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, 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... 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
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... Read More
Kate, Last weekend was sunny and I’d had a (somewhat) productive week so I thought I’d explore Western Mass - not pictured to the right. Yes, I’ve gone to school here for the past three years but admittedly, I’ve gotten trapped in the Amherst bubble. There is so much more to explore. It’s one of the reasons I’m excited to be out here for the summer! First stop was the New England Peace Pagoda. Had I known it involved a considerable uphill walk, I would have waited for my ankle to heal a little longer – you win... 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... Read More
One of the first things that just about anyone learns growing up is that friends come and go. Sooner or later, you also learn that romantic relationships are even more evanescent. Your parents will comfort you through breakups, tell you how to help maintain your bonds, or, in my parents’ case, make jokes at the backstabbing SOB’s expense to help you get over it.

However, there is one thing that, if done right, never goes away. It never fades, never betrays you, and is about as constant as a golden... Read More

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