Learning To Fly: Collected Works

Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Closed Access


My thesis represents a portfolio of work, consisting of nonfiction essays, an excerpt of a novel, and two short stories.

Sky Blue and Black considers the theme of awakenings as it traces the experiences of a young girl growing up in the midwest, then moving to California and on to New York. The stories ex- amine the humanity that exists in every family, the contradictions that abound. As the girl be- comes a woman and then a mother herself, she reflects on the pivotal moments in her life when the curtains were drawn and subsequently pulled back to reveal some greater truth—about her father’s frailty, her mother’s courage, her own fear and fallibility as a parent. These essays com- memorate the places and people central to the narrator’s evolution and they elucidate the truism about life and love; across time, the sky is both blue and black.

Learning to Fly, a novel-in-progress, is about a young girl who lost her father in the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. She struggles with the grief over this loss and with manag- ing life as a freshman at Stuyvesant High School. Burdened with fear and regret, about what was and what never came to pass, she happens upon a mystery to uncover, one which sets her on a path to rediscover her father and find her own path back to freedom.

Hey You and Clean Slate are two short stories contending with feminine identify, with love and loss; the first is told through the lens of a woman in her later years, the second from the perspec- tive of a teenage girl coming of age.

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