Interpolations is a refereed online journal showcasing superior student writing from the English Department's First Year Writing Program. These essays represent the finest work--a combination of compelling ideas and outstanding writing--being produced by our academic community's newest members.
One of the purposes of an academic community is to facilitate the exchange of ideas between its members so that vibrant conversations can grow out of the perspectives in those members' work. This journal is an effort to foster our students' voices in the University of Maryland's ongoing academic discourse. In addition to the thought provoking essays that appear in the journal, there will eventually be forums for the entire university community to respond to these papers so that a real visible dialogue can occur in this space.
Dr. Linda Macri
- Jennifer Ashlock
- Elizabeth Fixsen
- Maggie Fromm
- Nabila Hijazi
- Kisa Lape
- Kimberly O'Connor
- Natalie Phillips
Welcome to the inaugural issue of Interpolations.
After almost a year of planning and plenty of hard (but always rewarding) work on this project, I am excited to introduce the University of Maryland English Department’s first ever, refereed journal of first year writing! Looking at the journal in its final form, I could not be more pleased with the document that you see before you.
All of this is the result of a broad collaboration between an incredibly talented, dedicated, and insightful group of individuals here in the Department. As such, I hope that you will indulge me for a moment while I thank each of them.
None of this would have been possible without Dr. Linda Macri, Director of the First Year Writing Program, who gave me the initial green light to move forward with my proposal for this journal, and who allowed me the leeway to guide its development.
Additionally, I can’t begin to tell you the number of hours that Kevin Remmell, Assistant Director of Administrative Services and all-around web genius, put into designing, programming, testing, tweaking, and re-tweaking the journal’s website to create the attractive, user friendly site you are now admiring.
I also cannot fail to mention the Campus Student Technology Fee Advisory Committee (CSTFAC) for deemingInterpolations to be an important enough project to generously approve our grant proposal to fund the journal in its inaugural year.
The Interpolations editorial board—Jennifer Ashlock, Elizabeth Fixsen, Maggie Fromm, Nabila Hijazi, Kisa Lape, Kimberly O’Connor, and Natalie Phillips—are an outstanding group of fellow graduate students and English 101 instructors. Without their incredible recommendations and earnest discussions about what this journal should represent, not to mention their hours of work reading, commenting on, and editing our submissions, Interpolationswould have been a far poorer publication.
Finally, and most importantly, I must acknowledge our talented English 101 students, for whom this journal is meant to be a doorway into the ongoing discourse of our University’s academic community. We had almost 100 submissions for this first issue! It is a brave act to willingly submit one’s work to be scrutinized and judged by others—particularly so for the newest members of our academic community. I applaud each one of them who took this plunge and I encourage future students to follow their example.
The high level of writing and well considered arguments found in so many of these submissions made the selection process long, detailed, and difficult. Ultimately, though, I believe that we chose the right articles—those that represent the best, most compelling work being produced by our English 101 students.
I thank all of the people involved in making Interpolations a journal that our entire university can be proud of, as I do you for becoming a reader of the journal and helping to continue the conversations started here!
Experience as Evidence
For this paper students consider a personal experience and how that experience relates to the idea of civic engagement. They must develop an argument of inquiry that asks their audience to think about the questions they are posing, and to try to persuade their audience that the inquiry and the way the author is pursuing it is worthwhile.
Experience and Other Evidence
This paper builds on the first assignment as students consider how some element of their experience relates to a broader situation, issue, or controversy. Students combine their personal insights on the issue with evidence from research in order to develop an argument meant to persuade readers of a particular position.
Considering Another Side Essays
This assignment recognizes the importance of understanding the ideas of those who hold a position different than your own, in order to more fully comprehend an issue and to be able to refute opposing positions with assurance. In this paper, students take up the ideas and arguments of those holding alternative positions to their own, arguing as if they are on "another side."
Final Research Essays
In this paper students will make an argument using insights that they develop from their research and familiarity with the subject and discipline. This assignment requires that they understand a topic in depth, be able to offer background on what is at issue in the topic, put the topic and issues in context, and both support their own position and take other positions into account, either by refuting, conceding, or bridging those arguments.
