My Brother, Tom, graduated from LaSalle University yesterday with a BA in English, Maxima Cum Laude (which means a 3.9 or better GPA). I also witnessed him receive a fistful of honors in the past couple of weeks, including the top student in the English department, where the Professor bestowing the honor indicated that they had run out of awards to give to him.
As a further testament to his ability he has been accepted into and will be attending The Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa. For those who don't know, being accepted to this program is a very high honor. Evidenced by their selection policy summed up on the workshop's history page:
Though we agree in part with the popular insistence that writing cannot be taught, we exist and proceed on the assumption that talent can be developed, and we see our possibilities and limitations as a school in that light. If one can "learn" to play the violin or to paint, one can "learn" to write, though no processes of externally induced training can ensure that one will do it well. Accordingly, the fact that the Workshop can claim as alumni nationally and internationally prominent poets, novelists, and short story writers is, we believe, more the result of what they brought here than of what they gained from us. We continue to look for the most promising talent in the country, in our conviction that writing cannot be taught but that writers can be encouraged.
So Congratulations and Good Luck, Tom.
When I get a chance I will put some of Tom's more recent writing samples up here.