President: Makela Harris
Vice President: Novena Graham
CINCINNATI OHIO SIGMA KAPPA DELTA ENGLISH HONORS CONVENTION 2018
Dean Howle, our Sponsor along with his proud students. Giovanna Torres, Diane Ferrer, Kammy Kamanpreet, Mirtie Badal
Literacy = Freedom: Students described how reading helped them escape from familial, social, and cultural restraints.
Moderator - Giovanna Torres- CHI Delta Chapter, with the Essay panelists, Anna Mitchell- Chalhoun Community College-Theta Beta, Kammy Kamanpreet-CHI Delta Chapter, Mirtie Badal-CHI Delta Chapter, Daniel Wilkinson-Univ of Wisconsin, -Gamma Delta Chapter
Hilton Netherlands Plaza Hotel Our 1st day of the Convention. Giovanna, Diane, Mirtie, and Kammy
"Nurturing Freedom in the Classroom":
Participants shared strategies for creating a space that allowed students to discover their voices."
Jonathan Howle - Plaza College - CHI Delta Chapter, Sally Warren - Wallace State Community College - Theta Delta, Stephanie Laszik - Kilgore College -Upsilon Delta, Megan Friesen - Aims Community College - Tau Gamma
Moderator - Jeff Hawes - Northeast Alabama Community College - Epsilon Alpha
June 8, 2018
In March, four Plaza College students attended the National Sigma Tau Delta/Sigma Kappa Delta conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. Mirtie Badal presented her original paper about the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. Read an excerpt from her presentation below about how her life changed when she began reading the book.
A few years ago, I was at the point where it appeared my life was about to crumble before my eyes. The environment around me was utter confusion. I lost my father due to lung disease in 2012. I was facing a breakup from a failing relationship, and shortly after, I got laid off from my job with no other possible opportunities in sight. I was broken hearted, lifeless, and hopeless…
I began reading The Secret. As I was halfway through the first chapter, I automatically felt a connection with the author. The part that grabbed my attention immediately was what the author was going through the moment she discovered the secret. The author stated, “I’d worked myself to exhaustion, my father died suddenly, and my relationships with my work colleagues and loved ones were in turmoil” (Byrne). I was astonished at the fact that this person’s life seemed somewhat similar to mine…
I continued reading. I learned that “the secret” is the concept known as the law of attraction. According to Byrnes, the secret is the most powerful law in the universe (Byrne). Byrne also claims, “There isn’t a single thing that you cannot do with this knowledge. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are, The Secret can give you whatever you want.” (Byrne). It appears that people from all over the world knew about the secret and used it to manifest exactly what they wanted or desired. I was mesmerized by these ideas, and I could not help but wondering: Could I apply the secret in my own life?
Upon my return to the city, I sat on my bed and began to “visualize.” According to the book, “When you visualize, you generate powerful thoughts and feelings of having it now. The law of attraction then returns that reality to you just as you saw it in your mind” (Byrnes). I focused my thoughts and my imagination on two things I wanted.
I wanted to be happy again.
I wanted to enjoy time with my friends and family again.
I immediately started feeling better as I visualized myself happy and content. Once I returned to New York City, slowly, I began to notice small changes in myself. I started to socialize with my siblings again. As I hung out with my brothers, I realized I was smiling again. Instead of running up to my room to dwell in darkness, I stayed a little while longer and enjoyed the company.
Although the company was great, this book was still at the back of mind. I was hungry to read more. Every word, phrase, and sentence were filled with optimism, enthusiasm and motivation. And the more I read, the freer and happier I began to feel. I became determined to rediscover my happy self. I made it a priority to become like the characters in the book…
Instead of dwelling on my loss and my broken heart, I refocused my thoughts on learning to drive, finding a job, going back to school, and earning good grades. I also started spending more time with my family during the evenings. After a few nights of hanging out with my mom and siblings, they began pointing out the changes in my attitude…
My goal became to allow this book to free me from the jaws of depression and from my negative, unhappy life. I always dreamt of a life full of abundance and happiness, but somehow felt trapped in negativity and bad situations. The secret and the concept of the law of attraction sanctioned me into a positive light, a place where I felt motivated and creative. My life became a world in which I saw the universe as a playground, where I felt inspired to create the life I wanted, instead of a place of misery and loneliness.
Above all, this book helped me escape the jaws of depression. I took my dark, lifeless room, filled it with happy quotes and white, flowery curtains, and made a little heaven that is full of sunlight. It is now my happy place, the place I go to imagine, visualize, and create my bright new future.
May 4, 2018
In March, four Plaza College students attended the National Sigma Tau Delta/Sigma Kappa Delta conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. National scholarship winner Diane Ferrer was honored for her essay at a celebratory luncheon. Read her award-winning essay below!
When I volunteer, I feel a sense of purpose. Serving my community, college, and the Chi Delta chapter has enabled me to deepen my compassion and commitment to helping others.
