It is my pleasure and privilege to welcome you to the third edition of our online magazine Angles, featuring exemplary writing from the introductory writing subjects at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This edition features writing that was done in the introductory writing classes during the 2009-2010 academic year.
First I want to express our profound gratitude to the Basha family, who gave a generous endowment to insure that Angles will continue in the future. Their son and brother, Umaer Basha, passed away early in his freshman year at MIT in 1997. We are honored to dedicate this edition of Angles to Umaer's memory. In the Table of Contents, you will find selected pieces of Umaer's writing. His writing highlights the appropriateness of the Basha family's support of students' writing in Umaer's honor.
Those of us involved in Angles first learned of Umaer when his sister Amina, MIT Class of 2010, submitted a piece she had written in Lucy Marx's class in the fall of 2008. The piece was a moving tribute to her brother, and we were pleased to publish it in the magazine's second edition in 2009. You can find it here: http://web.mit.edu/angles/angles_Amina_Basha.html.
The introductory writing subjects at MIT are open to all students and all levels of ability. Some of them are asked to take one of our classes, and others choose them because they recognize the importance of writing well to their success at MIT and in any subsequent career field. Each section of the four subjects in the introductory program has a particular thematic focus, with specific reading and writing assignments. You can look at the current offerings on the website of the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies: http://humanistic.mit.edu.
This year we had the largest number of submissions of any previous year; seventy-five pieces of writing were submitted to be considered for publication. We chose just under a third of those submissions, so the competition for selection was great. Our sincere thanks to all the students who submitted their writing. And our hearty congratulations to the students whose work was selected. They should be proud of having their work chosen for publication, and we are happy to acknowledge their achievement.
We are grateful to Dean Deborah Fitzgerald of MIT's School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences for her supplemental support of this edition of Angles. Special thanks also to Maya Jhangiani, Administrative Assistant in the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies, who created the site and uploaded the material for this edition; and to Jessica Lin, our veteran student editorial assistant, and to the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, which funded Jessica's work for the past two summers. Andrea Walsh served for the second time as editor of this edition of Angles, and we couldn't have produced the magazine without her hard work. Our gratitude also to the teachers who served on the committee to choose what would be published in this edition, and to the teachers in the first year writing program who encouraged their students to submit work for consideration. Thanks also to Professor James Paradis, Head of the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies from the beginnings of Angles, for his steady support of the magazine.
We hope very much that you enjoy reading this latest edition of Angles, now, thanks to the Basha family's generosity, to be an ongoing publication.
Rebecca Blevins Faery, Ph.D.
Director of First Year Writing