Read more about one of our current English majors: Abby Good!
Abby Good is a senior with a major in Secondary Education English and Inclusive Education 7-12 (Special Education). She answered a few interview questions about her experiences so far at Millersville and where she plans to go in the future.
What made you want to pursue an English degree? Did you always know English was the major for you? What about education?
Ever since I was a little girl, I played ‘teacher’ with stuffed animals and my sister, Ashley (who was always a good student 😉 ). Growing up I had a lot of volunteer experience with elementary aged children and although I enjoyed working with them, it helped me decide that I wanted to teach an older age group. This helped me narrow in on the secondary education aspect of middle and high schoolers.
In regard to the English education part, I wasn’t entirely sure what content area I wanted to pursue probably until my tenth or eleventh grade year of high school. My mom is a Reading Specialist and she works for the IU13 so her passion for literature and all things reading was always a part of my life growing up. I think this influenced me because I always had a book in hand and was always encouraged to read and write. At one point I considered math education based on my experience in high school but eventually came to the conclusion that English was the subject area for me.
I had an internship experience my senior year that really confirmed this for me as I helped out in a ninth grade English course and aided in the classroom. I also had wonderful teachers in my experience at Garden Spot (New Holland, PA). To name a few teachers, Kelly Bohn (now Kelly Trupe), Michelle Custer, and Lisa Burkett all inspired me and helped to show me that reading and writing can be approached in numerous ways and that English isn’t just about learning vocabulary and writing essays. They helped to show me that English classrooms are a safe space where you can learn to express yourself and explore various media to communicate with others. To put it simply, I pursed an English education degree because of my mom’s influence, the impact of my teachers growing up, and my interaction with the subject throughout my schooling.
What’s your favorite book?
This is a very tough question! The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks is a favorite of mine. I also recently read Refugee by Alan Gratz and enjoy novels from the historical fiction genre.
Are you involved in any clubs on campus?
Yes! I am the president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) club on campus. We meet every Wednesday as largely an athlete base, but anyone is welcome to attend our meetings. We usually have some social time, an ice breaker activity, song/worship time, and then a message from a student or guest speaker.
I am also a member of the women’s volleyball team on campus. I have been on the team for all four years of my college career. Unfortunately, because of five knee surgeries, I can no longer play anymore. I’ve only actually played in one official point in a collegiate match and participated in only one off-season because of my injury(ies), but the coaching staff and teammates have always supported me and ‘kept me around’. I attend practices and travel to games and my main role is statistician. I give input to coaches based on what we see during games and at practices and try to help my teammates out by letting them know where I think they might be able to score or let them know when I think they’ve been doing really well. I have loved being a part of the volleyball culture—especially this year as we work towards extending our season in the playoffs and potentially the NCAA tournament!
Do you have any jobs on or off campus?
Over the summer I work as a lifeguard at the New Holland Community Pool. I am also a head lifeguard which puts me in a managerial role most times.
On campus, I work as a student worker for the athletic department. Last year I worked the softball games retrieving foul balls, homerun balls, and things like that.
How do you manage your time?
This is a good question. Overall, I’d say I manage my time with a day planner. I need to write everything down or else I forget, and this provides me a way to do so. Between volleyball, classes, student teaching/interning, and FCA, I have to be very strategic about setting aside time to do laundry, grocery shop, clean, visit my Grandpa (who is in a nursing home in Lititz), and any other responsibilities that arise.
I think because I’m so busy all of the time, it forces me to manage my time better—as silly as that may sound. Every spare moment I have must be intentional, so physically planning out my day on paper allows me to manage the extra time I might have. I have also found that I am more productive if I take a little bit of time to myself, even just fifteen minutes, in order to relax before I dive into a task I need to complete. This helps me maximize the time I have to work on things! I’m an avid fan of checklists and scheduling which helps me prioritize and manage my time.
What are your future career goals?
My future career goals are to have a classroom of my own! Right now, it’s exciting to be in the field learning from an expert and it makes me even more eager to have a room of my own where I have say over poster choice, design of furniture, and so forth. I can’t wait to start impacting the lives of my students in one way or another!
Do you have any non-career or personal goals for the future?
Some personal goals that I have for the future include having a family one day. I’d also like to own a garden one day because I love to cook, and it sounds fun to be able to make something with ingredients that I’ve grown myself.
What’s your favorite class you’ve taken at Millersville?
I think I have a tie for favorite classes. For my English courses, I really enjoyed ENGL 232 World Literature 2 that I took with Dr. Skucek. The class allowed us to truly read world literature which was something I didn’t have much experience with. Before this class, I was familiar only with European authors. The novels we read helped introduce me to authors from various countries such as Fyodor Dostoevsky, Hermann Hesse, Franz Kafka, Gustave Flaubert, and a few others.
For my favorite education class, I’d have to say EDSE 321 Issues in Secondary Education that I took with Dr. Witmer. In this course, we researched and taught our peers various topics such as school funding, common core, technology in schools, equity in the classroom, funding, test scores, racism, family dynamics, integrated classrooms, and many other issues that may be found in a secondary classroom. It was very eye opening and fun to learn from our peers who acted as the experts in this situation.
How do you think Millersville’s English department has set you up for the future?
I think Millersville’s English department has set me up for the future because they have employees who truly care about students. The professors within the English department are wonderful people who are always available to meet to answer questions you may have and work to adjust their workload when they notice students are feeling overwhelmed. The English department also offers a variety of workshops, promotes speakers, and provides information about excursions that support academic learning and can be added to a professional resume. They are also constantly adding new classes that allow you to gain a new perspective on reading and literature.
Thank you, Abby! Find more student profiles under the “Student Profile” category on the home page.