English department awards campers scholarships
High school students attend LAU’s creative writing camp.
LAU held its first summer camp in English creative writing this summer, inviting high school students with an interest in the field to develop their skills further. Assistant professor of cultural studies and comparative literature Jenine Aboushi conducted the five-day workshop, which concluded last Friday with an awards ceremony at which four lucky students won scholarships towards a degree in English at LAU.
“I had already decided before applying to this camp that I wanted to study at LAU. I had checked out their degree in English and liked it the most. The camp convinced me further,” said 11th grade student Carla Gurunian. Her hard work during the camp paid off handsomely. Coming in second place, Gurunian earned a scholarship from the Department of English that will cover 20 percent of the tuition throughout the duration of her studies for the bachelor’s degree.
Approximately 100 students watched and congratulated Gurunian as she was handed a certificate of achievement by professor Nola Bacha during the awards ceremony. As chair of LAU’s departments of English and Humanities, Bacha expressed how proud she is of all the students and how she hopes to see many of them in a year’s time once they have graduated from high school.
Among them may be Sami Choucair, who has shown interest in LAU’s Communication Arts program. “The camp has been very helpful. I’ve learned a lot of new skills, including avoiding clichés and using complex words purposefully,” he said.
One way her trainees developed these skills, says Aboushi, was by critiquing each other’s work. “By critically reading each other’s work, they learn to do that with their own,” she revealed. “As most of the writing process is revision, this is an essential skill.”
Aboushi gave the 11 trainees three assignments — writing copy to accompany a still or moving image, writing a travel piece, and writing a script for television or stage. The assignments were set in advance and required camp participants to explore a part of Beirut they didn’t know well. “I wanted them to go outside their comfort zone and make an effort. When students work hard and discover new worlds, they find enthusiasm that nurtures talent in writing,” said Aboushi.
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