The Acknowledgements That Didn’t Make It Into My History Honors Thesis

April 19, 2014

A question straight out of Hamlet, yet modified for overcommitted and neurotic Ivy League students in the 21st century: To write a thesis, or not to write a thesis. That was the question, and it was a huge one. A cold Wednesday afternoon in January 2013, it was my first day of HIST1992: History Honors Workshop for Thesis Writers, and my stomach turned as I fidgeted in my seat. The professor leading the seminar handed out a series of papers—op-eds, letters, and even a feature that ran in the Herald—that grappled with this large existential question. The concept of a thesis loomed large in the imaginations of these panicked college students quietly freaking out in the stately Pavilion Room of Peter Green House that made one feel like an academic simply by being pensive within it.

Pro: “A community of concentrators.” Con: “It wasn’t worth the stress.” As we 14 students hashed out the pros and cons in each piece, we sunk deeper into our seats, tensing as our collegiate future flashed before our eyes. Yet after careful consideration, I ultimately decided to write a thesis—entering into holy matrimony with the obscure and weirdly specific topic of American-Jewish Post-War Reconstruction in Post-Holocaust Greece—and remained committed to him through and through. It was only after a three-semester-long labor of love that I successfully brought my first child—a spiral-bound 135-page thesis—into the world. I was in it for the long haul.

To this end, several thanks are in order. While this joyous birth could not have been possible without my advisors and professors in the History department (literally, it would have been impossible), I give thanks to these influential humans in my actual thesis. This piece, however, deals solely with those forces that played incredibly important roles in the process from the earliest stages of the project through its completion. These are their stories. Continue Reading…

Love & Romance, Satire

A Series of Unfortunate Hook-ups

April 16, 2014

Many an academic scholar has wondered at some point “what is college hook up culture like?” I am not educated enough to adequately answer that question, but I can provide an anecdotal summary of what the past two years of my “love” life has been like. I present to you: A Series of Unfortunate Hook-ups.

Humble Beginnings

When I arrived at college, I decided I was not going to hook-up with anyone for the first couple of weeks, because I wanted to be mature and settle in. One week later, I was making out with this guy, and I asked if he had ever dated anyone before. He said no. I asked him if he had hooked up a lot in high school. He said not really… I asked him if he had ever kissed a girl before. The answer was no. This in itself didn’t bother me, but the following assertion that he was ready to be exclusive was enough to put that relationship to rest.


Later on in September, I hooked up with this guy upstairs from me. The tables had turned, because I’m a virgin and he was experienced. It was all going decently until one night when we were having a particularly good time. With baited breath he asked me: “Wait, Caitlin, are we having sex right now?” WHAT DO YOU MEAN ARE WE HAVING SEX RIGHT NOW? YOU’RE THE EXPERIENCED ONE, AREN’T YOU SUPPOSED TO KNOW THESE THINGS. HAVE I NOT BEEN A VIRGIN THIS WHOLE TIME? AM I PREGNANT? Our interactions went downhill from there.

Silence is Golden, and Tall

At the beginning of second semester, I was hooking up with a very tall guy who rarely spoke. As you can imagine, communication was difficult. I would’ve had more fruitful discourse with a league of crickets. One Saturday we were both so intoxicated that I almost threw up on him, and he was okay with it. However, I wasn’t supposed to bring him back to my dorm because my roommate was sick. A rational, sober human being would have ended the night there, or like, taken that two person party to an empty classroom in J. Walter Wilson. I, on the other hand, trek back to my dorm with this dude in the middle of a snowstorm. I head into my room very inconspicuously and proceed to remove my mattress from my bedframe.   It is hard to explain the logistics of this, but suffice to say, it was a very disruptive process that muted any consideration I was paying my ill roommate by not sexiling her. Finally, I removed the mattress, dragged it down the hall into the lounge, made a nest for us to be together, and of course, fell asleep 5 minutes later. I wake up to him putting his clothes back on, saying in as few words as possible that he can’t sleep because of the noise. After he walks out, I start hearing the noise he was referring to. I wrap myself in a blanket, step out into the hall and am greeted by two firemen, who inform me that I need to leave the building. I step outside barefoot, with my entire dormitory as an audience to my repetition of the phrase “he left me.” My acquaintances took turns holding me like a child so that my feet wouldn’t get frostbite in the snow. Finally, when we could re-enter the dorm, I had a conference with my RA in nothing but a blanket, to talk about how we, as a community, could avoid less property destruction in the future.

The Bearded Lady

The next time I dared put myself out there, I was dressed in a fake grey beard and holding a makeshift trident. Pitifully, I was drunk once again, and didn’t have the sense to communicate to the next guy that I was a virgin. In fact, I can’t even remember if I was still wearing the beard when we started making out. When we got back to his place, I remembered as I was taking my shoes off that I hadn’t told him about the status of my V-card. I informed him that we would not be having sex. He looked at me and asked: “but then what are we going to do?” A sober Caitlin would have said “we take our clothes off and play patty-cake for an hour”, but at the time all I could manage was to take my trident and leave – shoes untied.


I decided that it was high time that I had a sober hook up. I did what any girl would do when she had a free room for the night – I went to Jo’s prowling for men. I found one, but he wouldn’t come to my room unless I met him at the door with a blanket to drape over his head. He felt that he needed to protect his identity, because he had an ex in the building. When at long last we got to making out, all I could think about was how he tasted like Pop-Tarts and I didn’t love him. I called it off after five minutes. He left without the blanket.

Trapped in the Kitchen

I came back on the alcohol scene with a fury. I had pre-gamed a screening of R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet”, and afterwards, I decided that R. Kelly was a very sobering experience, and I needed to drink more. I proceeded to pound shots at the Clueless themed party I was at, and this very sexy guy started talking to me. I immediately realized that I was not feeling too sexy myself, and went in the bathroom to puke. Upon my return, I realized that this guy was talking to me a lot and I was not being terribly interesting, so I told him: “Hey, I’m down to go home with you, but I’m a virgin, so there won’t be any sex.” He said he was cool with that, and when the cops busted the party we headed back to his place. In bed, I told him that he attended a 90s themed party, so he was sort of obligated to dry hump me. Then he took a ten-minute phone call from a friend. Later that night, I slipped away and got dressed in his kitchen.


In the beginning of sophomore year, I hooked up with a guy who shared a lot of interests with me. Actually, we shared a lot of interests because we both were in the same, tight-knit extracurricular group – a rookie mistake to say the least. Things were awkward but manageable, and I decided to take another sabbatical from drinking. At the next bonding event for our shared extra-curricular, I was sober and he had five too many sake bombs. Out of nowhere, he starts shouting “Hey Caitlin, remember when we hooked up before!” He went on to elaborate on some vulgarities to the entire table, and then have selective amnesia as to why everyone in the room was extremely uncomfortable and edging away from us. He then spent the next hour profusely apologizing for whatever he didn’t remember doing that offended me so much.

All of these unfortunate encounters were peppered in with some standard experiences of bad dance floor make outs and “hey you can find the door yourself, can’t you?” As self-deprecating as my story is (I frequently debate just becoming celibate), I’ve learned that the bad hook ups that don’t kill you can only make you stronger… Unless you’re my friend, who last year was sent to the hospital after the guy she made out with had eaten a trail mix that triggered her anaphylactic allergy to peanuts.


Listicles, Satire

Six Hot/Cool Springter Fashion Trends

April 16, 2014

March 20th may have been the first day of spring, but that hasn’t stopped the New England climate from bombarding us with polar vortex after polar vortex and obnoxiously irregular snowstorms.

But fear not, fashion fiends–just because the weather looks bad doesn’t mean you have to! In honor of this awkward transition between seasons, I’ve coined the term Springter. To commemorate this new season, here’s a compiled list of the hottest looks for that consistent 45 degrees and cloudy weather.

Dress Made Entirely of Ankle Boots


Black, brown, leather, suede–you name it! Everyone from your dean to your mom wore ankle boots this winter. Keep the hot trend going in the spring by rocking a hip dress made entirely of the cutest booties! Pair it with an ankle boot cardigan for class, and when the sun goes down, throw on some flashy ankle boot earrings for a night on the town with your ankle boot-clad girlfriends!