Spring 2009 Essays
Considering Another Side Essays
First Generation Students: The Dropout Disaster
Fairly recently, universities have begun working to address the considerable risk of first generation student dropout. This dropout problem threatens to keep potential scholars from being able to bring valuable new knowledge to the world by forcing them out of college before they can finish their education. First generation students appear to drop out after failing to overcome a disproportionally large amount of problems with adjusting to, and succeeding in, college.
Indian Healthcare: A Rising Enterprise
Like many other developing countries, India has poor health care delivery. This problem can be attributed to the underdevelopment of historical institutions, corruption within the system, and many other factors. It is a mistake, however, to lose faith in the government’s capacity to remedy health care. Recently introduced public-private partnerships pose hope for the system, but are not as beneficial to reform as has been suggested. The Indian government is fully
Experience and Other Evidence Essays
Problems with Polarization: A Critique of the Gay or Straight Model
Like many others, I was brought up with very rigid views of sexuality, especially with regards to sexual orientation. People came in one of two packages: heterosexual and homosexual. For a while I never questioned this categorization, assuming it was a natural state. However, as I learned more, I started to see flaws in a polarized construct of human sexuality. As history shows, a binomial definition of sexual orientation has not always existed. Historians have p
Stuck on a Lower Rung: How Far Have Women Really Come?
Despite the long and winding road of struggle for women’s rights, the pinnacle of the journey has not yet been reached even in 2008. Why do women still earn less then men? Why are sexually promiscuous women looked down upon and ostracized while men who are considered “playboys” and “studs” praised? And why are women still forced to face the choice of either being a good mother or having a successful career?
Experience as Evidence Essays
Doing the Right Thing?: A Firsthand Look at Special Education in Public Schools
“Alright, class, why do you think we study art in school? Yes, Katie, what do you think?”
“Uh… well… I think we do art here cause it’s fun to paint in pretty colors!” In that moment, the whole class jerked their heads around to glare at her. Was that a joke? Is she serious? There must be something wrong with her.
The Limits of National Insecurity
I stood in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in November of 2002, along side my brother Hans, with whom I share a love of rubber chickens. Hans and I always bring a small stash of rubber chickens with us on our travels because we have found that they cause perfect strangers to smile, laugh, and respond in ways they would not otherwise.
Final Research Essays
Euthanasia: An Ethical Decision
How much is a life worth? Is there a price for medical treatment beyond which a life should be terminated because the person or his family cannot afford to pay any longer? Most people would agree that it is not ethical to put a price limit in this way on human life. On the other hand, this ethical dilemma happens every day in veterinary medicine.
Indirect Suicide Awareness
Have you ever found yourself questioning the actions of your family or friends? Do you worry that their behaviors are destructive to their health or a risk to their survival? Smoking, for instance, is one of the unhealthiest habits a person can have. Not only does it affect our lung capacity but the chemicals in cigarettes have been correlated with causing cancer. Many of us wonder why individuals insist on using cigarettes despite this well-known fact.
Save Pakistan, Save the World
For the past few years, Pakistan has experienced a very serious energy shortage that does not seem to be getting any better. A growing demand for power, an aging infrastructure, and poor development by the Pakistani government have all contributed to the shortage of power in the country. The daily power outages are having an immense impact in the lives of the Pakistani people. This problem needs an effective solution that can bridge the gap between power supply and demand be
Scarred for Life: Identifying the Line Between Corporal Punishment and Child Abuse
Every week, child protective services around the United States receive more than 50,000 reports of suspected child abuse or neglect. In 2002 alone, 2.6 million reports concerning the safety of approximately 4.5 million children were made. As a result of investigations in only the reports that seemed extreme enough, approximately 896,000 children were found to have been victims of abuse or neglect, which is an average of more than 2,450 children per day (Iannelli).
The Global Bailout Plan
“The World is flat.” Global communication, due to fiber optics and the Internet, is faster and more efficient than at any other time in history. Today’s world is globally integrated to a tremendous extent, making simultaneous contact with people in all corners of the globe feasible. This has led to unprecedented levels of financial and economic collaboration between countries.