Amy Stourac wrote her first poem, “My Desk,” at age nine. Now at the age of 40, she still holds the same love for writing as she did when she was a small child.
“Poetry was always my first love,” Stourac said. “It was funny to watch my poems change from happy to heartbreak.”
Stourac’s career focus was not always on her passion for writing. Before returning to school Stourac worked 15 years at the Homestead, Iowa post office. For three out of those 15 years Stourac had what she called many people’s “dream job,” she was the postmaster at the Homestead post office where she was in control of all the operations at that location. During a typical week she would work 50-60 hours and had little time for anything else.
“Working for a post office is exhausting,” Stourac said. “I missed my kids growing up.”
In 2008 Stourac decided to leave her position as a postmaster, and return to school. She received her associate degree at Kirkwood Community College and after she graduated she was planning to attend the University of Iowa to study Journalism.
“I have always had a passion for writing,” Stourac said.
Stourac’s plan to attend the University of Iowa fell through because she missed the deadline for enrollment. Stourac searched a search for other colleges in Iowa that offered a journalism degree.
“It was by accident that I ended up here,” Stourac said.
Her decision to come to Mount Mercy University was rewarded with an $8 thousand grant she received because of her grades at Kirkwood. Stourac said she knows she is getting the best education possible at Mount Mercy.
Stourac decided once she got to MMU to change her major from journalism to English. She realized after she took a few English classes how much English does for a person in the corporate world.
“Corporations really want analytical thinkers, “she explained. “English is one of the most versatile degrees, there is so much I can do with it.”
“I’ll probably end up a well educated waitress at first,” Stourac joked.
Her biggest challenge since coming to Mount Mercy has been competing with the technologically advanced students.
“When I was in high school computer classes were optional,” she said. “I, of course, didn’t take any. To do a power point for me was a week of agony, until I learned how to do it.”
Despite her technology related challenges, Stourac has had her poem, “Oh Western Prince,” published in MMU’s PAHA review. She is also working on a personal essay project and a poem called, “If you want to know me than read what I’ve read.” Each stanza of the poem describes a character that Stourac has encountered during her college experience, and how she can relate to each one of them.
Stourac will graduate on Dec. 23, 2013 with a degree in English. Despite her busy schedule, Stourac plans to have all her projects done by the time she graduates so that other students can learn from her work.
“Reading about someone else’s experiences can make yours a lot easier, “Stourac said.
After graduation Stourac plans to stay in Iowa, at least for a while. She aspires to be a freelance writer where she can be her own boss and choose what she will write about.
“That’s my dream, to be at home and write in my pajamas,“ Stourac said. “I’m looking to live the rest of my life in the moment and experience everything I can.”
Stourac realizes that she is not a traditional college student, but urges others to not fall short of their dreams by not returning to school due to age.
“Don’t hesitate, just do it. You won’t ever know what you don’t know until you know it, “she said. “Trust your passion if something is pushing you, go for it,” she said.
This Student Profile was written by Brittany Hubler, Campus Editor, and was originally published in the Mount Mercy Times in the October 3, 2012, issue.