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
- Nabila Hijazi
- Kisa Lape
- Leigh Ann Ruggiero
- Maggie Ray
- Danny Synk
The editorial board and I would like to welcome you to the latest edition of Interpolations. As you can see, Interpolations along with the entire English Department website has undergone an incredible redesign that everyone who sees it greatly appreciates. Unfortunately, due to the overhaul we were not able to publish the Fall 2010 edition of this journal in a timely manner and we decided to combine all of the submissions from the past two semesters into Spring 2011 “jumbo” sized version.
With double the number of essay submissions for a typical issue we faced a daunting task in trying to narrow down the best of the best. Once again, there was a great deal of debate among the editorial board as we discussed our diverging views on the plethora of superior essays that were submitted to us. The 16 essays that were selected as our finalists truly represent the exceptional work being produced by our freshmen students. The essays cover a wide array of thought-provoking topics analyzed through unique viewpoints, and they all express our students’ passion for engagement with the world.
Thanks to a wonderful addition, as part of the website redesign, we invite you to engage with our authors using the feedback section following each essay (retrofitted to all of our editions). We hope that your thoughtful comments about these articles will grow into an ongoing discussion amongst our academic community regarding the pertinent issues of our times. Fostering intellectual discussion and the exchange of ideas has always been one of our primary goals for Interpolations and it is our hope that the ability to post comments in response to these essays will light a fire that will continue to grow.
I would like to offer my appreciation to everyone who contributes to the production and success of this journal. Dr. Linda Macri, Scott Eklund, Kevin Remmell, our dedicated and incredibly hard-working editorial board, each and every English 101 TA, and the life’s blood of this journal—the freshman students who very bravely offer their work to be judged and critiqued by us, and ultimately the rest of the world. Thank you all for participating in a community where students’ words and ideas are valued and their contributions are accepted as part of the ongoing academic conversation of our University.
Spring 2011 Essays
Considering Another Side Essays
Cost-Benefit Analysis of Recycling in the United States: Is Recycling Worth It?
Although recycling programs in the United States have become a key component in waste management, recycling programs are in fact one the most costly methods of waste disposal.
Genetic Engineering: A Serious Threat to Human Society
Scientists have been trying to create synthetic life, life created in lab, for many years. The first breakthrough in this process happened about thirty years ago when genetic engineers began to genetically modify organisms (Savulescu). These engineers physically move genes across species in order to improve an organism or to cause an organism to function differently. Even though this process sounds as if it happens only in fantasy games, genetically modified organisms are common.
Using Their Heads
When Jason Witten of the Dallas Cowboys was seen screaming at his doctors during a football game this season, it marked a crucial moment in the NFL’s conflict with concussions. Witten was upset that his doctors would not allow him back onto the field after he seemed woozy from a big hit by a defender. This event showed the changing mentality of the league towards serious head injuries.
Experience and Other Evidence Essays
Works for Me: "Gaydar" is More Than a Myth
[Murray] ”Yes even, he's gay!” [Dionne] “He does like to shop, Cher. And the boy can dress.”
—Clueless [The Movie, 1995]
Experience as Evidence Essays
"Gaydar" is More Than a Myth
The day I decided to put my mother's clothes on my back became the day I unknowingly loaded a barrage of burdening questions onto my shoulders. This was the day that I became an androgynous android of some social experiment. They called it “Gender-Bender Day”; I called it my calling.
Affirmative Action: Equal Opportunities or Not?
My highly anticipated senior year of high school had begun, which meant the confusing, dreaded college application process had begun along with it. I had already researched many potential universities and colleges and finally decided to which schools I was going to apply. However, I was just beginning to thoroughly read the actual applications. I came to realize that each of the different schools asked its prospective students unique essay questions.
Pre-Employment Screening Through Facebook: A Way to Find Reliable Employees or a Misuse of the Internet?
When it comes to the topic of hiring for vacant positions in a company, most of us will readily agree that employers look for someone who is responsible, reliable, and gets their work done. Agreement ends, however, regarding the question of whether or not employers can use social networking sites to determine if an applicant is good for the company or not.
Why Should We Care About Education in Prison?
Under a darkened sky, raindrops drew trails across my skin and onto the concrete pavement as I walked towards the entrance of a large building resembling a school. The words Montgomery County Correctional Facility (MCCF) were emblazoned across the face of the building. As part of my honors seminar assignment, my class visited this facility to physically see what we were learning about in class.
Asian Americans as the Model Minority
For more than 100 years, from roughly the 1850’s until after World War II, Asians in America were deemed foreign, unwanted, and uncivilized. Asians were termed the “yellow peril” and were thought to be a menace to Western society. They were the targets of racial attacks and discriminatory laws because of their image as a threat.
Back Up Your Birth Control
One would believe that bulging bellies and tenacious toddlers are rarely seen in a suburban, predominately middle class high school setting. However, from my first year of high school through the summer following my graduation, I saw countless childbearing contemporaries and had many pregnancy troubled friends. Some of my fretful peers exemplified the racy, risk-taking stereotype of sexually active teens.
Gays in the Military
Due to current United States military regulation, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) citizens have to keep their sexual orientation a secret if they want to serve in any branch of the armed forces. In 1993, in an attempt to stifle protest from the gay community, President Bill Clinton initiated the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy (DADT) within the United States armed forces.
Life Savers: The Necessary and Proper Steps to End the Shortage of Transplantable Organs in the United States
The organ transplant process has stood as a life saving practice for over fifty years. However, since the beginning there has been controversy surrounding the process coming from transplant doctors, recipients, and registered donors and their families. Controversial issues include the medically accepted definition of death, the practice of familial consent, and the development of new ways to increase the number of registered donors around the country.
Manage Pain, Not Regulations
Six weeks. That’s how long I laid in agony. I waited for six weeks as my doctor tried one thing after another, before finally prescribing adequate pain medication for my previously diagnosed juvenile arthritis. He was following protocol, of course, but lying in bed for six weeks as I was denied the pain relief I desperately craved, makes protocol a poor excuse for waiting. Had he prescribed them sooner, I would not have spent those many weeks in pain.
Neglected or Uninformed?: Addressing the Language Barrier Between Hispanic American Patients and Proper Medical Care
September 23, 2010 marked a transition point in our country’s healthcare policy. President Obama passed the Affordable Care Act to “begin to bring to an end some of the worst abuses of the insurance industry” (“Affordable Care” 1). This act aims to provide more coverage, rights, and benefits to a greater population of citizens. Such changes will occur in all new Health Care plans, and to some current plans.
Pill Popping: America’s Lethal Habit
My first semester of college was a life changing experience; not only did I grow and mature as a person, but I witnessed a good friend of mine, Michael, destroy his life with drug abuse. Michael’s drug of choice was Xanax, a prescription pill categorized as a central nervous system depressant that serves to slow down normal brain function, and is prescribed to patients with anxiety and sleep disorders.
Public or Private: How to Save NASA
The United States was the first country to put a man on the Moon, and ever since then NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, has been a beacon of hope for the American people. However, there is a current debate about privatization of the United Space Agency. Regardless whether or not it is privatized, it will continue to face significant problems. NASA is a huge organization with an even bigger budget, but it produces no revenue to sustain itself.