August 14, 2020

We Can Do Great Things

posted on: Thursday April 19, 2018

On Tuesday nights, you will usually find me in my literary non-fiction class in a dark room of lower level Ruane. For two and a half hours we talk about how to craft the perfect non-fiction story, and we even workshop our own pieces. But this Tuesday, we transported to Aquinas Lounge to hear published author Stefan Merrill Block talk about his newest novel, Oliver Loving, and his own writing experience.

Block is a personable author who, even after 10 years of being published, seems just as excited to talk about his writing as he did on his first book tour. He is artistic and thoughtful, and gives such a realistic view of writing as a roller coaster process filled with many mistakes and grand moments.

Oliver Loving is a story he has been working on for over six years, as he struggled to find the right way to tell this story of a small town, family, and school shooting; he even threw away a fully finished manuscript and started over again.

For a room full of many  English majors and aspiring writers and publishers, Block did something very difficult—he made us believe that we could do it too. He showed us his flaws and his strengths and said this could be us. He was 23 when he signed his first book deal, just a year older than me, and has been writing ever since.

Right now, many students are suffering through the April blues of what to do after this semester. April is the time for seniors to look into jobs and decide on graduate schools, and for underclassmen to find internships and summer plans. The world can seem hostile and confusing and our dream job or career can quickly slip away in the face of fierce competition. But Block shows us that real people can do great things. For him, becoming an author took a dose of luck and a push from his then-girlfriend to get a literary agent, but mostly his hard work and strong passion for writing.

Reading articles for this week’s edition, I was impressed by how many Providence College students are already harnessing their talent and showing their potential for great things.

The News section showcases students making change, including a social work class making a student advisory board to personal counseling to promote mental health awareness, Jennifer Dorn ’18 winning the prestigious Fulbright award to teach English in the Czech Republic, and students preparing to host the annual Relay for Life this Saturday to raise money for cancer research.

This list could go on and on, but these few examples show that PC students are doing great things to proudly represent our community and make a difference throughout the world. And as we enter into the world of the unknown, we should keep that hope and confidence that we too can be an author, or any of our dream jobs.

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