Student Publication in The Lesser Squawk

This is the kind of news I seriously love to share: Another of my students has been published.

This particular student is actually a knob (Citadel-talk for “freshman”) in my English 101 class of all things: a jolly good chap named James Tomlinson, who has a brief article in the most recent edition of The Lesser Squawk, the newsletter (circulation over 1200) of the Charleston Audubon Society. His article (you’ll eventually be able to read it online) is a report on simple ways for folks to save energy, a “go green” to save the planet sort of piece. This, in itself, is pretty interesting, since most folks probably think the students at El Cid are card-carrying, hard-right, ultra-conservative right-wing-nuts who’d be liable to deny environmental concerns.

Perhaps more interesting, though, is the story about how this happened, which starts over a beer out at the beach.

No, it wasn’t with young Mr. Tomlinson. And no, I’m not encouraging drinking. The beer was had in a social setting out at The Citadel’s beach house, during our yearly “Welcome Back, Faculty!” gathering. I was talking to people here and there when I happened across Paul Nolan, a clever ornithologist in the Biology Department. We came to El Cid at the same time, so we’ve been friends over the years. Anyway, after a bit of chit-chat, Paul notes that he’s now the president of the Charleston Audubon Society. Quite cool, of course. Then he tells me about The Lesser Squawk, the society’s newsletter. “You know,” he says (or close to it, I’m paraphrasing my memory), “if you have any students who could write something for it, we should talk.”

Well, any student is capable of crafting publishable work. So we talked some more, and eventually I had concocted a plan to have my two 101 classes select subjects for their third essay that would be suitable for an Audubon Society newsletter. We had a simple competition: the best essay would go to the editor of the Squawk.

Well, congratulations to Mr. Tomlinson. He won, and they accepted the essay for publication.

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