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,... 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... 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... 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,... Read More
I always knew I wanted to help people find their voice. So naturally, I entered college as a Communication Disorders major so I could eventually become a speech therapist, and literally help people find their voice. It seemed like the only logical option at the time.   I remember taking classes in departments like education, kinesiology, psychology, writing, theatre, social justice and gender studies and I loved them! Two years passed, and I realized that my personal goal to help people find their... Read More
You never appreciate what you have until it is almost gone, CHC, and this week - my last week at UMass - I have been appreciating this place like crazy. It’s so lovely here in the spring - it’s almost like it’s actually paradise.  If you’re a freshman, soak it in.  By the time you’re where I am, almost graduating, you’ll wish you had three more springs at UMass to enjoy.    I haven’t had as much time to enjoy the outside as I might have wished this spring, because, you guessed it: thesis.  But don’t worry, I... Read More
Last year after the Undergraduate Research Conference I wrote a blog post about how exciting it was to learn about the research that my fellow undergrads had been working on all year.  If you haven’t heard of the Conference or if you’re not sure what it is, check out that post - I was similarly unsure before last year.    I got to explore the posters and panel presentations again this year, and I wasn’t disappointed.  I learned about Germany’s model for sustainability and the obstacles a similar program... Read More
BDIC is why I came to UMass.    I am surprised that most students do not know about BDIC, which stands for Bachelor’s Degree with Individual Concentration. It is a program which allows you to make your own major. I knew before I even came to UMass that this was exactly what I needed.   In high school, I became interested in the field of Demography. Simply out of curiosity, I would read articles about the changing family structure and dating culture in America. I noticed that all of these articles... Read More
It’s been too long, CHC, I know. Here I am though!  I’m still here!   Let’s start this chat with a little game of “Is This the First Draft of Michelle’s Translation, or an Entire Ream of Paper?”   Okay, did you make your guess?   Well, trick question.  It is BOTH the first draft of my translation project AND an entire ream of paper.  Yay me!  Actually, fine, it’s not an ENTIRE ream of paper, but it’s still about 25% of a ream of paper, which, seriously, is a lot.  Sorry to everyone standing behind me... Read More
I don’t know how this happened, but somehow I managed to take out twelve different library books at once.  Maybe it’s just me, but twelve different library books seems kind of excessive.  When did I think I was going to read all these books?  Why couldn’t I have taken them out one at a time?   I really don’t know.  Maybe it was a sense of rising panic that if I waited, someone would take out the books I needed and never bring them back (you know, like I’m doing right now).  Maybe it was a feeling that my tiny... Read More

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