ARTICLE: Under the Golden Sail


When Adrian Schirr isn’t working on her own books, she is a writing consultant in the Writing Center at Oakland University.

I’ve met a lot of writers over the years. Most of them I met through creative writing workshops. I had the pleasure of meeting Adrian Schirr in my first creative writing workshop at Oakland University. We were in Professor Dawn Newton’s class. My first impressions of Adrian were that she was very friendly and knew a lot about writing and editing. We instantly became good friends through that class, and then later took our advanced creative writing course with Professor Annie Gilson.

We’ve learned a lot together over the last couple of semesters. She even helped me out with my own manuscript outside of class, when I would visit her in the writing center located in Kresge Library. Every week, we would read aloud a chapter or two and she would point out the flaws and make suggestions on how to improve. Honestly, the only time I ever went to the writing center was to see Adrian.

It was no different when I met with her to talk about her own book series. We met on Wednesday, August 26th outside of the writing center. We caught up after not seeing each other for several months. She told me about her boys, and I told her about my own progress with my novel – and that I planned on coming back to the writing center to have her read over the sequel. It was a laid back and quiet atmosphere to have our interview. Unlike the other interviews I’ve done with OU authors, there was no book reading for me to go to. It was just me and Adrian, and the two books sitting between us on the table.

Continue reading

ARTICLE: Students entrusted with $2 million investment fund


One of the new features of the data analysis lab are ten dual screen Bloomberg Terminals, which will allow students to monitor and analyze market data in real-time.

Oakland University put $2 million into the hands of its finest: the students.

On Wednesday, Sept. 30, the Kresge Foundation and Oakland University announced a new student-managed investment fund that will provide students with a real-world experience of managing stocks.

“This investment will open the doors to great possibilities for our students and faculty,” President George Hynd said as he began the announcement ceremony held in Elliott Hall’s data analysis lab.

Undergraduate students who take the 400-level business course, Managing Investment Funds, will learn the essentials of portfolio management, stock selection and portfolio evaluation while managing the investment provided by the Kresge Foundation.

Continue reading

ARTICLE: Vacation Hot Spots within Michigan’s Borders


The Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes line the coast of Lake Michigan. Tourists come from all over to climb them.

Summer is finally here and vacations are in full swing. Most people travel far away from home to find relaxation. Florida tends to be a popular choice for those who want to really escape the land of lakes and potholes.

It might seem strange, but Michigan is actually a beautiful place to explore! It just takes a bit of researching and planning to find the special spots the “mitten state” has for a vacation hot spot. I’m going to make it easier on you and tell you some of the places I’ve been to on vacation and why you should visit them too!

Continue reading

ARTICLE: All it takes is one word


Friends, family, and past students came to support Plantus’ new book. Even her priest came to congratulate her.

As one can expect from a senior who is on the verge of graduating with her B.A. in Creative Writing, I have taken many English classes over the years. My most recent was Bible as Literature with Professor Doris Plantus. When I first took her class, it was to fulfill three reasons: to get the credits I needed to graduate, to learn more about my own religion, and to get more material for my own creative writing.

Plantus is a fabulous teacher who did an amazing job at keeping her own beliefs out of the classroom to teach students – all of whom had a wide variety of beliefs – the importance of the Bible as a work of literary fiction, as well as the importance of translation and language.

She just recently published her first novella, entitled “Sihastrul,” which translates to “The Hermit.” It was originally written in Romanian and is now translated into English. When I learned that she was holding a book reading and signing I thought it’d be a great opportunity to interview her about her book.

Continue reading

ARTICLE: Art exhibition showcases work of graduating seniors


Using archival digital prints, Heather Champion created stationary that are “visual statements that help to capture all of life’s moments.”

After spending an entire semester on creating their projects, studio art and graphic design, seniors had their thesis work installed in the Oakland University Art Gallery.

The MMXV Senior Thesis Exhibition held its opening reception on Friday, April 17. The showcase features artwork created with a variety of mediums, including painting, drawing, mixed media and photography.

Katie Cagle, photography major, was one of the students with her work on display. Her set of six still life photographs was titled “Compartments That We Keep.”

As part of her project, Cagle reached out to find people who would be willing to talk to her about topics they keep hidden.  She then used everyday objects to create compositions that represented the topics in those conversations.

