Tag Archives: RIM

Fabulous grads and fabulous friends of English

English is featured in the uW Daily Bulletin today. Read this great story about how scholarships from RIM (thanks RIM!) support graduate students in all of our English graduate programs.


Professor Morrison speaks on national radio

This morning I listened to my friend and colleague Aimée Morrison talk intelligently on CBC radio’s “The Current” about what the recent three-day outage of BlackBerry services means to us as people. What does the response tells us about how these devices have influenced, even shaped our lives? That was basically the question she was asked to address. And to answer it Professor Morrison spoke as a Humanist—not as a media geek (although she is digiwonk), not as a tech geek, not as a business person, but as an English professor. And how interesting it was to hear that difference. Where others used the language of technology and economics (as well as outrage and bafflement) Professor Morrison used anecdote, analogy, and metaphor.

She compared the experience to the electricity blackout in Toronto and other parts of Ontario a few years ago: both shocked us into realizing how much we take these services for granted. But whereas in the blackout people sat on the porches, with the BlackBerry breakdown of service it is as if someone has taken your whole house and you are sitting on the curb waiting for it to come back but feeling really anxious that it might not come back. And then you start to not like your house and you want to get rid of it (okay, I made that segue up), so you sell it and buy an iPhone or other device. The loss of BlackBerry service is experienced much like a relationship breakup. People feel betrayed, let down—hurt.

You can hear the whole interview here.

Yay Professor Morrison! And yay to CBC for contacting an English professor.

I confess: I was listening to the broadcast on my iHome while facebooking, emailing, reading the twitter feed, reading the Globe and Mail and playing Scrabble all on my iPad. My condolences to RIM, a company that is very important to our community.

English co-op students and English grads get jobs!

It’s a sad fact that many people (including Arts students themselves sometimes) think that English graduates will not get good  jobs. Besides all of the other things that an English degree teaches you–how to be a better citizen, what it means to be human in all of our diversity and complexity, how literature and language shape our knowledge and our sense of what is real and true (including self knowledge), how literature and language express emotion and can foster empathy, why the human imagination is important . . . . Oh, and yes, how to read carefully and with a critical eye, how to assess what we are reading, how to synthesize enormous amounts of information, how to interpret language and other sign systems, how to communicate effectively in oral, written, and digital fora , how to use our own imaginations for the greater good–English is also excellent training for a variety of jobs.

Um, perhaps that long sentence is not the best way to make my point!

Here’s the thing: our English students are much in demand, even by (perhaps) unlikely employers. For example, RIM (Research in Motion, of BlackBerry fame, but you know that) can’t get enough of our students for co-op and other jobs. They even come to us recruiting, as happened yesterday in the English department. With pizza! Pictured here are co-op students in English (both undergraduate and graduate) meeting with hiring managers from RIM and learning about available positions.

RIM recruiting meeting

RIM hires dozens of English co-op students every year for positions in technical writing, editing, website design, and other areas.

Did you know that English co-op has one of the best placement rates for students on the whole uW  campus?  Also, uW is one of the few universities that offers a co-op option for English Masters students.

We rock! And we get jobs 🙂