10 o’clock List: Rejected Senior Thesis Titles

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Perhaps the most belabored phrase I’ve heard as a Kenyon student is “Writing is rewriting.” Normally this irks me, because it’s true. Because it’s true, that means more work. Womp womp. There is, however, one exception to this phrase — titles. Titles tell your reader everything and nothing at the same time. Slap that bow of a title on top of that gift of a thesis and put it under the tree. A bad title can be sad, but a rose by any other name would smell jjjuuuust as sweet. Despite this, some titles must go. I dug through the annals of Kenyon College Senior Thesis past and found these title rejects. We can only imagine what they prefaced.

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The Monday Catchup

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It is written in the contrails of airplanes slicing through the sky. It is written in the frown lines on your professor’s forehead when you ask a stupid question (yes, there is such a thing as a stupid question). It is written in jacuzzi bubbles rising to the water’s surface, breaking, releasing their hot air. Chris Raffa. Chris. Raf. Fa. Three perfect syllables. One perfect man. I’m here to wipe his record clean. He DOES think women are funny. It turns out he thinks I, specifically, am not funny. Fair point Raffa. How was your weekend?

“Terrible now that you brought me up again in a Catchup.”

“Chris it’s only because I want your attention.”

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The Monday Catchup

experiences_beach.jpgSpring has sprung, and I’m coming to you live from the hot hot hot beaches of Playa Del Carmen in Mexico. I’m not happy. Not only did I get a big sunburn on my chest this morning, but I’ve noticed that there is some serious warming happening. Why else would the beaches be so hot hot hot in MARCH? We know what happens from here. For one, I can see at least six category-five hurricanes on the horizon from my beach perch. Their respective names are: Andrea, Barry, Chantal, Dorian, Erin, and Fernand. Chantal is my favorite. Much to my chagrin, the warming has also caused an earthquake right here; a rift in the ground is forming between my legs. The longer I type this, the longer a deep, searing sensation emanates from my burn and the more I think about how I should really jump to one side. I’m having a hard time deciding between the right half of the beach and my family. Now I’m doing a split over a 50-foot wide fissure, and my pants are probably gonna rip. Hello, doctor? I’m gonna need some medication because I’ve got a serious case of the Mondays. How was your weekend?

“Well it was spring break, so really it was more of a break than weekend.”

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The Monday Catchup

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This catchup is about rare, strange, and special things that come about once in a lifetime, like this catchup and oxford commas. It’s also about other rare things I know about, like beauty, love, and your weekend. I know about beauty from when I looked in the mirror for the first time. I thought, “I need a word to describe the opposite of what I am seeing.” I learned about love when I looked up the word “lope” in the dictionary while writing a diary entry about when I saw a tall, thin dog running. Life is mysterious and fun that way. I learned about your weekend by asking, “How was your weekend?”

“Mid-week weekend was great! Actual weekend was a bust.”

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The Tuesday Catchup

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One time when I was five years old I found a slug next to my house moving toward the bushes. For ten minutes, I watched it, its eyestalks sensing its environment, seemingly independently of its body. I watched it secrete the mucus layer on which it travelled. A truly marvelous invertebrate, I thought, completely unlike any other organism I had ever seen. I unscrewed the cap of the saltshaker beside me and, despite having heard that I should never do so, I emptied its contents onto the slug. The slug writhed and contorted the length of its body. Its previously perfect skin began to pop and hiss as it turned crispy, from a bright yellow to a golden brown. In that slug I saw myself. As I watched it die, I felt the sting of the salt on my back, all the moisture in my body osmosing through my skin. I fell to the ground in pain, and I saw in the bushes what I could only assume was its slug family. We lay dying together on the moss for what seemed like an eternity. In retrospect I realized I learned something valuable that day. The ability to know something, to really become acquainted with it, to love and even name it, and then dispassionately let it go to become closer to death, would prove useful throughout my life. Anyway, that’s how I got into comedy writing. How was your weekend?

“Isn’t it too late for that question?”

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