Author Archives: Rachel Y., ALM candidate, Visual Arts

I have worked for many years as a picture researcher, for both editorial publishers and historical-photo archives. Each day, in the course of my work, I assess the suitability of hundreds of photos for editorial publication. My undergraduate studies combined literature and fine art, culminating in the onset of then-heretical feminist art-historical studies. I am a newly minted Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) candidate in visual arts/art history who struggled with a choice between that field and literature. I have a strong interest in psychobiography, especially of creative persons, and I love to read for pleasure. The Harvard libraries delight me; I have haunted Widener and the Fine Arts Library these past two semesters. I anticipate a rich and stimulating experience at Harvard and look forward to the jottings this blog will engender.

Rachel writes: Commencement! A final blog post.

Since I wrote my last blog entry, I discovered that I had actually made it just under the wire after all and was able to submit my final, formatted thesis draft  in time for May graduation! The last few weeks have been intense: printing and sending off copies of my final thesis draft (total no. […]

Rachel writes: 5th of 5 ALM thesis chapters submitted!

This week I put my final ALM thesis chapter in the mail to my thesis director! After I’ve received his comments and incorporated his suggestions, I will finish up formatting, make two copies and send one complete copy to him for grading and one to the ALM office for format review. Formatting, per the ALM […]

Rachel writes: four of five thesis chapters complete!

I put Chapter 4 of my ALM thesis in the mail to my thesis director last Thursday. I realize that we are officially in the midst of the spring break, but I have doubled down this weekend on my fifth and final chapter, and I plan to complete it by mid-April. A few years ago […]

Rachel writes: Third of five thesis chapters complete!

I am happy to report that I have completed three of five thesis chapters. Last week I received the third chapter back with comments from my thesis director; this weekend I have been preparing  to start the fourth chapter. Are any of you incorporating translated material into your work? In my case, one aspect of […]

Rachel writes: Writing the ALM thesis–two of five chapters complete!

So far I’ve written two chapters (of five planned) of my ALM thesis, submitted them to my thesis director, and received them back with comments. I’m now working on my third chapter. My schedule allows for one chapter per month, so I plan on finishing all of the writing by mid-April. My thesis director prefers […]

Rachel writes: “Structured Procrastination”–I’ll get to that eventually!

Have you ever wondered why, when you have a research paper to write, you suddenly get the urge to clean the refrigerator? Easy: because by comparison, psychologists tell us, a simple task permits gratification more quickly than a complex one. The fridge-cleaning lends an easily managed emotional snapshot of the sense of accomplishment which we […]

Rachel writes: Really Grass Roots — Occupy Harvard Yard

One of the advantages of waiting a month for feedback after submission of my revised thesis proposal was that it coincided with the forming of the Occupy Boston encampment in Dewey Square. I was thrilled to be able to participate in one of the initial Occupy Boston marches, from Dewey Square to the Charlestown Bridge. […]

Rachel writes: ALM thesis proposal approved; thesis director assigned!

Thrilled to say that I am about to set off upon the final stretch of my ALM degree. Last week Dean Schopf, humanities research advisor, let me know that she had approved my proposal, a second draft of which I had submitted on Oct 3, about a month after the initial submission. Dean Schopf rightly […]

Rachel writes: ALM humanities thesis writers, planners, procrastinators–take note!

Are you an ALM candidate in the humanities who is thinking about thesis topics? Have you begun your research, or are you almost ready to submit your thesis proposal? Consider attending the monthly proposal-and-thesis-writers discussion group! If you have completed fewer than 6 courses, there are 2 “orientation” meetings this academic year you can attend–today, […]

Rachel writes: summer greetings!

August: A follow-up ALM thesis-topic meeting with Dean Sue Schopf the other day yielded a more-or less solid plan–I’ll flesh out my proposal for submission by about Sept 1. My current idea is not at all what I started out researching at the end of May, though you could say there is a connection. The […]