Our Favorite Summer Reading Spot

My favorite summer reading place now only exists in my memory. I grew up in Miami, and we had a medium-sized cabin cruiser we dry docked in Key Largo, where storage facilities cost a lot less than in Miami. Most weekends, we’d drive down to Key Largo and take Robinson Crusoe past Blackwater Sound, past John Pennekamp Coral Reef, out to the shipping lanes. Sometimes the water was so clear, you could see small, colorful fish swimming through the coral. In the shipping lanes, the water changed rhythm, into deeper rolls. Through all of this, I would sit in the bow, feeling a bit like the Winged Victory of Samothrace flying over the water. And while my parents fished, I would stay in the bow reading. That’s still my favorite reading spot, especially in the summer.

—B. J. Robinson, Director

As a mother, I find myself grabbing five or ten minutes here or there to read. My children, you see, have a sixth sense. As soon as I start reading, their spidey senses tingle and they immediately stop their independent play to come find me and ask me for something. Anything. That said, my favorite summer reading spot is inside in my comfy chair next to a window while we are having one of our wonderful summer storms. Extra points if the power is out.

—Corey Parson, Managing Editor

My favorite summer reading spot is inside. Is that bad? I love the outdoors, but I hate how bugs will swarm around me if I try to read. Plus, I’m allergic to pollen and bushes and pollen and trees and, did I mention, pollen. 5 minutes outdoors and I’m sneezing. Instead of killing myself, I stay inside and read by the window. (Like a cat, only better because I have thumbs.) I get to see the greenery and admire my flowers, all without sacrificing myself for a mosquito’s dinner.

—Jillian Murphy, Assistant Managing Editor

My favorite summer reading spot is Yahoola Creek Park in Dahlonega, Georgia. Yahoola has a mountainous backdrop, and there is a calm creek winding through the park with many shade trees lining its path. Sometimes, I like to pack a hammock and set it up between two trees next to the creek. The creek, along with the soft murmur of other people at the park, gives a nice white noise while reading. If it gets too hot, you can always take a step into the cold water and see a hiding crawfish or a sunbathing turtle. I think that is the biggest perk of reading here. A lot of outdoors places don’t have any way to beat the heat. And if you need a break from reading entirely, there is always something to watch: birds, squirrels, people fishing or playing sports.

—Josh Vaughn, Summer Intern

From a very young age, the small creek located behind my house has always been my favorite place to visit with a book in hand. I am a strong believer that nature is one of the great stimulators of the imagination, whether one is creating a work of art or consuming it voraciously. The cool breeze blowing on one’s face, the rustling of the tree branches overhead, and the occasional glimpse of one’s reflection in the rippling water nearby. What better place could there possibly be to detach from the noise of the world around us and properly visualize what is within the printed pages of a book?

—Brooke Caine, Summer Intern

Intern Spotlight: Josh Vaughn

Hello, blog patrons! My name is Joshua Vaughn, but most people just call me Josh—unless you’re my mom or younger brother. In that case, it’s Joshua Kane. Since beginning college, my goal was to intern at the University Press, so I’m ecstatic to be working here this summer. Currently, I’m an upcoming senior at UNG, and I’m majoring in English, Writing and Publication and minoring in Japanese.

I wanted to work at the University Press not only because of the knowledge I will gain, but also because of the Press’ mission to provide Open Educational Resources (OERs) to students. As a student, this mission is close to my heart. I believe all students should have easily accessible course materials, and the University of North Georgia Press makes this possible.

In my free time, I like playing video games or hanging out with friends. Sometimes though, I just like to sit on my couch and binge watch Netflix while snacking on something—usually ice cream or extra toasted Cheez-its. Here are some other things about me:

  • I have played guitar since middle school
  • I love a good western movie or book
  • My favorite author is Hunter S. Thompson
  • My favorite color is orange
  • I can’t pick a favorite movie, but some I enjoy are The Machinist, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Mean Girls (don’t tell anyone about that last one)
  • I have all my wisdom teeth

After graduating, I want to teach English in Japan for a year or two before coming back to the United Sates. When I get back, I would like to work at a publishing house or press—hence the internship at the University Press. My life aspiration is not wealth, but to work somewhere I can clock out and not have to deal with work until the next morning. Thanks for taking the time to learn about me, bye!

Intern Spotlight: Brooke Caine

Salutations, fellow lovers of language! My name is Brooke Caine, and I am a senior who will be joining the UNG Press as an intern this summer. Until my junior year of high school, I did not ever see myself in an institution of higher learning, as none of my family members have ever obtained a degree, and my grades were modest at best. However, thanks to the urgings of my mother and some well-selected Advanced Placement courses during my junior and senior year, I am proud to say that I graduated from North Forsyth High School in 2011 with a GPA of 3.2 and a letter of admission to UNG for the following fall semester.

My decision to pursue writing and publication as a major was born largely from the fact that I have been almost unnaturally obsessed with literature since before I could even read or speak properly. One of my mother’s favorite stories: At fifteen months old, I would regularly pull down every book from a shelf that was even larger than myself and babble nonsense in an attempt at ‘reading’. Imagine a small and rather chubby child sitting on a mountain of discarded but nevertheless beloved books with an enormous smile on her face—that is me, albeit slightly larger now and fairly literate by this point.

