When I was a Professional Writing (PW) student at Michigan State University, I kept to myself. I participated during class discussions, but never felt especially compelled to socialize outside of the confines of the beloved 317 Bessey Hall — a room filled with now-outdated Macs, candy, wall decals, and Squishables.
During my final semester at MSU, I took my program’s capstone course — a portfolio workshop — and connected with students across tracks that I may not have otherwise met. Once weekly, some of these students gathered at Woody’s Oasis on E. Grand River Ave. in East Lansing for a beer or funky libation — if only their drink menu were available online! — to chat about their professional, personal, and academic lives. I caught on a bit late, but I soon joined in, as did our professors (offering a unique, valuable out-of-classroom perspective). Quite quickly, Beer Rhetorics — the name assigned to this weekly hangout — became a staple in my weekly routine, without breaking the bank (thank you for the inexpensive house drinks, Woody’s!).
Looking back, it’s amazing to see how much all of us have grown. Many have relocated to New York, Chicago, and beyond. Others have begun work toward a Master’s or PhD. Some have even married. For those of us who have moved away, we strive to keep that PW bond going.
Last night marked a successful meeting of what we will affectionately call Beer Rhetorics | NY. My first-ever time at the Bohemian Hall Beer Garden off of 24th Avenue in Astoria, seven of us met to kibitz about life and to reminisce about our days in East Lansing.
We hope to meet monthly, so if you’re an MSU alum (not necessarily PW!), feel free to join in on the fun!