Honors InSight: a CHC student blog

  • If someone asked me back in my freshman year what I would be doing for my Honors Thesis, I would’ve laughed and said, “I have no idea.” If someone had asked me last year, I would’ve said, “The 9 to 5 Adventurer Project.” It’s true that the Honors Thesis is a four-year journey, but the hardest part of that journey is figuring out where to start.   As it turns out, my Honors Project is not what I would’ve expected. I came by it while frantically searching for a seminar I could take to fill the requirement, since my plans to do an Independent Honors Project had fallen apart.... Read More
  • One of my favorite things to do on weekends is play board games. Ever since my uncle bought The Order of the Stick Adventure Game, he would invite me and my friends over for game days. Over the years, he’s acquired a huge collection of games, all with cool, nerdy themes like Star Wars, Firefly, Dungeons & Dragons, and Call of Cthulu. We’ll spend hours rolling dice, moving pawns, throwing around fake money, and listening to various Phineas and Ferb soundtracks. I always love days like this because it gives me a chance to unwind and hang out with fun people, all while... Read More
  • For the past three years, I’ve been working at the UMass Writing Center, located in the Learning Commons on the lower level of the DuBois Library. I first heard about the job at my New Students Orientation back in 2010. When I told my advisor that I like to write, he suggested I apply. My mom used to joke that it was the perfect job for me because I liked to correct people all the time. So I applied at the end of my freshman year, and I was hired as a tutor intern.   When I started my training, I quickly learned that tutoring was far more than just correcting people’s... Read More
  • I spent this past Sunday in New York City, but not for the reasons you’d think. I didn’t go to see Time Square or the Empire State Building. I didn’t see much at all, apart from Penn Station and Pearl Studios.  I was there as part of my application process for the Disney College Program. For about six hours, I crowded into mirrored rooms with nearly four hundred other people, waiting to figure out whether I had what it takes to be a Disney performer. I won’t know for another month what the results of the audition were, but even if that audition didn’t work out, I already... Read More
  • For many students research can mean many different things and can cause many different emotions. So what’s my relationship with research? Let’s just say it’s complicated.   I first grew to love research during my junior year of high school when I was required to submit a project to our school’s History Fair. I formed a group with two other students and we created a documentary entitled, “Innovations in Sanitation: A History of Chicago’s Sewer System.” I know what you are thinking… a documentary about sewers? Yes, I made a movie documenting the amazing innovations Chicago... Read More
  • This January, I started an internship with the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies, supporting the 21st Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival. The theme of this year’s festival is called “Reality Narratives.”  The theme is particularly exciting for me because of my Honors Project in narrative non-fiction. Each film features a story that exemplifies the intersection between creativity and reality, exploring the “blurred boundaries between documentary and fiction,” from the stationary camera-guided tour of Peru (Kimi Takesue’s Looking for Adventure), to a 60-minute... Read More
  • Last spring, I had an idea for a story that would be my most ambitious creative writing project to date. It started with a few characters I had developed for various roleplaying games. With a little reimagination, and some inspiration from sources like Dungeons & Dragons, The Hunger Games, Lord of the Rings, and The Avengers, The 9 to 5 Adventurer Project was born.   What is the 9 to 5 Adventurer Project? It’s a creative writing experiment that combines the YA medieval “fantasy” genre with the episodic structure of TV shows, comics, and 19th century literature. I write... Read More
  • Research. What is it? Is it typing a question into Google? Is it pouring over books in the library, chugging Red Bull the night before your paper’s due? Is it peering into a microscope for hours upon hours until you finally find that connection you’re looking for? Research is a big concept, one that’s thrown around a lot within CHC, especially in areas like the Honors Thesis and the Undergraduate Research Conference. So what actually counts as research?   By the broadest definition, research is a discovery, investigation, and growing relationship with a certain subject. It... Read More
  • When I got my letter from UMass in December of my senior year of high school, I remember reading the first sentence that said I was accepted, and then not reading any further. I was just so glad I had gotten in that I had failed to notice, in the next paragraph of that letter, that I had also been accepted into the Commonwealth Honors College (CHC).   It wasn’t even until the next day that my mom pointed it out to me. I was so excited and proud that my application had stood out enough that I had not only been accepted to the university, but to its prestigious honors... Read More
  • Valley Gives is an annual event that was established to help support western Massachusetts non-profit organizations. For 24 hours, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties come together for special events and an online campaign to make gifts to their favorite local charities. Every gift that is made has a significant impact because all the participating non-profits are eligible to win cash awards based on how much money they can raise.     Last year, more than 6,000 individuals donated over $1 million through this campaign. You can check out a complete list of large and... Read More