Meet Skyler

Skyler Buxton
UGA Undergraduate Student

What is your writing process?

My writing process usually starts with a general outline. For me, the hardest part is actually getting started writing, so once I finish the outline I try to make myself commit to sitting down and actually writing it. Once I accomplish that, I have a very rough draft that needs to be edited and possibly rewritten in some sections. Next, I may have a peer review it for me or I reread it myself again and make sure the entire piece is aligning with what I’m actually trying to convey. If it doesn’t, then I start the editing process again to figure out what went wrong.

What do you enjoy about writing?

I enjoy being able to use language in a very specific way to convey information about what I’m interested in. Although it can be stressful sometimes when writing for a class assignment, I like the feeling of looking back on what I’ve written and being proud that I was able to state clearly and effectively what I wanted to say.

Based on your experience, what is the value of writing? Generally and in your classes?

Being a linguistics major, I’ve always been fascinated by language. Only humans have the unique ability to express their complex ideas by articulating an arbitrary set of sounds in a particular order. Moreover, the fact that we’ve been able to write these sounds down into actual written languages that vary across the thousands of languages across the world and across time is amazing to me. More specifically, as a college student, sometimes before a presentation it can be hard to articulate your words and thoughts into an organized pattern without previously having written something down. Therefore, I think the value of writing is not only that we can express our ideas and thoughts to people who may read it centuries later, but also that we can easily organize our ideas and thoughts which may often be disorganized in our minds.

What does getting published in The Classic Journal mean to you?

Getting published in the Classic Journal means that my writing is getting out into the world. Out of everyone, I’m most excited for my family to see what I’ve been working on for the past several months and hopefully help them better understand linguistics as a whole. Also, it’s been a wonderful opportunity for me to go through the publishing process as an undergraduate and get a feel for what it’s like in case I ever aim to get published again in the future.

What have you learned? How have you grown as a writer?

I’ve learned that several rounds of editing is the key to good writing. Even if you think that your writing is complete, there is usually something that could still be changed to enhance it even more. I’ve definitely grown in that I’ve gotten more comfortable with editing my own work and having other people edit for me. While I’ve always edited my own papers by myself, I usually only stuck to one or two rounds of editing. Moreover, I’ve gotten more comfortable having other people look at my work, which is also important, as they can recognize problems that I don’t see. 

What would you like for other undergraduate students to know about publishing their work in The Classic?

It’s a long journey, but it is so worth it in the end if you stick with it. Reading my first draft compared to the final version is a complete change and made me realize that I could go much further with my writing and elevate it to another level.

What’s up next for you writing-wise, school-wise, down the road?

I’ll be graduating May 2021 with my degrees in Linguistics and Asian Languages & Literature. Until then, I’ll be writing plenty more. Currently, I’m in the process of writing a research paper about the negative effects that the English-only movement in America has had on bilingual education. Since I am interested in English language education, after graduating I intend to teach English in Japan for a few years while refining my knowledge of Japanese. After that, I may return to the U.S. to go to graduate school to pursue a Masters degree in Linguistics or English as a Second Language Education.