Date of Graduation

Fall 2018

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Research Sponsor

David Giffels

First Reader

Heather Braun

Second Reader

Julie Drew


Communication can be hard enough when you’re speaking in your native tongue, but throw in a second language and something’s sure to get lost in translation. In this creative nonfiction piece, I trace my real-life journey from tongue-tied homebody to bilingual voyageuse over the stepping stones of four chapters, with each chapter linked by the themes of language and communication. In the first half of the project, a unique job offer brings love, friendship, and plenty of misunderstanding into my humdrum life, and inspires me to pick up a language that broadens my personal and academic horizons. In the second half, I chronicle the misadventures of my first study abroad program in France, navigating my way through awkward conversations, and learning how and when to speak up with confidence. In the accompanying critical essay, I discuss my deep affection for the creative fiction genre and how some of its greatest voices—Mark Twain, Nora Ephron, and A.A. Milne, to name a few—have taught me how to make the ordinary extraordinary. In the final self-analytical essay, I describe with brutal honesty my creative process in the invention of this Honors project.

Included in

Nonfiction Commons