Volume 16 Contributors’ Notes

Chris Assis, of Ramsey, New Jersey, is a math major who still delves into the writing world. Chris’s other interests include soccer, frisbee, guitar, swimming, and fashion. 

About the assignment Chris says: The title of my personal narrative is “Looks Like He Listened.” It features my acceptance as an Arab-American through motifs of hearing. It delves into the career day of my fourth grade middle school, and serves as a prominent scene in my transition to express my culture.

Mary Bamrick, from Buffalo, New York, is a communications major who is not ashamed to admit that her favorite food is indeed Buffalo Wings. She discovered her interest in writing through an encouraging FWS teacher and her favorite class—American studies. Her interest in American culture led her to write an essay on the hipster movement for a cultural analysis assignment.

About the her essay, “I Liked The Hipster Movement Before it Was Cool” Mary says: The assignment that led to this essay was a researched cultural study. Choosing the hipster movement as my topic was inspired by change I saw in my hometown regarding the teenage experience of “cool.” I began with a focus on broad concepts, historical context, and the history of the movement itself because I thought that it was how I was “supposed” to write. Reviews from my professor led me to break away from what I thought I was supposed to write about, and dig a bit deeper into the significance of my thesis. Once I conducted my personal interviews, the focus of my essay shifted to the personal experiences of my friends and I. I found that this led to a more insightful conclusion, and made the essay a more interesting read.

Madison Barton is from Seattle, Washington and is a business student at the Carroll School of Management. She’s an avid reader, a sports fan and is always quick to mention her favorite parts of Seattle. Madison’s essay, “Mind Over Matter: Student Mental Health Resources at Boston College” is a response to an assignment that called for a researched topic. After reading about the ever increasing number of mental health issues in college students, she decided to write about how campuses are combating the significant problem.   

Quinn Coughlin is a biology major from Plymouth, MA. He volunteers as an FM DJ at Boston College’s WZBC Newton, where he enjoys playing psychedelic rock. In his free time, Quinn writes poetry and loves to surf.

About “Kendrick Lamar and the American Daydream” Quinn says: The assignment that spurred my essay was an open-ended investigation of art as a literary source. I used Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly as a lens to analyze police brutality and social justice in the “post-Civil Rights” United States. Essentially, this essay asks the question, “What has changed, and where are we going?” The direction of the essay changed substantially throughout the writing process. In the beginning, I wanted to only compare the album artwork of To Pimp a Butterfly with that of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band–both pieces of artwork being rich in the cultural nuances of each artist. After listening more closely to the lyrics of Lamar’s album, I veered away from the artwork and worked more closely with the message. By the end of my first official draft, the essay as it is published now was nearly complete.

Grace Cummings is from Albany, New York.  After her freshman year at BC, Grace decided to declare an unusual combination of a Biology major and a Studio Art minor.  Grace hopes that, in the future, she can pursue a career that combines both her love of the outdoors and her love of drawing.  Her research paper on street art was inspired by her passion for art and the art she discovered while walking through Boston.

About “Street Art: Vindicating Vandalism” Grace says: This paper was written for the First Year Writing Seminar research paper assignment.  Because I was writing about a topic that was tremendously interesting to me, the research was very enjoyable and reading through countless articles did not feel like a chore.  Toward the end of the process of editing my paper, my professor, Treseanne Ainsworth, suggested that I include in-text pictures to illustrate my ideas.  I immediately thought this was a great idea, but little did I know that this would be the most difficult part of this assignment.  APA does not have any precedent for correctly citing photos in-text that I could find, so I was tasked with doing the best I could to format it properly.

Celia Cummiskey hails from Brookline, MA, and is a definite English major, and a possible Studio Art double major. She enjoys Indian food, The X Files, and seeing which pictures Harry Styles likes on Instagram. Her essay was in response to a prompt that called for the analyzing of a current cultural trend.

About “Celebrity Photo-hacks: Revealing the Intimate Details of a Nation’s View of Women” Celia says: The assignment for this essay was cultural analysis. My essay went through many different drafts before I was ultimately satisfied with it, and I’m extremely thankful for the help of my peer editors and to Professor Heitzman for talking with me as I attempted to make sense of the plethora of slightly tangential ideas knocking around my head. To me personally, the most interesting work in my essay began when I connected the seemingly disparate ideas of the internet as a way to access power, and the leaking of women’s nude photographs. Once I was able to dig into the larger consequences of these photo leaks as an attempt to close women out of the digital world, I felt like my essay became more cohesive and had a stronger and more stream-lined narrative.

