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Wordsworth Day Two: Precious Poetry & Magical Hills

Posted by: on May 27, 2015   |Comments (0)|Undergraduate Research

1Green-HeadMaymester in England

This morning we made our way back to the Jerwood Center bright and early. The walk to the center from our hostel is about half an hour long and quite beautiful, taking us through Grasmere past various shops and establishments.

At the Trust, we had the opportunity to use the tips and tricks we had learned the day before about handling and interpreting manuscripts. Jeff led us through the process of analyzing one document in particular, allowing us to make discoveries for ourselves through our various observations and gently using our insights to prompt us in the correct direction. We eventually ascertained that the particular document we had in front of us was about 200 lines of a final draft of “Home at Grasmere,” a poem we studied in class back at PC this past Friday. In the poem, Wordsworth explores the nearly divine beauty of his home. Since it holds a subject so personal and dear to his heart, this poem more than others feels as though it has more of him in it, which made having the original manuscript before us even more precious.

Branan Durbin ’16

1Graver-pointingJust before lunch we went to our afternoon destination of Hawkshead. This trip was being taken so that we could view more of the locations referenced by Wordsworth in his poetry, specifically in his Prelude. We visited his elementary school (called primary school here in the UK) and his childhood parish. After the first few sites, we went for lunch in the village and then continued out to the rural areas of Hawkshead. We finished it with some cream tea and scones, and then hopped on our minibus to drive back to Grasmere and The Wordsworth Trust. Once back, we listened to a presentation by a philosopher introducing a new interpretation of Wordsworth as a poet. When this finished, we headed back to Thorney How for a lovely dinner, some drinks, and conversation. After dinner, some of us went off to read, others to write, and a few went for a hike.

In May and June, the sun does not set in the Lake District until around 10:15 p.m. This is an incredible asset for visitors. I was a part of the group that went for an evening hike. We went towards the Easedale Tarn, traversing pastures, rocky roads, and steep hills. The experience was incredible in the evening air. Though we had hiked as an entire group and experienced the magic that these hills can share a day prior, the feeling was just as incredible this second time. We each sat at a peek or near a lake and reflected on our day and the landscape. It is a truly fantastic way to end a busy day. We joined up again as the sun began to set and returned to the hostel. Again a whole group, we relaxed until bed, thankful for another terrific day.

Brendan Murphy ’16

Maymester in England This morning we made our way back to the Jerwood Center bright and early. The walk to the center from our hostel is about half an hour long and quite beautiful, taking us through Grasmere past various shops and establishments. At the Trust, we had the opportunity to use the tips and […]MORE

Wordsworth Day One: Discovering ‘the loveliest spot that man hath ever found’

Posted by: on May 26, 2015   |Comments (0)|Undergraduate Research

tarnalMaymester in England
A group of English majors is currently abroad in England as part of the Maymester course, Wordsworth in the Lake District. After a week of study at PC, the students traveled to Grasmere, Wordsworth’s home in the picturesque English Lake District. They are working at the Jerwood Centre and the Wordsworth Museum, where most of the poet’s books and manuscripts are stored. This three-credit course offers a unique opportunity to study a writer’s works in the place where he lived, and to visit the exact places he described. Throughout the week, students in the course will be recounting their experiences as part of this blog. We invite you to “go on the journey” with them.

Today, our first full day in Grasmere, we walked to Dove Cottage to meet Jeff Cowton, curator of the Wordsworth Trust. We started with a tour of Dove Cottage to set the mood; it is lovely. We saw many objects that belonged to William, and were able to walk through the garden. It certainly is “the loveliest spot that man hath ever found.” We also walked through the museum, where we saw not only more objects, but also the work that the trust does with those who suffer memory loss. After this, we went into the library and began our work with manuscripts!

We learned how to handle manuscripts and other museum objects in ways that protect and preserve them. Jeff showed us the oldest surviving letter from Dorothy, as well as many of William’s letters. The amount of manuscripts held at the Trust is incredible. What is even more amazing is that we will be working with these manuscripts and finishing a project that will impact the future visitors of Dove Cottage.

-Patricia Krupinski ’16

Hiking TrailAfter lunch we hiked the hills behind Dove Cottage, often pausing our trek to view Grasmere, glimmering green with sheep spotted pastures and surrounded by steep hills and crags. The sights were breathtaking; and with each breath we took we filled our lungs with sweet fresh air and our minds with inspiration. We saw similar sights that the Wordsworths viewed over 200 years ago, and we felt the same clear-headedness and elevation of spirit that William captured in his poetry. It is no wonder he considered Grasmere a place “Of majesty, and beauty, and repose, a blended holiness of earth and sky.”

We ate dinner in Dove Cottage, in a room where Dorothy could have sat writing her journals and where William would have worked countless times. We even tried seed cake made from a recipe the Wordsworths used. We discussed Dove Cottage’s effects on visitors, learning the dynamics of a museum. All the while, however, we felt the same strong pulls of history and inspiration stirring within us with each bite of seed cake and with each crackle of the coals in the fireplace. It was truly an amazing day.

-Nick Tavares ’16

Maymester in England A group of English majors is currently abroad in England as part of the Maymester course, Wordsworth in the Lake District. After a week of study at PC, the students traveled to Grasmere, Wordsworth’s home in the picturesque English Lake District. They are working at the Jerwood Centre and the Wordsworth Museum, where […]MORE

Stevens and Satisfaction: The end

Posted by: on May 21, 2015   |Comments (0)|Undergraduate Research

Wallace-StevensThe goal of my research project was to learn more about the life of modern American poet, Wallace Stevens, and to decide whether or not his conversion to Roman Catholicism on his deathbed should be considered authentic.

