__Writings______________
Academic | Extracurricular | Leisure

Read at your own risk. Writing isn't my strongest talent, but some of the pieces I have written aren't so bad! I know that I write long sentences, very complex sentences in fact (And if you have ever communicated with me via email, you know that I overuse statements swallowed in parentheses). I'm working on increasing clarity, decreasing gobbledigook, and improving syntax. Unfortunately, self-improvement in this realm will take me awhile.

These essays are the culmination of my undergraduate work in the history of science. You can view them in .pdf form. I welcome all comments!

Senior Thesis
Making Harvard’s Glass Flowers: the Interface of Botany, Gender, and Artistic Virtuosity in America (6.5mb file)
   
Annotated Bibliography (84k file)

Abstract:
     T
his thesis investigates the history of Harvard’s well-known Glass Flowers exhibit, in an effort to understand how the interaction of professional goals and cultural values came to affect the structure of the exhibit in its final form. Commissioned from 1886 to 1936 by Botanical Museum Director George Lincoln Goodale, the exhibit instructed the public in evolutionary theory and the economic uses of plants. At the same time, the exhibit drew upon the values, educational styles, and interests of women, particularly those of the two women who funded the collection, Elizabeth and Mary Ware. Ultimately, the increasing visitors who flocked to the collection claimed it as an example of artistic virtuosity, subordinating many of the exhibit’s original goals. Revisiting the Glass Flowers in these contexts allows us to understand how the meanings of objects of natural history are fundamentally constructed by the intellectual goals, the cultural climate, and the interpretations to which they are linked.
      Keywords: Ware, Blaschka, Glass Flowers, Harvard, George Lincoln Goodale, Women and Botany

Junior Paper
Blood Poisoning Made Benign? Making Sense of Compulsory Vaccination, Governmental Input, and the Individual (240k file)

Abstract:
    This paper examines vaccine regulations and anti-vaccination movements over the past century in Massachusetts. The overarching theme in these movements is how compulsory vaccination forced Americans into allopathic health care. Even though vaccination carried legitimate medical dangers, government action defined it as the only legitimate form of medical prevention. The government additionally turned vaccination into a healthcare system for immigrants and the poor, and it demanded vaccination at the expense of individual choice without governmental liability. These effects in turn widened the anti-vaccination movement and contributed to the methods by which objectors now address vaccination.

The Harvard Independent
Some of my undergraduate writing is here to stay in the halls of Canaday - and on the web. Not my best work, but I never said I was a good writer (see above) :-) And sorry folks, if you want to read you've got to register for the site. But it only takes a minute.

Leisure Writing

An untitled poem, written in April of 2005

And so, through this new spy’s glass
I see it,
Pale blue, translucent,
A life’s happiness.
Autumn leaves and ice cold then:
Led me to Your fire—You,
having passed spring’s buds
Remained just as fragrant,
Warm rays against chilled flesh,
Nourishing me;
the flame now smokes as coiled wire,
incense remains,
tires to a fade,
tries to expire.

 

 

This page was last updated 5/16/2004