(note: this is the latest in a series of posts by fourth-year student Kyle Larson about New College students and their thesis projects.)
Jared O’Connor is one of my fellow literature students and co-workers at the Writing Resource Center. And I personally believe that he is one of the better students to have in a literature class too. (His sassiness in lit classes is particularly amusing, and often warranted.)
Jared’s thesis topic came from Prof. Robert Zamsky’s “Black Mountain/New York School Poetry” class. Dr. Zamsky’s encouragement for in-depth analysis allowed Jared to explore the intricate dynamics of the works, leading him to a fascination with the aesthetics of the New York School poets.
His thesis topic began with the idea to track the changing poetic styles through the three generations of the New York School (1950-1991) alongside their contemporary artists. Jared also traveled to New York City (with funding from New College’s Council of Academic Affairs) to visit an exhibition based on one of the poets and the poet’s artist friend.
Realizing the breadth of the topic through the thesis process, Jared decided to narrow his focus on the New York School’s three generations to a specific focus on the major authors, John Ashbery, Frank O’Hara, Ted Berrigan and Joe Brainard. Their contemporary artists include Jane Freilicher, Larry Rivers, Grace Hartigan and Elaine de Kooning.
Jared is using one of his thesis chapters as the writing sample for graduate school applications. The undergraduate thesis is also great experience for those of us planning to have a career in academia.
Here are Jared’s words of wisdom:
“Future thesis writers: remember this is not the end all be all of your academic career—your interests will change (probably while you’re writing it). However, it is important to do good work—so just ‘write the damn thing,’ listen to your advisor, but always trust your instincts. It’s your project, so make it yours!”
Jared is right. The thesis will change. It will evolve. Don’t let it scare you because it is not the end of the world. The thesis is simply one project out of the many projects that you have already rocked.
You’re wonderful, Jared. Keep up the great work, and the sass.
everything pointed towards the sun
Anonymous asked: What's the dating scene like at NCF? Do students ever mix or anything with people from Ringling, state colleges, etc.?
Yes, students occasionally mix with students from Ringling, but other than large events (the annual Ringling-New College football game) it’s up to you to do the mingling.
Anonymous asked: does new college have a garden?
Yep! There is a garden down by old caples and there is also one behind Dort and Goldstein
Anonymous asked: can you talk a bit about photography and dark room options/resources at new college?
We have a few people who are the ~official-ish student photographers~ on campus, and they are all graduating this year. Who is going to take photos of events?! YOU CAN!
Anyway, there is a dark room that has specific hours set each semester by the dark room TA. It’s in Ham Center. You can also “rent” out a camera from the dark room. Photographers sometimes work for the communications department, as well.
hopesgotspark asked: do you know if small animals like a little turtle or a fish are allowed on campus?
Fish yes. Turtles, maybe also yes? I believe it’s anything in an aquarium, but that might be wrong. I haven’t lived on campus in a while (and frankly I didn’t follow that pet regulation very well) so I don’t remember.
Followers, can you confirm the aquarium rule?
Anonymous asked: how often do people get their admission rescinded? and what is it generally for?
I do not have the statistics on that. I would imagine that failing out of school and possibly criminal things, depending on the charge.
During my senior year, I got a D in the second half of AP stats and a C+ in AP chemistry and that didn’t affect my admission.
Melissa Marquez had childhood aspirations, just like everyone else. After all, what kid doesn’t want to become a marine biologist to study sharks?
(Of course, I’ve always wanted to pursue a career in marine biology as well, which is obviously why I made the best career decision by becoming a Literature AOC…)
Melissa’s thesis, however, does involve studying sharks.
In fact, she is studying the different behavioral patterns in habitat use and migration of 34 great white sharks (21 female, 13 male) located off the coast of South Africa. She even constructed ocean current maps (cold vs. warm), magnetic field maps, and fish population maps in order to investigate the effects of season, sex, size, maturity of the shark, and resources versus habitat use.
Of course, thesis topics don’t develop out of nowhere. They evolve from an extensive process of reworking the topic many times.
Melissa’s thesis topic evolved from her ISPs (independent study projects; New College students do one each year) and from bouncing ideas off researchers and professors.
She spent her first ISP interning at a shark lab in the Bahamas (Bimini Biological Field Station). Here, Melissa learned of an opportunity to tag sharks off the coast of South Africa and study their behavioral patterns. This opportunity developed into her second ISP and became the foundational research for her thesis.
Not surprisingly, Melissa is using the thesis to advance her career. While making some good connections and adding a lot of experience to her CV, Melissa also decided to self-publish her own book, putting all of its proceeds to shark-conservation projects.
Here’s her advice for future New College thesis students:
“I was fortunate enough to know what I’ve wanted to study for most of my life. ‘Starting early’ is always a great idea, and familiarizing yourself with the thesis process- usually from older friends or going to the thesis workshops- is helpful when it’s ‘your turn.’ Speaking with your advisor is a great way to brainstorm ideas, too! Sometimes they help turn foggy ideas in your head into clear goals.”
Fascinating work, Melissa! I’m sure we’ll be seeing your work in National Geographic soon.
Beautiful banyan at New College.
skipping class to do work for the class
So I made my mind up and I’ll be putting my deposit down at New College of Florida in the next few days
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been on my school work/sat/act grind since deciding i really want to go to new college of florida
guys guess what!!! I just got into New College of Florida I’m so excited omg
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