An Interview with Chelsea Getchell (’22) – Framingham State University English Department

Year: Senior (class of 2022)
Major: English (specialized program)

[Note: we interviewed Chelsea during Spring 2022.]

Q Why did you decide to major in English?

A. I decided to major in English because it was always my best subject in school. I’ve always leaned on it. I had great English teachers who made it fun. So I think it was kind of related to wanting to be a teacher.

Q What do you love most about being an English major at FSU?

A. I really like our discussion-based courses. I also like to do projects, but discussion-based classes which I have always found very interesting in middle school, high school and university. I think it’s really easy to get involved in it and it makes the class more enjoyable. You can form ideas and participate because something a classmate says can trigger an idea. I had the best experiences in these kinds of classes because they felt like small communities, since we talked to each other during class instead of doing independent exams and assignments. Some discussion-based courses I took included Literary Study, Gender in Contemporary World Literature, Contemporary American Fiction, and a Literature Seminar. Dr. Desmond McCarthy and Dr. Rachel Trousdale taught my favorite classes at FSU.

Q What were your favorite classes?

A. It’s difficult. I absolutely loved Developmental Psychology – this is an education class. I took a specialized course with Dr. Lisa Eck in my second year called Gender in Contemporary Global Literature. We read Marjane Satrapi Persepolis, which is a graphic novel, and one of the first graphic novels I read for a class. I really, really enjoyed that one because I had never studied a graphic novel before, so it was something new and different, and it was super interesting and easy to understand. I also enjoyed Art Spiegelman Mauswhich was another graphic novel.

Q Tell us about your honors thesis.

A. I have written about Toni Morrison and three of her novels: Beloved, the bluest eyeand a mercy. And I actually got the idea for the article from a shorter article I wrote for Dr. Desmond McCarthy. He was also my thesis adviser, so he really knew what I was writing about from the start. I started in the spring of 2021, so it took about a year to complete, which is a bit longer than most students. Dr. McCarthy was a huge help through the process – I will be forever grateful to him for helping me through this. It took me longer than expected, but I’m really happy with the result. I never thought I would be able to write so many pages on one subject, but I did. So I’m very proud of that.

Chelsea Getchel
Chelsea Getchel

Q What made you want to become a teacher?

A. I always loved English at school and had amazing teachers. I also tutored an 8th grader in my senior year of high school, so that inspired me. Maybe I would be a good English teacher too!

Q Can you tell us a bit about your teaching to students?

A. The first week is devoted to observations and assistance. The second week, we resume our first lesson. And then slowly for the rest of the semester, we take two more classes. We therefore have 80% of the responsibility of a full-time teacher. I absolutely loved the placement at Whitcomb Middle School in Marlborough and the site practitioner I was paired with. Professor Jenn De Leon was my FSU advisor and Kelly Albino was my supervising practitioner. I really enjoyed our partnership. We share the same ideas and we have worked very well together. Kelly was amazing with all the advice she gave me, and I’m so grateful for all her help.

Q Can you tell us about your experience as a college athlete on the FSU field hockey team?

A. I started my freshman year with Field hockey and I really enjoyed it. One of my main memories is the pre-season every year. Fall athletes move in a week and a half before all other non-athlete students. That’s a lot of just bonding time with teammates before classes start. We’re really focused on showing everyone around campus and having team meals together. I really liked the bonds that we forged with each other. It was like having embedded friends going to college, which made the transition much smoother. Over the past few years my coaches – Allie Lucenta, Meg Fountaine and Lane Melanson – have been very supportive with team and life issues. They really go to great lengths to extend and let us know that we are welcome to text them if we have a day off or need anything. That was another thing that made college easy: knowing that we had other people who weren’t students, who maybe had a bit more authority to support us with whatever we might need. They’re not much older than us, they’re in their twenties. Their vision of college is very similar to ours. I’m glad I had coaches who really care about us outside of sport!

Q Do you have hobbies?

A. I like to be artistic when I can; I like to paint sometimes. I am also a great reader: some of my favorite books are those of Kristin Hannah The Nightingale and that of Jandy Nelson I will give you the sun.

Q How was your study abroad experience?

A. I loved to study abroad! I am so grateful for the experiences I had and the friends I met there. I ended up going to five countries, including the Netherlands and Germany – I think Germany was my favorite of them all. I would have liked to have had more time in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, the trip was cut short due to COVID-19, but I’m still so lucky to have had the experience I had.

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