Hello. My name is Maddie Wenc, and I want to welcome you to my Portfolio.

I was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, though I spent a three year period in Geneva, Switzerland, when I was in middle school. This period of time wasn’t always easy (language barriers are tough) but it instilled in me a likely lifelong love of travel.

I moved back in time for high school and attended Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart, an all girls school in Lake Forest, IL. This is where I found a love for theater and feminism. Senior year, I chose St. Norbert after a tough time choosing between three different schools, each very small and each with its own compelling reasons to be chosen. After an overnight visit to  St. Norbert, I got in the car and told my Mom that I wanted to commit to SNC.

I started Saint Norbert with a plan. I was going to major in Psychology, get my masters after SNC, and become a clinical psychologist. About halfway through my first  semester, I realized I didn’t really enjoy the psych class I was taking. I started considering other options. Second semester, I took Statistics, a required course for a psych major, and English 150, the Intro class for any English major. I loved English 150, and the fact that I hated statistics sealed the deal;  I switched my major halfway through the semester to English and I haven’t looked back since.

I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember. Mom read to me and my siblings before we could sit up on our own, and Dad read Shakespeare to me when I was a baby and he was trying to get me to settle down to sleep.  Dad read the first two Harry Potter books to me at age seven; I grew out of this routine for the third book and I eagerly devoured the rest on my own. It wasn’t just Harry Potter that drew me in. I’d read anything and everything I could get my hands on. This love of reading continues to this day, and I’d gladly describe myself as a bookworm.

I’ve always enjoyed telling stories too. I starting writing stories around age eight, and decided I wanted to write books in fourth grade. I used to tell my younger brother and sister stories on long car rides to make the trip go faster for all of us. When I worked at summer camp, I’d tell my campers a bedtime story as an incentive to get ready quickly. Teachers have praised my writing throughout my school career. I now write articles for the Saint Norbert Times.

My three years abroad in Switzerland gave me the confidence I needed to spend the first semester of my Junior year in London, England, where I enjoyed geeking out over Platform Nine and Three Quarters and the Sherlock Holmes Museum, among other, less nerdy explorations. I travelled to Scotland for a weekend while I was there, and I wish I could go back and spend a longer time in the Highlands there. It was by far my favorite experience abroad.

Now, I’m an English and Theater double major, with a minor in media. I declared my Theater major in the second semester of my junior year, when I realized that I had time to turn my Theater minor into a major. I have no idea what I’ll be doing after graduation, but I’d like to teach children to love reading and theater as much as I do, and continue writing stories on the side.

For me, reading and writing serve both as hobbies and an escape from stress. Storytelling is what appeals to me most about both Theater and English, and I love that literature provides a way to do that. By reading deeper into works of Literature, we can better understand the story being told and the world being created. It helps us to see points of view that are not our own, which is an incredibly valuable skill in these divisive times, even if we don’t agree with, or completely understand, those points of view. I’ve bonded with people over books and writing countless times, and many of my best and most long lasting friendships began with a common, bookish interest. I truly believe that I would not be the person I am today without literature.