Kate, Now that it really feels like fall out, I can’t help but think back to where I was a year ago. I can’t even begin to describe how much I miss Cork and studying abroad. It was such an amazing experience and I am really excited for you to get a taste of it this summer while studying in Spain. I’m also really excited to go visit you. I heard you ran into Dan at the International Programs Office? That boy knows the ins and outs of studying abroad with UMass (he spent a year in Paris and a summer at Oxford)—take... 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... 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... 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... 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,... 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... 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)... Read More
Kate,   Enrollment is right around the corner, you ready?   I guess as a nursing student, the answer for you is a resounding yes. Your program is small and structured. You’ve often told me that the rooms and class times are arranged so that all the nurses’ schedules can work with the classes they have to take. Plus, no one but nurses ever really enroll in nursing classes. Y’all are some lucky ducks.   As a lowly political science plebian, I’ve had to spar my way through the SPIRE enrollment arena with the rest of... Read More
Last week I talked about how you should plan around snow days and inclement weather in order to keep up with work. Well, this week looks like it’s going to be mostly clear, so you won’t have any excuses for missing class short of car failure or dismemberment.

What drives me nuts more than anything else I’ve encountered on this campus is how frequently students skip classes. I get that sometimes you have a project or paper that you haven’t had time to finish and take an extra class period to bang it... Read More
Kate, So you got into the Honors College – remember when you said you wanted to walk down an entirely different path than me? Just kidding, nursing is an entire world apart from political science and legal studies. Besides, I can’t blame you for wanting a chance at the beautiful honors dorms and to write a thesis. In all honesty, I’m very excited for you and very proud. Once again, you’ve done good kid.   What’s next? You’ve already texted me this morning asking where the CHC Events Hall is, so I’m guessing you... Read More


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