Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




When I was five, my parents walked my older brother and me into what would become our bedroom. It had walls of bare cement, and they told us we could choose to paint it whatever color we wanted. My brother, the seven-year-old self-declared animal and nature expert, and I, his loyal follower, chose forest-green walls for trees, a gold-yellow ceiling for the sun, and dirt-brown carpeting for earth—mimicking the environment in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from which we had just moved to Amman, Jordan. That room, with its colored reminiscence of the world of my early childhood, would serve as the backdrop to the stories my father and I would create together with the characters he adopted; Andy the raccoon, Otty the otter, and Supercamel the, well, camel were both my childhood friends and the earliest figures of my imaginative realm, linkages to my earliest memories—albeit broken—in Philadelphia. Later, as a teenager, the room served as a canvas to my solitary expression. My brother having moved out years before, I adorned its walls with black marker and white chalk. Delicate filigree flora soon grew out of my bookcases, my desk, my closet and my windows like field bindweed. I called it doodling. The room remained like that, green walls and floral doodles, until I left to complete my Master’s Degree in English in Logan, Utah. I was twenty one.