Category: Classes

What it’s Like to Write an English Thesis

Thesis.  The second most popular talking point for seniors behind post-grad plans.  Thesis is simultaneously the bane and triumph of a senior’s existence. From what I’ve gathered talking with other senior thesis students, the process is unique to each department.  Some students carry out a study and write a report, some create art or design a machine, some compose a research paper.  As an English major, my thesis was a literary analysis. My specific thesis looked at contemporary dystopian fiction and analyzed Biblical archetypes and environmental apocalypse in three novels.  I came to arrive at this topic after realizing that...

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Looking into Union’s Rare Book Collection

For Professor Kuhn’s “Enlightenment and Romanticism” class, the same one which took us earlier this term to a production of Candide (read about that here), had a date with librarian Annette LeClair, Director of Collections and Technical Services, to meet some of Union’s rare books and learn about Union’s history in the Enlightenment. We gathered in the Phi Beta Kappa room on the second floor of the library to flip through and learn a bit about the history of the books and Union’s libraries.  Union was founded in 1795, back when Schenectady was mostly a wilderness town, to its establishment was...

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A Look Back to Last Winter

There are always some days that are dreary during winter term. Luckily, there are many things that can brighten such days, and last winter it was the great course, Geology 203 – Lakes and Environmental Change, that did the trick for me! -Julie Sophis ’17

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Seeing Bernstein’s _Candide_

We started off my “Enlightenment and Romanticism” class with Professor Kuhn by reading Voltaire’s famously satirical novella Candide (which is hysterical, by the way).  Professor Kuhn told us on the first day of class that Leonard Bernstein’s “musical/opera” version of Candide was running in NYC and after so much success, had an extended run that just happened to coincide with our reading schedule.  So Professor Kuhn applied for a grant for our class of 10 to make the trip and see it! Sign that descended before intermission, reading “New World in 15 Minutes” We left Union at 8:30 on Saturday morning, arrived in...

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New Term, New U

New Years Resolutions: two-week-long commitments to bettering yourself. “New Year new me,” usually gets forgotten about by the third week of January. I really don’t believe in New Years Resolutions, because I feel like if you really wanted to make a change in yourself, you would do it before the new year starts. However, it’s a new term and a new year. It’s a new beginning enough to really make some changes in yourself if you are dedicated. It seems that a lot of us this term are dusting ourselves off and getting back onto the grind. A six-week-long winter...

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TBT: Study Abroad in Seville, Spain

As I promised in my post “Sharing ‘From Away,'” here is my lengthy and nostalgic post about my study abroad experience in Seville, Spain last fall.  Let me start by saying that the study abroad program to Seville was not my first choice.  By “first choice,” I mean that students are allowed to apply to and rank up to two study abroad programs during the fall term (since the trimester system makes fall the most popular study abroad term).  While applying I ranked York, England as my first choice program, being an English major and having a long-lived obsession with all things...

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Off the Rocks

The time came, and I, an English major, was forced to take a science class.  I knew it was coming.  Union is a liberal arts college and taking a science class with a lab component is a requirement, but still, I dreaded it.  Closing in on senior year and without much more time to put it off,  I signed up for Intro to Physical Geology. An impressive fossil on an outcrop in Ravina, NY Let me start my saying that I love the Earth and writing my senior thesis partly on the destruction of nature in dystopian fiction had me...

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4 Reasons to Learn Another Language

English is fast becoming the world’s universal language, and instant translation technology is improving every year. Linguist and Columbia professor John McWhorter shares four alluring benefits of learning an unfamiliar tongue. And, in light of registration recently opening for Winter Term, it is important to keep in mind the countless opportunities this college offers.

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Feigenbaum Forum: Maya Lin

A few weeks ago in my Sophomore Research Seminar, my professor took a part of the class to watch some of a documentary about Maya Lin. As I would come to find out, Lin was the designer of the (controversial) Vietnam Veterans Memorial as well as the Civil Rights Memorial. She was only a senior at Yale when she designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Her approach to memorialization and funerary objects is much different than many memorial pieces we see today, as it has much to do with raw emotion and connection. I was very excited when I learned that she was...

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