More noteworthy senior projects
Below are the abstracts from seven more senior projects (presented during Senior Project Night on May 30) that stood out for their originality, creativity and educational value.
Andikan Archibong: Advice for Future Students
My project will hopefully benefit many people including those outside of Greenhills. One of the most important things I have learned is that the people around me have more complex and unique lives than I previously thought. I have individually Facebooked almost every Greenhills upper school student, had individual conversations with more than 10 teachers and the head of school, talked face-to-face with Greenhills students of all grades, found many very useful websites, put my own personal advice in the project, and built a foundation on which my senior project will continue to grow and evolve over the years. I have organized all the information I’ve compiled into clear and easy-to-use categories. I plan to continue this project into the future and will take what I have learned from this project to make other personal projects that I can use to help my community. I have been blessed in many ways and I hope through this project I can share my blessings with everyone who wants or needs them.
Shahzaib Chughtai, Sungwon Hong, Krishna Hu, and Caleb Nusbaum: Student Film
For our senior project we wrote, scripted and directed an original film. Over the course of the project we learned many filmmaking techniques, such as the use of an external microphone. We also learned the importance of planning ahead and how difficult it is to rely on the fickleness of other people, which will likely crop up again in our professional lives. We chose to do this project because it gave us the opportunity to make a relatively large-scale movie project, which excited us, but was unlikely to be possible in our future professions. A great deal of effort was put in by all of us as we worked almost all day, every day to put the movie together. We had to be resourceful, creative, and organized to make sure that everything came together properly. In the end, it was a highly valuable learning experience: one that made us realize the amount of work that was actually needed to create the end product.
Jonathan Liu: Interviewing the Chinese Residents of Parkway Meadows
For my project, I set out to interview three Chinese senior citizens in the Parkway Meadows senior home in an effort to understand why they decided to immigrate at such a late age. I was inspired by own grandparents who came here after retirement to take care of my sister and me. I noticed that often times, many other Chinese-American kids had grandparents looking after and living with them. Even now, seeing an elderly man or woman taking care of a toddler at a potluck is a common occurrence. I didn’t see this phenomenon as often among my non-Asian friends, who would often talk about visiting their grandparents in warmer places, especially Florida. It seemed that grandparents tended to play a very important role in Chinese- or Asian-style child rearing. During the first week of release, I interviewed three people in Chinese, one man and two women. Next, I looked at the answers I received and translated the interviews into English, to the best of my ability. Not only did I learn about why they came, but I got to find out what they did back in China and what they have done since coming here. I have heard very inspiring stories (who decides to learn piano in their 60s?) and an overwhelming sense of optimism. Additionally, I got to learn about their lives in their predominately Chinese senior home away from their families.
Jonathan Saltzman: Greenhills Alumni College Index
My project was an alphabetized index of many of the Greenhills alumni of the past 10 years based on where they went to college, with additional information such as activities participated in (at college), contact information, and academic major. The idea for this project came about after my own college decision experience, when I was fortunate enough to know an alumnus at one of the colleges that I was visiting and, more importantly, he was nice enough to host me. This alumnus not only gave me the basic tour of campus with some interesting tidbits, but he really gave me better insight into the college and its culture. It was lucky for me that I knew this alumnus, but in the struggle that is college admissions I want all Greenhills students to have the same luck I did, and more. The goal of my project was both to help current and future Greenhills students make better college decisions by being able to contact Greenhills alumni at the colleges in which the current Greenhills students are interested, and to reinforce the alumni’s connection to Greenhills. The biggest thing I learned from doing this project is how to make a decent survey, and also it has been another lesson in time management. I hope that classes after mine will make good use of my project, and that it will help them set up better college visits and help them find the best-fitting college possible.
Rae Ann Schueller: Producing the Senior-Sixth Grade Mural
Creating my fish mural has taught me many lessons. The project allowed me to take on a large amount of responsibility, as I was to organize 76 sixth graders into different sections of painting on the mural. Also, what I really enjoyed about this project is knowing that this artwork is going to be left in the halls of Greenhills for a long time. This mural also adds color and joy to the plain halls of the school. What I have learned most from this project is that it was essential for me to be disciplined and organized because I had to make time to go into school and paint even though I was released from class. The process of creating this mural took a lot of time and effort. I started with three large 4×8 pieces of plywood and had to sketch out the large clown fish, then paint inside the fish with orange, black and white. As the sixth grade students came down I had to organize them so they wouldn’t all be crowded around the same piece of wood. As the students finished painting, I had to paint the entire background and edges blue, making it seem as if the fish were in water. Overall, this project will brighten up the hallways of school and has taught me to be responsible and organized.
Isabella Sdao: My Poetry and Photos
I created a portfolio of my writings and a few pictures I have taken in my year of taking Art Photo with Rob Kinnaird. In doing so, I have not only put together a physical collection of my writings, but also taught myself how to speak about my poetry and what it means, and how big of an impact it has played in shaping who I am today. My writings and pictures have allowed me an opportunity to explore what it means to be human, including the confrontation of the dark bits human nature has that aren’t comfortable topics. This project gave me the incentive to sit down and edit some poems and improve upon some I wrote years ago. I chose to create a portfolio because I needed too. I plan to get my Ph.D. in English, and I need a portfolio if I ever want to be taken seriously as a writer. A portfolio is one of the best and most valuable things a writer could have; it showcases talent in a physical book that’s tangible. I have learned how to improve my writing through editing and to have confidence in myself. Writing taught me how to express myself clearly and gave me the confidence I didn’t necessarily have before, and that’s something nobody can teach.
Patricia Simmer: Creative Writing
I have always enjoyed a good story, whether I was reading one or making one up for myself. I have never considered becoming a professional writer, or even considered putting in the effort to get any of my work published. I just like writing because it’s fun. I love being able to make something out of nothing. I think it’s amazing how you can start off with a blank computer screen and make something that the world has never seen before, and is completely unique. When Kevin Smokler came to visit Greenhills for the McDowell awards, I wasn’t so much inspired as intrigued by his lifestyle. Essentially, he goes to the gym in the morning, and writes for the afternoon. That just sounded like a perfect way to spend, if not a very large chunk, at least a small portion of your life. Senior release gave me my chance. I’ve spent it working out and writing. I’ve done a little research into how exercise affects academic achievement, written three stories (two short stories and one longer one), and three poems, all of which I’m happy with. I think I’ve grown as a writer, and I’ve had a lot of fun doing it. Something that surprised me a lot was the fact that I actually started looking forward to going to the gym after a while too. I had a really good time over senior release, and I’m really excited to share some of my work!