Over the past five years, I have had the privilege of serving my community. In 2012, I became involved with the Parent Teacher Association in Richmond Hills, Queens. My involvement led me to lead the Yearbook Committee for the graduating 5th Grade Class. In my coordinating efforts, I led a team of five parents. Together, we spent 25 hours a week for six months out of the year editing, formatting, and photographing to meet our deadlines. Then, in 2013, I led the Yearbook Committee for another year. This time I was also Co-president of the PTA and spent 30 hours as a volunteer in school activities. This was the experience of a lifetime, and I loved being a part of it. The end result was an outstanding yearbook, and our team was honored by the school for our hard work.
Furthermore, I have served my college. During the last two semesters, I formed two organizations to help lead our students to success. In order to prepare for the National Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) exam, Medical Assisting students are required to take a post-test to see where we stand. Many of my peers failed, and I was the only one who passed. As a result, I decided to help my peers pass. I formed a group that meets two times each week. I serve as the instructor for the group. For two hours, I review the questions and test my classmates. I have been surprised by the positive response. My goal is that all members will pass the RMA Exam.
In addition, this year I created a second organization called Resilience. The purpose of this group is to inspire struggling students not to give up. Many students balance school, a full-time job, and being parents. The stress of college can be overwhelming; thus, many drop out before the end of the semester. In Resilience, I create a safe space where members can come discuss the obstacles they are facing with others in similar situations. I moderate the group and try to help them manage their stress effectively and prioritize their studies. We have a total of 15 members. So far, I have already begun to witness improvement in both their morale and their faith in themselves.
Finally, I have served the Chi Delta chapter of Sigma Kappa Delta both as a member and in my new role as Chi Delta President. As a member, I served as the 2017 student ambassador between our chapter and the American Cancer Society. This year, I led our team of volunteers at the Making Strides for Breast Cancer Walk. We were there at the crack of dawn to help with many aspects of the registration process. In total, I recruited nearly 25 Chi Delta members for this year’s walk. Then, I was recently elected President of the Chi Delta Chapter. I am committed to making this year Chi Delta’s best ever. My goals including starting a motivational book club, planning monthly poetry readings, and forming our college’s first literary magazine.
These have been some of the most meaningful experiences of my life. I feel I am meant to be of service to others. With joy and commitment, I plan to continue my service to my community, college, and Chi Delta. I appreciate your consideration for this incredible honor
April 25, 2018
In March, four Plaza College students attended the National Sigma Tau Delta/Sigma Kappa Delta conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. Kammy Kamanpreet presented her original paper about the book I Too Had a Love Story by Ravinder Singh. Read an excerpt from her presentation below.
Something is definitely special about reading books. I don’t remember when I become a bibliophile, even though I read many books, but in 2012 I discovered an author who would ultimately change my life forever: Ravinder Singh…
His writing was especially meaningful to me because I was struggling with many constraints in my life. I am from an Indian background where women are mostly viewed only as accomplished mothers, courteous wives, and obedient daughters. Not independent women. According to some orthodox people in my home country, a perfect woman is the one who remains within the boundaries of the four walls of her home.
Then, I moved to the United States as an immigrant in 2015.
Adjusting to life in the United States was not easy at all. I started attending college, but the fast-paced life in New York was overwhelming. In addition, I left my parents in India and had almost no support. Even when I was somewhere physically, I was somewhere else mentally. I began to struggle with depression. One day, my anxiety led me to have a terrifying panic attack.
At the time I should be enjoying my life in a new country, I felt trapped, until one day in August 2016, almost magically, Ravinder Singh reappeared in my life. I discovered his latest book This Love That Feels Right on his Facebook page… While reading the book, I found many similarities between the protagonist, Naina, and me. Centrally, we both try to change our personalities for others. Like her, I wanted to be independent and have a career, but society was holding us back…
The transformation of her character from beginning to end affected me deeply. First, it reminded me that every day women adapt to and accept male dominance in their lives. Although women are going out and working in top positions, some people still don’t want to change their attitudes towards women…
Most importantly, Naina’s story gave me my confidence back. I learned to fight for myself. I realized if that Naina dared to overcome her fears, then why shouldn’t I? This book also explores the nature of freedom. It raises the question: Is there such a thing as a degree of freedom? In the book, Singh wrote: “The moment we attach a degree to freedom, we compromise the true meaning of freedom.” (Singh).
Singh’s views about freedom changed my perspective. Because of this book, I stopped listening to all the negativity around me. This was undoubtedly the biggest hurdle in my life. Reading this book helped me become happier and break through all the constraints that held me back earlier in my life… Above all, this book has helped me to set an example for other girls in my community who want to have both a marriage and a career.
Now I am crystal clear about my career and my life plans. Life is a struggle; either live the life or escape from it as it solely depends upon your choice.