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AlumNews: Talon Articles

Mitchell excels in English department

Tuesday, February 12, 2008  
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By Curtis Elmore

Senior Paul Mitchell will soon have one of his papers published in the Sigma Tau Delta Review.

"I encouraged him to submit his Agamemnon paper, which he originally did for my World Literature I course, to the 'Review,'" English professor Cami Agan said.  "His ability to integrate complex theoretical ideas, take interdisciplinary ideas and put them together into context typically doesn't happen until the graduate level."

Mitchell's paper is called "The Net of Viewing: Cassandra and the Audience of Agamemnon."

Mitchell's paper is about the theme of silence in the play: Agamemnon; where Cassandra, who could see into the future and tries to convince the chorus that Agamemnon was to be murdered, but no one would believe her because of a contrary prophesy.

"The more complex I found out about my subject, the more I wanted to learn," Mitchell said.  "The more I learned, the more I wanted to learn."

Mitchell also had a poem published, "From Pittsburg to Portland:  A Poem of Love," a personification of the two cities in two people's relationship dynamics.

"I've always been impressed with his accomplishments in the classroom as well as his acting and singing ability," Administrative Coordinator for the Department of Language and Literature Frances Sawyer said.  "He's always thinking of creative things to do in this department."

Mitchell is also the president of Alpha Psi Omega, the national theatre honor society, the student director of the writing center and has played large roles in several Oklahoma Christian theater and musical productions.

"He's just a real encourager," Sawyer said.  "He encourages students to be active - to be involved in activities of the department.  He's involved in the departmental chapel and leads singing, as well as Spanish chapel.  He's always willing to do whatever we need."

Mitchell will graduate in April, double majoring in English Literature and Theater with a double minor in Spanish and English Writing.

Mitchell has been in three of five Valentine Cabarets and five of six musicals.  He directed the theater production "Right You Are if You Think You Are," by Luigi Pirandello in the spring of 2006.

"People seem to treat theatre as a hobby that shouldn't be taken seriously," Mitchell said.  "Theater is a good medium to escape from reality, but also is great for interpreting our reality, how we perceive things. I feel that is one of the most powerful of mediums."

Some things Mitchell is working on as Sigma Tau Delta president will not go into effect until after he graduates.  He feels the department and the university are to be respected for the continuing efforts in the Sigma Tau Delta southwestern conference.

Mitchell wants people to care about literature.

"Our department is passionate about literature," Mitchell said. "I can think of no greater environment to learn literature than this department. It's not going to be as affective if the students are not involved."

Mitchell heard about Oklahoma Christian through his youth minister and his wife, both alumni of the university.  He continues to be involved in recruiting prospective students.

Sawyer said the department depends on Mitchell.

"He wants to do more than he has to; he's a real part of this department," Sawyer said.  "He stands out in my mind as being so multi-talented: smart, great in theatre, great with people, an overall talented student."  

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