by Chamberlain Zulauf
A congenial presence across campus, Jasey Roberts (‘22) is a Literature and Creative Writing double major from Christiansburg, VA, “just 30 minuets down the road”.
In past years Jasey might have helped you with an essay for class in the writing center or you may have read his Opinion and Lifestyle articles in the BA. Currently though, Jasey pursues new things like working on ‘Noke’s literary magazine the Roanoke Review as the social media coordinator and has become heavily involved with the drama department.
This season’s production is The Thanksgiving Play, “It’s a four-person comedy and it’s actually really funny. We’re all elementary school teachers trying to put on a play about Thanksgiving, but we’re all white. The characters really try to depict the Native Americans in a politically correct way, and continue to fail at that.“, said Jasey.
There’s a lot of new things Jasey has started pursuing in his upperclassmen years. Substitute teaching for example. He’s picked up running, even completing a half marathon last year, “You know, recently I’ve been trying to play basketball too. I’m in a yoga class this semester. Staying active is good for me, especially through COVID”, said Jasey.
Funny enough, Jasey is also in a secret Jump Roping club including select faculty and students. There’s little Jasey wanted disclose in print, “… and a couple other students’ kind of meet a [a few times a week] together. And we’ll jump rope. I’ve been doing it since last semester, and I’ve gotten good”, said Jasey.
There aren’t many things Jasey isn’t talented at; he’s also a published writer and extremely active member in the English department.
“My love for both reading and writing started in elementary school as an almost rebellious activity. I don’t think a lot of people think of it as that, but I was the kid who got busted for reading in class… like all the time. Writing is the one interest of mine that remained consistent, like I used to draw in class too but eventually I was just writing stories in class. My classes are about reading and writing now but I still feel that rebellious quality with reading and writing today”, said Jasey.
Since then, he’s had a short story titled “Charlie” published in the Susquehanna Apprentice Writers Magazine, a Poem titled “For a Guy from Work” published in Bourgeon Online, and a short story titled “The Moth” will be published in On Concepts Edge through the Andrew Murphy Fiction Contest.
“Right now, I’m working on sending out more stories to places based outside the Virginia area”, said Jasey. “…and applying to grad school”.
“I applied to nine different programs. My top schools are Syracuse, Iowa, UVA, kind of the usual suspects for Creative Writing MFA programs. [Creative Writing MFA’s] are hard to get into, like six slots out of hundreds of applicants hard. So, I’m also applying for jobs too. I think also I want to relocate to an urban environment, because I’ve lived in this area my whole life. My dream job would be me producing writing and supporting myself with that. That’s the dream”, said Jasey.
A long-term goal of Jasey’s is to teach at the college level, which is a creative environment he will miss greatly.
“Roanoke has definitely been a positive thing in my life. I’ve obviously changed a lot, especially in the past year or so because of COVID. I started a lot of self-sufficient habits and ways to grow into an adult. I feel like I was much more of a kid when I was a freshman. Now I’m like, making my bed every morning, I exercise and care about my sleep schedule”, said Jasey, “my advice to incoming maroons would be to do your laundry in the middle of the week. Pick a day and make it laundry day. I lived in sections back then and the laundry situation was a battle of strategy. Wednesdays were my laundry days”
“… The biggest thing for me though, is just being social. I found that I really love people and talking to people, random people. I feel like weirdly, it was being able to spend time at Roanoke, then being taken away from it because of COVID. I realized what I was missing out on, so I wanted to come back and make my time count. My real advice is to stay open to new possibilities and opportunities and meet new people, even when you think you’ve done everything”, Said Jasey.
Jasey’s favorite memory of Roanoke is attributed to a particular teacher which made a lasting impact on him in his time at Roanoke, “It’s kind of a sad one, but last year my former boss and mentor Dr. McGlaun passed away. I remember a time at Prez. Ball when she was dancing with her husband, and she was really cutting loose. Everyone was noticing them and later she came over and started talking to me. I asked her how she can dance like that, and she said, ‘I just don’t care’. I think about that all the time. To me it was a freeing moment.”
Midterms are the following week of this issue’s publication; Jasey wants to take one last nap on the third-floor couches of Fintel, remembering a time when it would be open all night and he’d wake up in the morning for a Red Bull downstairs.