Name Amanda Prahl
Graduation year 2011
Major BA English Literature; BA Political Science
What's your current job?
I'm currently an MFA Dramatic Writing candidate, teaching a screenwriting class here at ASU and working on my third play which will have its first reading this November. I'm also a private piano teacher and a published freelance writer.
How does language and culture help you succeed in your career?
I often write about periods of history, particularly European history, and draw on knowledge gained from SILC courses; my previous play was in fact inspired by a historical figure I first encountered in a course on Renaissance Paris and Florence. I specialize in musical theatre, which has a rich and close relationship to the opera tradition, so my knowledge of that cultural institution has helped me both in my creative and academic pursuits.
How did ASU and the language program at SILC prepare you for your future?
As simple as it sounds, I feel like knowing a second language is a true asset and something that brings me a lot of joy, particularly because it allows me to connect to my own heritage. It also reinforced a detail-oriented approach to language in general, which is very useful for a professional writer.
What was your favorite thing about learning a language?
I'm going to cheat and say two things! First, the joy of learning the language of my not-very-distant-at-all ancestors, which allowed me to connect to the culture that has been an undercurrent of my whole life. Second, I love language and words in general, so getting to explore a whole new language - and meet some wonderful people along the way - was a true joy.
Any advice for current language studies students?
Don't expect too much of yourself all at once; take it in pieces. And above all, build a good relationship with your professors and fellow students, and never be afraid to ask for more explanation or help.