What to Do in Albuquerque: Suggestions from UNM English Majors (Part 1)

Students of
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM

¡Bienvenidos! Welcome to Albuquerque!

Greetings, Sigma Tau Delta members! As Professional Writing students at the University of New Mexico (UNM) in Albuquerque, we’re looking forward to your visit to our city for the 2015 Sigma Tau Delta Convention.

There are many great things to do in Albuquerque, and we’d like to offer some suggestions about food, shopping, and entertainment while you’re in town.

Ready? Let’s go!

“Albuquerque is rich with history, and what better place to discover it than historic Old Town? Old Town is a plaza that contains everything from old souvenir shops to high-end galleries. You’ll get your pick of beautiful turquoise jewelry and Native American pottery. Don’t forget to take pictures in the historic gazebo in the heart of Old Town or to visit the beautiful San Felipe Church, Albuquerque’s oldest building. You absolutely cannot leave Old Town without visiting a very important and unique shop: The Candy Lady. This woman has been making candy for decades here in Old Town and you’ve never seen candy like it.” (Suggested by Cassandra Baldonado)

From left to right: San Felipe de Neri Church (credit: MarbleStreetStudio.com), Old Town Plaza Gazebo (credit: MarbleStreetStudio.com), and The Candy Lady

From left to right: San Felipe de Neri Church (credit: MarbleStreetStudio.com), Old Town Plaza Gazebo (credit: MarbleStreetStudio.com), and The Candy Lady

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

“If you’re looking for some late night excitement, try Old Town’s ghost tour, held nightly at 8 p.m. You’ll learn about the many curious unexplained phenomena associated with the site. Call for reservation (505-246-8687). For an interesting daytime activity, head over to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. It’s a nice museum with a collection of artifacts related to the culture and history of the Pueblo people. Some artifacts and pottery date back more than a thousand years. The Center also has an art gallery, a restaurant, and a large gift shop, and you can watch demonstrations of Native dances. If you’re lucky to be in Albuquerque on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday evening, you can enjoy live music on the patio while you sample fresh and authentic Native American food. In addition, the courtyard offers live Native American dances every weekend.” (Suggested by Ana Cobos)

Lindy's Diner

Lindy’s Diner

“While you’re in Albuquerque, how about a trip to the library? No, not that library. I’m talking about the Library Bar and Grill, a great place for nightlife within walking distance of the convention center. When the dancing ends and you want a little something to snack on, look no farther than one street over where Lindy’s Diner is open till 3 a.m. Within easy walking distance from every club in the downtown area, Lindy’s is convenient and affordable, and the food is amazing. Serving a variety of foods including Spanish and Mediterranean, Lindy’s Diner has a lot of history. It opened in 1929, and was first known as the Coney Island Café! With a friendly staff that will be more than happy to accommodate you after a night out, Lindy’s can’t be beat!” (Suggested by Victoria Chacon)

“Looking for some outdoors action? Head over to Routes Bicycle Rental & Tours to rent a bike and take a peaceful uninterrupted bike ride through the Bosque (a forested area) along the Rio Grande. Although located inside urban territory, this trail provides a great ride with excellent scenery. For another great way to exercise in town, head over to Stone Age at 4130 Cutler St. and have a go at indoor rock climbing.” (Suggested by Isaiah Jordan)

El Patio“There are plenty of good restaurants in Albuquerque, but for the best New Mexican cuisine head to El Patio, an old house-turned-restaurant in the university area. The secret to El Patio is, of course, its lovely little patio, complete with Spanish guitarist for dinner entertainment. Everything on the menu is amazing but check out their combination plates for the full range of New Mexican food. Anything with green chile will be a life changing experience, but their chile is on the spicy side, so beware! You can’t go wrong with the green chile chicken enchiladas, an Albuquerque favorite. For dessert, go to Old Town and visit The Candy Lady, where you can choose from eighteen kinds of fudge. But since you’re in Albuquerque, you’ll really have to try the green chile chocolate fudge. Eat it slowly and marvel over the brilliant idea of bringing spicy green chile and sweet milk chocolate together.” (Suggested by Marie Dosanjh)


To Facebook, or Not To Facebook…

Kaitlynn HelmKaitlynn Helm
Chi Theta Chapter
West Texas A&M University
Canyon, TX

The Chi Theta Chapter at West Texas A&M University has adopted social media as our primary means of communication among members. However, we have also begun to utilize our Facebook page in ways that are mutually beneficial to active members and those outside the chapter. Our page facilitates event information, important chapter and international announcements/reminders, and serves as a space to share photos from events, volunteer projects, and socials. We also use the ‘Notes’ function, which allows easy access to the Constitution and other relevant information.

English Department Forecast for the Week

English Department Forecast for the Week

Our page posts English related articles and engaging memes for the enjoyment of members and fellow English lovers alike. My favorite function of our page is the “English Department Forecast for the Week.” This weekly forecast is a hub of information for the entire English Department—times, dates, and locations for all department related events in one place. This function also increases our chapter’s positive image in the English Department and around campus and illustrates our steadfast dedication and support for all things English on campus and in the community.

