My name is Laurnie, and I’m thrilled to have been selected as a fellow for this year’s Dietrich Honors Fellowship! I’m currently a creative writing and history double-major, with a minor in German. For me, the idea of completing a thesis project has always seemed a bit vague. During my time at Carnegie Mellon University, the thesis was this kind of strange, amorphous, looming presence that I wasn’t quite sure how to approach. I didn’t know anyone who had completed a thesis project, and I certainly had no idea what my options would be for a thesis as a creative writer. So now that I’m embarking on my own thesis adventure, I’d like to invite you to follow along!
My hope for these blogs posts is twofold. First, I’d like to show students interested in the fellowship one way in which you can approach it from a creative perspective. Second, I’d like to make my project as transparent as possible, so everyone can see the way in which my project evolves from start to finish. The chance to share my progress with you here, in this space, is one that I’m so looking forward to!
So, now that you know just a bit about me, you’re probably wondering what my project is about anyway? Well, funny that you should ask! For my project, I’ll be combining creative writing and photography to create a series of short stories on the topic of growing up. I’m excited for both aspects of the project, as I feel that they will make a much more resonant narrative than writing or photography ever could alone. Truth be told, I’ve never worked much with photography, but I’m excited for the creative challenge! My hope is that this project will both play to my strengths and push me out of my comfort zone just enough to make a lasting, positive change in my artistic work.
I’m still so shocked that the university is going to pay me for pursuing an idea. It seems like a rare day when someone happily gives you money to create art. Yet, this vote of confidence has done wonders to reinforce the importance of my work. I really do believe that this thesis can be the beginning of a very successful professional career, as well as a wonderful way to deepen my creative practice.
I’m looking forward to keeping you updated! My work this summer will cross continents and oceans, bridging the old and the new, the expected and the unexpected, the fantastic and the mundane. So keep an eye out! I hope you’ll enjoy reading them as much as I’ll enjoy writing them.
Til next time, friends.