Most Buzzworthy Student Blog of Winter Break: LOL My Thesis

Angela Frankel is currently working on her senior thesis at Harvard University, exploring zebrafish embryonic cardiogenesis as a way to assess how a particular gene regulates a group of progenitor cells that exist in normal heart development.

Got that? Don’t worry. Frankel provides a much simpler progress report online: “I have killed so many fish.”

Long term, Frankel’s thesis may have implications for better understanding the development of congenital heart disease. Short term, it has indirectly spawned a viral sensation.

Last month, Frankel launched LOL My Thesis, mainly “as a means of procrastination from my own thesis.” It has spread fast on social media, becoming one of the most notable online student creations of winter break.

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The Tumblr blog attempts to spotlight what Frankel describes as “the lighter side of thesis writing and academia in general.” Specifically, the site features a growing collection of snarky and lighthearted one-liners submitted by college students and alumni worldwide poking fun at their current or past theses.

Some touch on concerns about whether projects really matter. As a human geography major writes, “My thesis is about elections in the Republic of Georgia. Does anyone in the world care about the elections in the Republic of Georgia? Huh, no one. Ever.”

Others make fun of how obvious their project focuses tend to be, such as a computer science major’s conclusion “you have no privacy anymore” and a political science major’s finding that “democracy would work a whole lot better if we weren’t so, you know, human.”

Still others reveal the ssshhh-don’t-tell reality of what they feel is a rather worthless endeavor. As an English major summarizes their thesis work, “Here’s how an unrelated internship I barely managed to get applies to four years of studying literature I barely managed to pass.”

Another crop hint at the true reasons they decided to tackle a project. One example, from a media, society and the arts major: “I wanted to lay in bed and watch Netflix instead of writing, so here are the ways ‘Orange is the New Black’ is awesome.”

2“I think one thing that people really like about the blog is that it’s kind of reassuring,” said Frankel (left), 21, a native of Cornwall on Hudson, N.Y. “The thesis writing process can be extremely isolating and produce a lot of self-doubt along the way. You work on one project for so long and oftentimes people speak with their advisers fairly infrequently. You may feel you’re behind or that your project is not living up to others. On the blog, you see other people are experiencing similar challenges or having similar doubts.”

A mix of LOL My Thesis entries presented on the site this past weekend: “Harry Potter is Jesus. Boom.” (submitted by a religion and literature student); “Genomes suck.” (from a bioinformatics student); “Never trust strangers on boats.” (a history student); “Money can buy happiness, sorry.” (a psychology student); and “There is no right way to play Mozart, just a million wrong ways!” (a musicology student).

To read the rest of the piece, click here or on the screenshot below.

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