April 30, 2008 As an English major, I am blessed with not having to do a thesis. Some English majors are invited to pursue an honors thesis in English, but I decided not to write one. That's probably one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life.
For the past few months, my friends have talked increasingly about their theses. Murph is writing a psych thesis on how freshman adjust when they go away to college. Jack is writing about the YouTube phenomenon for government. Dan is writing about some crazy compounds found in insect development (it's for biochemistry, don't ask me).
Although I do not have a thesis of my own, I've been thoroughly immersed in the thesis season. Erin, my roommate, spent the past month manically finishing her sculptures for the senior art show. The week before the show, I spent several hours in the middle of the night gluing leaves onto burlap. Erin, our aspiring artist, was making replicas of leaf forts she built as a child. She dipped thousands of individual leaves into hot bees wax to preserve them. She then built wooden frames for the forts and covered them with burlap. The final process? Getting as many friends as possible to glue the leaves in place. Now, I pass her sculpture every day, proud of the small part I had in its creation. Truthfully, I think it's the coolest piece in the Senior Art Show.
But that's not the only part I've had in theses. Liz, another roommate, is a sociology major. Because I don't have too much work to do in comparison, and because I'm an English major, I've been proofreading her thesis for her. Her research is on how students express themselves through their dorm room decorations. It's really interesting, and actually made me think a lot about my own room decorations.
Obviously, at any senior lunch table, the word "thesis" is said several times each meal. Now that it's almost May, people are really cranking out their work. However, everyone has also been really supportive of each other. I was disappointed when I missed Murph's psych thesis last night. Tonight, Dan was supposed to begin his thesis presentation at 7:20. I got there right on time, and there was a group of five of our friends waiting to go inside to hear his presentation. When we went inside, several more of our close friends were already there. Dan looked nervous in a shirt and a tie, and he was clutching his index cards for dear life. Although I didn't understand a word of his biochemistry jargon — I have no idea what "blasting" means for example — I was very impressed by how professional he sounded. For the first time it dawned on me. Dan is going to be a doctor. He's talked about MCATs and med schools before, but I never really thought of him in the medical realm. Now that I've seen him in his element, I feel like I understand him better as a friend.
It will be really interesting to see where everyone ends up in their future careers, though I doubt many of them will ever use their theses. As for me, I'm happy with a normal workload in my final semester. Helping out and supporting my friends has been quite enough of a thesis season for me.