• We’ll, we’re back! To those returning, I’m glad to be seeing familiar faces all about and catching up with you. To those just joining us, welcome to UMass! I hope that you’re enjoying the warmth and getting ready for the cold. Summer ends quick and, in the Stark words, Winter is Coming. Forget about that though! You’re at college! You’ve spent the first week acquainting (or reacquainting) yourselves with the campus, discovering your new teachers and classmates, and perhaps partaking in the debauchery and general fun that strikes at the beginning of every semester. At... Read More
  • Kate, I’m going to be honest. Senior year of college - not as cool as senior year of high school. Way scarier and way higher stakes. But it's fine, I'm fine. One week down and things have yet to crash and burn (well, my apartment did lose WiFi day two of the semester and I've had strep for three weeks now, so...). I’ve officially started my honors thesis endeavor. For what it's worth, as overwhelmed as I am by this project I am excited for it too. Original research is new territory for me and I’ve certainly never written anything on such a large scale. I’ll definitely be... Read More
  • (Co-authored by Marie MacCune, Emily Esten, and Hannah Depin)       1. Excitement: The semester is almost over, the weather is warmer and you’ve been keeping ahead of all your assignments. You’ve got this.  2. Reality Check: Warmer weather means less time indoors studying. You quickly make a to-do list each day until the end of finals. 50 pages worth of papers in 4 days? You’re worried.  3. Creative procrastination: As the work piles up, your motivation starts to decrease and you’ll do just about anything to avoid homework. Organize your closet? Sure! Call your... Read More
  • This is always the saddest part of the year for me. I know that most of my peers anticipate the end of classes with bated breath, but the end of school means something different to them. To them it means an end to work and thinking, an end to deadlines and stress for the most part, and an end to social drama and commitments. To me, it means an end to stimulation, an end to motivation and achievement, and an end to friendships. I love the subjects I study and I enjoy the conversations I have with my professors. Yeah, the stress of deadlines can be exhausting and... Read More
  • Kate, If I’m going to be totally honest I’ve been avoiding writing this letter by reading the Collegian’s senior columns. They’re a cliche tradition and I’m not entirely sure if anyone other than the staff actually reads them but holy crap I think they’re amazing and they’ve got me thinking about how much I’m going to miss my friends who are graduating. Reading the senior columns, you’ll find a common theme of thankfulness. I feel like that is an appropriate end of the year reflection and so I’m stealing it, outright. Gear up for the things I’m thankful for, babe. I guess... Read More
  • I wanted to write this column as a guidebook in reverse - all the things I wish I had known going into a thesis. I expect I’ll be doing something like this again, and I wanted a way to remind myself of the trials and tribulations of a project of this magnitude. I’m proud of myself for being able to do this honors thesis/project, and I’m grateful for the people who helped me along the way. I feel like it took a village to bring this thesis together – librarians, archivists, professors, friends, and family all guided me in some shape or form. Here’s what I’ve learned in... Read More
  • Dear Kate, I’m sure you’ve gotten the “End of the Semester” checklist from residential life and a good old, “you’d better be all packed and ready to go May 6th” talk from dad. But what's a little more closing school year advice? Start packing now. I know, I know. You’ve got finals to study for and three weeks before you move out but trust me, packing always takes waaaaaay longer than you expect it to. I like to start with packing the winter clothes I should have brought home over spring break...whoops. It’s a nice break from studying when you feel like you’ve hit a wall.... Read More
  • I’m psyched about participating the Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference - it’s really the best opportunity on campus to get out and share your work. And I love making (scripted) public presentations, so this was an event I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. Honestly, the best advice I can give re: oral presentations is from McSweeney’s “The Snake-Fighting Portion of Your Thesis Defense.” TL;DR: Everyone fights the snake. Not everyone’s snake is the same. The best way to prepare for the snake fight is to write a great thesis. Not so helpful? (Okay, no... Read More
  • My father hasn’t really shown up in this blog lately, so here’s one of his recent observations: As with any relationship, our chats seem to hark back to certain topics time and again, one of which being my generation’s involvement with social media. This time, he said that he realized the letters which he wrote to me were sort of like having his own blog “with an intended audience of one.” We recognize that people like to be in the public eye. We’re attention hogs. Why else would we be posting Tweets about our latest salad? No one really cares about small stuff like that... Read More
  • As I listen to  The West Wing Weekly while working on my thesis, I've been toying with Jed Bartlet’s favorite question: what’s next? Since spring break, I’ve been spending basically every waking moment either working or thinking about this monster of a paper I’ve almost completed. And while I still have a few weeks to go, I'm almost sad to finish it. I mean, I'm excited to move onto other projects, but this one has meant a lot to me. I’m told the official handing-in process (AKA putting your manuscript in a box) isn’t a satisfying conclusion. It sort of just...ends.   The... Read More

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