This is not the usual sort of project that gets posted here, but now that the grade for it is in and the process complete, I thought maybe a few of you might be interested in the reason why I haven't been doing as much of the usual sort of thing for the last couple of months.
Here is my senior thesis in history, "An Instinct for the Regrettable": The Inventions and Legacy of Thomas Midgley, Jr. - which just received an A and some very kind remarks from Prof. Segal, the faculty member who conducted the senior seminar section I was in this past semester. It's a tale of good intentions and unanticipated consequences, in which one man played an improbable key role in two of the most infamous environmental mistakes made by 20th-century industrial chemistry.
This paper marks the last of the requirements for my Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Maine. Because I'm still working on the courses for my minor in graphic design (which I may or may not be able to complete in the spring semester, but since I've missed December graduation, I may as well attempt it), I won't actually graduate until May, but I have now accumulated all the credits necessary to do so, and have no further undergraduate work to do in the area of my major.
This spring, in addition to the above, I'll be taking a graduate-level course with the same professor, and have been assured by the head of the University's Graduate School that, should I be accepted as an MA candidate next fall, I'll be given retroactive graduate credit for it. I'll also need to take the Graduate Record Exam sometime in the spring, gather up letters of recommendation, and all that jazz to facilitate the graduate admissions application, and so on.
Right now, though, I've got 16 days to kick back, unwind, re-shelve the books I used for the above project, and see about getting some proper creativity done before all that starts.
I don't expect "An Instinct for the Regrettable" to be everybody's cup of tea, but some of you may enjoy it. I've been told my academic work is pretty readable.
(If anyone is really interested in that kind of stuff, I have other, shorter papers from previous semesters kicking around. I don't think I've already posted any of my term papers from the other 400-level history courses I've taken, though I could have forgotten. The ones on Johannes Kepler and the Canadian government's 1970s social engineering experiment, Project Surname, might interest a few folks.)
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
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Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.