DIY Beanie Dress


Take your favorite knit beanie from cold weather to cool weather with some DIY tricks sure to add some personal flair to your look! Cut arm and neck holes out of the beanie and slip it right over your head. Stretchy and snug? Probably. Hip and trendy? Definitely!

A T-Shirt with Olaf from Frozen


A graphic tee says, “I’ve got a great sense of humor and I like to have a good time!” Everyone’s favorite snowman from Pixar’s hit musical says, “I’m not really sure what season it is.” You could dress it up with a cropped jacket, but why would you? The cold never bothered you anyway.

Your Winter Coat Covered In Pastels


If we learned one thing from the top fashionistas, it’s that pastels are all the rage this spring. Get that expensive coat from your mom up to speed by staining it with pastels! Oil or chalk will do the trick just fine. Don’t worry if mom seems upset with what you did–she’s just jealous that you’re the hip one.

Taco Bell Beefy 5-Layer Burrito


Everyone knows that layering is essential for those breezy spring days. Spice up your look and your stomach with this faux Mexican fast food staple–because sometimes, dishing out $8 for that Chipotle burrito isn’t worth it.

This Outfit From Givenchy’s New York Fashion Week Show


Look at that fur, the gorgeous detail on that dress, the… who am I kidding, I can’t afford that. Hopefully H&M will have a knockoff.

For more fashion tips, follow @GabbieCorvese on Twitter.

Images via, via, via, via, via, via, via, and via.     


The Yogurt Analogy

April 1, 2014

My good friend Wendy bestowed this wisdom upon me a couple of years ago and it blew my mind. This will forever change the way you discuss your significant others and love interests. You’re welcome.

Plain Yogurt

Plain Yogurt

This guy or gal is pretty “meh.” They’re perfectly nice, and totally inoffensive, but they don’t have much flavor or substance. Very palatable, but very boring. Next.

Fruit-Mixed-In Yogurt

Fruit-Mixed-In Yogurt

This significant other is really the total package – just an all around great person. You know exactly what you’re signing up for from the get-go: flavorful and fun. The fruit-mixed-in lover is a keeper.

Fruit-on-the-Bottom Yogurt

Fruit-on-the-Bottom Yogurt

This is arguably the most exciting type of man or woman – although it takes a little digging to reveal their true, delicious colors. This person may initially strike you as a “plain yogurt,” but as you continue eating them – er, getting to know them – you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you find beneath the surface.

Expired Yogurt

Expired Yogurt

Ew. The Expired Yogurt lover is the person that you know you’re not supposed get involved with, but you still do it anyways. This yogurt/person is bad news, but you turned a blind-eye to its expiration date and decided to dig in anyways. You will always regret this decision! It goes without staying that expired yogurt will leave a bad taste in your mouth and probably make you violently ill. There are other, fresher yogurts in the dairy aisle.

Stamos image via


I wanna date you, Hollywood-style

April 1, 2014


Girl, I’m tired of fooling around. I’m done with Tinder and Grouper and Grinder. I’m looking for the real thing: flowers, fireworks and a few radical plot twists. Girl, I wanna date you, Hollywood-style.

I want to meet you at an indie coffee shop where we reach for the same drink. Babe, I want to win you over after a dramatic courtship involving multiple misunderstandings, like when you learn I’m actually a journalist on assignment or part of the royal family or only dated you to get close to your friend. After losing you at the worst possible moment, I’ll earn back your trust with a spontaneous group dance performance or some freestyle rap.

I want to take you back to my place, girl. My apartment will be unfeasibly large considering my low-paying job and the current real-estate climate, but this will go unmentioned. Once we’re inside, I’ll remove your many-buttoned dress with the steady hand of a surgeon to find lacy underwear at odds with your dowdy daily get-up. I’ll then reveal an implausibly chiseled body given my chosen profession and throw you down on my conveniently uncluttered desk.

