Name: Tess Childress’14.
Hometown: St. Louis, Mo.
Major/minor: Creative writing.
What brought me to Beloit: As a sophomore in high school exploring a college fair just for fun, then-admissions counselor Bryan Gould complimented the Spiderman temporary tattoo I’d forgotten was on my cheek. I think from that moment I just knew.
My favorite class so far, and why you should take it: The Beloit Fiction Journal workshop. I think it’s essential for English majors; I learned so much about how to know what good writing is (even if I don’t like it), how to express my thoughts eloquently enough to persuade the editors who disagree, and how to format and put together a book. Plus, when it’s all over, you have a physical manifestation of all the work you’ve done, which is so satisfying and something you don’t always get from a class.
You may have seen me: in the library or in Java Joint, with my legs folded up to my chest, my hair in my face, and a gluten-free wrap in one hand, a cup of coffee in the other, reading a book or an article on Buzzfeed.
The best book I’ve read at Beloit: The one I’m reading right now is pretty good! Stay Awake, a collection of short stories by Dan Chaon. The stories are about eerie happenings, how our minds try to make sense of seemingly unconnected life events, how we reconcile the fact that we don’t have as much control over our lives as we pretend we do.
What are you working on? Short stories about young women coming of age, how the past entangles itself with the present and dreams entangle themselves with reality, set in different neighborhoods in Saint Louis.
What’s on your desert island jukebox? David Bowie, Sufjan Stevens, and Francoise Hardy. And Justin Timberlake.
What’s on your Beloit College bucket list? To get published. Or at least to go inside Anthro House.
Any advice? Most of the things we worry about never happen.
What gets you up in the morning? “Dancing on my Own” by Robyn.
Who are your heroes? Flannery O’Connor, Chris Fink, and my entire Irish Catholic family.
Proudest moment? Most recently, the BFJ gala. Holding a physical copy of hard work and getting to share stories from it with friends and professors was a big moment for me.
What’s your karaoke standard? “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler