This semester, I’ve had to do a lot more lengthy papers and projects than in previous semesters. Though I’ll admit I’m more of a problem set person, I’ve actually enjoyed change in pace of the work I’ve been doing over the course of the past few months. One benefit that I’m certainly realizing now is that fact that only two of my classes have finals, which certainly helps make this finals week a bit less stressful. I thought I’d share some of the assignments I’ve enjoyed the most to give you an idea of what I’ve been up to!

I’ll admit, most of these essays are going to be specifically for my Expos class, which is a Writing Intensive. At Hopkins, we don’t have a core curriculum that every student completes, but we do have distribution requirements, and for Arts and Sciences students, this means 12 writing credits. Last semester I took Introduction to Fiction and Poetry 1, and though this is an extremely popular class, I’ll admit I didn’t love it. So this semester, I thought I’d try my hand at more analytical writing, and I’d heard great things about Professor Oppel from a friend who took his class in the fall. So, I decided to register for Expository Writing: Law and Revenge, and I’ve loved every second of it. The class features 3 long essays, and the topics have been so interesting.

Essay #1

Class: Expos

Length: 5-6 pages

Topic: As our introductory essay, we just focused on the topic of revenge. We read and analyzed an article about tribal disputes in Papau New Guinea as the basis of our essay. The topic was so vivid and interesting, that I truly enjoyed writing this essay.

Essay #2

Class: Expos

Length: 6-8 pages

Topic: This essay focused on the relationship between law and revenge, and the differences between them. For our essay, we engaged with a Supreme Court case as well as an independent essay to analyze just how similar law and revenge really are.

Essay #3

Class: Expos

Length: 8-10 pages

Topic: For this essay, we read Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice and put together everything from the course to write an essay examining the interaction between law, revenge, mercy, justice, and religion. This essay was much more open ended in terms of our focus, which made it a bit more difficult to write, but interesting nonetheless. I never really enjoyed reading Shakespeare early in high school, but this time around it was easy to see just how timeless Shakespeare really is.

Kind-of Essay #4

Class: Biology Research

Length: 2 pages

Topic: This wasn’t really a formal essay, but for my research credit I was required to write a few page summary of what I did during my 125+ hours in the lab. Although I spent most of my time detailing the experiments I ran and the research project as a whole, this was a great opportunity to reflect on all that I’ve learned. I started the semester with no research lab experiments, and knowledge of only a few techniques from biology labs in high school. Now, I have much more confidence, and have learned so many new skills. I’ve been lucky enough to have mentors that are willing to put in time to teach me, and this just goes to show how easy it is to get involved in research at Hopkins, regardless of your prior research experience.

Project #1

Class: Medical Spanish

Length: No determined length, but mine was 11 pages 1.5 spaced.

Topic: This project took the place of a final exam, but it was huge. Though it was very time consuming, I really loved working on this project. It consisted of 6 parts, and we had to pick a medical specialty, disease, and country to focus on. My choices were cardiothoracic surgery, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and Colombia. We had to complete a variety of tasks, from writing a professional cover letter, to a medical history and clinical case of the disease, and a summary of the healthcare system of a particular country. I was pretty proud of my work on this project, and it really showed me just how much my Spanish abilities have improved. I know if my sixth grade self had seen this project, she would have been pretty impressed.