CQUni Knows Laura
My name is Laura Stanfield. I’m studying a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Creative Writing, Cultural Literary Studies and Drama.
I’ve been dancing since I was three; I’ve done ballet, jazz, contemporary and cabaret, but my father drew the line at tap – it’s too loud! I’ve had to stop, but did drama and a bit of theatre in high school and I absolutely loved it. I like teaching as well; I have a tutoring position with six students and they’re all really wonderful. I really enjoy it.
I want to become a secondary drama and English teacher but they don’t offer drama right now with the Bachelor of Secondary Education, so I’m doing a Bachelor of Arts instead. I feel like it has a lot more freedom with it and I really like the units in the degree. Creative writing was one of the main majors that really caught my attention.
I’ve lived in Rockhampton all my life, and it’s close and convenient. There is the cost factor of living at home. That’s probably one of the big reasons why I did stay, and I’m near my family as well. But I also like how CQUni have different campuses around Australia. I’m studying online which is really flexible; there are a lot of online video tutorials and stuff that really works well for me. And I do a lot of my drama courses through the Mackay campus externally. That’s really good. So, why move when I can study through all these different campuses from the same university?
Within the Bachelor of Arts, there are a variety of extensive units to choose from but I have no set plans. I have spoken to staff in regards to what courses I should do, but mostly I’ve been able to pick which ones I can do. What I like most are the creative writing aspects. The freedom to write my own, whether it’s fiction, non-fiction… I do enjoy that. And there’s no limit – I can write a story or a memoir or even a drama script. I enjoy the literary studies, like Gothic and Australian literature – that’s quite interesting.
The theatre studies units ask you to analyse songs from cabaret or musicals, and then I’m asked to perform them. I don’t have to go to Mackay; I just film it and then upload it to the Moodle page. It’s easy and quick, and like that with a lot of courses. You look at drama through the ages starting with Shakespeare and then move onto European/German cabaret. Drama and cabaret in theatre go hand in hand in that era. Then there’s modern-day theatre and drama, as well as the ideas of non-realism and realism.
I’ve already planned to start doing the masters next year and that will be a lot more prac work. I’ve done all the theory side, so I can look forward to doing more prac and engaging with students and mentors. I think it is offered on campus, which will be good. I do enjoy the external stuff, but when I have lectures on campus it is great as well. I feel it’s good to come in and do a tutorial for two hours or so and meet other like-minded students and talk to lecturers in person.
The lecturers are really great. Their sole purpose is to help and if I’m struggling with anything, just one quick email and they’re straight back to me. They’re very supportive. I’m doing one course this term that I just go in for every couple weeks or so. It’s just one-on-one with a lecturer and she is amazing. She’s definitely helped guide me with my assignments and everything.
I have thought about teaching but if an opportunity arose do some acting, I’d definitely take it. I’ll probably just stick with teaching for the moment because acting is quite a tough job to get into. Hopefully, I’ll get a job teaching in a secondary school. I like the idea of teaching in Bundaberg or maybe somewhere like Gladstone, or at the other end of the spectrum, maybe even Sydney. I don’t have a preference; if anyone will have me, I’d be happy.
I’d like to have the opportunity to help students learn. I’ve always found I enjoy teaching and helping kids realise their potential. I’m looking forward to having a couple of classes of really good students and being able to teach them. The good sides of theatre and English – the fun side – which is so important. I understand that drama is not for everyone, but if students are willing to give it a go, I would definitely love to support them with that. They could go on to become great actors and performers.
I feel like we could all use a bit more drama – the good kind. I think it gives students confidence in themselves and their abilities, and what they’re able to achieve. It teaches kids about teamwork and working in groups, which I think is really important. I feel that one of the main reasons anyone wants to become a teacher is to inspire and support their students. The few lecturers that I’ve met are really great role models and great examples of people helping students achieve what they want to do and achieve in their life.