Well, this month’s woman of the hour (I probably shouldn’t say that, since hopefully in the future there will be some men of the hour) is Miss Maureen Male! I know, you’re probably thinking, “Look, Jessi, I can read. The title clearly says Katie Male. I think you goofed.”
Okay, okay, hear me out. Katie’s real name is Maureen, but she was sadly not aware of this fact until fourth grade, since she had grown up being called Katie. Personally, I don’t know why her parents didn’t just name her Katie if they weren’t even going to use her proper name, but who am I to judge? I’ve never had to name a kid before. It’s probably very stressful!
Anyway, Miss Maureen Male, for the purpose of this interview and for all social interactions hereto, I hereby dub thee Katie Male!
Katie is a junior English and Communications double major just like yours truly :-). I have gotten to know her through classes, and more recently as the editor of the Beacon, the on-campus newspaper I often write for. We also occasionally work together at the college library. Now, it isn’t a far stretch to view Katie’s editorial job as that of an artist, but the more I thought about what I knew of Katie, the more I realized that art was a much more far-reaching aspect of her life than just this.
All About Katie of the Beacon
In eighth grade, Katie transferred out of parochial school and began attending a public junior high school. She admits that she had difficulty making friends, but she will take no sympathy, for without this period of going it alone, she would never have turned to books for companionship. “When no one wanted to talk to me,” she says, “I would open a book and there would be familiar friends waiting to take me on their adventures. They didn’t care that I didn’t have the best clothes, that I was shy and awkward, or that I was plus sized. They loved me despite of all of that.” Some of Katie’s dearest “friends” were Meg Cabot and Nicholas Sparks. Eighth grade was also the year that Katie discovered the book The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things. “That book changed my life,” she says.
Katie’s life was changed not only because she learned to love literature and love herself, but also because she learned to love learning itself. She is ambitious in her studies at Roberts Wesleyan College where she majors in both English Language and Literature and Communication Arts. “[While in school] I’m in this constant mode of learning, this constant role of looking at the world in different ways and questioning it. Therefore, there is a lot for me to write about.”
In this way, being a student has encouraged Katie–like any true literature buff–to pursue her own writing projects. “I hope that I can write a book that will connect me to readers as though we are kindred spirits.” While the academic nature of the college lifestyle is very conducive to writing, Katie plans to continue this creative habit for much of her life after graduation. “Hopefully . . . I won’t lose my questioning mind after leaving college.”
Katie’s inquisitive mind has led her to experiment with her own poetry and short stories as well as with music and theater. In addition to playing Maria in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night in high school, Katie appeared in several musicals such as Little Women, Kiss Me Kate, and The Music Man. “I love music,” Katie says, “though it is probably the one form of art that I am most insecure about. I’m scared that someone is going to walk up to me and say it was the worst thing they ever heard.” From what I have heard, Katie has little to worry about ;-). Katie also enjoys photography and photo editing, in fact all of the images in this post were either taken or post-processed by Katie herself.
Katie is also a girl after my own heart in the sense that she loves fashion.”Fashion is very important to me because it is a way that I can express myself and show people who I am. I don’t have a ton of money to spend on clothing with important name tags on them, but it’s much better that way because my pocketbook helps me be innovative.” She says that shopping for plus-sized clothing also requires her to employ some creativity. “It is very difficult to find trendy clothing that goes beyond a size 12; however, after doing some work, I’ve found great stores that fit my size like Forever 21+, Gap, and L.L Bean.”
One way in which Katie takes art into her “nine to phive” professional life is by working for the Student News Cooperative Wire writing movie reviews; however, she is much more well-known on campus as the Editor-in-Chief of the student-run newspaper the Beacon. When asked how she likes being responsible for critiquing the work of other artists, Katie says without hesitation, “I love it!” Being a writer herself, Katie understands how close authors feel to their pieces, and this makes her a very judicious editor. “Our writers are lucky that we can afford to have them write about what they love because there are times when you won’t be able to.” Katie hopes that the Beacon isn’t just another newspaper. She wants to make people think. In her words,
“Life isn’t worth living in a world where we don’t question anything.”
Katie also writes a blog, Hello Kitty, Jane Austen, and a Girl Named Katie, although she admits that she has been neglectful lately. (Really, Katie, who hasn’t?) Her writing style is honest and enchanting, and she writes about daily experiences relevant to writers and other artists. “I want a people to look at my posts and laugh at the beautiful mess I make at life. I know that I am a loud, crazy, plus-sized and unusual woman, and I am okay with that because God made me to be that woman.”
Who God has created her to be is one of the primary shaping factors of Katie’s life and art. “My faith is the lens that I use to look at the world and, therefore, is how I look at my art. God needed to be in every aspect of my life. What I say, how I act, what I create, every fiber needs the beautiful thread of God woven into it. Otherwise, it’s useless.”
The Third Degree!
Name: Maureen Katie-Rose Male
Family: I have three other siblings just as loud as I am and a mom, dad, and grandma that love me like crazy.
Occupation: Staff Assistant at B. Thomas Golisano Library, Editor-in-Chief of The Beacon, Movie Critic for SNCW, Full-time college student
How many digits in a paycheck? Four
What is your favorite song? “Everything” by Michael Buble (From Jessi: This just tickles me because Josh always told me that “Everything” was our song)
What is art? For me, art is all about the creation. When I am writing, I’m creating a mood, a picture, a story. When I’m singing, I’m creating a melody. When I pick up my camera, I’m creating an image. I also think that art speaks to us, not in the literal sense. I hope my photographs aren’t actually speaking to you, but I do hope that looking at a photo I took, or hearing my voice, or reading my words affects you in some way.
Modern or classical lit? Classical lit, no doubt.
Walking or driving? I hate cars. I don’t like driving cars; I don’t like riding in cars. So yes, walking would be preferred, especially when I have my iPod with me. I put on a song, and I start walking, and it’s like I’m a character in a movie, where mood music is playing. My ultimate walking song is “You Make My Dreams” by Hall & Oates. You can’t help but feel good when you are walking to that song.
Coffee or tea? Coffee, coffee, coffee! I live to wake up in the morning and grab a cup of coffee. When people suggest places to eat, I argue that coffeehouses are the place to go. Then, if we end up eating at a diner, and I get a rinky-dink cup of coffee that they usually serve, I look at the waitress and say, “Um excuse me, but can you please bring this back in a bowl?” I LOVE coffee!