Joe Ertl currently resides in Stamford, CT. Inspired by Marshall Eriksen and his grandmother, he is considering a career in law and hopes to one day become a successful judge. He also enjoys playing soccer, running, and taking long, rejuvenating naps.

About “If the Glove Fits“: His piece started as an open ended essay discussing a topic of his choice related to  Michael Jackson. Although it primarily serves as a personal narrative, the essay deals with a provocative, culturally-relevant question.

Alec Greaney is from Kingston, NH. He is a Communication major and covers sports for The Heights. He has kindly spared ACC pitchers from his hitting talents and instead has become an avid fan of intramural wiffleball. The assignment for which he wrote “Pick-Up Line” was a personal narrative about an object.

Christopher Latour of Lubbock, Texas enjoys riding his horse, Dusty Ranger, to his farm every morning.

About “A Hospital, a Pirate, and a Piano ” Chris says: There was only one requirement for the essay: it was to be a personal narrative.  For my writing process, I first brainstorm, write down ideas all over a couple different pages, and then bring them together to make a rough draft, then I rewrite the rough draft.

Samuela Nematchoua, from Chicago, IL, is majoring in Theatre and enjoys acting, reading, and anime. She not a huge fan of writing but when it’s a topic she really likes, she tries her hardest.

About “Bleaching Beauty: The Commercialization of Colorism” Samuela says: The assignment for this essay was to write an argumentative research paper on any topic we like. I chose this topic because I am originally from Africa and I have always wondered why such a thing like skin bleaching happened so often in such a casual fashion. I knew I wanted to talk about it and dive deep into figuring out why people did this sort of practice but my instructor wanted me to go even further, finding similarities in America with African-Americans and looking if something in history was a cause as well. That definitely helped my essay a lot and I feel it’ll help readers as well who might not be familiar with African customs.   

Caroline Roughneen is a rising sophomore from Coronado, California  who enjoys writing and spends her summers lifeguarding at Cape Cod.

About “Stay Classy, San Diego “Caroline says: The writing assignment was to write a personal narrative on an experience that shaped us in some way. I chose to write about moving across the country because it was the most life-changing experience of my adolescence.

Courtney Sepe, from Medfield, Massachusetts, is currently a Biochemistry major who is a member of the club soccer team and enjoys participating in service outreach programs around campus. Her involvement in Appalachia Volunteers and previous mission trips to areas such as Camden, NJ and Salem, WV have helped cultivate in her a sincere understanding for social responsibility. Her research essay concerning the recent outbreak scare of Ebola, coupled with her first-hand experiences, demonstrates her recognition for cooperation among nations in addressing such rising issues.  

About “The U.S. Role in Fighting Ebola in the Globalized World” Courtney says: In FWS, I spent a majority of my time focusing on personal narratives and comparison essays. The research essay assignment, therefore, provided me with the opportunity to reflect upon complex issues involved with a global topic (Ebola) and allowed me to present the ramifications of such a plague beyond existing documentation. My use of personal experiences allowed for a more personal and informal tone of writing which I believe is important in order to provoke a potential emotional response from the readers. When writing my essay, it was crucial to first construct a clearly defined thesis that stated my opinion and outlined my direction of argument. I focused on jotting down ideas that pertained to recently read essays in class and looked for ways to compare and contrast different styles of writing, main ideas, and respective conclusions. From this, I formulated an outline and, after subsequent revisions, articulated my opinion of how the U.S. and other nations should join together to put an end to such a deadly epidemic and address rising concern for health issues to come.

Lucy Wilson is from Dallas, Texas. After attending a secular high school, she especially enjoyed her Exploring Catholicism course during her first year in the Northeast.  She hopes to continue her work in service through VSLC and her major in economics.

About “Candid as a Christmas Card: Social Media in Today’s World“: Lucy wrote her critique of technology and the internet for her position paper in FWS, using an essay by University of Virginia professor, Mark Edmundson, as a starting point. After developing her own opinion about Edmundson’s argument, Lucy further narrowed it for the purpose of her paper and applied it to a subject she felt was especially relevant in the lives of herself and those around her…social media.