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Inquiry 2014 Reflection from Carli Weldon ’14
04.07.14 |
Carli Weldon is a senior English, secondary education, and sociology major from Harrisburg, Pa. She reflects on her Inquiry 2014 presentation, "Stuck Between Two Worlds: The Journey from Life to Death in William Faulkner's 'As I Lay Dying'" in the following.

Throughout my four years at Lebanon Valley College, I have seen and encountered the plethora of the benefits that are advertised across all the “welcome” packets and embedded throughout the website designed to capture all prospective students. The simple fact cannot be denied: the collegiate experience a student will have at LVC is unlike any other.

As I went into my final fall semester, I had a packed schedule of classes along with the addition of an independent study project through the English department. Offered to all English majors, the department offers the independent study to research, in-depth, any topic that is not covered in a general class. Aiming for the final goal of graduating with departmental honors, I was not going to miss the opportunity to research and explore my greatest passions in depth.

Paired with the Elizabeth Julian, director of the Writing Center and teaching fellow, I truly believed that conducting an independent study was going to be a menial task that I would be able to accomplish quickly. However, I was extremely misinformed. During the 15 weeks that it took me to complete my research, I was inundated with fear that I was never going to come up with a topic that was sufficient enough to spend such a large amount of time researching, let alone write a 20 page paper on my findings. My boundaries were pushed, a great friendship was formed, my thoughts and prior knowledge were expanded, and I developed as an individual. I learned more about myself, the concepts of life and death, William Faulkner, and James Franco than I ever thought was possible.

My paper, “Stuck Between Two Worlds: The Journey from Life to Death in William Faulkner’s 'As I Lay Dying,'” examined William Faulkner's use of past mythological knowledge and literary theory to analyze the characters. Specifically, I wanted to analyze the individual journeys of selected characters in the novel and determine their outcomes. Who lives and who dies, both literally and metaphorically? From the conclusions drawn, I hoped to open the eyes of modern day individuals and allow for a self analysis. When my journey was completed, I was filled with relief, empowerment, and a slight feeling of disappointment.

To be selected to present at LVC’s most prestigious on-campus event allows for an opportunity to keep my research alive. It allows me to continue expanding my knowledge, make connections between the world of literacy and everyday life, and share my journey of growth. My opportunity to present independent research to faculty, staff, and the community at Inquiry 2014 is yet another instance that develops upon the the greatness of opportunity that LVC provides for its students and I am humbled to be a part of this year’s experience.  

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