by Abigail Fellin
While doing this series on BVU grads, we could not forget one of last year’s editors, Kacee Baker. Below is our interview with Kacee by Abigail Fellin.
Where are you/what are you currently doing?
I’m getting my M.A. in literature at West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV.
Why did you choose to go to grad school?
I had such a great time studying lit at BV that I just wanted to keep doing it.
What about BVU properly prepared you to go to grad school?
Small classes with engaging instructors and thoughtful students prepared me really well for the challenge and atmosphere of graduate school. All the extracurricular opportunities—like helping with Hot Dish and FACES, tutoring at the CAE, and working as an academic assistant in the English department—were also awesome because I was totally immersed in the world of English just like I am now. I could go on forever about how much I love and miss the BV English department.
What is something unexpected about grad school you wish you knew before hand?
How easy it is! I had this perception that I was going to be totally out of my depth and constantly drowning in assignments. The workload and classes are challenging, but I would have felt much more confident and relaxed starting classes if I had fully realized how well prepared I was and how doable grad school is.
What do you miss most about the Midwest?
I think people in the Midwest are the perfect mix of reserved and friendly, and I miss that. Also, the food: Hy-Vee chocolate chip cookies, Godfather’s banana dessert pizza, my mom’s chicken croissant casserole… When I came back home over Christmas I had a long list of Midwest-only places I wanted food from and (hot) dishes I wanted my mom to make.
Is there anything you would like to say to someone considering studying literature as an undergrad?
Do it! It’s engaging, thought-provoking, fun, and challenging. I feel so lucky that I got to go to classes and talk about books every day. If you’re worried about not getting a job or knowing what to do with the major, just put everything off by going to grad school!
Do you have any current book recommendations?
I just finished a great one! If on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino is an awesome, accessible postmodernist novel. It moves between a story about two people trying to read the novel itself and the beginnings of several other books that the readers happen across. It’s clever, emotional, engaging, and fun. I read it after coming across its great last line: “And you say, ‘Just a moment, I’ve almost finished If on a winter's night a traveler by Italo Calvino.’”