Alumni Staff

Abby Nisley

For as long as I can remember, I have been interested in writing.

This interest probably stemmed from my love of reading. The first book I read by myself was “Dick and Jane.”

I remember the feeling of finally realizing that those squiggly lines on the page meant something. “See Spot run” had never been read with more enthusiasm.

After “Dick and Jane” had lost its thrill, I asked my mom if we could go to the library to get more books.

The variety of books that the library offered amazed me, and I returned home with a sizeable stack. As the number of books I read increased, so did the desire to write stories of my own.

So my brother and I started a story club.

After school each day, we would meet and discuss topics we could write about. They were usually things that happened to us that day – finding a frog or going to the park – but we were thrilled to write down all our adventures in our notebooks and share them with our family.

This story club eventually evolved into our own newspaper.

My brother and I reported on all the latest household happenings, typed it up in a Microsoft Word document, and distributed it to everyone who would take a copy, which was usually our parents and siblings.

Although the newspaper was hardly professional, it did teach me a lot about spelling and grammar.

If I had trouble with forming a sentence or spelling a word, my dad would help me. Beyond giving me the right answer, he also explained why certain words must be capitalized or would make up an acronym to help me remember how to spell a word.

As a result, I became good at spelling and grammar. I liked editing and proofreading – maybe a little too much.

Once, my grandmother let me read her journal. I wasn’t concerned with the content – instead, I corrected all her spelling mistakes. I later learned to be more tactful when offering advice on someone else’s writing!

My affinity for spelling and grammar continued throughout middle and high school. I competed in numerous spelling bees, coauthored a book, and attended writing workshops.

When I finished my senior year, I knew that I wanted to continue to explore my love of language in college.

That opportunity was given to me at MCCC.

At the end of my first semester, my English professor recommended me for the Writing Fellow program. I was excited to be a part of a program that would allow me to tutor students in a subject I was passionate about.

This semester, I am even more excited to be a part of the Agora student newspaper. During the few short weeks I have been on the team, I have already learned so much. I look forward to exploring a new area of writing through this experience.