Yesterday was the deadline for Wyoming Catholic College juniors to submit their senior thesis proposals to a chosen thesis advisor. Now this is a complicated process. It involves you not only producing an absolutely massive topic and then somehow consolidating it down to a narrow question but it also requires you to use whatever powers of persuasion you may possess to convince a professor to take on the project of assisting your intellectual challenge.
If you’re like many a WCC junior, however, yesterday’s deadline came to fast and you now find yourself without having chosen a thesis topic or having a thesis advisor. But, never fear. You may have missed the deadline, but WCC is usually merciful since many people here don’t believe in deadlines.
Just… Don’t… Panic… Maybe you should give up, but please don’t panic!
Here are ten suggestions for the next steps you should take if you don’t currently have a thesis advisor or an approved topic for your senior thesis.
- Try a “self-advised” thesis: Tell Dean Cleanut that you’re just going to be advising yourself on a yet to be determined topic and will let him know if for some reason you (qua advisor) don’t approve your (qua student) thesis topic. Bonus for doing the thesis process this way is that there will be no trouble at all in setting up meetings with your advisor. No, nada, none!
- Just skip the whole thesis and oration process: Hey, you might still pass the rest of your classes, especially if you spend the time you would have spent on your thesis studying for them. Professors will be more impressed with your ingenuity than bothered by your not having written one assignment (even if it is technically a class). Just tell them you’re not going to do the thesis but do want to return and see what happens. I’ll be watching for the fireworks at least!
- Just quit now: Hey man, be honest, you really want to quit now, don’t you? This is a perfect time to quit, and if you think the idea of a thesis is stupidly difficult, dropping out now isn’t wrong, but the perfectly reasonable thing to do. Would the magnanimous man quit in such circumstances? Perhaps he actually might!
- Knock on professors’ doors right now: Not too violently, of course, but if you for some reason really do want to pursue and attain that arduous good of having a thesis advisor you need to almost literally fight them for it. Knock on their doors, write them letters, mail them your proposals, call them, chase them, show up at their Sunday dinner, just make sure you get one. In ths case perhaps slightly awkwardly, you can think of the whole process like dating. Hmm… or maybe a bit more like trying to get to the stoor and grab that sale. Or maybe there isn’t even an appropriate metaphor. Just do and think something like that.
- Self-identify as a sophomore: This perfect trick will keep you from having to submit a thesis proposal for another full year, by which time you will most definitely be older, smarter, and, best of all, will have passed the deadlines for both the thesis and oration, so in this case you won’t have to do them. Smart!
- Self identify as a senior: Similarly to the previous, if you self-identify as a senior right now, you won’t have to go through the thesis and oration process because the school, if they actually treat you like what you identify to be, will have to assume that you’ve already finished the whole enterprise. This way you can look forward to a nice, easier senior year next year while all your classmates who weren’t as smart as you suffer through the most grueling year yet. Double smart!
- Steal someone else’s advisor: I mean, there’s no rule in the Student Handbook about it right now. Just start telling everyone, for example, that you have one of those “prestigous” professors like Dr. Holmes who’s already been completely claimed. Once you repeat your claim enough such that everyone has been successfully wowed, Dr. Holmes will have no choice but to take you on instead of whoever he already had. Alternatively, you could just steal the proposal of one of his other advisees from his desk and substitute your own, but this undercover manner is a little bit more dangerous as its actually possible for professors to remember names. He might get suspicious.
- Get creative with advisors: Did you know that Mr. McCown can advise senior theses? Monsignor Seiker? Fr. David? Mr. Suzanka? Bruce? Mrs. Dr. Mortenson? Even sophomore Zach Lee has advised other students in the past as has the Lander Bar, the Forge Bar, and the Pequod (notice a trend here?). The point is, if you want an advisor, you’d better be creative and think of people who others haven’t yet thought of.
- Try one of the past rejected senior thesis topics. Look for them here on IIT. Surely they only rejected them because the wrong person was trying to do them. Who wouldn’t want to hear about “The connection between Nalgenes and Texan patriotism”, “Fire Danger: Pyrotechnics Expressing Polyphony in the Mind of Barack Obama”, “Dante’s Astrophysics and the Four Loves of Joel Olsteen” or “Japanese Architecture and the Perfect Outhouse.”
- Or just turn in a completed thesis instead of a proposal. Professors will completely forgive your tardiness yesterday if they find a complete, polished thesis in their mailbox today. Just give it to any random professor. Since all they’ll have to do is read it rather than actually having to advise you, they will have been saved a lot of work and you’ll simultaneously become an instant academic legend.
IIT is here to help you through the entire thesis and oration process from the first meeting as a junior about the project all the way through to your public oration as a senoior For more information check out our articles here, here, and here, or call us at 307-206-5241 to get advice on building the perfect WCC thesis.