Sophie Greene (Duke in Berlin/Senior Thesis)
"At Duke I was a German Literature and Culture and a Classical Civilization major. I chose to study German because I already had some German under my belt and I had heard from upperclassmen that the department taught well. I enjoyed German so much that I ended up studying in Berlin for a summer and writing a senior thesis through the German department.
My thesis focuses on the rich illustrations in a particularly lavish edition of the German medieval epic poem, Das Nibelungenlied, to show how the poem went from being only enjoyed by scholars and elites, to being widely disseminated and popularized.
Writing a thesis was the best academic decision I made at Duke. I learned to be more scholarly in the way I synthesized, relayed, and drew conclusions from the things I read. Probably the best part about writing a thesis, though, is the valuable time you get to spend working closely with professors with expertise in different fields. Basically, writing a thesis teaches life skills that are (at least in my opinion) as or more important than absorbing facts and figures like you do in most other college classes. If you're a student who doesn't mind reading and writing a lot, has a keen eye for investigation and analysis, is eager to learn real-life skills, and wants to get to know members of the faculty better, then you should consider writing a thesis!
Now that I've graduated Duke, I have moved back home to London, and in September I will start my studies at The City Law School."