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…