• You know those classes that seem like they’ll be easy? I’m sure you’ve heard of them. In my own studies, I’ve taken a few that people have responded to with envy. They say “That sounds so cool!” or “Why do you get all these fun classes?” or “Dang, that sounds easy. Do you actually do anything?” I’ll tell you right now that, while those first two responses are justified, the third one is NOT. “Robinson Crusoe and Zombies” sounds easy until you’re a week in and have to write a paper relating John Locke’s and Thomas Hobbes’s political theories to Night of the Living Dead,... Read More
  • Kate, It’s my last day of undergraduate classes and I’m just as terrified as I was on the first one. I guess that while a whole lot of things have changed, not everything has. A little over four years ago I didn't want to go to UMass at all. It was too big and rural and full of concrete. I look back at high school me and shake my head at the girl who thought she knew exactly what she wanted. Coming to UMass and being a part of CHC has been the best decision I’ve made thus far. I truly believe this school has helped me to become a better person. I think UMass has that... Read More
  • Kate, I went back to the very first Letters to Kate I wrote. It was exactly two years ago Saturday. You, Christine, Beth and I all look like such babies in the picture I included. The dorky tree I added at the bottom? It's all set up in my apartment again, this time off campus. It’s funny I feel ready to write my last letter to you, but not my second to last one. Like I’ve been saying all semester, the end sort of sneaks up on you. With less than 6 days of classes left in my undergraduate career I think it’s time to dole out my last bit of advice on them. I took over 30... Read More
  • Kate, There are three weeks left in the semester. Do you realize that? Are you hyperventilating too? I swear I sit down to write this letter every week and every week I’m in shock about how few weeks are left and then I get nervous and, well...you’ve been reading these posts for years now, you know the drill. I can get myself quite worked up in under a minute (more like under 30 seconds). But this week it’s going to be different. I’m not going to panic. I’m going to take my stressors and find the positives. There are three weeks left of the semester. That’s great! I’... Read More
  • Kate, Today the property management company that owns my apartment complex is coming to do three different showings of our apartment. Isn’t it crazy there are already people looking to sign over our lease in June? I swear, it was last month that Diana and I were frantically trying to get all the paperwork notarized to secure some housing for this year. As the semester picks up its rapid descent towards Christmas, are you making sure you’re doing things besides just homework? I know, I know. That’s rich coming from me. You’re right, I do like to lock myself away for days... 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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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