Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Monday, January 02, 2017

The Thesis

We've been having some college-oriented discussions here lately. Someone asked about the liberal arts tonight, and this morphed into an examination of how Hogwarts doesn't prepare its students well for the multiplicity of jobs within the wizarding world. Is accounting in the Ministry of Magic contracted out to secret societies of Muggles? Who runs the financial end of Fred and George's joke shop? Why isn't math a part of potions? Why is there no great Wizard literature?



One of the topics we discussed was The Thesis: what it is, how you write a paper of 20! pages, how you pick a subject to write about. Darwin and I were revisiting our theses, an interesting trip down memory lane. Why were these topics so important that we chose to spend half a year researching and writing and revising and dealing with the crappy printers in the computer labs?

My thesis was a compare/contrast of the Rhapsodic Theater of Karol Wojtyła (better known as Pope John Paul II) and the Poor Theater of Jerzy Grotowski, another Polish theater artist who flourished after WWII. 

Darwin's thesis was a translation of The Phoenix by Lactantius, an early Christian poet, along with a brief analysis of the text. 

What did you write about?

10 comments:

Patrick said...

Boolean algebras and their application to game theory. Yay, math thesis.

Sally Thomas said...

I wrote poems. :)

Sally Thomas said...

Yay, MFA thesis!

ladyhobbit said...

Bachelor's thesis: a reading of C. S. Lewis's Perelandra in the light of his A Preface to Paradise Lost. It was written so long ago (1975-76)that I had to order copies of dissertations to use as sources. Great fun!

bearing said...

Bachelor's degrees have theses?

Melanie Bettinelli said...

At UD BAs have theses.

Mine was on A. S. Byatt's Possession: A Romance. It was really pretty bad, lacked focus and an actual, you know, thesis statement. But it sort of rambled on about art imitating life and life imitating art. Our junior year poet project was sort of a junior thesis, and I was much prouder of that. Mine was on T.S. Eliot and I wish I'd had to write a paper on it.

My MA at Boston College didn't require a written thesis, just an oral exam on a topic of your choice, following a directed independent study. My adviser didn't have me write anything and that was really a crime. My project was again unfocused and actually pretty bad. I passed, but just barely.

Elizabeth B. said...

My thesis was about the blending of Anglo-Saxon and Christian virtues in _The Lord of the Rings_. I think it was around 40-50 pages long. My thesis director asked to have a copy for his own personal library, which delighted me. I think that he didn't come across many undergraduates who got as excited about Anglo-Saxon as I did!

Joseph Moore said...

Wrote on the myth of radical doubt in Descartes, wherein the very act of pretend doubt is only possible because we don't really doubt much at all. What does it mean to say we think we saw a round tower in the distance, but it turns out to *really* be a square tower when we get closer. Really what? Radical doubt would be mere confusion and utter incoherence if we really believed it.

But it proved to be a convenient stick with which to beat the rational world.

rjohnlennon said...

Examination of land grants given by the Knights Hospitaller in the early years of their tenure as sovereigns of the island of Rhodes. Who they were addressed to, what the terms were, what the properties or lands were, and how they differed from land grant practices in the Kingdom of Jerusalem

Jeff Stivers said...

Company C, an infantry group from Colorado sent to fight in the Spanish-American war