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Student tells untraditional Christmas story

January  02, 2014

Gary Miller, a junior from Denver majoring in creative writing and theatre arts, performed an original piece at the annual MUCH (Midwest Undergraduate Conference in the Humanities), held this year at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa.

"Jesus, Santa, and Walmart: A Christmas Story," is a short piece about Jesus meeting Santa at a bar. In the story Santa has hit rock bottom and wants to take down corporate Christmas for running him out of business, and Jesus and Santa band together to fight the power.

A satire about how society overvalues things and undervalues people, Miller's piece encourages readers and viewers to create their own meaning.

Miller applied to present at the conference after being informed about it by Dr. Joseph McDowell, professor of English. The conference included 38 students from eight schools giving readings, presenting papers and offering displays on various topics such as politics, religion, culture, crime and women's issues.

Miller and another student, junior Nathan Mittelbrun, attended the conference. "We were blown away at the conference. People were dissecting everything from "Breaking Bad" to punk music. Everyone was really talented," said Miller.

A regular blogger for AugieBlog, Miller uses those opportunities to practice his writing. For Miller, creative writing is more than a major. He says it has helped him grow as a person. “Turning my thoughts into actions has been a catharsis for me,” said Miller.

Sam Schlouch
Director, Public Relations and Arts Promotion
(309) 794-7833
samschlouch@augustana.edu