In addition, I hoped to determine if there are any signs of a conversion could be seen in Stevens’ poetry. I read biographies of Stevens, as well as interviews, criticisms, and his own poetic collections for my preliminary research. Then, I wrote on a weekly basis about my thoughts and discoveries. My Honors Independent Research Project turned out to be 43 pages or 16,000 words—just about thesis length (but who’s counting?). I focused on four of his poems—Anecdote of Men by the Thousands, Sunday Morning, Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction, and Of Mere Being—as well as accounts about his final days. I believe that I wrote a convincing paper about why Wallace Stevens’ conversion to Catholicism at the end of his life should be viewed as genuine, and also about the indicators of his affinity for religion that I noted throughout his poetic career.

I plan on continuing to research this project. I felt crunched for time at the end of the semester, and I wish that I could have devoted more time to polishing this paper. But, I still have more reading and thinking to do, and I also plan to write more about this topic. It is close to my heart, and I want to develop my argument to the best of my ability.

Although I found this assignment to be very challenging at times, in hindsight, this is one of my favorite academic experiences as a student at Providence College. I am proud of myself for finishing this project, and I am satisfied with the end result. I couldn’t have asked for a better advisor than Dr. Hogan. He was knowledgeable, flexible, and he always provided me with the encouragement that I needed. I could not have turned out a finished product of this caliber without him. I found it very helpful to meet with him on a weekly basis and to bounce my ideas off of him because they often turned into even better thoughts. This honors independent research project/thesis helped me to grow as a person and in my faith. I found personal inspiration in the life-story and the poetry of Wallace Stevens, and I believe that to complete an essay of this length and depth allowed me to become more organized, self-disciplined, and efficient. I would absolutely recommend conducting research to other students who consider themselves to be up to the task.

The goal of my research project was to learn more about the life of modern American poet, Wallace Stevens, and to decide whether or not his conversion to Roman Catholicism on his deathbed should be considered authentic. In addition, I hoped to determine if there are any signs of a conversion could be seen in […]MORE

A better scientist because of opportunity

Posted by: on May 20, 2015   |Comments (0)|Undergraduate Research

rogersOn April 18th, Matthew Sanborn ’15 and I attended the annual Eastern Colleges Science Conference (ECSC) at Niagara University. The day before, we had taken the long drive to the city of Niagara Falls so we could see the falls. ECSC is a relatively small conference, typically hosting representatives from about 20-30 universities. All of the students in attendance are undergraduates, who give oral platform presentations or poster presentations. It’s a great conference because it’s interesting to see what other undergraduates are doing as research. Also, both the platform presentations and poster presentations are judged as part of a competition. As always, it was fun to meet undergraduates from other schools.

I gave a platform presentation at this conference titled “Characterization of Yeast Bax Inhibitor, bxi1, Function in Cell Death, the Unfolded Protein Response, and Calcium Signaling in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.” The presentation was centered on research done over a number of years by many students. Specifically, our work suggests that the yeast Bax Inhibitor gene has functions both in programmed cell death and the unfolded protein response in yeast. Both programmed cell death and the unfolded protein response are ancient molecular pathways found in organisms from yeast to humans, so learning more about how these processes work is fascinating basic research.

sanborn1I have given a few poster presentations before, but this was my first time ever giving an oral presentation. I was nervous, but I found that I really enjoyed giving my talk. I learned later in the night that I had won an award for the best poster presentation in my group of talks, which I was very happy to receive. The conference was a nice way to round off my senior year in the lab. I’m sad to be leaving PC and the lab soon, but I will always remember what I have learned here. I think that my research in Father Austriaco’s lab has helped me become more competent as a scientist — both in my way of thinking and in my skills at the bench. I hope that many others will have the opportunity for a great undergraduate research experience, just as I have had.

On April 18th, Matthew Sanborn ’15 and I attended the annual Eastern Colleges Science Conference (ECSC) at Niagara University. The day before, we had taken the long drive to the city of Niagara Falls so we could see the falls. ECSC is a relatively small conference, typically hosting representatives from about 20-30 universities. All of […]MORE

A Look Back: Research of Healthcare was a Highlight

Posted by: on May 13, 2015   |Comments (0)|Undergraduate Research

Hi! I completed my independent study for the semester just now, but let me catch you up on what that entailed! With the help of Sabrina Guilbeault ’18, I conducted my research experiment in March and April. We each called 110 primary care practices in Rhode Island, posing as patients with both HealthSource RI coverage and Employer-Based coverage to see when we could get the soonest appoiACA-reportMNntments. We did not actually make these appointments, but came up with a last minute out so as not to disrupt their care delivery!

We found that there was not a large discrepancy between HealthSource RI and Employer-Based Coverage recipients getting access to care. However, we did find that less than 40% of the surveyed practices were accepting new patients all together.  Most notably, we also encountered issues between the providers and insurance company’s communication. For example, the insurance company would list disconnected numbers for the providers in their directory–or worse, had issues with whether or not the provider was in the insurance’s network. Overall, there were considerable access barriers in Rhode Island, which were consistent with issues across the nation.

As for the teaching and further research pieces, Dr. Hackey, Dr. O, and I are going to work on those over the summer. I am also going to submit my independent study for publication review before I start grad school in the fall! Thanks for the research opportunities, PC!  They were definitely highlights of my undergrad career!

Dani

Hi! I completed my independent study for the semester just now, but let me catch you up on what that entailed! With the help of Sabrina Guilbeault ’18, I conducted my research experiment in March and April. We each called 110 primary care practices in Rhode Island, posing as patients with both HealthSource RI coverage […]MORE