Because this is my last semester at USC Upstate, I’m taking Senior Seminar: essentially, a 15-week-long writing workshop for a capstone paper. Knowing that I was going to take this course, I brainstormed all year for topic ideas. Writing 25 pages is easy for me, but a good, meaty thesis can be difficult to come by. By the beginning of this semester, I had two ideas: use the Order of the Real to explain body horror, or talk about the dearth of positive menstruation portrayals in literature and its impact on women and girls. Continue reading
I’m sure there are some academics who surround themselves in real life with like-minded and -educated individuals, but I refuse to do so. While, yes, it can be frustrating at times to find that no one around you is interested in hearing about that documentary on Netflix, that is one of the glorious things about the Internet: anyone can find a community of individuals who share her interests, no matter how obscure they may be. Continue reading
“It’s not what you read: it’s what you can get away with not reading. They don’t expect you to read every single word. They’re purposefully overloading you so you can develop the skill of selective reading and figuring out what you need to know.”
Tim Lemire, I’m an English Major—Now What?
I say to myself every semester, This is it. This is the one. This is the semester where I read everything. Then life happens, I read about 60% of what’s required, and I pass with flying colors. So this semester, I’m telling myself something different: I’m going to read everything I need to read. If I find that I don’t need to read something I’ve begun, I’ll quit it, and move on to bigger and better things.
With my last semester at USC Upstate beginning next week, now seemed like a good time to publish this bit of advice for undergrads. In the almost eight years I’ve spent working on my BA, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to avoid buyer’s remorse. With the economy still in recovery, and textbook inflation since 1978 nearing 900%,* it is now more important than ever that students save money when and where they can. The following post contains my three-step book-buying process, plus a handy collection of related tips. Continue reading