Current UA student Megan Butler is an English major graduating May 2015. Megan is currently a Blount Student Ambassador, Prospective Students Ambassador and member of English honor society, Sigma Tau Delta. Last semester, Megan had the opportunity to serve as a Honors Year One mentor to freshmen. Outside of class, Megan is involved with life group at Calvary Baptist and a regular at the Rec’s Sunday yoga classes. Mosaic had the opportunity to catch up with Megan and asked her a few questions to get to know her better. 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received here at UA?

I think the best advice has been to make sure I go out and try everything that I can without worrying so much about my schoolwork. Schoolwork is important, but I’m the kind of person that’s going to sit in my room and do schoolwork 24/7 if that’s all that’s presented to me.

So the best advice I’ve been given is to try not to focus so much on being the grade-A student, but rather focus on creating a life for myself here so I can make friends that will last way longer than any particular grade in a class.

And the funniest advice?

I keep thinking about the Crimson Ride. Everyone tells me not to take the Crimson Ride, but that’s my life because I’m the laziest person ever and I hate walking from the Rec to here [Gorgas]. It’s so weird though because the Crimson Ride is really convenient.

You just use that little app and you’re fine. You can track the bus to stalk it. You get on it, get to your spot, and you’re good to go.

So what’s always in your schoolbag?

  • I’ve always got a water bottle or coffee, but mostly water.
  • I’ve got this big ‘ole binder with five different tabs that I can put all my papers in.
  • I always have my agenda. It’s a Vera Bradley agenda. I got it for Christmas and I love it.
  • Books! I have so many books. It used to be textbooks but now its mainly three or four good-sized novels that I happen to be reading in my spare time.

Name five things you’re loving right now.

  1. I’ve recently rediscovered how much I love John Green just because he’s such a teachable person. He’s just awesome, and his books are getting ready to become movies.
  2. Food. I think food is important. Since I have a kitchen now, I can actually cook and bake and I love to bake. I recently made these Biscoff chocolate chip cookies. They’re the greatest things ever.
  3. In terms of John Green, I’ve been rereading Paper Towns. That one is my favorite.
  4. Yoga.
  5. Running. I’ve really gotten into running for some odd reason. Thank God for that because with those Biscoff cookies, I think I definitely need running in my life.

What’s your favorite classic book?

Would you count 1984? I think 1984 is my favorite just because if I were to ever teach a high school English class, I would want to do a whole dystopian unit because I think it’s very important to be aware of where our society can go. Hunger Games, of course my obsession, parallels 1984 very nicely. I think there’s something to be said about what could happen to society if we neglect it. Orwell does a really good job of showing that.

And your favorite modern book?

Well, I could say Hunger Games. I did say Paper Towns too. That one’s really tough. I’m going to put both because Suzanne Collins does a really good job of showing how enamored we’ve become with entertainment. She also shows what happens when we become empty minds staring at a screen and letting entertainment feed us all this information and not sifting through it – what happens if we don’t talk about things. Paper Towns is just contemporary young adult fiction. It’s very popular right now and that’s because you can talk about subjects like death and family issues in a way that’s relatable but at the same time approachable. John Green does a really good job of that in Paper Towns.

Speaking of books, lets discuss Harper Lee. Regarding the news of Harper Lee publishing her long-lost sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird, how excited are you on a scale of 1-10?

Like twenty. I actually didn’t appreciate To Kill A Mockingbird when I read it my freshman year in high school. I didn’t realize how important it was and how good it was as a classic because many classics, in my opinion, aren’t all that great. There’s something about the fact that a piece of classic literature doesn’t become a classic until decades after it’s been written. But since we’ve already seen where To Kill A Mockingbirdhas come from, we’re living in a historic moment where we know the future of this sequel, and I think that’s a really cool opportunity, especially being an English major in Alabama right now. I actually know that this book can go somewhere. I’m really looking forward to seeing how that plays out in history, decades down the road.

What are your thoughts on the announcement and how the world is reacting to the news? So there’s been some criticism…

I think it’s interesting that people want to be skeptical. It’s almost like they’re trying to safeguard their literary heart. They know that this can be a great thing, but it’s like they don’t want to ruin the image, this love affair they had with the original book. I understand that, but at the same time I think that they need to be open-minded to the fact that this could be a great literary opportunity. 

Last question. If you could host a dinner party, with any five people living or dead, who would be there? And what would you cook?

Virginia Woolf came to mind. I think she would be a very interesting dinner guest. Then we’d have to throw someone in there who’s like her polar opposite. 

Sigmund Freud! That would be fun. He’d be analyzing everybody’s thoughts, and I have a feeling Virginia Woolf would not be very happy about what he has to say.

Aunt Bethany from Christmas Vacation would be the perfect addition to this kind of dinner party. Whenever I’m asked through some sort of icebreaker who my spirit animal is, I’m totally claiming Aunt Bethany. She’s such an innocent soul, so innocent, it affects her hearing, and it’d be funny to see how she interprets the other disjointed conversations.

Katniss Everdeen. She’d be fun. 

Miley Cyrus. Just because I don’t like Miley Cyrus and that she’s made poor life decisions. I would love to see how the Victorian era matches up with her.

 I’m curious to see how all these characters would interact with each other. This is just a completely fictional dinner. I would make it a dessert party because I love desserts, and that’s all I make.