The time has come. I am starting my graduate thesis, which is required to complete my MA in English from Salem State. The expected tension, anxiety, excitement, and sense of impending discovery and possible doom is officially upon me as I begin compiling reading lists and brainstorming avenues of analysis. I am finding this whole process so helpful in remembering and examining the experiences students undergo when we ask them to navigate new and uncharted academic territory. The lack of direction, sense of disorientation, and feeling of potential inadequacy that I feel when approaching my thesis is not the least bit different from high school students' as they attempt their first research paper or a particularly challenging piece of literature. The act of engaging in any real intellectual work requires courage, even at the high school level. I hope to keep this in mind throughout the process of composing my thesis in order to better understand and guide my future students through their own intellectual undertakings.