The English Homecoming Breakfast on Oct. 3 featured Melanie Devaney as its guest speaker, a woman who benefited greatly from her English education. An accomplished musician and songwriter, Devaney was kind enough to share her story with the staff and student members of the Loras English Department.
Having graduated from Loras in May 2000 with majors in English Literature and Creative Writing, Devaney initially opted for a career in publishing. However, feeling that she could achieve more with a college degree, she later became a journalist for the Galena Gazette. Though accomplished, she soon found the job too unchallenging, and eventually got a job at a coffee house while simultaneously applying to several graduate schools. When all of her applications were rejected, Devaney moved to Florida and got a position first as a marketing assistant and then at a dance studio. During this time, Devaney went through a difficult relationship breakup, which inspired her to write one of her earliest songs, “One Little Teardrop.”
Eventually, Devaney moved to Prescott, Arizona, a rough environment filled with even rougher individuals. Life there was difficult, but the challenge enticed her to continue her songwriting. In time, after returning to the Midwest for a while, she realized how important her music was to her, and thus decided to devote all of her talent and energy to her songs.
“It’s important to honor your creativity, whatever that creativity is,” said Devaney.
Throughout it all, Devaney asserted that her English skills played a prominent role in her life. Whether it’s writing her songs or in everyday social situations, she holds strongly that her faith-based education received through Loras is one of the most important working factors in her life. She encouraged others with talent in the field of English to pursue their dreams, no matter what life throws at them.