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"How's your thesis going?" 

After three years of asking questions, thinking about, and planning for my thesis, I'm finally in the middle of it. So far, so good! The Honors thesis can certainly feel a little intimidating at times, but it's also exciting to work on a project of my choice after years of Gen Eds and other required classes. Many of my friends have chosen to do an individually-contracted thesis, which means that they created their own proposal for their research, found a faculty member to be their sponsor, and are now accomplishing it on their own, outside of the classroom. It really does seem like the sky is the limit, and I love hearing about the different research areas and projects that everyone's tackling! My friends' topics include astrophysics, economics, water pollution, elementary math education, and accounting. 

I decided to take a classroom seminar to complete my thesis, which means that I'm enrolled in a class with other students and an instructor who guides our work. I wondered if I might miss the independence of an individually-contracted project, but I've found that there's plenty of room for creativity in my thesis seminar, with the added bonus of a little more structure and collaboration. I'm studying nonfiction writing, so it's been really beneficial to discuss ideas and get feedback from other writing students in the course. The weekly class meeting also helps me stay on track with the assignments! 

With the semester in full swing, I was thinking back to Emily's blog post and scheduling for your thesis. I find that I'm devoting more time to it throughout the week than I would normally devote to other courses. Emily suggested finding ways to fit the work into your weekly schedule, even if that means breaking it down into small steps. I've been trying to bring my laptop with me to campus more often, so that I can fit a little bit of writing time into my daily schedule, like between classes or after lunch on campus. 

I haven't been cooking quite as much, since the weekdays are filling up with homework and other committments. Lately, I've been making soups and other foods that freeze well, so that it's easier to make dinner on a busy day. I've had this recipe for Corn and Jalapeño Soup twice. It's easy enough to assemble, and it also feels like a perfect choice for this late summer/early fall kind of weather. Pureeing the soup can be a bit of a hassle, which is why I like to make a big batch and then keep the rest in the freezer. 

Corn and Jalapeno Soup
(adapted from Food52)

  • Olive oil, salt and pepper
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced
  • 7 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 4 cups vegetable broth

In a large heavy pot or dutch oven, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat, and then add the diced onion and jalapeño peppers, stirring and cooking for 5 minutes. Add the frozen corn, cooking until it is thawed. Pour in the 4 cups of broth, bring to a boil, and then cover the pot and let the mixture simmer for 30 minutes. Puree the soup in a blender, and serve with salt and pepper. 

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