In addition to my passion for the written word, I am also a lover of languages. During my time at UNG, I have studied Chinese and Russian (the first briefly and the second as a minor) both in the classroom and with native speakers who were generous enough to invite me into their culture and share with me their language, food, and friendship. Naturally, I am always delighted to see works by authors whose countries and customs are different from my own. My favorite English course by far was Immigrant Literature as it gave me an intimate perspective on the struggles and joys of those who come to this country as dreamers and the memories of the lands and people that they left behind.

Ever since I was a child, I have been a firm believer that every story deserves to be told as there is always someone who needs to hear it. To that end, my goal is to work in a publishing company that focuses specifically on the voices that have heretofore been pushed aside or even erased in the flow of history. During the course of my internship, I would like to learn the basics of the industry—proofreading, editing, marketing, design, production—in a work environment that promotes a global and open-minded perspective, both in business practices and the works that we produce for our student body and community.

 

As I Say Goodbye

As the year comes to a close along with my journey with the UNG Press, I can’t help but reminisce and get nostalgic about when I first started. Yeah, it may have just been fall of last year that I began this journey, but I can still feel nostalgic and sappy. I just have a lot of feelings. Let’s reminisce together, shall we?

I remember walking up the stairs on my first day, wiping sweaty palms on my jeans for the umpteenth time. To say I was nervous is an understatement. I held my breath as I knocked open the door as entered the room where I would be working for the next few months. All my nerves, however, disappeared within the first few minutes of entering the room, thank to Ms. Jillian Murphy. She immediately made me feel welcomed and established a welcoming aura. She encouraged me to always ask questions about anything I didn’t understand and would help me with any issues I encountered. She definitely made the working environment a stress-free space. It motivated me to do my best on each assignment and not be afraid to ask questions or for help whenever needed.

The assignments I was assigned throughout my journey were challenging, but they were also very rewarding. Every assignment taught me a different process of getting a post approved and published so the public could see it. The experience I have gained from my time at the UNG Press has increased my (at-the-time very little) knowledge on the different processes that have to applied to every post. It has made me appreciate the Press’ hard work even more.

As my final days approach (with the Press, that is), I can only say this to all my co-workers and bosses: Thank you. You’ve made my work experience memorable and have helped me grow and mature. I am sad because this is a time of goodbyes, but I am also happy to see the UNG Press grow and flourish with new workers. I know great things are to come with this Press, and I can’t wait to watch and read them.

A Reflection on My Time at the Press

I’ve always wanted to have a career with an English studies focus. Well, other than when I was four-years-old and told anyone who would listen that I wanted to be a ladybug when I grew up. Dreams change from four to twenty-two, that’s for sure. I’ve grown up and I’m looking for ways to have a successful career in the publishing industry. The UNG Press helped me start my journey.

In June of 2016, I came to UNG for a transfer student orientation, where I walked around campus and talked to a faculty advisor from the English department about my career goals. That was the first time I heard about the UNG Press. I’d only received a little information, but I knew I wanted to be a Press intern before I graduated. I would gain valuable insight and experience. I’d get to be in an actual publishing house around other editors. So when I applied for and received the internship position, I achieved a personal goal I’d been thinking about since 2016.

My internship with the Press has been everything I hoped it would be and more. Initially, I was so focused on being a copy editor that I dismissed other industry opportunities that were right in front of me. Working at the Press showed me those opportunities.

My internship focused on creating content for the Press’ social media platforms. I conducted extensive research about publishing and marketing and used the research to create entertaining and professional blog posts. These assignments taught me the importance of writing for a specific audience and writing concisely and comprehensively. Immersing myself in these new parts of the industry and seeing the hard work that is essential to the success of the Press has provided me with the knowledge, experience, and appreciation that I will need when I begin my career.

My internship has shaped me into a better writer and a more compassionate and experienced soon-to-be college graduate. As I’m looking for jobs that allow me to expand on the knowledge and tools I’ve gained this semester, I’ll be thanking everyone at the Press every step of the way.

I am one step closer to having the career that I want because of my experience at the Press.

Thanks For the Memories!

During my time at UNG Press, I have been able to explore the world outside the classroom. Working here has given me the ability to become a developed marketer and figure out what I want my future to look like. This opportunity has given me the chance to learn more about the Press industry, hone my skills, and work in a busy office full of kind people.

This office let me have many experiences that I was not be able to have in the classroom. Here, I was able to use my skills that I have acquired throughout the years. Whether that be through creating a birthday post or developing a proposal for future projects, I was given the opportunity to be creative and diversify my portfolio. This has helped me to understand the process of developing an idea, refining it, and executing it.

UNG Press has really opened my eyes to the publishing industry. I have poured over articles about different kinds of editing, the process of publishing a book, and what the future of the publishing industry may look like. I never really put a lot of thought into what it takes to publish a book. All I knew was that I could go down to my local bookstore and purchase the title I was looking for. This position has really given me a newfound appreciation for the behind the scenes work that goes into getting a book onto the shelves.

The Press office has been a wonderful learning environment. Every time that I struggled with an assignment, I knew that this staff was available to help me complete any tasks given to me. My supervisor, Jillian, was especially helpful throughout my time here. I want to thank her for all the time that she put into helping me create and edit my work to make it better.

Working here for two semesters has been a wonderful experience. I have learned a lot about myself and the publishing industry. This position has opened my eyes to the possibilities for my future and for what it may have in store. Everyone that goes into this position should know that this office is a good one. Thank you for making my last year at UNG a fun and creative one.