In seeing the literary value in an otherwise daily ritual, OU-C student Jessica Lowe took first prize in the campus Writing Center’s most recent writing contest. Lowe’s smartly-crafted poem “The Drivers on St. Rt. 159” paints a vivid, entertaining description of the sights and frustrations experienced while traveling a two-lane highway. Or, to remain true to the author’s traffic-themed topic, Lowe took the high road in her writing journey.
|OU-C Dean Donna Burgraff congratulates Jessica Lowe|
“The Writing Center sponsored a Spring Slam in which we invited students to express what exasperates them most . . . what pushes their buttons . . . grinds their gears . . . and knots their Knickers,” Writing Center Coordinator Debra Nickles said. “Several students had something to write about and most responded with more traditional essays, narratives, and rants. Jessica’s poem stood out with its topic about crazy drivers on State Route 159. Readers could relate to the endless frustration of being stuck in slow-moving traffic, and its rhyming couplet form felt fun and relaxed.”
“I drive on State Route 159 everyday to get to OU-C and see the drivers I describe in the poem all the time,” said Lowe in explaining the inspiration behind her literary work. “It gets really annoying and, since 159 is a two-lane road, I rarely ever can get around these drivers. When Deb pointed out that the writing contest's theme was ‘complaining about things that annoy you’ I thought this would be the perfect topic to write about. Also, as a math tutor, I had to show the writing tutors that we math tutors are good writers, too!”
Lowe, a Logan Elm High School graduate, is majoring in middle childhood education with concentrations in mathematics and social studies. She looks to teach math to middle school students after graduating from college.
“I haven't written any poetry in a very long time. I'm not really much of a poet, but I felt that the rhyming sort of made this poem a bit more light-hearted and funny,” Lowe said. “I didn't want to sound too mean. And this is the one and only piece that I have ever written (and probably will ever write) about 159.”
For her efforts, Lowe earned a $75 gift certificate from the campus bookstore.
The theme of the upcoming Writing Center contest is “Transformations.” Currently-enrolled OU-C students are encouraged to submit any work of fiction or non-fiction of 1,200 words or fewer on this topic. The contest is open to all genres of writing such as academic papers, research papers, traditional prose, poetry, satire and collage.
Submissions are due by 4 p.m. on Nov. 12 at the Stevenson Center Learning Center. Entry forms are available in the Learning Center. For information, contact Nickles at firstname.lastname@example.org or (740) 774-7779.
Below is the winning entry in the spring writing contest:
The Drivers on St. Rt. 159
Every morning while driving in my car,
I get stuck behind other people who are
Driving as slow as a grazing bovine,
On what road am I traveling? Well, 159!
I get stuck behind a semi truck just chugging along.
Apparently he plans to be on this road his whole life long.
Would it kill you to go just a little bit quicker?
Maybe I should call that “How’s my Driving?” sticker…
Next I’m behind a huge slow pick-up truck,
Your car is massive! I’m simply dumbstruck.
Out of your muffler comes thick black smoke,
All I can do as I pass you is choke.
Up out of nowhere pops an old beat up Lincoln.
Oh wait? You’re 90 and still driving?? What are you thinkin’?
The fastest you go is somewhere near 45,
And the angrier I get, the slower you drive.
The mini-van is perhaps the most annoying of all,
Covered in a child’s achievements and favorite teams of baseball.
You hurry and rush to pull out in front of me,
But then you drive as slow as can be.
I travel every day on State Route 159,
Behind drivers who pay no attention to the speed limit sign.
To all of these travelers I have just one thing to say:
Please, oh please, get out of my way.