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
- Catherine Bayly
- Jennifer Dunsmore
- Nabila Hijazi
- Amy Katzel
- Kisa Lape
- Heather Lindenman
- Maggie Ray
After a long delay Interpolations is back with a truly exceptional new issue. The range of topics, the unique perspectives, the strong research, and the persuasive writing evidenced in these papers is a testament to the incredible work that the University’s freshmen are producing. It is also indicative of the effort and dedication put in by English 101 TAs and the entire Academic Writing Program.
Due to the delay in publication we were able to combine two full semesters worth of submissions which provided us with an overabundance of excellent student essays to choose from. As such, the winnowing process was, perhaps, the most difficult we have faced to date. Our solution was to expand the number of essays to be included in this latest issue. Still, many wonderful essays did not make the cut and I want to be sure to thank all of the students who submitted their essays to us for review. I am always impressed by the number of new college students who have the courage to voluntarily offer their work to be judged by a bunch of unseen strangers, and I applaud each of them for wanting to become a part of the intellectual dialogue taking place at this University.
This will be my last issue as Editor-in-Chief of Interpolations. In the 4 years since I originally conceived of this online journal and, with the help of Dr. Linda Macri and the staff of the Academic Writing Program, Interpolations has grown into a valued resource for both the students and teachers of academic writing. It has been my honor and my pleasure to help encourage the academic discourse among our freshmen, and for me to have the opportunity to read so many insightful essays from this impressive group of students over the years.
Jennifer Dunsmore, a longtime veteran of our editorial board, will be taking over as the new Editor-in-Chief. I wish her the best of luck and am more than confident that I'm leaving Interpolations in very good hands. I am sure that Jennifer will take this journal to heights that it has not yet seen. I would particularly like to thank Jennifer and the rest of the editorial board—Kisa Lape, Catherine Bayly, Maggie Ray, Nabila Hijazi, Amy Katzel, and Heather Lindenman—several of whom have been working on Interpolations since its inception.
I would also like to thank Dr. Linda Macri, Kevin Remmell, and Scott Eklund, without whom Interpolations would have never existed, made it to the web, nor been so well advertised to English 101 students. I would also like to thank all of the English 101 instructors who have so generously supported our publication by nudging their students to send us their essays and by using Interpolations in their classrooms. Finally, I would like to thank all of our readers both here at the University of Maryland and those elsewhere who found us on the web. It is my hope and vision that many years from now Interpolations will still exist and will be stronger and better than ever. Thank you all for allowing me this wonderful experience of serving as the Editor of this fine publication.
Spring 2012 Essays
Considering Another Side Essays
Achieving Diplomatic Goals through Humanitarian Means
Directly after World War II, programs such as the Marshall Plan served not only as a response to the humanitarian needs of crippled European nations, but also as a means of stabilizing economies and governments. These measures made European nations, “as a national security measure,” more resistant to communism (Atwood, Shleifer 381).
Political Policy in the Reform of Sustainable Technologies
When it comes to the topic of sustainable energy, experts will readily agree that it is a pertinent discussion in today’s climate crisis. Where this agreement usually ends, however, is in the question of how it should be funded and paid for.
Experience as Evidence Essays
The Ocean of Narcissus: Technology, Social Media, and Expression
Under the claxon call of the school-ending bell, my hand finally gave way. A long graphite streak was cut into the illegible gibberish of my English essay. As the rest of my fellow freshmen filed out to freedom, I remained behind to nurse my wounds. The problem lay not with the prompt, but with my palms. Even a writer with sublime rhetoric can be thwarted by the mutiny of peripheral neuropathy.
Projection, Empathy, and Propagation
Dot. Dot. Dot. My classmate’s examination paper was scattered on her desk, pencil tapping on a barren sheet. Glancing up briefly from my work, I managed to catch her staring out of the classroom window, pencil revolving absentmindedly around her fingers. Briefly bemused, I suppressed the smirk that had spread across my face and returned my focus to the exam.
The Battle Over Manned Spaceflight
Beginning with John F. Kennedy’s historic goal of sending a man to the Moon, the United States began a rigorous space program in the formation of NASA. On July 20, 1969, the world watched anxiously as astronaut Neil Armstrong took the first human step on the Moon, fulfilling Kennedy’s fated words. Ever since, both the field of space exploration and humans’ understanding of the universe have expanded greatly.
The Role of Social Media in the January 2011 Egyptian Protests
The Egyptian protest movement of January 2011 has been called a “Facebook Revolt” (Giglio 1) and “A multi-media uprising” (Aljazeera). Almost every day, news media churned out articles describing the influence of Facebook and Twitter on the protests. “Since the rise of the Internet in the early 1990’s, the world’s networked population has grown from the low millions to the low billions” (Shirky 13).
To Assimilate or to Acculturate?
The United States of America has always been seen as a safe haven of opportunity. For this reason, many immigrants flock to this country in search for new beginnings and better lives. With this belief, when I was two, my family moved to the U.S. from India. My parents were the first of their generation to immigrate to America. Thus, they faced immense pressure getting accustomed to the new land.
American Security: Triumphs And Downfalls Of The Patriot Act
How is it that American citizens have supported, and even allowed the passing of, legislature that ignores the fourth amendment to the U.S. Constitution? The Patriot Act, originally passed in October 2001, is one of the most controversial topics regarding American citizens’ privacy and security. The Patriot Act has elevated the investigatory power of our nation’s government to a record high. While this legislation directly contradicts the fourth amendment, it has saved many lives.
Innate or Conditioned: Why So Few Women in STEM?
In this paper I will discuss the low numbers of women entering and remaining in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The main focus will be the two most discussed opinions as to causes of this underrepresentation: one being personal choice and the other conditioning, via early socialization and gender bias. Through experience, research, and testimonials, I will argue that the latter is the true cause.
The Danish Approach to Beating Homelessness
Imagine that you’re walking on the streets of New York City and you see a man curled up next to the curb. Although the temperature outside is well over eighty degrees, the man is bundled up with layer upon layer. You notice that most people pass him by with just one glance, probably feeling disturbed for a moment or two, and then they continue on with their day. However, some people stop and make an effort to pull out the change in their back pocket and throw it in the paper cup next to him.
The Ineffectiveness of Foreign Aid
America became known for foreign aid projects directly after World War II. These projects were meant to rebuild the economies of foreign nations that had collapsed after the war, in an effort to strengthen them against the influence of communism (Shleifer 381).
Cardboard and duct tape. Yes, cardboard and duct tape are currently holding my life in their hands. Unfortunately, neither of them is known for having particularly strong hands. Or any hands at all. Thus, my predicament at the moment is likely not anyone’s ideal. A corrugated cardboard box, which once held the 27-inch Samsung television now sitting on my bedroom dresser, is my punctured raft.