Our first time together will be poetry in motion, baby. We’ll effortlessly navigate cuts and panorama shots to try out every sexual position. You’ll have the flexibility of a dancer despite never having taken a class. I’ll be oblivious to any blemishes and won’t accidentally eat your hair. Not even once. It’ll be like a Bikram yoga studio in there, but neither of us will even sweat. To preserve the PG-rating, you’ll leave your bra on and I won’t remove my boxers. But we’ll have seamless sex regardless, ‘cause clothing ain’t no barrier baby.

When we wake up the next morning, your hair will be flawless and your make-up still intact. You’ll leave in a hurry muttering something about work/family/time travel. The sex will have changed everything. I know; I’ve seen it in the movies.

In the weeks that follow, you’ll return to your job at an art gallery because apparently that’s where all women work these days. I’ll survive solely on take-out Chinese and watch seasons pass by in a montage of loneliness. I’ll pen you hundreds of heartfelt letters you’ll never receive before learning from a friend that you’re leaving the country. Naturally, I’ll race to the airport to stop you. I’ll pass through airport security without a single form of documentation only to arrive at the gate seconds after you’ve left.

Years later, I’ll see you in the street and we’ll make small talk. We’ll both have perfect nuclear families and no debt but we’ll pine for our lost relationship, though neither of us will say so. One day we’ll tell the story to our respective kids. Maybe they’ll make a movie about it. That’s how I wanna date you.

image via


Do Girls Really…?

March 31, 2014


Five minutes before my friend broke up with her boyfriend, she sharted*. Walking down the stairs of her house to open the front door, she felt a small fart brewing but didn’t think much of it. (You know how those falafel pockets can be sometimes.) So when she let it rip and felt a warm wetness in the bottom of her pants, she realized that the worst had really happened. She. Had. Sharted. OMFG. Opening the front door and greeting her oblivious soon-to-be ex with a shart in her corduroys, she ushered him inside. I wish she had just told him what had happened right then and there. He probably would have dumped her on the spot, avoiding a three-hour tear and snot filled dialogue that caused more agony than anyone would have expected. Okay, maybe I’m kind of joking. We—the collective that is a friend group—would have been PO’d had he dumped her because of a helpless, human and gender-neutral occurrence.

You, reader, might be disgusted. You might be appalled and angry. You might even be cringing. But I promise I’m not trying to be vulgar. Really, I’m not. It’s just that, to make clear the reality that females’ bodies function in many of the same ways as males’ do, I thought I needed an over-the-top, I-really-didn’t-need-to-know-that story. Of course, sharting isn’t nearly as frequent a happening as, say, a casual fart that slips out in class or a subtle public nose pick that you think no one notices. Yet, sharts do happen: to boys and to girls, to men and to women. I hate to break it to you, but it’s a gross reality we just have to accept.

I work very hard to negate those thoughts that many people have or want to have that generate “Ew girls don’t poop!” or “Girls definitely don’t burp” statements. Since I was small, my dad has said I burp like a truck-driver, a comment I’ve taken as nothing short of a compliment. I frequently engage in burping contests and I’ll never stifle a soda burp in the Blue Room or at home. I am even less shy about discussing poop. At late night dance rehearsals, I’ll openly apologize for missing fifteen minutes of warm-ups due to a bowel movement. Everyone probably assumes anyway, so why not just take initiative and own up to what my body needed to do? With my housemates, we’ll openly announce a successful bathroom experience every now and again. Its just feces, right? No shame. That’s my motto.

You may think I’m being abrasive and/or crossing the line of good manners. It’s not that I don’t have boundaries—I’m not about to go into an interview and discuss how regularly I talk about and acknowledge these human tendencies. And I’m not going to flaunt one of those truck driver burps on a date or in the classroom. So yes, I have standards. But within the context of daily life, I don’t quite understand where this inherent shyness about bodily functions stems from – particularly women’s bodily functions.

So ladies, just own up to it. You let a mousey fart accidentally slip in the stacks during finals? Chuckle it off. You didn’t know that time of month had arrived and you stain your pants? Tie a sweatshirt around your waist like we did in 5th grade say, “I’m bringing the 90s back!” And lastly, if you need to poop but another girl is in the Blue Room underground bathroom: don’t wait it out for her to leave, she might be trying to do the same. Just let it all out.

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