“This body of work is my visual interpretation of their stories,” Cagle said. “I was really concentrating on clean shots for minimal editing.”

Continue reading

ARTICLE: Alumna celebrates debut of her first published novel


Art Pacious graduated from OU in 2007. It took her five years to complete her first novel, “Shattered Marbles,” which she self-published under the pen name, ArtB.

Making connections with authors, publishers and agents is one of the most important tasks a young author with dreams of having her work published can do. Ever since transferring to Oakland University for a bachelor’s in Creative Writing, that’s exactly what I’ve been trying to do.

The English department does a fantastic job with planning poetry and fiction readings, Q/A sessions with publishers and authors, and creating a large community of creative writers who want to learn the business. I’ve met many authors, made plenty of friends and gathered connections for my future because of it.

However, my last run in with a debut author came from an assignment for The Oakland Post. An Oakland University alumna had recently self-published her first novel and was celebrating with a book signing and reading in Detroit. When I heard the news, I was excited to go and take photos for the Post.

Continue reading

ARTICLE: Liar, Liar, Shakespearean pants on fire


‘The Liar’ mashes Renaissance-style wit and crowd interactions for a unique stage experience.

To lie or not to lie.

That is the question asking in “The Light,” the Department of Music, Theater and Dance’s
current play showing in Varner Studio Hall. It will be shown Nov. 13 through Nov. 23.

Directed by Anthony Guest, the play is adapted from the comedy by Pierre Corneille. It follows the story of the liar Dorante, played by Gabriel Jamison, and his attempts at winning over the young maiden Clarice, played by Jillian Hoffman.

Continue reading

ARTICLE: Musical tradition lives on at Meadow Brook Festival’s 50th anniversary


The Detroit Symphony Orchestra visited Meadow Brook Music Festival for its 50th anniversary and performed pieces from its first show.

The Meadow Brook Music Festival celebrated its 50th anniversary with a performance by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and special guest Joshua Bell on Thursday, July 24.

The first thing that guests received when they arrived were booklets that shared the same cover as the first ever Meadow Brook Music Festival concert’s booklet. Listed within were the classical pieces the DSO performed that evening, including Igor Starvinsky’s Suite from “The Firebird,” and Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26.

The tradition of the DSO playing at Meadow Brook started July 23, 1964, after D.B. “Woody” Wilson developed the idea of a cultural center for the surrounding community.

Continue reading

LIFE: Writing for The Oakland Post


The start of my last semester working with The Post as the Photo Editor.

We’ve all written essays for classes. Some were only four pages long, and others were 12 page long monsters that took weeks to plan. We learned to cite properly (whether it’s MLA, APA, or Chicago) and the formula Intro, Body, Conclusion. We were marked down for using contractions and unprofessional language. That style of writing is Academic Writing, and it’s something most of us loathe.

On the complete opposite side of the writing spectrum is Creative Writing. There, the rules are malleable. Words can be loose and colloquial, we can write poetry or prose, and while the rules of grammar and spelling are consistent we can push the boundaries by trying to sprinkle accents and slang. However, for some, creative writing is like trying to walk through a maze blindfolded. There are few guidelines to show you where to go, and those with an analytical mind, it can be treacherous territory.

Then, somewhere in the middle, is Journalism. The strange love child between creativity and academia. With journalism, you have to be concise and precise. You must cite your sources and give credit where credit is due. It’s facts and numbers and news. However, it’s can also be imaginative and enlightening. You can choose your topics, ranging from discussing a $2 million investment fund for Managing Investment Funds students to the Top 10 reasons to see your school’s latest Broadway production. With journalism, the sky is the limit and it all depends on how far you’re willing to go to get the scoop.

I had the pleasure of working for The Oakland Post, Oakland University’s Student Newspaper, while I was studying for my B.A. in Creative Writing. Originally, I applied as a photographer. It was a paying job that allowed me to spend more time on campus and get involved. Eventually, I started to get more involved by writing my own articles. Soon, I became the Photo Editor and continued to tackle big events and stories on my own.

Although journalism wasn’t my chosen career path, I loved working for the paper and getting the chance to explore my creative and educational side. It also helped me step out of my comfort zone to get the interesting photos and to interview a wide selection of people.

For those who want to write, but don’t feel quite creative enough to write books, give journalism a try! It may be the perfect solution for you.