Your name: Allison Lin
Your home town: Moorestown, New Jersey
Your major(s): English, Classical Civilizations, Pre-Med
Are you fluent in any language(s) other than English? No
What are your career plans? Medicine, journalism, or some combination of both!
What is your favorite book or author and why? I love Vladimir Nabokov because both his prose and his verse are deceptively beautiful. His words are doubly powerful because they’re incredibly romantic and persuasive, but deal with such sobering and even disturbing subject matter.
What is your favorite word? I like the word pyrrhic because it looks and sounds so elegant, and because it is rooted in ancient Greek and Roman history. I love the story behind it and I love its complex and unique definition.
Describe (in a short paragraph) a significant breakthrough in your development as a writer: My experience learning Latin and Roman history in high school was a critical part of the breakthrough I had regarding the power of the written word. Looking at the texts, translating them in the twenty-first century, it occurred to me just how long this writing had survived and its impact on countless individuals who existed long after the writer and his subject matter had turned to dust. It makes me realize that language and writing have resonance so far beyond the scope of our original intention, and that the most seemingly inconsequential persuasive essay or short story has the power to move someone or teach someone and to live on through his or her memory and action. It’s a tool that we so often take for granted but any writer, knowingly or not, shoulders a burden every time she puts pen to paper. This knowledge has helped me approach writing with a greater sense of appreciation, and of gravity, because I know that the written word is helping me to preserve something I can’t yet predict.