• Two years ago, I had a paper that just wasn't coming together. I would write a page or so, delete it, write a new page, delete it, and so on. With the deadline looming, I decided to try out the Writing Center in the library for last-minute help pulling this paper together.  The writing tutor I met with was super helpful. Before anything, she asked me to read the paper aloud to her. It sounds so simple, but taking a moment to slow down and read what I had written a little more carefully really helped me. Then, we went back and looked at the prompt again and broke it up into... Read More
  • You know how some people just seem to be born leaders? They always make the right call, people follow them without question, and when things get hot they keep their cool. I’ve been around a few of them. I’m sure most of us have. And to be totally honest, I wanted to be like that. I wanted to be accepted and looked up to and, more than anything, I wanted to be right. Well, I got the accepted part and some amount of respect, but there came a point when every decision I made was the wrong one. If I chose to go left, I should’ve stayed right. If I made a plan, it fell apart... Read More
  • Kate, I struggled to write my letter this week. Right now, I feel all out of advice. In fact, I feel like I could use all the advice. Senior year, what a terrifying time. When I tried to think about topics I’ve yet to cover, I realized I’ve only ever complained about my thesis. Not discussed it. Maybe this will help you get started when the time comes or stop someone from spiraling into a panic like I did. Then again, I think panic is part of the process. My thesis story starts second semester last year, when I realized I was graduating early and wasn’t sure if I even... Read More
  • (co-authored by Marie MacCune, Matthew Hlady, and Hannah Depin) It’s Halloween and while all of you may be getting your spook on with scary movies and haunted houses, we’d thought we’d give you a real scare. Here’s the top ten scariest phrases a college kid can hear. Make sure you read this with the lights on. 1. “I’m sorry I didn’t mention this in the syllabus, your paper for the final is going to be ten pages…single spaced.” 2. “Sorry guys but I, uh, forgot to bring in my part of the group project.” 3. “Your account balance is overdue. We’ve placed a hold on your SPIRE... Read More
  • If you haven’t noticed, my father’s kind of a history geek. Must be where I get it from. Anyhow, we were talking about how much of a circus this presidential election is and he mentioned a concept that a man named Joseph Goebbels came up with in the ‘30s. Pretty much the idea is that if you lie copiously and vary the lies every time, then the fact-checkers can’t keep up. Something we might’ve noticed from climate change deniers and rumors about My Chemical Romance getting back together is that it takes more time to debunk a lie than to make one up. As my old man put it... Read More
  • Kate, This week I’m focusing on completing tasks. Simple, right? I wish. Now that we’ve hit the mid-semester mark (I know, shocking), I’m making this week a "power week" to get through all of the assignments I have to do and everything else I’ve been keeping on the back burner. We both know the second half of this semester absolutely flies as we head into holiday season and all around cold weather hibernation mode. We gotta stay on our game. The first thing of course is prioritization. This is the one that really gets me. There will always be tasks and assignments that... Read More
  • Today, I’m speaking of a community that spans the entire globe: The Ignoramati. Yes, that is a fake word and, no, I did not come up with that. Credit goes to the old man. Again… He presented the word to me as one might find it in the dictionary: Ignoramati Noun 1) The fellowship of the ignorant 2) Members of the fellowship of the ignorant See "illuminati.” As he explained it, the ignoramati are those who spread ignorance and refuse to enlighten themselves while their leaders are those who benefit from others’ ignorance. The people who profit are those who fund climate... Read More
  • Kate, We are so close to the first long weekend of the semester I can almost taste it. I’m so so so excited. I’m headed to Boston College Friday to tailgate with Marisa (going to the actual football game is still up in the air) and then home for the weekend to do some serious laundry and research - granted, you already knew that since you’re the one dropping me off! Long weekends are a magical time when you have extra hours to sleep and get work done but very often do neither. I’m committed to not letting that happen. My thesis and GPA cannot afford for me to. In order to... Read More
  • One of the things that my father has drilled into my head is that life is pretty bland without two things: Curiosity and bravery. Of course, he doesn’t say it that way for fear of sounding corny like me, but that’s the gist of it. However, he always seems to emphasize the curiosity, whether he realizes it or not. He’s even ended one of his letters with “Be well.  Be interested.  Be open to wonder.  Be wildered.” Quirkiness aside, he’s made it clear to me that without curiosity and the willingness to be confused and work through it, a person cannot learn. They cannot... Read More
  • Kate, I had my first interview for my thesis this weekend! I'm happy to report it went really well. Now I just need to transcribe our half-an-hour-long conversation—and hope that more people respond to my interview requests. I cannot tell you how stressed I've been since May, wondering if I'd even have a thesis to write if no one agreed to talk to me. In case you forgot (or chose to ignore) my ramblings to mom and dad about this project, I am studying the fathers' rights movement in Massachusetts which advocates for reform of the family law system both in-state and... Read More

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