigate. All around, The College of St. Rose completely accommodated my learning style.

Can you describe a memorable moment, professor, or course from The Saint Rose English Department?

In 2007, the summer before my senior year, I studied abroad in London with Professor Laity (an English professor) and twenty other students. It was remarkable. I had the honor of visiting major landmarks, participating in life changing experiences, and viewing spine-tingling artifacts: Big Ben, my roommate and me spent a Saturday at the Salvador Dali & Picasso art museum, rode the tube, had a double-decker bus tour of London, I made many phone calls while standing in a red telephone booth, had a beer (or two ) in a pub, walked on Abbey Road, signed my name (and my family’s name) outside of Abbey Record Studios, saw the homes of many famous people (Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr), had the pleasure of viewing the Magna Carta, gazed at the original Beowulf, saw the napkin with the lyrics of “Scrambled Eggs” by the Beatles, visited the Eye of London, saw the Buckingham Palace, got to see Spamalot, and so, so many more wonderful activities.

And all of these pleasures were in addition to the enhancing friendships of a lifetime and my acquiring more literary knowledge than I ever thought possible.

Do you have any advice for future English majors?

Take all of the English classes you can. Too, do not just take classes from one professor (as tempting as that is). Most importantly: If you’re going to be an English teacher, make sure you take a Shakespeare course.

Any other comments about the faculty at Saint Rose or the English Department?

Three professors who changed by life: Daniel Nester (English), Kathryn Laity (English), and Cheryl Pivorunas (Language).

Professor Nester (what an AWESOME name!) introduced me to the most beautiful literature I’ve ever read. Thanks to him, I add a lot of spice to my curriculum. Sadly, while I was in high school, I was never properly taught grammar. Professor Nester made me aware of this extremely dangerous flaw of mine. After taking a few of his courses, I became much more aware of my grammatical flaws. He is the reason I make grammar the first importance in my curriculum.

Thanks to Professor Laity, I have a deep passion for classic British literature such as: The Canterbury Tales, Margery Kempe, Beowulf, Hildegard of Bingen, and many, many others. In addition, Professor Laity was my study abroad advisor.

Professor Pivorunas (Pivy) was my Sign Language teacher. She is truly the most inspirational woman I have ever met. Thanks to her, I teach Sign Language. Pivy hooked my passion for American Sign Language and, because of her, I am now pursuing a certification as a Deaf Interpreter.

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