Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Mary Carroll-Hackett, M.F.A.

Second Advisor

Susan Stinson, M.F.A.

Third Advisor

Steven Faulkner, Ph.D.


The purpose of this thesis is to analyze the roles of resistance and acceptance in my life through creative nonfiction. In the six essays serving as my thesis, collectively entitled Coming to Terms, I have approached my life from different angles in order to both identify and explore topics of control and conflict, realization and acceptance. These originate in various degrees from my family, my schooling, and from society at large, but most importantly, from my own interpretation of what it is to grow up and assert myself, accepting the past in order to change the future: "If you're cognizant of the problem, and see the source, you can only blame yourself for not changing it." These essays explore moments in the past where I was forced to redefine the role I played in my own life. For example, in "Sun-Blind," my resistance to assimilating with my peers at school had physically damaging results, and only through accepting and practicing certain social norms was I able to identify how I had harmed myself. I use an adult narrator as the retrospective voice for each essay to take on the often hard truths about myself, which would not have been accessible to me from a younger point of view. These essays represent the continuing process of learning to recognize and accept that I have it in me to stop hurting others, and myself.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.