All Sigma Tau Delta officers are admins (with the President as chief admin) and all are expected to contribute when they can. I absolutely prefer a Facebook Page to a Facebook Group or Profile because of how much more accessible and inclusive it is. Making our page helpful, engaging, and relevant to a wide audience has been a learning process. Increasing our audience to those outside our chapter has also increased our visibility on campus and in the community. For example: When we go out into the community to volunteer we help raise awareness for a cause, simultaneously promoting our own chapter’s dedication to community service.

wtamublog1Some key factors in running a successful page are: posting frequently, sharing the page and inviting others to like the page to increase visibility, and keeping the language lively and semi-formal. Keeping the page active and current can be time consuming, but is a wonderful way to keep members and the community up to date with chapter activities. There are many little things we do to make our page more effective: manage tabs, customize the URL, schedule posts, create photo albums, assign category and subcategory tags, and update general and page information settings. We are still learning what’s effective and what’s not—but Facebook has great tools to calculate that too. The “Insights” tab provides excellent feedback. I highly recommend navigating carefully through this feature to get the most out of your page.


Facebook Insights

We haven’t looked into any other social media outlets yet, but it’s something to consider down the road… For now, Facebook’s fast, free, and easy to manage medium serves us well, and we hope to continue the momentum our page has gained.

We invite you to check out our Facebook page (or even to message us with some tips of your own). You can find us by following this link: https://www.facebook.com/WTAMUSigmaTauDelta

Related Society Links

With Mirth in Funeral: A Lesson from the Start of a P.C. Somerville Teacher’s Career

Laura WilliamsLaura Williams
Alpha Mu Gamma Chapter
Rockhurst University
Kansas City, MO

It was a dark and rainy Thursday as I slogged my way up the steps of Bishop Ward High School. I pulled up the blinds in my room, revealing a roaring, pitch-black world. Perfect. I made a passable lectern by stacking a stubby podium on a desk and shrouding it with a cardigan. I fanned out a bouquet of raven-colored roses on top of the cloth and added the finishing touches—a pink and cream conch shell and a framed picture of Piggy. A funeral march wafted softly from my speakers as I headed into the hall to welcome students to my first class of the day, Honors Sophomore English.

The lectern and display for the memorial service

The lectern and display for the memorial service.

After morning announcements, I walked up to the lectern, exchanged solemn gazes with my students, and began: “Friends, we are gathered here today to mourn the loss of a true, wise friend called Piggy. Piggy was wise beyond his years, of which there were all too few.” I produced a Kleenex box I’d hidden in the podium and dabbed my eyes before continuing. “Piggy believed in a better world, a wiser world, a world in which novels written about the theme of savagery vs. civilization would end with civilization proving victorious. He gave his life pursuing that vision. Rest in peace, Piggy.”

The students broke into applause as I stepped back from the podium. Surprised, I swept a grateful bow. So far, so good. Now it was time to reveal the assignment. When I told my students that they would share their own words for Piggy later in the lesson, there were shy shrinking-backs, nervous glances, and the obligatory do-I-have-to?’s. However, my scholars rose to the challenge. One by one, they stepped up to the podium and took the stage.

A small sampling of the delicacies my students will be devouring this year

A small sampling of the delicacies my students will be devouring this year.

If I had any doubts about whether Lord of The Flies was having an impact, they were laid to rest by the humorous and heartfelt eulogies my students shared. The first student quoted a Fall Out Boy song, promising that Piggy would be remembered for centuries. A few confessed that they had found him annoying at first but had grown to love him. They commended him for his intelligence and perseverance and lamented the bullying that had dogged his days. One student even said that Piggy was one of the best and bravest characters he has ever read about. The second the final speaker returned to her seat, a thunderclap shook the room. I may be an English major, but the timing was beyond words. My students and I savored the perfection in awed silence. For all the time that goes into lesson planning, the best moments are often the ones I could never anticipate. As I continue my work as an educator, I greatly look forward to sharing more times like these with my students.

Bishop Ward High School

Bishop Ward High School

First, I would like to thank my exceptional students for their creativity and energy (and for allowing me to get away with eccentric lessons, like memorial services for fictional characters). I also want to thank my esteemed colleagues at Bishop Ward High School for welcoming me to the Cyclone Family. Next, I want to thank my friends, family, and professors for encouraging me on my journey to a classroom of my own. A huge thank you goes out to Sigma Tau Delta for supporting my academic work on both sides of the desk. To close, thank you, dear reader. I hope your year is filled with both glorious words and with moments so perfect that they are beyond words!

About the Somerville Awards For Future Teachers

Laura Williams received the P.C. Somerville Teaching Award ($2,000) for the academic year. Named in honor of Sigma Tau Delta’s first President, applications for the Somerville Awards are currently being accepted from active undergraduate members who will begin their first year of teaching elementary, middle, or high school English by September 2015.

The deadline for the Somerville Awards and other academic scholarships and awards is November 10, 2014.