Reading and studying great works of American and English literature inspired and energized my creative impulses and helped create a lifelong desire to gain knowledge and understanding of the world around me in all its complexities and mysteries. As such, it has been contributed to my success as an author and journalist, as I have tackled many difficult and challenging issues and subjects in my career. My studies while earning my degree also impressed upon me the importance of precision in the choice of words. It also made me forever aware of the extraordinary range of words in the English language available to convey both information, descriptions, emotion and insight. I still recall "epiphanies" I felt as a student in my understanding of the human condition while taking courses in Chaucer, Shakespeare, 20th Century English Poets, 19th Century English Novelists. My freshman course in English literature remains with me today. I recall reading and enjoying such novels such as Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and E.M. Forster's A Passage to India. I fondly recall discussing with fellow class mates William Butler Yeats’ poem "The Second Coming." I cherish what I learned about the writing craft in a course in creative writing under the legendary Professor Blackburn. Being an English graduate from Duke University has enriched my life and given me a broader perspective on the world than I would otherwise have. Employers and clients have valued that perspective and it has helped me succeed in the many assignments that have come my way.